Bringing the Israeli model to Kashmir

Anuradha Bhasin
Executive Editor Kashmir Times

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Indian paramilitary soldiers stand guard on a road in Srinagar, Indian controlled Kashmir on May 6, 2020 [AP/ Dar Yasin]For more than 70 years, Kashmiris have lived with the dread of the Indian government changing the demography and special status of Indian-administered Kashmir, which was till recently Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) state. Deemed preposterous and exaggerated at one time, these anxieties have now become completely justified and have even deepened.

On August 5, 2019, Article 370 of the Indian constitution, which gave the state its special status and excluded it from the application of various constitutional provisions, was abrogated, while Article 35A, which limited certain residency rights to the local population and granted them certain protections, was altogether scrapped.

These two articles had guaranteed that the right to buy and own land or apply for government jobs was the sole prerogative of those who had inherited permanent residency by descent. They also meant a bar on business investments by outsiders or attempts by big monopolistic companies to take control of J&K’s lands and economy. This protected Kashmiris’ rights and afforded them a certain level of political and economic autonomy.

In October 2019, J&K was dissolved as a state, which meant it no longer had a state assembly empowered to pass legislation, and was divided into two union territories – Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh – allowing New Delhi to bring them under its direct control. Until then, J&K was the only Muslim-majority state in India.

With the abrogation of Article 370 and the removal of its status as a state, the region was fully integrated and its population stripped of the special privileges and entitlements it had been enjoying in view of the peculiar nature of the state’s history and its accession to India.

The actual disempowerment, which will soon begin to be felt on the ground, is more than the loss of the special local identity. Brought by stealth and deceit, without fulfilling the constitutional requirement of participation of the state legislature, the abrogation of Article 370 and demotion of the erstwhile state has become fait accompli, as the hearings on a bunch of petitions challenging the move in the Supreme Court of India have been postponed multiple times.

If Article 370 was aimed to lay down the foundation of the Indian government’s agenda in J&K, the actions that have followed are the building blocks to serve that design calculatedly.

Thus, in a late-night move on March 31, when the Indian government officially announced a new domicile rule for Jammu and Kashmir, more clarity was shed on what the future entails. The devil was in the detail.

According to the notification called “Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation (Adaptation of State Laws) Order, 2020”, anyone who has resided in J&K for 15 years or has studied in the territory for seven years, and appeared in either Class 10 or Class 12 examination, will get residency rights. They will then be eligible for various government jobs.

The notification’s timing, one week after India announced a countrywide lockdown to contain the COVID-19 outbreak, was odd. While a lockdown in the rest of the country became a safety measure in the fight against a virus, in Kashmir it assumed a different meaning. It was a lockdown within a lockdown that had been partially in place since August 5, 2019.

A stringent clampdown on J&K under military boots including an absolute communication blockade allowed the Indian government to surreptitiously scrap its special status and split it into more pliable units last year. The longest-ever lockdown in Kashmir served the purpose of scuttling any public outrage and also ensured that information slipped into a black hole, making an entire population invisible and their grievances inaudible.

The 2019 lockdown was unconstitutional, undemocratic and morally erroneous. But this has now become the foundational principle of India’s strategy in Kashmir with no punctuations of pretence. If the first lockdown was successful in preventing public outcry over the loss of special status and protections, the other provided a stepping stone for laying the blueprint of what the Indian government intends to do as part of its larger agenda.

The new domicile rule, and its timing, stirred up anxieties, particularly among the J&K youth, irrespective of their ethnic and communal identities or their political ideologies, as it meant they would be losing government jobs, they earlier had a monopoly over, to outsiders. The government is one of the biggest employers of fresh graduates in the region and in the spring a number of recruitment processes were stalled, prompting suspicions that this was done intentionally to allow outsiders who qualified for domicile under the new rule to apply as well.

On February 27, the authorities scrapped the recruitment process of J&K Bank for more than 1,450 posts, which had been going on since 2018, jeopardising the career prospects of thousands of aspirants who had been waiting after clearing their preliminary exams. On June 2, the bank advertised for 1,850 posts inviting applications for domiciles.

In the midst of the pandemic, as hospitals battled with a shortage of infrastructure and staff, the government showed the door to hundreds of healthcare employees on temporary contracts in Srinagar and Kathua district in Hindu-majority Jammu region. This, despite shortages of medical staff and the established practice of offering temporary workers permanent contracts.

