We live in a world that excels in its rhetoric to respect human rights and the sanctity of human blood. Since the end of WWII there are hundreds of international and bilateral conventions, agreements and accords that commit the nations to address all the conflicts and rifts through diplomatic manoeuverings or negotiations.
But when it comes to the simmering bloody conflict in Kashmir the deafening silence of the international community is strange and regrettable. The world has preferred to remain a silent spectator as the blood of Kashmiri children, women and youth continues to flow into the streams of Valley. The latest is the case of the brutal assassination of Hafizullah Mir, a top leader of the Tehreek-e-Hurriyat led by Syed Ali Shah Geelani. He was shot dead by ‘unidentified gunmen’ at his home in Budhra area in Achabal. Mir was released only last month after two years of imprisonment in jail.
The 70-year-old dispute over Kashmir continues to threaten the co-existence of the two nuclear powers in South Asia — Pakistan and India. It became bloodier with the start of an indigenous Kashmir Freedom Movement in 1989. The Indian forces unleashed a reign of terror to tame the movement and its freedom fighters. Every innocent life that is lost in this unending struggle simply strengthens the resolve of Kashmiris to carry on this battle for freedom.
For the first time in June this year, the United Nations came out with a report highlighting the Indian forces’ atrocities during July 2016 and April 2018. “In responding to demonstrations that started in 2016, Indian security forces used excessive force that led to unlawful killings and a very high number of injuries,” the report reads. The killing of Mir is a clear indication that the Indian government gives a damn to the international concerns over the ongoing atrocities in India-occupied Kashmir. History tells us that it is possible to make the conquest of a territory last long but perpetually conquering a people doesn’t work. And India must learn this lesson.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 23rd, 2018.