Kashmir bleeds

Kashmir continues to have bloodshed even seventy years. Hindu nationalist government of Bharatiya Janata Party managed in meting out another injury by robbing the contested Himalayan region of its exceptional special constitutional status. The President of India on Monday morning signed a law to remove Articles 35-A and 370 from the Constitution only an hour or two after Rajya Sabha, the Upper House of Parliament in India, approved the amendment amid protest by the opposition parties, particularly the Congress. The abolished Article 35-A gives specific rights to the residents of Jammu and Kashmir and places a block on any person to acquire immovable property if he or she is not a permanent resident of the state. On the desire of the people of Ladakh and security condition pushed by cross border terrorism in the existing State of Jammu and Kashmir, a separate Union Territory for Jammu and Kashmir is being created. It is observed recent developments in Afghanistan inclined balance in favour of Pakistan and President Trump’s two consecutive statements about US mediation on the Kashmir dispute created a fear in the BJP camp leaving Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a clumsy situation to explain his position surrounded by pressures from the Indian opposition parties.
The announcement followed indeterminate security isolation, imprisonment of all Kashmiri leaders, interruption of internet services, closure of educational institutions, and restrictions on public movement. Two former influential chief ministers of Kashmir, Omer Abdullah, of the National Conference, and Mehbooba Mufti, are under house arrest. In a tweet, Mufti has said that Jammu and Kashmir had made mistakes by siding with India in the past. Omer Abdullah, whose family has a long history of politics in Occupied Kashmir, has called at present for calm to avoid escalating violence. Hundreds of oppositions in the valley are under arrest since the Pulwama bombing of February this year. This would not discourage the Kashmiri people. This measure is anticipated to lead to an even greater outburst of protests. India has been creating tensions along the LoC to distract international attention from its human rights abuses in the occupied valley. In the latest incident, it fired cluster bombs which are- strictly banned from use against civilian populations. It killed two civilians and wounded at least 11 others, including small children. India as usual claimed having resorted to shelling to foil an infiltration attempt from Pakistan.
Following the use of cluster bombs as well as developments in the Occupied Kashmir, Prime Minister Imran Khan presided over the National Security Committee to review the situation. A statement issued after the meeting expressed serious concern over Indian security forces bloody oppression disregarding situation on ground; use of cluster munitions against civilians to incite Pakistan and use of wrong information manipulate to mix up the real purpose, such as changing the demographic structure and the internationally acknowledge disputed status of Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir. The UN has appealed to both India and Pakistan to exercise maximum restrain amid rising tensions along the LoC. In India’s upper house according to congress the move was in fact ‘murder of democracy’. It gives India a free hand to create an extensive population change, probably even ending the Muslim majority of Kashmir. Commentators have raised fears over holocaust and drastic violence. There has been increased apprehension over the safety of Kashmiris since accelerated violence across the LoC began a few weeks ago, with cluster bombs being said to have been used by Indian forces. A meeting of the UN Security Council is likely to be called. Pakistan has before begun contact with other countries. Most significant of all is the need for all our leaders, from all sides of the political sides, to end the resentment that split them, sit together side by side and establish what they can best do to restrict further bloodshed in Occupied Kashmir and guarantee a just solution to a problem that has lasted well over seventy years.
The changes Indian Held Kashmir is being made to the position of a colony. The special status the region relished since 1954 was fundamentally a measure that safeguarded against any attempt at changing the demography of a large Muslim Kashmir. Its cancellation could mean raid of the Valley supported by the BJP in its present aggressive mood. The move will have violent results. The Kashmiris have shown in recent months that, although deserted by many supporters, their capacity to take on the might of the occupiers has far from lessened. Islamabad is being notified to connect its support for the normalization of Afghanistan in a post-American pullout scenario with Kashmir. The world observed in quietness as thousands of troops moved into the disputed occupied valley in recent days. By abrogating Article 370 of the constitution, people from the rest of India will now have the right to acquire property in occupied Kashmir and settle there permanently. Kashmiris as well as opponents of India’s Hindu nationalist-led government see the move as an attempt to reduce the demographics of Muslim-majority Kashmir with Hindu settlers. Article 370 had also limited the power of the Indian parliament to impose laws in the state, apart from matters of defence, foreign affairs and communications. As India’s parliament debated the move about 8,000 Central Reserve Police Force from different parts of the country were moved to India Occupied Kashmir. The Indian army and air force were also placed on high vigilant. There will be a very strong repercussion in Kashmir. It is already in a state of turmoil and this will only make it worse. The constitutional provisions annulled were introduced years ago and included reserved government jobs and college placements for residents, in an attempt to keep the state from being invaded by people from the rest of India.

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