The recruitment, appointment and promotion processes for various civil service positions in the administration, education and healthcare sectors have also been put on hold after the J&K Public Service Commission, which is responsible for civil service recruitment, was made defunct and the constitution of a new commission under the new status of the region as a union territory was delayed. A new chairman was finally appointed in May.

The threat of losing jobs to outsiders is coupled with the anxieties of the existing government employees with respect to service-related litigations related to pay, promotions, etc, of which there are currently more than 30,000 cases.

On April 29 this year, on grounds that J&K had lost its statehood, the Administrative Tribunal Act, 1985 was made applicable to J&K and Ladakh. In June, the creation of Jammu Bench of the Central Administrative Tribunal was announced which will cover the union territories of J&K and Ladakh. But a single bench at the south end of the region will be insufficient, given the large size of the population and the difficult mountainous topography which renders the journey to Jammu too long.

These changes come as over the last couple of decades, locals in the administrative bureaucracy have been sidelined or sent out on deputations. This process has further picked up steam recently. After the abrogation of Article 370, the majority of top bureaucratic positions in the administration of Jammu and Kashmir are held by outsiders.

The immediate beneficiaries of the new domicile rule could go beyond the thousands of Hindu and Sikh refugees, who have fled Pakistan since partition and have settled in the suburbs of Jammu city. The rules for getting a domicile certificate are now pretty relaxed, so there is no way to assess the exact number of people who are likely to benefit.

Thousands of bureaucrats from outside and those working in the private sector have spent more than the required 15 years in J&K in the last 70 years. A sizeable part of the Indian armed forces is concentrated in J&K and many have served several postings in the erstwhile state, easily making many eligible under the new criteria.

The numbers are likely to add up by each year and given the easily corruptible system and lack of accountability, there is no telling how the laws will be tweaked to further allow an influx of beneficiaries from outside.

And this is not just about jobs. There is also the question of land ownership and business investment over which the new domicile rule is silent, which means that unlike the past, any Indian may buy land, settle and start a business venture in J&K.

Under the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, which came into effect in October, the legal provisions restricting ownership of private property to permanent residents were struck down. In the past, local land reform legislation empowered peasants including the socially oppressed classes, giving them a sense of dignity and making J&K one of the few states in the country where nobody died of starvation.

The amended land-related laws induce fears in the local population of not just losing their exclusive privileges but also of suffering under possible monopolistic economic hegemonies.

The state also had in place its reservation act that provided for quotas in educational institutions and jobs for people of disadvantaged backgrounds, including Dalits, members of various tribes, etc. Women enjoyed a 50 percent reservation in professional colleges. Since the 1950s, education at school and college level was free in government institutions. All of that now stands to be reversed.

For now, using the pandemic as an excuse, the government has also halted the 150-year-old annual practice of shifting the capital from Jammu to Srinagar in the summer. Though the practice of two capitals – in Hindu-majority Jammu and Muslim-majority Kashmir – was ideally inclusive, it was Srinagar that became the hub of political power after Kashmir’s accession in 1947.

The government decision to begin the delimitation (redrawing of boundaries) of electoral constituencies, which is likely to give Hindu-majority Jammu more seats, will reshape the local political dynamics. Two ideas have been mooted by several Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders to that end – enumeration on the basis of area and not population, as is the countrywide norm, as well as adding the kitty of 24 seats of Pakistan-Administered Kashmir (PAK) and Chinese-controlled Aksai Chin that lay vacant for the last 70 years to Jammu region by fielding Hindu and Sikh refugees from PAK.

The Delimitation Commission was announced on March 6 and immediately the process of data collection was set in motion. It has been going on without any punctuation throughout the COVID-19 lockdown.

Structures of power are being dismantled bit by bit, particularly emaciating the political significance of Srinagar and turning Jammu into a symbolic site of victory while keeping its people disempowered.

Already, the political space in J&K has been completely decimated. While many top leaders continue to be in detention, including former Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, others have been let off or placed under house arrest on conditions of maintaining silence.

A lobby of renegades from various parties recently floated a new political organisation called Apni Party. It is believed to enjoy the patronage of New Delhi and has failed to cut much ice.

Under the new arrangement, while the far-flung union territory of Ladakh would be robbed of a legislative assembly, J&K will get one with limited powers, turning the two entities virtually into two remote-controlled municipalities.

This puts a question mark over the practicability of managing the erstwhile state, with its huge area, its complexity, its socio-political diversity and its fragility, under this arrangement of one centralised authority. While a sense of political empowerment is diminished, the terms of engagement in local political narrative are decimated to municipal and administrative matters.

