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Kashmir: Heaven On Earth – OpEd

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History calls the most beautiful valley in the foothills of the Himalayas, the highest mountain range in the world, by the name of “Jammu and Kashmir” or “Kashmir”. “Bernier” was the first European to enter Kashmir. Kashmir is blessed with a huge range of trees which is an addition to the beauty and glory of the valley. Mostly, the mountains take a white glow in winter, and in summer, as the snow melts, and the flowers in the meadows bloom, it resembles an artist’s canvas.

A long tale of Jammu and Kashmir’s exasperation is not only heartbreaking but also a flagrant defilement of human rights established by the United Nations. Carnages inflicted on Kashmiris by India have crossed the limits of tolerance. Children, old, young, men and women, no one could escape the Indian aggression. Children are subjected to such brutal violence that the very thought of it makes one cringe and humanity starts to feel ashamed. Young men are abducted and disappeared and later the brutally mutilated bodies are dumped in a profane manner that speaks volumes of India’s pharaohism and Genghisism. By sexually assaulting women, their sanctity is violated. Demolition of houses has become the hobby of Indian army and Indian police.

Rendering to the resolutions approved by the United Nations Security Council, India has illegitimately occupied Jammu and Kashmir and is taking continuous steps to colonize the region based on its military power. India’s latest move to make the region more accessible to its military is the construction of a railway bridge over the Chenab River. It has been built illegally and has made its military equipment and supplies more accessible. This illegal project by India has created deep fear and anxiety among Kashmiris who are already facing serious human rights abuses by Indian forces. Faced with violations and terrorism, Kashmiris are well aware of India’s nefarious and colonial ambitions as Kashmir’s autonomy has been systematically stripped away in recent years and the construction of a railway bridge in the mountainous region to further consolidate Indian occupation. The Kashmiri people and leadership are deeply concerned about the peace and stability of the region, who firmly believe that the railway bridge will bring more instability to Kashmir, which is already under illegal Indian occupation as they are struggling against unfair changes in population proportions. Kashmiris believe that the bridge will lead to massive population migration to the UN-declared disputed territory, which will surely destroy the identity of the region where India openly pursues its colonial and imperialist ambitions follows on. Public opinion shows that the majority of Kashmiris aspire to join Pakistan or an independent state, and in recent decades, Indian authorities have ramped up atrocities to suppress the ongoing freedom struggle of Kashmiris, where Indian forces have committed serious violations of human rights. They are involved in crimes of violations, extrajudicial killings and defamation of women.

To quash the peaceful freedom movement of Kashmiris, Indian forces are trying very hard. Occupied Jammu and Kashmir is currently the most militarized region in the world where more than 9 lakh Indian soldiers are stationed. India is trying to connect the disputed region through a bridge to strengthen its grip on it. Since 2019, when the Indian government unilaterally terminated the special status of Kashmir, India has violated the rights of the United Nations. In violation of the Charter and international laws, it has pursued policies to change the population ratio in the region. India separated Ladakh from the state of Jammu and Kashmir and declared them as two separate Union Territories. The old State Subject Law Repealed and replaced by a new Domicile Ordinance which provides domicile rights to millions of Indians in Jammu and Kashmir. About 43 lakh Indian Hindus were given domicile in Occupied Jammu and Kashmir. 25 lakh Indian citizens have been given the right to vote in the upcoming elections in the disputed region. Due to these actions, there is great anger among local Kashmiris and political leaders in the occupied valley. The Election Commission of India has recently denied the right to vote to such people, announced to give those who are living there temporarily and this initiative will include about 25 lakh new voters in the region, including Indian soldiers. Diplomatic efforts have been rejected. The international community should take immediate notice of India’s illegal, unilateral and provocative actions and force it to hold a referendum and give Kashmiris a chance to decide their future according to their wishes. 

*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.

One thought on “Kashmir: Heaven On Earth – OpEd

  • October 18, 2022 at 6:40 am
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    The author should look from within that who started the defilement of this Heaven On Earth “Kashmir” in 1948. “Kashmir” still remains a beautiful valley and No one can spoil its beauty.He should also know why Jammu and Kashmir is a militarized region ? Majority Indian soldiers are stationed on the borders to protect their motherland from not so friendly neighbours to the West and North. Pakistan and China with whom wars have been fought and the borders still remain active. Ask the people of POK – Are they happy with the Pakistani Administration? And now with the Chinese also all over in the garb of building CPEC infrastructure.Friend, you need to visit Kashmir,see for yourself and then report the truth.

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