Well done Merkel! come on Biden!
Important capitals have started taking notice of India atrocities in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK). Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Germany has taken the lead by denying license for selling assault rifles to India by two of its leading export companies, even though Germany is India’s sixth-largest trading partner and its largest trading partner from the European Union.
Germany fears that these small arm would, inter alia, be used against hapless citizens of IIOJK. German regulations and covenants restrict, and often prohibit, arms sales to nations or regions where their use might cause direct or collateral damage to civilian populations and institutions. Germany’s action is indeed a tight slap in the face of Far Right government led by RSS-BJP’s axis of evil over its poor human rights record in IIOJK.
“After being rebuffed by Germany, the [Indian] defence ministry has decided to procure US-made assault rifles,” a security official said. This speaks volumes about President Biden’s cherry pick application of Human Rights.
Two Indian security officials familiar with the development revealed that these companies had failed to obtain export licenses from their government on account of the “poor human rights record” in Kashmir. German arms manufacturer Heckler and Koch, whose MP5 submachine guns ha-ve been part of the armory of the National Security Guards (NSG) and Marine Commando (Marcos) units, has withdrawn from the Indian market saying it lacked approval from the German government.
Earlier in 2020, A Belgian arms manufacturer too had walked out of a Rs 70-crore deal of supply small arms and assault rifles Indian Army’s Special Frontier Force (SFF).amid concerns that the weapons would be used in Jammu and Kashmir.
Yelena Biberman, author of book “Gambling with Violence: State Outsourcing of War in Pakistan and India”, wrote in her February 11 piece captioned “The Case for a Kashmir peace Deal—Now”, for Modern War Institute, that “Kashmir has been at the heart of one of the most intractable conflicts in modern history. Although progress may appear unlikely at first glance, there are three important reasons why Washington may make Kashmir peace talks a foreign policy goal over the next four years: reduction in tensions between two nuclear powers; effective withdrawal from Afghanistan; and support for democratic freedoms and human rights”. With a new US administration in the White House and China’s recent moves, now is the time for the United States to showcase its principles, priorities, and power in the Indo-Pacific”.
”Facilitating a Kashmir peace deal is an opportunity for the United States to make clear its position on democracy and human rights. It would send a message to India and the rest of the world confronting the r-ise of authoritarianism abo-ut the distinctiveness and value of America’s global leadership”, Yelena added. A peace deal would drastically improve the lives of millions”,
On February 16, Indian authorities seized the human rights group Amnesty International’s (AI) properties worth more than $2 million over money laundering charges. The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has attached movable properties worth 170.6 million Indian rupees of Amnesty International Indian chapter in connection with an alleged violation of the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA), The Hindustan Times reported. “It is prima facie found that M/s Amnesty International India Pvt Ltd. and others have obtained foreign remittances to the tune of Rs51.72 Crores in the guise of Export of services and Foreign Direct Investments from M/s. Amnesty International (UK) whose source is the donations from the individual donors,” the statement further noted.
London-based Amnesty has been highlighted human rights violations in recent months in IIOJK region by occupation forces. Critics accuse Modi’s conservative nationalist government of stifling dissent in IIOJK and pushing a Hindu-first agenda, undermining the secular foundations of India’s democracy and raising fears among its 170 million Muslim minority.
AI had halted work in India in September 2020, accusing the government of having frozen its bank accounts as punishment for speaking out about alleged rights abuses in IIOJK. The amnesty said Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government had blocked its accounts on September 10, forcing it to lay off its India staff after two years of fending off allegations of financial wrongdoing, which it said were baseless.
All Parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC) has appealed to the international human rights organizations to take serious note of victimization of illegally detained Kashmiri political prisoners languishing in various jails of the territory and India. The APHC spokesman in a statement in Srinagar termed the condition of Kashmiri political prisoners as worrisome because of the worst kind of victimization by India for their rightful political beliefs. He said the Kashmiri detainees are being subjected to inhuman treatment and denied even very basic facilities including medical care and hygienic food. He said the so-called judicial trial of these prisoners is being stretched to prolong their detention to punish them for resisting and raising their voice against India’s illegal occupation of their homeland. The spokesman added that hundreds of prisoners were facing the most inhuman conditions in various Indian prisons. The APHC spokesman saluted the resolve and determination of the political prisoners and maintained that through victimization, India would never succeed to force them to surrender their will to fight for their right to self-determination.
The international community, including the United States, must urge India to stop its consistent and systematic human rights violations in IIOJK–including arbitrary detentions, enforced disappearances, incarceration of political leaders, ongoing efforts to change the demographic structure of the occupied territory, extra-judicial killings of Kashmiris in fake “encounters”, and staged cordon-and-search operations — and take genuine steps to resolve the dispute in a peaceful manner in accordance with the relevant UNSC resolutions.
According to a 2019 Congressional Research Service report of August 2019, a longstanding goal of US policy in South Asia has been to prevent India-Pakistan conflict from escalating to inter-state war. This meant the United States has sought to avoid actions that overtly favoured either party. Over the past decade, however, Washington has grown closer to India while relations with Pakistan continue to be viewed as clouded by mistrust, CRS report said.
Kashmir dispute is on the United Nations agenda which needs to be settled as per the UN resolutions to give Kashmiris right of vote to decide about their future.The Kashmir issue is a tragedy of human suffering and Pakistan has always stood and will continue to stand by the Kashmiris till their right to self-determination is exercised. “Yes, it’s a territorial issue. But first and foremost, it is the human suffering Pakistan wants to stop.”
Pakistan believes in peace. However, peace and stability in the region cannot prevail without cessation of genocide and crimes against humanity in IIOJK. It’s the moral obligation of everyone to raise voice to save the Kashmiri people from the scourge of impending annihilation en-mass. International community needs to come forth to stop the illicit transfer of millions of Indian Hindus to the disputed territory of Jammu and Kashmir. Illicit transfer of millions of Indian Hindus to the disputed territory of Jammu and Kashmir is in violation to international law and Fo-urth Geneva Convention. Upholding the rule of law and exploring regional pe-ace and stability needs to be made a clear moral choice. The right of self-determination of the Kashmiri people as mandated by the United Nations must be supported. It is the moral obligation of everyone to raise their voice to save the Kashmiri people from the scourge of impending annihilation en masse.
Writer is a freelance contributor; e-mail: Iqbal.email@example.com.