A sense of loss appears to be a strange leveller and may have somewhat bridged the traditionally divisive narratives in Muslim-dominated Kashmir and Hindu-dominated Jammu, the latter having seen a phenomenal rise in Hindu right-wing politics in recent decades.

But while in Jammu public discontent is linked to loss of jobs, land, monopoly over trade and higher education, in Kashmir, in addition to all these, the dilution of Article 370 and domicile law assumes a whole new meaning – the fear of a demographic change.

Shaped by Hindu right-wing groups openly calling for changing demography of Kashmir and integrationist politics, anxieties of demographic change have existed in Kashmir for decades. Today, a pathway is being paved for replicating the Israeli model of occupation and colonisation of the West Bank in Kashmir towards disempowerment and dispossession of the locals, particularly Kashmiri Muslims, to exercise hegemonic control through new settlers.

Sometime in late November last year, a serving Indian diplomat in the United States, while addressing a gathering of Kashmiri Hindus, averred that “Kashmiri culture is Indian culture; it is Hindu culture” and espoused the Israeli model of West Bank settlements as the way forward. Though the Indian government did not officially support this policy of apartheid, it also conveniently did not distance itself from the remarks made by its serving envoy in his official capacity.

If there were any doubts about the seriousness of these remarks, they can now be discarded. The recent moves indicate a more systemic pattern of making this model the centrepiece of India’s Kashmir policy. The present lockdown has been used to plot the points on the map while avoiding any public outcry. This arsenal of administrative changes in a fragile setting is like dumping fuel that could well trigger an inferno of unimaginable proportions.

The government is underestimating the patience and silence of the public and the international ramifications of riding roughshod over the aspirations of the people of Kashmir and pushing them to the margins as secondary citizens with an uptick in massive human rights abuse.

While this amounts to trampling of Indian democracy, it also makes peace in South Asia extremely vulnerable. In all probability, the transition to demographic change will not be as smooth. A desperate struggle for self-preservation within Kashmir and the heightened level of tensions between India and Pakistan – two nuclear powers – will throw up an explosive situation. The present standoff between India and China also has the potential to escalate and add fuel to the fire.

Kashmiris paying heavy cost due to seven decades old conflict

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Srinagar, July 04 (KMS): The Kashmir conflict has been and is imposing heavy cost on the human life in occupied Kashmir where this conflict has adversely impacted each and every aspect of the lives of people during the past over seven decades and particularly since 1989.

An analytical report released by the Research Section of Kashmir Media Service, today, said occupied Kashmir is only region of the world where humans are living without human rights as India has usurped all basic freedoms of the people. It said that killings, extrajudicial executions, arrests, torture, use of brute force on peaceful protesters, destruction of properties and molestation of women by Indian troops and police personnel have become a norm in the occupied territory. It said that fascist Indian forces were brutally carrying out massacre of the innocent Kashmiris.

The report pointed out that Indian troops in their unabated acts of state terrorism have martyred 95,615 people in occupied Kashmir since January 1989 till date. It maintained that at least 160,516 civilians have been illegally arrested while over 110,334 structures have been destroyed by the Indian forces in the territory during the period.

The report said that 2016 was declared “Year of Loss of Eyes” in occupied Kashmir because of pellet firing by the Indian forces. It said that hundreds of people had lost their eyes due to the use of pellet guns by Indian police and troops during mass uprising triggered by the extrajudicial killing of popular youth leader, Burhan Wani, on July 08 that year.

The report said that thousands of Hurriyat leaders, political activists, journalists, lawyers and civil society members had been illegally arrested by the Indian authorities and they remained lodged in different jails of the occupied territory and India. It said that these detainees included Muhammad Yasin Malik, Shabbir Ahmed Shah, Aasiya Andrabi, Masarrat Aalam Butt, Mian Abdul Qayoom, Dr Muhammad Qasim Fakhtoo, Naheeda Nasreen, Fahmeeda Sofi, Nayeem Ahmed Khan, Ayaz Muhammad Akbar, Altaf Ahmed Shah, Peer Saifullah, Merajuddin Kalwal, Farooq Ahmed Dar, Dr Abdul Hameed Fayyaz, Maulana Mushtaq Ahmed Veeri, Muhammad Ahsan Untoo, Maulana Sarjan Barkati, Ghulam Ahmed Gulzar and Asif Sultan.

