Kashmiris observing Black Day today


Srinagar, January 26 (KMS): Kashmiris on both sides of the Line of Control and across the world are observing Indian Republic Day, today, as Black Day in protest against India’s continued denial of Kashmiris’ right to self-determination.

Call for the observance of the Black Day has been given by the All Parties Hurriyat Conference Chairman, Syed Ali Gilani, and other Hurriyat leaders and organizations including Muhammad Ashraf Sehrai and Mirwaiz Umar Farooq-led Hurriyat forum. The day is marked with a complete strike in occupied Kashmir and anti-India demonstrations and rallies in world capitals.

This year, the observance of the Black Day is also aimed at registering protest against the continued lockdown of occupied Kashmir imposed by India for the past almost six months since August 5, last year.

Meanwhile, stringent measures in the name of security have been taking on the India’s Republic Day, today, brining more miseries to the already besieged people in occupied Kashmir. Indian troops have intensified checking and frisking in Srinagar city and other parts of the territory.

While the Kashmir Valley remains under strict military lockdown on 175th straight day, today, Indian troops and police personnel have been deployed in strength to keep a watch on the movement of people. The forces’ personnel have set up check points on every road and chowk where commuters and pedestrians are being frisked and vehicles are checked thoroughly.

In Srinagar, all roads leading towards a cricket stadium, where the main function of 26th January is scheduled to be held, have been sealed with barbed wire and barricades have been erected around the stadium. Unprecedented arrangements have been made in and around the stadium.

A close vigil is being maintained on all vehicles and pedestrians entering the city. Police personnel can be seen carrying out surprise checking of the vehicles on the entry and exit points in the summer capital. The cops are also frisking motorcyclists and passengers of vehicles in the city. Similar reports have emerged from other parts of the territory.

The occupation authorities have ordered closure of all tuition and coaching centres as well as computer institutions.

Failure to keep track of history lessons on Kashmir

By Dr. Syed Nazir Gilani

The author is President of London based Jammu and Kashmir Council for Human Rights – NGO in Special Consultative Status with the United Nations.

My family like any other family in the Valley remains behind the locked doors from 05 August 2019. The twin impact of the brutality of Indian soldiers guarding them from outside and the extreme vagaries of the winter weather could hardly be imagined. It would be a situation of distress and helplessness. The entire population remains without any access to the outside world. Even the neighbour does not have any reliable information about his neighbour next door. It is an extraordinary situation and to annul it we need to be engaged in extraordinary crusade on all fronts.

After the arrest of my elderly father (late) Syed Sad Uddin Gilani, uncle Syed Jaffer Shah Gilani, and brother Syed Shabbir Ahmad Gilani, by Assam Rashtriya Rifles, on the alleged “suspicion of harbouring militants and having an arms dump in their orchards” in Jammu and Kashmir on 19 December 1995 and intervention by the United Nations on 05 January (Para 207 of UN Report E/CN.4/1997/7/Add.1 dated 20 December 1996), they were released on 04 January 1996. The world would listen. It breaks my heart to notice that we have not been able to twist Indian arm ever since 05 August and our people are consigned to a situation never seen in the history of Kashmir.

What are the reasons that India is finding itself with no holds barred? There are a number of reasons and Kashmiri leadership and the leadership of Pakistan, have their own respective shares of misdirection of judgement or ill placed hopes.

The main mistake has been losing the track of history. Pakistani and Kashmiri leadership should have written in bold letters, as a constant reminder, that RSS (Rashtriya Sewak Sangh) on 20 December 1931 took out a huge procession on the streets of Lahore, against the Muslims of Kashmir and in support of Hindu Maharaja. Hindu Maharaja’s police had killed 22 innocent Kashmiri Muslims on 13 July 1931. RSS arms bearing volunteers went to Kashmir as a supplement to the Maharaja’s forces. It was to counter the Muslim support galvanised by Kashmiris and other Muslims living in British India. The movement was influenced and lead among others by Allama Iqbal.

Kashmiri and Pakistani leaders failed to roller skate themselves, on parallel tracks with RSS and keep looking at the writing on the wall. It has been a serious negligence that Kashmiri Muslims while observing the Martyr’s Day of 13 July 1931 and 6 November 1947, failed to flag and inform the younger generation, that Hindu Mahasabha has also a Martyr’s Day since 30 August 1947. It has wicked and vicious credentials.

