ISSN 2330-717X

Peace Building In South Asia – OpEd

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Almost half of 2022 has passed but unfortunately the persecution of Kashmiris could not be stopped but it is getting longer. Due to the geographical location of Kashmir and its undeniable identity, Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah had declared it as the lifeblood of Pakistan. Due to Modi’s aggression and barbarism and aggressive policies, the people of the Occupied Kashmir Valley today are living a life of cosmopolitanism and are missing out on basic amenities. Non-Kashmiris are being relocated to the valley and jobs are being provided to them. Government vehicles laden with Indian security forces are seen on the streets everywhere.

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Occupied Valley today looks like a penitentiary, with increasing incidents of rape and desecration of women. The number of human rights violations by the Indian Army is unprecedented. The use of pellet guns is blinding the freedom fighters, the educational institutions have been reduced to rubble by ammunition, but the irony is that this atrocity by the United Nations, the international community and the OIC so far has taken no effective action against the perpetrators. Kashmiris, who have been under siege since August 5, 2019, have proved to the world by enduring every new tactic of Indian repression that they can die but cannot compromise on their position. 

How many Kashmiri Pandits who migrated from Kashmir have returned home? This question is being asked continuously after the removal of Article 370 from the Narendra Modi government by the Centre. Even when the government is claiming that after the removal of Article 370 from Kashmir, the situation there is now normal. The government’s response to this question is once again shocking. The highest number of migrants from Kashmir Valley are Kashmiri Pandits who constitute about 88% of the total refugees. 

According to the information obtained from the Jammu and Kashmir Relief and Rehabilitation Commissioner, out of the total 154161 persons who migrated in the last 31 years, 135426 Hindus and 18735 Muslims migrated. Of these, 53978 Hindus, 11212 Muslims, 5013 Sikhs and 15 others are receiving government assistance. While a total of 83943 people including 949 Muslims, 1542 Sikhs and 4 others are deprived of government assistance.

According to the important revelations from DSP (Headquarters) Kashmir , in the last 31 years since the beginning of terrorism in Kashmir since 1990, a total of 1724 people have been killed by terrorists. Of these, 5% are Kashmiri Pandits. About 95 percent of those killed by terrorists were from other religions. It is clear that Kashmiri Pandits were used by the RSS and BJP only to spread hatred in the country and garner votes. 

India while further fueling the already tense situation, made a new film about the migration of Kashmiri Hindu Pandits from the occupied state of Jammu and Kashmir in the 1990s, is a false story. When only few Kashmiri Hindu Pandits died in the massacre of one lakh Kashmiri Muslims by the ruthless occupying Indian army, a film was made and Kashmiri Muslims were portrayed as oppressors and Kashmiri Hindus as oppressed. The purpose of this film is to discredit Kashmiri Muslims and present them to the world by distorting their image. 

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During the early months of the 19’s, brutal Indian Army carried out several bloody operations, massacred Kashmiri Muslims and ransacked their settlements. In Kupwara and Bajbhara, Kashmiri Muslims were indiscriminately shot and hundreds of civilians were martyred and settlements were set on fire. If 19 or 35 Kashmiri Hindu Pandits died in comparison to the martyrdom of one lakh Kashmiri Muslims, then Muslims became oppressors and Kashmiri Hindus became oppressed. The Hindu nationalist party BJP had used the issue of expulsion of Kashmiri Pandits from the valley in the disputed region during the election campaign. While the pro-India Jamaat National Conference and the Congress government had also made some efforts and both the Hurriyat conferences in Kashmir and outside, the leaders of the parties Yasin Malik and Shabir Shah always prayed for the return of Pandits from Rosaval and did their best. But the Kashmiri Hindu Pandits flatly refused to come to the Kashmir Valley, saying that they could not return until military fenced colonies were built for us. India complied with the demand of Kashmiri Pandits and identified thousands of kanals of land for creating separate townships for them. A conspiracy has been hatched to bring in and resettle people and thus destroy the Muslim identity of the state. Since 1990, the BJP, through the RSS, had planned to set up a special colony in the valley for Kashmiri Pandits with all basic facilities, including hospitals, colleges and schools. Now the BJP is implementing the same plan and the RSS wants to spread fire by erecting a wall of hatred in Kashmir.

*Sehrish Khan is a freelancer and media activist. She writes on political developments and security issues with special focus on South Asia and the region.

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