Troops continue massive CASOs in IOK

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Rich tributes paid to martyred youth

Srinagar, June 27 (KMS): In occupied Kashmir, Indian troops continued massive cordon and search operations across the territory, subjecting the residents to torture and harassment.

The troops continue to carry on their violent operations in different areas of Srinagar, Badgam, Ganderbal, Kupwara, Bandipore, Baramulla, Shopian, Pulwama, Islamabad, Kulgam, Poonch, Kishtwar, Doda, Ramban, Rajouri and Jammu. The residents of these areas told media that the Indian forces’ personnel barge into the residential houses, harass the inmates and vandalize the household goods. The troops have also arrested several youth from different areas.

Hurriyat leaders, Shabbir Ahmed Dar, Umar Aadil Dar, Mir Muhammad Iqbal and Ghulam Ahmed in their statements in Srinagar paid rich tributes to the youth and an 8-year-old boy recently martyred by Indian troops. They said that the sacrifices of Kashmiri martyrs would not be allowed to go waste and their mission would be accomplished at all costs.

Meanwhile, the residents of occupied Kashmir have been urged through a social media campaign that all village/mohalla/town committees of the territory should come together and make sure that not a single non-local lives in their areas. All of these committees have been asked to give clear instructions to the people that anyone who tries to give space to non-locals or tries to sell land to any non-Kashmiri will be socially boycotted and evicted from the area.

The Jammu and Kashmir Students Youth Forum in a statement in Srinagar said that its activists held protest demonstrations in Srinagar and Islamabad districts against the Indian government’s move to allow opening of liquor shops in the territory. The protesters raised anti-India and pro-freedom slogans.

The Jammu and Kashmir Democratic Freedom Party in a statement in Srinagar said that the new media policy introduced by India in occupied Kashmir was an atrocious assault on the press freedom in the territory. The Chairman of Jammu and Kashmir Pir Panjal Peace Foundation, Muhammad Hanif Kalas, in a statement in Jammu denounced issuance of domicile certificates to Indian citizens by the authorities.

Illegally detained senior APHC leader, Shabbir Ahmed Shah, has moved a Delhi court seeking his lodgment in a separate cell in Tihar jail. In an application, Shabbir Shah’s counsel, Advocate Qausar Khan, submitted that his client is suffering from various ailments and had the higher risk of contracting the coronavirus.

The family members of illegally detained ailing Hurriyat leader, Shahid-ul-lslam, in a statement in Srinagar urged the Indian authorities to shift him from New Delhi’s Tihar jail to the Kashmir Valley to save him from getting affected with the coronavirus.

An Indian Army vehicle crushed a 12-year-old boy, Farhan Ahmad Sher Gojri, to death in Kupwara district.

APHC-AJK leaders, Mahmood Ahmed Saghar, Abdul Majeed Malik and Zahid Ashraf, in their statements in Islamabad condemned the ongoing killing spree unleashed by Indian troops in occupied Kashmir. The Convener of AJK chapter of Mirwaiz Umar Farooq-led Hurriyat forum, Syed Faiz Naqshbandi, addressing a meeting in Islamabad hailed the remarks of Democratic presidential nominee and former Vice President of the US, Joe Biden, wherein he asked India to take necessary steps to restore the rights of the people of occupied Kashmir.

India using molestation, arrest of women as weapon of war in IOK

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Thousands of Kashmiri women martyred, 11,204 molested since 1989

Srinagar, June 19 (KMS): In occupied Kashmir, India is using violence against Kashmiri women including arrest, harassment and rape and molestation as a weapon of war to suppress the Kashmiris’ ongoing struggle for securing their inalienable right to self-determination.

According to a Kashmir Media Service report compiled by Raies Ahmed Mir on the occasion of the International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict, today, said that Indian troops had molested 11,204 women since January 1989 till date. It said that brutal incidents of Kununposhpora mass rape and Shopian double rape and murder and rape and murder of Kathua minor girl were the glaring examples of Indian brutalities against women in the occupied territory.

The report said that Indian troops had molested around a hundred women during a siege and search operation in Kunanposhpora area of Kupwara district on the night of February 23 in 1991. It said that two women, 17-year-old Aasiya Jan and her 22-year-old sister-in-law Neelofar Jan, were abducted, raped and killed in custody by Indian men in uniform in May 2009. An eight-year-old girl, Aasifa Bano, a resident of Kathua district in Jammu region, was abducted, gang-raped and subsequently murdered by Indian police personnel and members of extremist Hindu organizations in January 2018, it added.