Militant Hindu organization, The Hindu Mahasabha organised Martyrs’ Day on 30 August 1947 in Delhi. The organization distributed a leaflet in the city. The leaflet was titled “Remember the 30th of August 1947” and it advised all its members:

“When you have to observe ‘Martyrs’ Day’, the day should begin with the mass murder of Muslims, children and women alike. Forcible occupation of Muslim buildings should be your objective. Set fire to Muslim mohallas’ (quarter of the town) “but beware that fire does not spread to Hindu and Sikh localities”. (Source 228th Meeting of UN Security Council – Speech by Sir Zafrullah Khan 17 January 1948). All these years since 1947 Hindu Mahasabha has worked hard to sneak into Kashmir Valley. Its members are embedded in the Indian security forces and administration. It is currently engaged in brutal violence against Kashmiri Muslims in the Valley.

Pakistan started well on Kashmir at the United Nations but somehow could not keep its hands on the handle. Pakistan had its fingers on the pulse of historical facts. It became very clear in Document II submitted by it to the United Nations Security Council on 15 January 1948 that Pakistan was overwhelming in argument.

Document II is a statement of disputes with India. The authors of the Document II circulated at the 228th meeting of UN Security Council, have looked into future and have very rightly stated, “The tragic events and the happenings in East Punjab and the Sikh and Hindu States in and around that Province had convinced the Muslim population of Kashmir and Jammu State that the accession of the State to the Indian Dominion would be tantamount to signing of their death warrant. When the massacres started the Muslim population of the State realised that the fate that had overtaken their co-religionists in Kapurthala, Faridkot, Nabha, Jind, Patiala, Bharatpur and Alwar, etc; was about to overtake them also”.

Indian hopes began to fall one after the other like a pack of cards. Pakistan scored a principal victory, when India allegation of aggression in Kashmir was dismissed. United States of America took the lead and made it clear at the 471st meeting of the UN Security Council held on 12 April 1950 that, “It has never been necessary for the Security Council to consider the question of blame, guilt, or anything of that kind. It has had enough to do in considering the facts, the perplexity of which was the natural outcome of a situation having many ramifications and a long and ancient history”.

Pakistan scored another victory on the question of withdrawal of its army and on the number of its soldiers. United Kingdom came out with a strong defence of equitable demilitarization. UK representative at the 606 meeting of the UN Security Council on 6 November 1952 in para 27 has found the Indian argument, as a condition not compatible with the idea of a ‘free plebiscite’. Sir Gladwyn Jebb said, “I have mentioned earlier that at no stage should demilitarization involve a threat to the cease-fire agreement. This would mean that the forces of each side of the cease-fire line should be, broadly speaking of the same kind. I should make it dear that the United Kingdom Government has never thought that the proposal to limit the forces on the Pakistan side of the cease-fire line to an armed civil force while leaving a military force on the other side of the cease-fire line was consistent with a really free plebiscite. I hope that representatives will join me in urging that the parties should resolve any differences they may still have on this point in the way which I have suggested.”

If we had kept the UN course and followed the UN jurisprudence on Kashmir, Plebiscite should have been through in October 1948. We had two appointments, UN Representative for India and Pakistan, to organize demilitarization and UN Plebiscite Administrator, to conduct a Plebiscite in place. At the 608 meeting of the UN Security Council on 8 December 1952 Indian representative Mrs. Pandit conceded that, “…after careful examination and assessment by its experts, the Government of India had come to the conclusion that a minimum force of 28,000 was required to carry out its responsibilities.” Indian representative added, “However, on complete disbandment and disarmament of the Azad Kashmir forces, and as a further contribution towards a settlement, the Government of India is prepared to effect a further reduction of 7,000 to a figure of 21,000 which is absolute and irreducible minimum…. It should further be emphasised that this force will have no supporting arms such as armour or artillery.”

Pakistan had India on her knees. Our interest in Kashmir sagged and our arguments flip flopped. Hindu Mahasabha and Rashtriya Sewak Sangh waited for 05 August 2019. It is time to re-organise our argument and flag the principality of Kashmiris to vacate the Indian occupation.

Restrictions further intensified in IOK


Srinagar, January 19 (KMS): In occupied Kashmir, Indian authorities further intensified restrictions in the already besieged Kashmir Valley and parts of Jammu region in the name of security during a visit by a group of Indian ministers to the territory.

People were forced to stay indoors and vehicular movement was largely restricted amid the ongoing military lockdown and internet blackout on the 168th consecutive day, today.

