A lost dream?
Scrapping of article 370 that had provided “special status” to the Kashmiri people has come as another attempt to snatch from the Kashmiris the dream of freedom. This step will allow non-Kashmiris to buy land in Kashmir and settle there permanently. Resultantly, the Muslim majority of the valley will turn into a minority and the whole dream of Kashmir freedom would become elusive. The revocation of the “special status” of Kashmir was eminent in BJP’s election manifesto. However, what further instigated Modi to take this illegal step was Trump’s offer for mediation of the Kashmir dispute. The history tells the tale of maligned hidden intent of Indian leaders of plundering the resources of Kashmir, and disrupting peace in Pakistan, which was exposed with the assassination of Burhan Muzaffar Vani as well as in the form of Indian espionage through Kulbhushan Jadhav. Indian leaders have been keeping the Kashmir issue on the backburner by first signing the fallacious Simla agreement according to which “… the two countries are resolved to settle their differences by peaceful means through bilateral negotiations or by any other peaceful means mutually agreed between them….” But, in fact, every effort for negotiation initiated on the part of Pakistan was rejected blatantly by Indians. The people of Kashmir are losing their dream to have a breath of freedom and tranquility in their own homeland. Curfew in today’s Kashmir is not unprecedented. If we take a look back to the history of Kashmiris, we find bloodshed, genocide attempts and tyrannical rule throughout the last seven decades.
The history of Kashmir conflict is dark and gloomy. Kashmiri Muslims have been subjugated, threatened and oppressed even before the partition of India. The tragedy of Kashmir dates back to 1846 when the British sold the state of Jammu and Kashmir to a Hindu Dogra ruler Ghulab Singh against 7.5 million rupees under the Treaty of Amritsar. After that day, an unending story of mayhem continued and haunted the lives of the Kashmiris. They were heavily taxed and reduced to the position of abject poverty. The partition of India provided some hope of freedom to them. The hopes of new lease of life was eventually shattered when the Maharaja Hari Singh signed the Instrument of Accession with India on 26 October 1947, according to which Maharajah took the help of India’s military in suppressing the mutiny. There were doubts about the very existence of instrument of accession and the United Nations completely considered it void. The UN, resultantly, recommended a plebiscite to know the public opinion.
India’s persistence for bilateral talks over Kashmir and avoidance of a mediator is just an attempt to mask its intent on resolving the Kashmir conflict.
The Kashmiris’ dream of freedom is fading slowly. Now is the right time for Pakistan to strongly draw international community’s attention towards India’s ongoing state terrorism by pondering over the clauses of Simla agreement as well as article 7 of the United Nations Charter which allows the Security Council to “determine the existence of any threat to the peace, breach of the peace, or act of aggression” and to take “military and non military action to restore international peace and security.” It is high time the international community stood against the abrogation of article 370 and realized its grave consequences for the Kashmiris.