The report pointed out that thousands of women are among 95,630 Kashmiris, martyred by Indian military, paramilitary and police personnel since January 1989 till date. At least 672 women have been martyred by Indian troops since January 2001 alone.

The report maintained that the unabated Indian state terrorism had rendered 22,915 women widowed during the last thirty one years. It said that thousands of women lost their sons, husbands, fathers and brothers in the occupied territory who were subjected to custodial disappearance by Indian police and troops. As per the Association of Parents of Disappeared Persons, more than 8,000 Kashmiris went missing in custody during the past 31 years and their mothers, sisters and daughters continue to wait for their return, it added.

The report said that over a dozen Kashmiri women including resistance leaders Aasiya Andrabi, Fahmeeda Sofi and Naheeda Nasreen, as well as Hina Bashir Beig, Haseena Begum, Insha Tariq and a pregnant 27-year-old PhD Scholar of Jamia Millia New Delhi Safoora Zargar, were implicated in false cases and lodged in Indian jails.

The report further said that that hundreds of women and girls were also injured by the pellets fired by Indian troops while over hundred including 19-month-old Heeba Jan, 2-year-old Nusrat Jan, Tammana (11), Ulfat Hameed (17), Insha Mushtaq (18), Ifrah Shakoor (17), Shabroza Mir (16), Rafia Bano (31) and Shakeela Begum (35) were blinded in one or both eyes due to pellet injuries.

 

Indian troops martyr 4 more Kashmiri youth in IOK

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India killing Kashmiris to prolong its occupation

Srinagar, June 13 (KMS): In occupied Kashmir, Indian troops in their fresh acts of state terrorism martyred four more Kashmiri youth in Kulgam and Islamabad districts, today.

The troops martyred two youth each during cordon and search operations at Nipora in Kulgam and in Lallan area of Islamabad. The operations continued till last reports came in. Indian police and troops sealed all entry and exit points of the areas. The occupation authorities suspended internet service in the two districts. These killings raised the number of martyred youth to 18 during last one week. Indian troops have martyred 14 youth during violent military operations in different areas of Shopian district since Sunday.

A delegation of Jammu and Kashmir Peoples League visited Shopian to express solidarity with the families of the youth recently martyred by the troops. The delegation members, on the occasion said that the mission of Kashmiri martyrs would be accomplished at all costs.

The Jammu and Kashmir Young Men’s League and Jammu and Kashmir Students Youth Forum in a joint statement said that scores of activists of the two organizations held protest demonstrations in different areas of Srinagar and Islamabad against the continued killing of Kashmiri youth by Indian troops.

APHC leader and the Chairman of Jammu and Kashmir Democratic Political Movement, Khawaja Firdous, addressing a gathering in Ahmed Nagar area of Srinagar said that India had been committing atrocities on the Kashmiri people for the last over seven decades to prolong its illegal occupation of the territory.

The Jammu and Kashmir Mass Movement Patron, Farida Bahenji, in a statement in Srinagar paid rich tributes to the youth martyred by Indian troops in Kulgam and Islamabad districts, today. She appealed to the UN and the international community to take cognizance of the stepped-up Indian state terrorism in the territory.

Indian police have filed an open FIR and started questioning those criticising the judgment of High Court of the territory, which denied bail to illegally detained High Court Bar Association President, Mian Abdul Qayoom, just for his political ideology and stance on the Kashmir dispute. The lawyers of the Valley have said that the police are hounding them for criticising the court verdict. A lawyer from Shopian, Habeel Iqbal, who was summoned on Wednesday, said that he was questioned for five hours and asked to reveal every personal and family detail, including the name of his five-year-old child. In a tweet, Iqbal had said the judgment shall be remembered as yet another instance of court acting as an extension of the executive.

India has raised the ante in Kashmir – Do we have an answer?

By Syed Nazir Gilani

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India has raised the ante in Kashmir. Doordarshan and All India Radio (private channels to follow) have started from 8 May 2020, to telecast and broadcast temperatures and weather reports of Indian towns and cities including “Mirpur, Muzaffarabad and Gilgit” as a feed from The North Western Division of Indian Meteorological Department (IMD). DD News and All India Radio will include “Mirpur, Muzaffarabad and Gilgit” in their prime time news bulletins at 8.55am and 8.55pm weather reports, as part of their claim on these areas of Azad Kashmir.

IMD move to include “Mirpur, Muzaffarabad and Gilgit” in their weather bulletin is a disturbing tactical move, on the top of a strategic move of 5 August and 31 October 2019. India has started selling to its people, that the large Indian army has the chin to take any loss of life of its armed forces in Kashmir.