Commenting on the so-called visit by the Indian ministers, Jammu and Kashmir National Panthers Party Chairman, Harshdev Singh in a statement said that the macabre drama had been conceptualized as a political firecracker by the BJP to whip up hysteria in its favour in the elections.

Meanwhile, the so-called announcement by the authorities on the partial restoration of Internet service has proven to be hoax as Indian media itself confirmed that the Internet continues to remain totally blocked in Srinagar, Badgam, Ganderbal, Baramulla, Islamabad, Kulgam, Shopian and Pulwama districts in the Kashmir valley.

Hundreds of Kashmiri students gathered outside the University of Hyderabad, India, to protest against the state repression and continued lockdown in occupied Kashmir. Jammu and Kashmir Students Association members used poetry and revolutionary slogans to register their protest during the sit-in. Student Association President Hadif Nisar said the protest was about the injustices unleashed upon Kashmiris by the successive Indian governments.

APHC AJK leaders Muhammad Farooq Rehmani, Abdul Majeed Malik, and the Chairman of Kashmir Council Europe, Ali Raza Syed, in their separate statements denounced the statement of India’s Chief of Defense Staff General Bipin Rawat about detaining the Kashmiri children in so-called de-radicalisation camps. They asked the international human right organizations to take serious action of the Indian General’s assertions.

On the other hand, the official website of the Indian Ministry of Home Affairs has made a ridiculous claim concerning the population of Jammu and Kashmir, underreporting the population of the Kashmir valley by more than 10 times. As against 69,07,623 residents according to the Census 2011, the website states that the Kashmir Valley houses a total of only 5,35,811 residents. This foolish error comes at a time when Kashmir has already become an international issue of debate and discussion and the world is watching every development in the Valley very closely.

Indian troops martyr three youth in IOK


Srinagar, January 12 (KMS): In occupied Kashmir, Indian troops in their fresh act of state terrorism martyred three Kashmiri youth in Pulwama district, today.

The youth were killed by the troops during a cordon and search operation in Gulshanpora area of Tral in the district. Police claimed that the youth were killed during an encounter with the troops. The martyred youth were identified as Umer Fayaz Lone, Faizan Hamid and Adil Bashir Mir.

Meanwhile, people in occupied Kashmir continue to face miseries on the 161st day of military siege and lockdown, today. Amid shivering cold, the residents complain of acute shortage of daily commodities particularly in the Kashmir Valley and Muslim majority areas of Jammu region.

In an attempt to sideline the officers in Indian forces belonging to minority communities, Hindu extremist Modi government has arrested a Sikh Deputy Superintendent of Police, Devinder Singh, at Mir Bazaar in South Kahsmir’s Kulgam district. He was arrested on the fake charge of supporting mujahideen.

Posters and placards reading ‘Free Kashmir’ are frequently displaced during protests against controversial Citizen Amendment Act indicating that the freedom struggle in occupied Jammu and Kashmir has become an icon for the suppressed masses of India, especially the minorities, living under Modi-led fascist government. Despite registration of cases on treason charges against demonstrators, the ‘Free Kashmir’ protests had refused to die down in India. Such posters and placards have, so far, been seen during protests in New Delhi, Mumbai and Chennai.

The President of Jammu and Kashmir Council for Human Rights, Dr Nazir Gilani, in a statement issued in Islamabad reacting to new Indian Army Chief’s assertions on Azad Kashmir said that General Manoj Mukund Naravane had lack of understanding of the Kashmir dispute. He said that any move against Azad Kashmir by India could trigger a nuclear war in the region.

On the other hand, the US State Department has expressed concern over the continued detention of political leaders and imposition of restrictions on internet in occupied Jammu and Kashmir. The concern was expressed by Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia, Alice Wells, in a tweet message in Washington.

India has to return to UN mechanism on Kashmir: JKCHR


Islamabad, January 05 (KMS): The Jammu and Kashmir Council for Human Rights (JKCHR) has said that Kashmir dispute has been duly described by the UN Security Council as “the greatest and the gravest single issue in international affairs” and that its resolution demanded, expedition, urgency and immediacy.

JKCHR President Dr. Syed Nazir Gilani in a statement issued in Islamabad said that the Government of India had surrendered itself at the UN Security Council for a UN-supervised vote.

He said that India could not succeed in holding the people of Kashmir against their will by the use of brute force. India and Pakistan shall have to return to Resolutions of 13th August 1948 and 5th January 1949, because these two resolutions have won the express agreement of both India and Pakistan, he added.

