UNCIP Day on Kashmir: India continues state terrorism

Sajjad Shaukat

Every year, January 5 is celebrated by the people of Jammu and Kashmir, living on both sides of the Line of Control (LoC) and rest of the World in remembrance of the pledges of the UNO, as on this very day in 1949, UNCIP (United Nations Commission for Indian Pakistan) resolution adopted in which Kashmiris’ right of self-determination was granted through a free and impartial plebiscite.

During the partition of the Sub-continent, the people of the state of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) which comprised Muslim majority decided to join Pakistan according to the British formula. But, Dogra Raja, Sir Hari Singh, a Hindu who was ruling over the J&K in collusion with the Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and Governor General Lord Mountbatten joined India.

The design to forcibly wrest Kashmir began to unfold on August 16, 1947, with the announcement of the Radcliffe Boundary Award. It gave the Gurdaspur District—a majority Muslim area to India to provide a land route to the Indian armed forces to move into the J&K.

The state forces revolted against the Maharaja and were joined by Pathan tribesmen. Mountbatten ordered armed forces to land in Srinagar. Indian forces invaded Srinagar on October, 27 1947 and forcibly occupied the J&K in utter violation of the partition plan and against the wishes of the Kashmiri people.

When Pakistan responded militarily, on December 31, 1947, India made an appeal to the UN Security Council to intervene and a ceasefire ultimately came into effect on January 01, 1949, following UN resolutions calling for a plebiscite in Kashmir.

Particularly, the Security Council adopted resolution of April 21, 1948, which promised a plebiscite under UN auspices to enable the people of Jammu and Kashmir to determine whether they wish to join Pakistan or India. On February 5, 1964, India backed out of its commitment of holding plebiscite. Instead, Indian Parliament declared Kashmir-an integral part of the Indian union.

And Indian Parliament revoked articles 35A and 370 of the Constitution on August 5, 2019, which gave a special status to the disputed territory of the Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK). The act split the IIOJK into two territories to be ruled directly from center.

Thus, Indian fanatic Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government led by extremist ruling party BJP unilaterally annexed the Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK) to turn Muslim majority into minority.

Now, more than 16 months have been passed. But, Indian strict military lockdown in the IIOJK continues unabated.

Despite the deployment of more than 900,000 military troops in the IIOJK, who have martyred thousands of the Kashmiris, including women and children through brutal tactics-fake encounters—closure of mosques, shortage of foods, medicines for the patients and coronavirus-affected persons, the use of pellet guns and phosphorus bombs, Kashmiris continues war of liberation.

Besides, New Delhi also amended a law and a notification was issued Oct 27, last year regarding the IIOJK, allowing Indian citizens to buy land there. Indian prejudiced rulers’ various other measures such as issuance of domicile certificates to more than 500000 non-Kashmiris show Indian fascist campaign.

New Delhi is also violating Article 55 & 56 of the Geneva Convention—IV which state that the occupying power must ensure sufficient hygiene and public health standards as well as the provision of food and medical care to the population under occupation.

Nevertheless, in order to conceal India’s state terrorism, Kashmir has been cut off from rest of the world.

Modi-regime has also increased gangs of RSS-BJP volunteers permanently stationed in the occupied Kashmir.

While, since 1989, Kashmiris have already been enduring various forms of state terrorism such as tortures, kidnappings, rapes and massacre, no Indian soldier has ever been taken to task for his heinous crimes.

Hence, since the military lockdown started, Indian forces have intensified the employment of these brutal tactics which also include the use of pellet guns and phosphorus bombs. Almost, 100,000 Kashmiris have died in the past 30 years.

It is mentionable that Western media, human rights groups such as Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International etc. and leaders of various countries and UN have repeatedly condemned Indian illegal measures and human rights violations which keep on going in the IOK.

In this respect, UN human rights experts on August 4, 2020 called on India and the international community to take urgent action to address the “alarming” human rights situation in Jammu and Kashmir—“to investigate all cases of human rights violations, including extrajudicial killings, enforced disappearances, torture and arbitrary detentions.”

Amnesty International said on September 29, last year that it is “stopping its work in India because the government has frozen its bank accounts on Septem-ber 10 [2020] for highlighting rights violations in Jammu and Kashmir…the government had sought to punish it for that”.

In the recent past, the UNSC in its meetings has thrice reiterated that the Kashmir issue requires to be settled in accordance with the principles of the UN charter and the related Security Council resolutions, as the world has refused to believe in the Indian story that its actions in the IIOJK are its internal matter.

Moreover, Indian extremist rulers are escalating tensions with Pakistan to divert attention from the drastic situation of the IOK and Indian internal issues. For the purpose, Indian forces have also accelerated shelling inside Pakistani side of Kashmir by violating the ceasefire agreement in relation to the Line of Control (LoC).

In a statement, Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) said that on December 21, 2020, Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa visited forward troops deployed along Line of Control.

He was briefed about latest situation—Indian ceasefire violations—deliberately targeting innocent civilians and the UN vehicle.

The statement pointed out that on December 18, 2020, Indian troops deployed along Line of Control in Charikot sector specifically targeted a United Nations vehicle carrying two officers of the United Nations Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan—The vehicle was damaged by the firing, but the officers remained unhurt. They came under fire when they were in their visit to Polas village to meet with the victims of Indian ceasefire violations. Gen. Bajwa strongly condemned the Indian act.

Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan, Fore-ign Minister Shah Mahm-ood Qureshi and Foreign Office Spokesperson Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri also condemned New Delhi in this respect.

Terming it a “new low” of Indian Army in their conduct, the Spokesperson stated that Indian Army disregards the principles of the UN Charter. Pakistan has officially dispatched written letter to the UN Secretary General and President of the UNSC and demanded independent investigations of Indian firing. Islamabad also demanded that India be asked to immediately stop such type of unprovoked firings, since it is clear violation of international law; the 2003 ceasefire-agreement.

Notably, India had committed over 3000 ceasefire violations this year alone, resulting in 27 deaths of civilians, including women and children. And due to Indian firing across the LoC, some military personnel of Pakistan have, also, been martyred this year, while country’s Army has been compelled to give a matching response by targeting Indian forces.

Nonetheless, January 5 is reminder to the international community that that New Delhi has not only violated UNCIP resolution which granted Kashmiris’ right of self-determination through plebiscite, but also blatantly violated other UN-related resolutions, while Kashmiri people are still living under occupation in wake of Indian continuous state terrorism.