Loss of life in the households of Kashmir is far different in character. The youth are prepared to lead into the next generation and killing of a Kashmiri youth is slowly killing the right of ‘self-determination’. Do we need to sit and watch for the chain actions of Indian Government, that started on 5 August 2019, let it hold the Valley under lock and allow its army to roam free to pick up and kill Kashmiri youth at will? The answer should be no!

Pakistan did fairly well at the UN General Assembly in September 2019. Forcing UN Security Council to revisit Kashmir, in whatever manner, on 16 August 2019 and 15 January 2020 were two very good efforts. However, we have again lost the momentum and have misinterpreted the Indian actions. Indian has disturbed the status quo on Kashmir and in a way has annexed the Indian administered (occupied) part of Kashmir. It does not need to go for any quick demographic change. The actions of 5 August and 31 October 2019, provide a safe cover to India, to hurt the Muslim majority character of the State.

India did not claim “Mirpur, Muzaffarabad and Gilgit” as its cities out of any whim. Indian actions add up to a fact that India has been cheating Pakistan even in diplomatic engagements. JKCHR did point out one such overbearing influence of India, in the Indo-Pak Joint Statement issued after the June 19-23 1997 India Pakistan talks at Islamabad. Indian side tricked Pakistan to retreat on Kashmir from its core position and add it in the eight “outstanding issues of concern to both sides”.

Kashmir was displaced from its ‘principal’ character and it became an ‘include’ in many other issues. It was an unbelievable retreat in the history of Kashmir. In a way it was as agonising as Kashmir being hit at the UN Security Council in August 1996, by rule 11 of the Procedure Rules of Security Council.

JKCHR made a five page representation to the Government of Pakistan on 30 June 1997 and pointed out the serious mistakes made in the joint statement. Indian side made the full use of the principle of “literal and strained interpretation’, while interpreting the terms of the joint statement on their arrival in Delhi. On 25 June 1997, Indian Foreign Secretary Salman Haider said, “When we talk about the Jammu and Kashmir dispute, there is a juridical element in that. We make the point that parts of Jammu and Kashmir are under Pakistani occupation by military force and that is something that we would certainly discuss”.

Explaining the merits of the joint statement, Indian FS said, “We have said that there is no dispute in our part of Kashmir but there are issues relating to POK”. Indian Parliament Resolution of February 1994, on Azad Kashmir and GB, declaring them as part of India, should have forced Pakistan, Azad Kashmir and every Kashmiri into meditation and unease.

Indian Meteorological Department, Doordarshan, All India Radio and Indian private TV channels have started doing, is exactly, what Indian Parliament has pending on its files since February 1994. What are our options?

War and the use of International law (UN Resolutions) are our only options left. Pakistan like India is a nuclear state. Pakistan’s nuclear capability, cancels out the overbearing Indian misplaced big size boast of its size and number. One would love to see India and Pakistan return to the call of “their spiritual heritage and the responsibility of their power” in the service of their people and the region. If war is avoided, we have a future. However, if war breaks out the present leadership may not survive to see a depopulated and vastly deserted India.

The other way forward would be engagement and respect for international law. Kashmiris and Government Pakistan have international law on their side. UN Resolutions would not entertain Indian hegemony and such actions at all, unless we have lost faith in the jurisprudence of our case and in our abilities to take India to the “Police Station”. International Law in our case are the UN Resolutions and we need to re-visit the merits of our case.

Foreign office of Pakistan indeed has brilliant minds, but we need people who have a reliable knowledge of Kashmir case and reliable understanding of UN Resolutions. To be brilliant in any discipline of foreign office is one thing and to be knowledgeable on Kashmir case is quite different. We may need to fix the political tripping and tipping in the appointments of the chairman of Kashmir Committee. There is need to upgrade and regularise the expert input from Government of Azad Kashmir, Kashmiri experts and start it on a war footing.

Prime Minister of Pakistan, as Chairman AJK Council has accepted a constitutional role in Azad Kashmir. Even if he had not volunteered to be an ambassador of the people of Kashmir, he has retained enough role, to structure a new team to work on Kashmir. AJK Council could be converted into a role that Section 11 of 1974 Act or Section 8 of 1970 Act warrants from Government of Azad Kashmir. We failed to make use of a space given to us by UNCIP Resolutions and UN Security Council Resolutions. It seems to have corrected the Indian hump and its leadership has gone mad. We need to keep the options of war and international law open.