He said, in addition to return to the basic mechanism, we have a template advanced by the United States of America. The US has favoured an “agreed” – and not an imposed solution. The three element proposed by US, namely “first, a definite period for demilitarization; secondly, the scope of demilitarization and quantum of forces that will remain at the end of the period of demilitarization; thirdly, the day for the formal induction into office of the Plebiscite Administrator”, needs urgent revisiting for peace and security in the region, he added.

Dr Nazir Gilani said, the ultimate objective of a fair and impartial plebiscite under the auspices of the United Nations has been written into solemn agreements by the two governments and endorsed by the Security Council. These agreements have been affirmed and reaffirmed by the two governments many times. The world community has said that the legendary people of Kashmir are “worthy of the right of their own self-determination through a free, secure and impartial plebiscite” and holding these people under lock and key by Indian security forces since 05 August 2019 is a violation of UN Security Council Resolutions 38, 39, 47 and 91, he maintained.

He said, the Government of India has to vacate its political vandalism, military aggression and cultural invasion, in Jammu and Kashmir. Consent of the people is the basis of any legitimacy of governance and India has lost it. Government of India has to yield to “the ultimate objective of a fair and impartial plebiscite under the auspices of the United Nations”, he added.

Dr Nazir Gilani said that China had very rightly highlighted the peculiar nature of Kashmir case. He said, China has said, “This dispute has another peculiar feature. From the very beginning, the Council began with an agreement between two parties. In fact, before the two parties directly concerned ever appeared before the Council, the two parties agreed that the plebiscite should be the answer. What did the Council do? The Council tried to build a solution on this prior agreement that the two parties had before they came to this Council. So the idea of a plebiscite was not imposed by the Council on the two parties.”

The JKCHR President reminded India of its statement made at the 533rd meeting of the UN Security council held on March 01, 1951 stating that, “The people of Kashmir are not mere chattels to be disposed of according to a rigid formula; their future must be decided in their own interests and in accordance with their own desires”, and has urged India to vacate her occupation and imprisonment of the people and allow the people of Jammu and Kashmir, to set up a responsible Government as designated by the UN for holding a free, secure and impartial plebiscite.

India’s problems were always bigger than Narendra Modi


Pankaj Mishra’s article first published in Bloomberg

A new narrative about India is suddenly emerging. Until very recently, India appeared a great democracy as well as a rising economic power, a potential partner of the West in its policy of containing China. Writing in Time magazine in 2015, no less a moral and political authority than Barack Obama hailed Prime Minister Narendra Modi as India’s “reformer-in-chief” who “reflects the dynamism and potential of India’s rise.”

However, the latest, radically different narrative about India holds that the country is flailing, its politics and civil society captured by a Hindu supremacist movement, and its economy trapped in a potentially long slowdown. Evidence that India’s prime minister is not the smart economic modernizer, he seemed to many in the West has become steadily incontrovertible, especially after he quixotically withdrew most currency notes in circulation in 2016.

This week, an exhaustively researched report in the New Yorker by Dexter Filkins provided spine-chilling evidence that India is ruled by cold-blooded ideological fanatics, who will use all means to achieve their aims. These can range from perversion of the media, judiciary and military to anti-Muslim pogroms, targeted assassinations of critics, and collective punishment of a minority (as in Kashmir, where a four-month-old lockdown continues).

Such a dramatic reversal of reputations – “from hero to zero” as the Indian wisecrack goes – is not new in India’s case. For much of India’s seven decades, when it appeared to be on the wrong side of the Cold War, Western commentators regarded the country as a basket case.

As Thomas Friedman put it in The World is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-First Century, India was “known as a country of snake charmers, poor people, and Mother Teresa” before it was abruptly re-branded, including by Friedman, as a “country of brainy people and computer wizards.”

As India embraced market capitalism, moved away from its Russian friends, and came closer to the West, every major Western periodical, from the Economist and Foreign Affairs to the Financial Times and Wall Street Journal, started to broadcast the myth of an irresistibly “rising” India. Challengers of this consensus – and I speak from personal experience – were cast as bitter “commies”, “anti-India” even “anti-Hindu”

As India suffers another downgrade in global reputation, it is worth asking: How do fundamentally defective narratives acquire outsize influence? And, is the new narrative about India as simplistic and misleading as the old?

Certainly, it has long been clear that India, which failed to invest in primary education and health, did not have the human capital and infrastructure necessary for what it urgently needed: a labor-intensive manufacturing revolution of the kind that made such “East Asian Tigers” as South Korea and Taiwan.

