Since 1989, the people of Jammu and Kashmir were killed, tortured, humiliated, and disappeared. Thousands of the people were killed due to cycle of violence prevalent in Jammu and Kashmir. Thousands of the people became permanently disabled due to ongoing circles of violence. Many are those who lost their beloved children, daughters, sisters, mothers, and some women have lost their beloved husbands who were only the Earning hands in the family. Due to turmoil, thousands of the houses and shops were burnt. A simple survey reveals that every family in Kashmir has suffered in terms of youth killed, injured or tortured, a woman raped or molested, elder men and women dishonoured and humiliated. The people who were killed or injured mostly were innocent children between the age of 5 to 22 years old, not only this but women were killed and injured during peaceful protest marches.
Most lamentable thing is that these atrocities and Human Rights violations are done by unidentified gun men, forces, etc. Then there are some anti-human laws like Public Safety Act (PSA) and Armed Forces Special Power Act (AFSPA). These Acts are an open violation of International Law and International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). Also, it’s against the Universal Declaration of Human Rights that India has ratified. These draconian laws provide complete freedom to the forces to unleash strong military actions against the people of Jammu and Kashmir.
Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and other human rights organizations have reported countless stories of tyranny and oppression of forces in Jammu and Kashmir. Killings through torture and hostage taking are the common phenomenon. Along with it, sexual violence and psychological torturing are another horrific weapon. In the past and at present times Kashmiri women are facing sexual violence. And generally rape and violence against women is committed on gun point. From the last many years Kashmiris even are not feeling safe in other parts of India, especially the students, become the victims of acts of violence and communally motivated organised crime which amounts to terrorism.This is alldone on the basis of bayonet and misuse of power.
Opportunists, Communal Politicians and Media Housesdebunks the image of Kashmiri people everywhere which gives rise to increased violence and suspicion against them. Undoubtedly, it can be said that Kashmiri people are talented, humane and generous, but the system had always suppressed them without taking into consideration their genuine demands. Democracy is based on rule of law, justice, equality, and liberty. But it’s quite ironic that these features of democracy are absent in Jammu and Kashmir. All eruptions in the state were caused only because of the democratic failure.On the other hand, the government of India refuses to acknowledge that the people of JK have become totally alienated.
The Kashmir conflict is a legacy of the past. The international community had given Pakistan and India many chances to resolve the outstanding issues. At the bilateral approach, the political leadership of both the countries havefailed becauseprior to every sincere approach towards the resolution, Politically motivated opportunistic preconditions are placed which are not acceptable to one or the other stake holders to the dispute . Also, the Stake holders incorporate the political interests of their party with the choice of inclusion of stake holders to the dispute and at onetime accept different elements as the stake holders buton other instance refuse to recognise them as a party to dispute which maligns the spirit of anUnconditional dialogue. In the last three years therehave not been any productive and substantive talks between India and Pakistan.
The leadership in India and Pakistan need to realistically plan the future of the region but first they must accept the ground realities with an optimistic mindset. It is in fact the Kashmir issue which has blocked theprocess of Normalisation of Political Relationships between India and Pakistan.
Kashmir bleeds and for the past seven decades the people of Kashmir remain trapped in this status quo.The baggage of history weighs heavy on us and the change in this shift is possible only through sustained unconditional dialogue — dialogue as we all understand is currently the most civilised and humane way to resolve conflicts.
There remains an urgent need to address past and ongoing human rights violations and to deliver justice for all people in Kashmir who have been suffering several decades of conflict. Any resolution to the political situation in Kashmir should entail a commitment to ending the cycles of violence and unaccountability for past and current human rights violations and abuses committed by all parties and redress for victims. Such a resolution can only be brought about by meaningful dialogue that includes the people of Kashmir
India and Pakistan should resume the dialogue process and engage all the stake holders including the people of Jammu and Kashmir in a sustained unconditional dialogue aimed at resolving Kashmir issue and which will be imperative for lasting peace in South Asian Region.In order to move forward on Kashmir, there should be a proper mechanism.
One aspect about Kashmir is amply clear that it is a political issue which needs a political solution but it is being pushed towards a military solution. Everlasting peace is not possible through suppression of public sentiment by force. Sooner or later, the issue has to be resolved by diplomacy that the stakeholders are unresponsive towards or by war that, if the prevailing situation predominates, seems inevitable.
We hope good sense will prevail and all parties to dispute will realise the evils of a violent conflict and come to a peaceful conclusion so that further bloodshed can be prevented. The branches and roots of war have a far outreach, lest we forget!
[Advocate Syed Mujtaba & Mirza Jahanzeb beg are Human Rights Activist, observer of socio-political contexts who can be reached at email@example.com.]
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