By Aqsa Amin
After the bloody partition of sub-continent, the Kashmir issue was born. Kashmir issue is a territorial dispute between India and Pakistan that is still unresolved after the many years of partition. Both India and Pakistan claim Kashmir. In 1948 the ruler of the princely state of Jammu and Kashmir, Maharaja Hari Singh, who was in the favor of remaining independent, acceded to India on condition that the state retain sovereign in all matters except defense, currency and foreign affairs. Aggression between India and Pakistan stopped with U.N. intervention; since 1948 the cease-fire line has been monitored by the U.N. Military Observer Group on India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP). The far northern and western areas of the state are under Pakistan’s control; the Kashmir valley, Jammu, and Ladakh are under India’s control. U.N. resolutions announced for a fair plebiscite to determine the final status of the territory that have been rejected by India, which claims that because Kashmiris have voted in national elections in India, there is no need for a plebiscite. Pakistan conserves that a plebiscite should be held.
Kashmir issue is playing a pivotal role in Pakistan-India relations. This unresolved issue of partition since 1947 till now needs a solution for its freedom but the shameful silence of international community raise many question regarding Kashmir dispute. Kashmiris since 1947, facing brutality of Indian forces but their hope for freedom charged them to fight for their right of self-determination and independence from India.
Kashmiris are facing India’ oppression and brutality since they started freedom struggle. Indian atrocities in the valley of Jammu and Kashmir ruin the universal human rights. Recently the death of Burhan Wani (a freedom fighter) by Indian forces breeds new waves of freedom struggle in the valley. There is great protest started in Kashmir against Burhan’s death and India’s atrocities. And India as usual, suppressing Kashmiris protest and freedom struggle through mass killing and brutality that results severe bloodshed in Kashmir. Indian forces attacking the Kashmiri youth by targeting their eyes. The Kashmiri separatist leaders also imprisoned at their home and some are arrested by Indian forces. India tries to suppress the freedom struggle of Kashmiris through curfew. Normal life in Kashmir remains paralyzed since the death of Burhan Wani and Kashmiri’s protest against India. Despite all these restriction protest rallies were held in all over the Kashmir for freedom. Human rights groups say that India’s Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA), which gives security forces wide-ranging powers to shoot, arrest and search in clashes, a separatist insurgency, further estranges Kashmiris.
Pakistan’s perspective on Kashmir is always clear. Pakistan wants to follow the united nation’s suggestion for referendum in Kashmir but India always avoids these suggestions regarding the peaceful solution of Kashmir. Pakistan also addressed this issue in United Nations General Assembly and Kashmir is always the part of Pakistan’s foreign policy. More recently, in three day conference held in Islamabad dated 1-3 August, 2016, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif stated that “the Kashmir issue is the main pillar of Pakistan’s foreign policy and desire of freedom is running in the blood of Kashmiris”.
Kashmir issue requires the international attention for its peaceful solution. The future of Kashmiris depends upon the international community. International community must pay attention on Kashmir issue and take pivotal step to stop Indian atrocities and brutality in Kashmir. India cannot stop this new wave of independence through hard power, as world politics is transcending towards soft power now.
The writer can be reached at # firstname.lastname@example.org