Economic growth in India was built on such shaky foundations as speculative finance capital and construction, and never seemed strong and consistent enough to generate jobs for the approximately million people entering the workforce each month.

Nor was India robust enough to contribute effectively to the Western coalition against China. India humiliatingly lost a border war in 1962 and several subsequent diplomatic-military scuffles. It has not even come close to matching its neighbor’s economic performance.

But commentators were too bedazzled by such notions as (John McCain’s) “league of democracies” and too influenced in their thinking by a Cold War division of the world into blocs and counter-blocs.

Many Indians living or educated in the West were seduced by the idea that their country, which once mortifyingly denoted elephants, Maharajahs and beggars to the average Westerner, was assuming its place among the elite nations.

As for those in the knowledge industry (academics, journalists, columnists, think-tankers), it is always tempting to set aside intellectual hesitations and moral scruples and stand with history’s seeming winners.

It will be no less tempting to recoil from its supposed losers. Indeed, as multiple crises rock India, from crippling bank debts to lynch mobs, many of its previous promoters re-package themselves as outspoken critics of Modi.

These unreliable narrators of India should not make us forget, however, that long before Modi came to power in 2014, the country’s economy had already developed its unhealthy dependence on finance, corruption and inequality were intolerable, and politicians accused of anti-minority pogroms revolved serenely though the corridors of power.

Torture and extra-judicial execution have been commonplace for decades, especially in Kashmir and insurgency-affected central India. In 2013, the Supreme Court sent a Kashmiri to the gallows on flimsy circumstantial evidence, arguing that “the collective conscience of the society will only be satisfied if the capital punishment is awarded to the offender”.

To India’s hollowed-out institutions, Modi has delivered a lusty kick; they have predictably collapsed into a heap. But the dust that rises from them should not again cloud our optics.

Modi is a symptom rather than the main cause of the country’s political degeneration and economic stagnation. Until this is acknowledged, it won’t be possible to correctly diagnose, let alone stem, India’s deepening rot.

Miseries of IOK people continue due to lockdown


Srinagar, December 28 (KMS): In occupied Kashmir, the miseries of the residents of the Kashmir Valley continued unabated as they remained besieged on 146th consecutive day, today.

As restrictions under Section 144 remain enforced amid deployment of thousands of Indian troops, the people of the Valley are cut off from their immediate surroundings and the entire world due to ban on internet, text messaging and prepaid mobile services. The harshest cold weather has added to the woes of the besieged people as they couldn’t stock essential commodities for the winter season. As per a centuries-old practice, usually the inhabitants of the Valley used to store food stuff and firewood in abundance for the winter as the Srinagar-Jammu Highway – the only surface link of the region with the rest of the world – remains mostly closed due to snowfall and rains in the months of December and January. However, this time around, they could not do so due to military lockdown which is in force since 5th August.

The students and businesses are the worst sufferers of continued suspension of the internet services since 5th August, this year. Hundreds of students, who aspire to appear in various competitive examinations, have to make frequent visits to the internet kiosks set up in offices of deputy commissioners of some districts. However, these facilitation centres are not enough to cater to a huge number of students and job aspirants who have to fill the forms online.

On the other hand, the occupation authorities had pressed into service drones to keep a close vigil during Friday prayers in Srinagar’s historic Jamia Masjid, yesterday. Indian troops and police personnel were deployed in large numbers outside the mosque to prevent anti-India demonstrations.

The High Court of occupied Kashmir has quashed detention orders of three persons booked under draconian law, Public Safety Act.

The occupation authorities have dropped Martyrs’ Day observed on 13th July and the birth anniversary of former puppet Chief Minister Sheikh Abdullah on 5th December from the list of public holidays for 2020. However, 26th October is in the list of public holidays as so-called Accession Day.

Members of a delegation of human rights activists from Canada at the conclusion of their three-week visit to Pakistan and Azad Jammu and Kashmir, vowed to intensify their efforts on behalf of the suffering people of occupied Kashmir. The delegation was led by Zafar Bangash, Convener of Friends of Kashmir Committee Canada and also included Mrs Karen Rodman, Ms Michaela Lavis and Dr Jonathan Kuttab.

APHC-AJK leader and Vice Chairman of Jammu and Kashmir Peoples Movement, Abdul Majeed Malik talking in Islamabad to the Kashmiri refugees, who had come from Bagh and Kotli areas of Azad Jammu and Kashmir, appealed to the world community to put pressure on India to settle the Kashmir dispute according to the UN resolutions and Kashmiris’ aspirations.

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