Indian troops continue operations in occupied Kashmir

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Modi has started a bloody game against the Muslims of India, IOK

Srinagar, May 16 (KMS): In occupied Kashmir, Indian troops continued their violent cordon and search operations in different areas of the territory, adding to the miseries of the residents already suffering immensely due to unrelenting military siege for the last over nine months.

The troops continued their operations in Srinagar, Badgam, Islamabad, Shopian, Pulwama, Kupwara, Handwara, Sopore, Baramulla, Doda, Kishtwar, Poonch, Rajouri and other areas of the occupied territory. The residents of these areas told media-persons that the troops have made their life a living hell. They said that the forces’ personnel barge into the residential houses, harass the inmates and ransack the household goods. Indian police and troops arrested five youth from Arizal in Khansahib area of Badgam district, today.

The Chairman of Islamic Political Party Jammu and Kashmir, Muhammad Yousuf Naqash, in a statement in Srinagar said that the Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, had started a bloody game under the cover of COVID-19 against Muslims in India and Kashmir.

APHC leader, Molvi Bashir Ahmed, in a statement in Srinagar deplored that Indian troops had intensified their atrocities in the occupied territory to suppress the Kashmiris’ freedom struggle but they would never succeed in their nefarious designs.

The Jammu and Kashmir Democratic Freedom Party in its statement appealed to the international community to take cognizance of Indian state terrorism in occupied Kashmir and put pressure on New Delhi to resolve the Kashmir dispute by giving the Kashmiris their unalienable right to self-determination.

India’s notorious National Investigation Agency has filed a chargesheet against six persons, including three martyred youth, on the false charges of their involvement in the killing of Bharatiya Janata Party leader, Anil Parihar and his brother in 2018. Parihar brothers were shot dead by unidentified attackers outside their house in Kishtwar town of Jammu region on 1st of November, 2018.

On the other hand, the Member of UK Parliament, Judith Cummins, in a statement in London expressed serious concern over the human rights abuses in occupied Kashmir, particularly since August, last year, when India revoked the special status of the territory. She said that the British government must play its role in securing a peaceful resolution of the Kashmir dispute through facilitating genuine dialogue between India and Pakistan for a safe and peaceful future of Kashmir.

A top American diplomat has said that the US has seen unfortunate reports of COVID-19 related “rhetoric and harassment” against the Muslim community in India. Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom, Sam Brownback, briefing reporters during a conference call on the impact of COVID-19 on religious minorities throughout the world said that there had also been instances of Muslims being attacked for allegedly spreading the coronavirus.

Rise in hatred against Muslims in India

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Islamabad, April 25 (KMS): The wave of hatred and prejudice against Muslims in India has witnessed an increase of a dangerous proportion under RSS-backed Narendra Modi-led fascist government.

An analytical report released by Research Section of Kashmir Media Service said Muslims are being portrayed as terrorists in India. It said that there was a growing tide of bigotry and oppression against Muslims in the country where lynching of Muslims had become a norm.

“Muslims are being attacked in ever-increasing numbers across Indian cities and towns while killers of Muslims continue to go unpunished. Members of Muslim community are treated harshly for their faith and culture. Modi’s ascension to power has inflamed an already dangerous atmosphere for Muslims in India,” it said.

The report said that while hatred against Muslims was in the body and soul of BJP and RSS, there was a systematic campaign by the leaders of these extremist Hindu organizations aimed at spewing venom at Muslims. It maintained that Modi-led BJP regime endorses horrific forms of torture against Muslims. “Mass extermination of Muslims is underway in India. Modi has already committed a Muslim slaughter in Gujarat,” it added.

The report noted that new draconian citizenship laws were aimed at large-scale expulsion of Muslims from India. It said that recent anti-Muslim violence in New Delhi had once again exposed real face of India. “Hindutva forces like BJP and RSS are ideological equals of the Nazis. Modi and Hitler are the two faces of the same coin,” it added.

The report pointed out that the RSS-backed BJP-led Indian regime is planning genocide of Muslims in occupied Kashmir. It said that Kashmiri Muslims were witnessing unparalleled victimization under the BJP government.

Maintaining that Hindutva forces like RSS and BJP are darkest blots on humanity, the report said that anti-Muslim hatred in India was a challenge to the international community, which must come forward to stop Muslim genocide in India.

