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Kashmiris still remember the Black Day of October-27

Shabidullah Wazir

Kashmir is the core political dispute between India and Pakistan and a case of unfinished partition. Pakistan has always provided moral and diplomatic support for the freedom struggle in Kashmir on international forums. The solution to the dispute requires a unitary plebiscite for the whole of J&K under international auspices. UN resolutions call for the holding of a plebiscite to determine the wishes of the Kashmiri people. However, the promised plebiscite is never held by India.

October 27, 1947 is remembered as the black day in the history of Kashmir as it was the day when India, by dint of sheer force and illegality, took over the land of Kashmir. According to the partition Plan or Indian Independence Act, 1947, the princely states were given the choice to accede either to Pakistan or India on the basis of their geography and demography. In blatant violation of the Act, New Delhi illegally occupied three States of Hyderabad, Junagarh and Jammu and Kashmir.

Being a Muslim-majority state, with 87% Muslim population, Kashmir had a natural tendency to accede to Pakistan. But the Hindu ruler of Jammu and Kashmir, Maha-raja Hari Singh, announced its accession to India under a controversial document titled the Instrument of Accession despite the fact that even neutral spectators contradict the existence of such a document.

Indian troops, the Dogra forces and Hindu fanatics massacred over three hundred thousand Kashmiri Muslims within a period of two months in the Jammu division to suppress the voices of Kashmiri Muslims for their due and legal right of self determination. India had no land route to enter into Jammu and Kashmir. But the so-called Boundary Commission headed by Radcliffe, which demarcated the partition line, secretly gave Gurdaspur, a Muslim majority area to India thus providing it land access to the desired area.

Lord Mountbatten practically paved the way for the declaration of accession by Hari Singh and Indian involvement in the Kashmir dispute through his machinations. It is stated that Upon the Governor General’s insistence, India required the Maharaja to accede before it could send troops.

Accordingly, the Maharaja signed an instrument of accession on 26 October 1947, which was accepted by the Governor General the next day. The decision of Maharaja and the support extended by Governor General Lord Mountbatten and the attrocities of the Indian army after the accession, are the reasons that Kashmiris and supporters of Kashmir commemorate this day every year as a Black Day.

It is the darkest day in the history of Kashmir as Kashmiris were sold to India regardless of the Indian Independence Act and the Partition Plan. Result was the Indo-Pak war, 1947 in which the Pashtuns of tribal areas played a major role and subsequently one fourth of Kashmir was liberated known as Azad Kashmir and three fourth of Kashmir remained under Indian Occupation known as Indian Occupied Kashmir. India brought the issue to United Nations Security Council which passed Resolution 47 which called for restoration of peace and order to the region and to prepare for a plebiscite to decide the fate of kashmir.

But the said resolution has not been implemented till yet and the people of Kashmir are still deprived of their right of self determination. In 1950, when the Kashmir issue was hot on the agenda of the UN, Sir Owen Dixon, an eminent jurist from Australia, was appointed by the Security Council as the UN Representative on Kashmir.

He proposed that as a third step, a plebiscite would be held to decide whether Kashmir would join India or Pakistan. India wants to suppress the right of self determination of the people of Kashmir. Kashmir has been the worst example of human rights violations. Human Rights abuses in the Indian Occupied Kashmir are an ongoing issue.

The abuses range from mass killings, enforced disappearances, torture, rape and sexual abuse to political repression and suppression of freedom of speech. The Indian Army Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), and Border Security Force (BSF) have been held accountable for committing severe human rights abuses against Kashmiri people. Some rights groups say that close to 100,000 people have died since 1989 while the official figures from Indian sources state the estimates of civilians killed due to the fight for freedom in the range of 16,725 to 47,000 civilians.

The Jammu and Kashmir Coalition of Civil Society organization states that there have been over 70,000 killings, 8000 plus forced disappearances, mass torture and sexual violence, the majority committed by Indian armed forces, and that these cases have had zero prosecution in civilian courts. Diplomatic cables obtained by Wiki Leaks revealed that the ICRC had briefed US officials in Delhi in 2005 about the use of torture from 2002-2004 by security forces against hundreds of detainees suspected of being connected to or having information about freedom fighters.

Research scholar Mozammel Haque states that India has committed a genocide of Kashmiri Muslims to quell their uprising. In an earlier report, Human Rights Watch stated that Indian security forces “assaulted civilians during search operations, tortured and summarily executed detainees in custody and murdered civilians in reprisal attacks”. Rape was regularly used as a means to “punish and humiliate” communities. Scholar Seema Kazi says it is used as a weapon of war by the state against the population.

In a report, US state department report stated that the Indian army in Jammu and Kashmir had carried out extrajudicial killings of civilians. In recent times, Indian Security Forces and the Police usually use the notorious Pallet Guns. Doctors treating pellet victims say it maims a person forever. During the last one year, over 12000 civilians have been injured with pellet guns which include 1500 in the eyes. It is one of the severe human rights abuses. The pallet guns is a new discovery to silence the Kashmiri voices for self determination.

There are no two opinions that Kashmir is a core issue between India and Pakistan which must be resolved according to the wills and aspirations of the people of Kashmir. Regional peace in South Asia is linked to the solution of Kashmir issue. we live in a globalized village and due to our increasing interdependence, the world powers particularly the UNSC should implement its earlier resolutions by giving the Kashmiri people their due right of self determination. Under the rule of a Just God, nobody can maintain its own freedom if it does not believe in giving freedom to others.

The Kashmiris can never be silenced and their due right of self determination can never be suppressed. History is witness to the fact that force is not the solution of problems.

Kashmiris will one day see a dawn of freedom from Indian atrocities and subjugation. Alexander Hamilton has rightly said,” There is a certain enthusiasm in liberty that makes human nature rise above itself, in acts of bravery and heroism.

 

 

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