Kashmir- Nation’s first love

Sumra Abbas

Verily, the first love is an unforgettable philosophy. Kashmir – where dwindling rivers flowing along decorative mighty mountains tell the stories of elegance, where generous Nature murmurs in the ears of clouds, where gentle breeze lures imagination, and where hospitability wins hearts – is justifiably the first love of Pakistanis. We always proved we have the guts to protect our inseparable territories.
Kashmir Solidarity Day, 5th February, reinvigorates the entire nation to raise its voice for the unconditional liberty of the Indian Occupied Kashmir. On this day, we pay tribute to the Kashmiri martyrs and condemn India’s scurrilous attempts to mar the identity of Kashmir. Pakistan’s Prime Minister has taken the issue from the front. The nation is following his footprints. That is the only reason the world respects Pakistan’s stance for Kashmir. Again on this very day, we are ready to sleep at the bed of thorns to ultimately see Kashmiris resting at the bed of roses.
Let’s recall the history to see how our first love came to our destiny! The British government, as a consequence of the First Sikh War in 1846, entrusted Kashmir to Maharaja Gulab Singh for 7.5 million rupees. At the time of partition in 1947, Kashmir was made a dispute backed by the then political forces of the subcontinent. Falling from the frying pan into the fire, the ongoing schema of the partition of the subcontinent has moved the region to its worst. Treachery knocked on Pakistan’s door and India made a pretext and started capturing the Kashmir territory.
Pakistani leadership responded proactively as well as strictly to ensure the protection of the human rights of Kashmiris ‘and eventually were successful in freeing substantial territory from the illegal occupation of India. Later, as per the recommendation of UNCIP (United Nations Commission for India and Pakistan), leaderships of both Pakistan and India promised to hold a plebiscite in Kashmir for the decision of their political future. Regrettably, the Indian govt. failed to fulfil its promise. Instead, Indian leadership opted for Machiavellian machinations for suppressing the legitimate voices of Kashmiris’.
On the one hand, Pakistan always kept on taking care of Kashmir on the political, economic, social, and cultural front. While on the other hand, successive Indian rulers always treated Kashmir as a colony; exploited its resources, killed its masses and destroyed its infrastructure, culture and society through intense militarization. For Kashmir, India only changed its policy from merciless to brutal.
Only highlighting the economic side of this conflict, damaging the civilian property has been a core characteristic of the Indian government’s dictatorial policies which caused great loss of lives as well as massive displacement. The economic suffocation of Kashmiris has been part of the comprehensive and preplanned settler colonialism operation of the Indian government in IOJ&K through illegal confiscations, dispossession, forced evictions and destruction of civilian possessions.
A quick analysis of the chronology of events presents an exceptional rise in events of house demolition since day one of Indian occupation in IOJ&K. Historically in mid-1990, a dozen of incidents of large scale fires happened in Srinagar, Anantnag, and other Kashmiri towns. Interestingly, all of these places were counted as mushrooming places for political resistance against India. Since 1990, thousands of residential houses and commercial structures have been annihilated by the Indian armed forces while conducting their military operations. During the first resistance movement, 1983 property damage related happenings were reported from J&K. As per the report by JKCCS (Jammu Kashmir Coalition of Civil Society), these damages constituted a total of 14,306 structures including houses, shops, educational institutions, healthcare centres and overpasses. All of these steps were taken to crush the anti-India resistance movement in Kashmir. Even during the last decade, from 2016-20, at least 255 houses were demolished by Indian aggressive military forces. A total of 135 homes were destroyed in 2021. These policies which intend at strengthening the grip of India by controlling the resources of Kashmir constitute an open infringement of international law.
Sadly, while, India persistently appears to be jealous of our great love for Kashmir and scatters waves of chaos and fear therein, we stand upright for the gorgeous Kashmir and her chivalrous dwellers. Until today, India uses weapons in the valley of serenity. Contrarily, Pakistan encourages solutions through talks and amicability. Being a peace propagating nation, Pakistan has always taken care of human rights across the landscape.
To us, keeping silent while seeing loads of cruelties anywhere is next to impossible. The Pakistani nation believes in love, humanity and equality. This is why we went two steps forward for opening the historic Kartarpur Corridor. The world praises the way we treated Abhinandan – the captive Indian fighter pilot. Truly, we have a big heart and this is because we believe in standing with what is right and retaliating against what is wrong for human beings in any demography of the world. Why we do not even think of harming the attractive Kashmir? The answer is very simple and that is we love Kashmir from the core of our hearts. It accentuates us to ask India to shun callous practices in the marvellous valley.