“Kashmir is an integral part of India, constitutionally, legally and morally something that is non-negotiable.” Ram Jethmalani, Outlook Magazine, October 8, 2016.
“Let me state unequivocally that Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India and will always remain so.’ Sushma Swaraj September 26, 2016
The fallacy advocated by the most celebrated Indian jurist and the Indian foreign minister deserves some clarification.
The people of Jammu & Kashmir who number more than 129 other existing independent nations individually and have a defined historical identity, are at present engaged in a mass struggle to win freedom and release from the foreign occupation of their land. This struggle is motivated by no bigotry or ethnic prejudice; its aim is nothing but the exercise of the right of self-determination explicitly agreed by both India and Pakistan.
To the horrors of the repression from which they suffer are added two other circumstances, each cruelly adverse. One is the apathy of the world outside, including the United States that otherwise are justly proud of their championship of democracy and human rights. The second is the fog of myths and evasive arguments, like Kashmir being an integral part of India. It is my modest attempt to help mitigate these two circumstances. My appeal is directed neither to the religious or ideological sympathies of Indian Public Square nor to their leanings towards any particular political party but solely to their conscience and human concern.
Dr. Ghulam Nabi Fai, Secretary General, World Kashmir Awareness said that Ms. Sushma Suraj’s assertion at the United Nations that Kashmir was an integral part of India was factually and legally wrong statement. Because under all international agreements, accepted by both India & Pakistan, negotiated by the United Nations and endorsed by the Security Council, Kashmir does not belong to any member state of the United Nations. If Kashmir does not belong to any member state of the United Nations, then the claim of Ms. Sushma Suraj that Kashmir was an integral part of India does not stand. Again, if Kashmir was not the integral part of India, then Kashmiris cannot be and should not be called secessionist or separatist, because Kashmiris cannot secede from a country – like India to which they have never acceded to in the first place.
NPR’s Julie McCarthy was in Kashmir earlier in September and reported on how different the unrest seems now compared to previous years. “First of all, there’s this unprecedented kind of force being used. There’s these high-velocity pellet shotguns for crowd control. And it’s left thousands of people riddled with pellet injuries. And a lot of them have damaged eyesight. And some demonstrators have thrown stones, attacked police stations and government buildings. And, unusually, this started in rural areas. And it has spread throughout the Kashmir Valley. And it’s lasted over 60 days. That’s also unusual.”
Perhaps it’s not enough to point out that the champion of this latest uprising, a person who was slain in a fashion frequently called “extrajudicial” by others in the press, and whose killing was the primary provocation for the current uprising, was a self-declared militant who had used social media to resist the Indian occupation. He was someone who had become a symbol of the true spirit of resistance in the hearts of all Kashmiris.
Since the current uprising in Kashmir began with the killing of Burhan Wani on July 8, the unjustifiable and violent attack with bullets, birdshot from pump-action shotguns and extreme cane beatings by Indian military forces upon many of some 200,000 mourners who attended his funeral, who were in technical violation of a rigid curfew that was established by the police and armed forces, has provoked numerous demonstrations and violent clashes between residents. Demonstrations have occurred across the globe by non-resident Kashmiris and other human rights activists. The curfews and clashes have now been sustained for over five weeks, with limited or no access to the basic necessities of life, including food, power and fuel, and the protests have continued almost unabated, with injuries reaching close to 10,000, deaths over 85, and some 570 at last count left blinded, and many more maimed from what have been euphemistically called “pellet” wounds. While Kashmir has been under siege for many decades by the largest military occupation in the world, the recent uptick in what is nothing less than an effort to terrorize the population into submission and silence has been particularly brutal.
So much for Ban Ki-moon’s heart and possibly even more so his soul. One can only recall the quote in Matthew and the betrayal of Jesus, “When Pilate saw that he was accomplishing nothing, but rather that a riot was starting, he took water and washed his hands in front of the crowd, saying, “I am innocent of this Man’s blood; see to that yourselves.”
The United Nations has walked away from the slaughter in Kashmir and washed its hands of it, and the world body has told India, “it’s your problem. See to that yourselves.” Even the U.S. State Department spokesman John Kirby has deferred all inquiries about the “killing fields” of Kashmir to the Indian government, the very source of all the bloodshed. That’s like referring the problem of foxes in the henhouse to Chief Minister Fox.
“Is it true Narendra Modi just boarded a flight to visit India?” Tweeted a critic of Indian Prime Minister’s globe-trotting jaunts. “Welcome home, Pradhan Mantriji! How long will you be staying this time?” Modi has already been to 33 countries just this year alone. The Donald Trump of South Asia, the man out to make India great again, a nationalist and sectarian, divisive at home but the man with the grand plan on the global stage, on June 7, 2016 marked his fourth visit to the U.S. since taking office in 2014.
The joint statement of Narendra Modi, the Prime Minister of India and President Obama on the occasion, noteworthy for its lack of any real substance, in part says, “…the leaders reviewed the deepening strategic partnership between the United States and India that is rooted in shared values of freedom, democracy, universal human rights, tolerance and pluralism, equal opportunities for all citizens, and rule of law.”
Chicago, September 8, 2015. “Tripartite negotiations between Governments of India, Pakistan and Kashmiri leadership is the only way to resolve the outstanding dispute of Jammu & Kashmir,” said Lord Nazir Ahmed, Member, British House of Lords during the 52nd Annual Convention of Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) on the subject of, ‘Kashmir: A Case of Steadfastness.’
September 1, 2015. We are proud of the achievements of the Pakistani Americans not only in Virginia but also in the United States. Pakistani culture is a beautiful culture, said Hon. Terri McAuliffe, Governor of the State of Virginia who was the Chief Guest to kick off Pakistani Independence day Festival at Fairfax, Virginia which was attended by several thousand people.
One thing is very clear. The statement issued by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif representing some kind of agreement at the Russian city of Ufa on July 10, 2015 seems on its face to be conspicuously duplicitous. One wonders if Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had some subordinate prepare it, trusting him to convey the intent, but never actually read what was published before it was published.
Here’s the thing. There are two distinct parts to the Ufa agreement as it is explicitly written. First, It is prefaced with the general policy statement:
They agreed that India and Pakistan have a collective responsibility to ensure peace and promote development. To do so, they are prepared to discuss all outstanding issues.
Both leaders condemned terrorism in all its forms and agreed to cooperate with each other to eliminate this menace from South Asia.
“they are prepared to discuss all outstanding issues.”