Kashmir invisible even inside Kashmir

Photo/Mukhtar Khan,AP

What if a 91 seconds video tells you the motives and consequences of abrogation of the special status of Jammu and Kashmir by a right-wing Bharatiya Janata Party led by the Narrinder Modi, a man known for his anti-Muslim policies throughout his political career?

A video viral at social media shows some Hindu youth celebrating revocation of Article 370 by dancing at around mid-night near the Ghanta Ghat, Lal Chowk, Srinagar. The video, although undated, is being circulated from 5th of August 2019, the day when Article 370 was revoked by the Indian government.

It was exactly the same time when there were brutal crackdowns in Kashmir. Kashmiri people were locked up in their homes, with ban on their movement and assembly. The brutal Article 144 had been imposed in the valley to create fear among people and prevent them from coming out in protests. Schools, offices and shops were closed and people still don’t have enough stocks at home to see through this period of turmoil. Even top pro-India politicians had been put under house arrest.

Prominent Kashmiri journalist Muzamil Jaleel, who returned from Srinagar to Delhi, when whole Kashmir Valley was under siege and massive security clampdown, posted at social networking sites: “I have just come to Delhi from Srinagar. It is worse than 1846. Srinagar is a city of soldiers and spools of concertina wire.”

He went on to add, “A colleague received a text message on his dead phone – some glitch. Everyone I met is in shock. There is a strange numbness. We heard about killing of two protesters but there is no way to confirm it. Kashmir has been turned invisible even inside Kashmir.”

It is same, as feared, with the BJP’s returned to the power after the reelection of Narrinder Modi as Prime Minister, more bloodshed in Kashmir, more crackdowns and a planned conspiracy to replace the majority with minority in the only Muslim majority disputed state in India through the repeal of article 370 and 35-A”.

The entire face of the Muslim majority state is being changed through a planned conspiracy of demographic alteration. The brutal force is being used to suppress the indigenous Kashmir liberation movement and all resources are being mobilized to snatch the identity of Kashmiris.

Prominent Kashmir journalist and analyst from Srinagar, Zafar Mehdi, narrated the situation for News Lens Pakistan, ”It’s a terrifying scenario but this shall pass too. We have seen the worst and always came out stronger. The idea of Kashmir is bigger and mightier than the sham idea of that democracy that has occupied our land and held people hostage. We shall fight back. No power on earth can subdue the people who believe in themselves and their right to exist with peace and dignity, who dare to rise and resist against oppressors.”

Zafar opined that the revocation of special provisions to Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370 and Article 35-A essentially have ended India’s bogus claims on Kashmir and it has also exposed its colonial settler project in Kashmir, on the same lines as we see in occupied territories of Palestine, to change demographics and end Muslim majority status of Kashmir. Kashmiris won’t take it lying down. So, Modi and his minions have terribly miscalculated here. This move will have far reaching implications.

Quratulain Haider Zaidi, a civil servant from Lahore believes that Indian government is trying to replicate the West Bank formula to introduce Hindu majority into the valley. This act will have far reaching implications on Kashmir independence movement because in all agreements under UNO, and relevant legal documents the fate of Kashmir is entirely dependent on the plebiscite.

“Plebiscite would obviously go in the favour of majority and by allowing Indians to enjoy property right in the valley; Muslim majority can systemically be diluted. Hence, In order to do this, Indian government has not only violated the Agreement of 1947 but also the Simla agreement”, she added.

Moreover, it is also the violation of Supreme Court judgment titled as SBI vs Gupta in which SC held that the President cannot abolish the Article 370 without recommendations of State Assembly. Even if the state assembly stands dissolved it doesn’t mean 370 stands repealed. It’s also the violation of the Jammu and Kashmir High Court decision which gave this article a status of Grand Norm.

While, around 38,000 refugees from Indian Occupied Kashmir arrived in different camps in Muzaffarabad, AJK fears for their relatives after the prolonged lockdown of held valley by massive deployment, crackdowns and communication channels disruption.

Majeed Lone, an educationist and refugee from Indian occupied Kashmir is worried in Muzaffarabad as he failed to establish any contact with his family back in the held valley due to communications blackout and a security lockdown.

“Earlier, sometimes we were able to call to each other through different social media apps but now total communication system is blocked by the Indian authorities” he told News lens Pakistan.

“I am very upset and know nothing about the well-being of my family.” He added.

Pakistan has announced its resolve to take up the issue at all available international forums and according to analysts India will have to look at Pakistan raising the issue at the forthcoming session of the UN General Assembly in September.

“The overall situation is grave but we shall not cave in. It will only strengthen our resolve to struggle for our right to self-determination, Javed Ahmed, a 34 Kashmiri refugee from Manak-Payan, talked to News Lens Pakistan.


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