Indian troops martyr nine youth in four days in IOK

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Hatred against Muslims increasing in India:Report

Srinagar, April 25 (KMS): In occupied Kashmir, Indian troops in their fresh act of state terrorism martyred three Kashmiri youth in Pulwama district, today, taking the number of slain youth to nine since Wednesday.

The troops martyred the three youth during a cordon and search operation at Goripora in Awantipora area of Pulwama district, today morning. During similar operations, the troops killed two youth at Arwani in Islamabad district, yesterday, and four others in Melhora area of Shopian district on Wednesday.

APHC leader, Khawaja Firdous, and the Chairman of Jammu and Kashmir Muslim Conference, Shabbir Ahmed Dar, in their statements issued in Srinagar paying tributes to the martyred youth said that India was committing genocide of Kashmiris amid lockdown in the territory.

Meanwhile, an analytical report released by the Research Section of Kashmir Media Service, today, said that the wave of hatred and prejudice against Muslims in India had witnessed an increase of a dangerous proportion under RSS-backed Narendra Modi-led fascist government. It said that there was a growing tide of bigotry and oppression against Muslims in the country where lynching of Muslims had become a norm. The report pointed out that the Muslims are being attacked in ever-increasing numbers across Indian cities and towns.

Hurriyat leader, Firdous Ahmed Shah, in a statement in Srinagar urged international community to come forward and save the people of Jammu and Kashmir from Indian brutalities. The Chairman of Ummat-e-Islami, Qazi Ahmed Yasir, speaking to his party leaders at his residence in Islamabad town said that no one could forget what the people of Kashmir had gone through. The President of the AJK chapter of the party, Syed Manzoor Ahmed Shah, in a statement in Islamabad deplored that India had stepped up the killing of Kashmiri youth during the past one month.

The Convener of AJK chapter of Mirwaiz Umar Farooq-led Hurriyat forum, Syed Faiz Naqshbandi, in a statement in Islamabad said that at a time when the world was facing coronavirus pandemic, Indian troops were randomly arresting innocent people in occupied Kashmir.

The Press Club of India in a statement issued in New Delhi said, the events of the past week underlined the fact that the new norm in Kashmir for the police was to call journalists to police stations in connection with their published reports, photographs, or their social media posts, and to file FIRs against journalists. It demanded that the cases registered against three journalists be withdrawn immediately.

On the other hand, over 40 global rights groups, part of a campaign #KeepItOn, in an open letter demanded restoration of 4G internet services in occupied Kashmir. The signatories of the letter said that the absence of high-speed connectivity was hampering works of doctors, journalists and others amid the coronavirus lockdown.

RAW, IB targeted Canadian politicians to support Indian interests: report

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Islamabad, April 18 (KMS): Indian intelligence agents working for Research & Analysis Wing (RAW) and Intelligence Bureau (IB) attempted to use money and disinformation to covertly influence Canadian politicians and falsely link Pakistan and its diaspora with “terrorism” through well-funded lobbying, according to a highly sensitive government document.

The document shows that Canadian security officials suspected India’s two main intelligence branches had asked an Indian citizen to sway politicians in Canada into supporting Indian government interests, Global News reported. The paper said that the RAW and IB were behind the operation since 2009.

A Canada government official said the government was “concerned when any country shows destabilising behaviour, including interference in other countries’ democratic systems”.

The report claims the Canadian intelligence authorities suspect Indian agencies of trying to use the chief editor of an unnamed Indian publication for this purpose. It adds that the wife and kids of that editor are Canadian nationals and a secret security investigation against him began when he applied to immigrate to Canada.

Details of alleged Indian involvement were first revealed in a Canadian federal court, where Canadian authorities have accused the said editor – referred to as AB in the document seen by Global News – of espionage.

The report claims that the accused Indian national allegedly met Indian intelligence officials more than two dozens times over a period of six years.

“You stated that you were tasked by RAW to covertly influence Canadian government representatives and agencies on behalf of the Indian government,” according to a letter sent to him by an immigration official.

“You stated that you were told to identify random Caucasian politicians and attempt to direct them into supporting issues that impacted India,” the letter continued.

“You stated that the guidance from RAW included that you were to provide financial assistance and propaganda material to politicians in order to exert influence over them.”

One of his tasks was “to convince politicians that funding from Canada was being sent to Pakistan to support terrorism,” according to the letter, dated May 30, 2018.

At least 1.2 million Canadians are of Indian descent. India has always suspected thousands of Sikhs, living in Canada, of supporting Khalistan movement and seeking independence from India.

Allegations made against RAW in a Canadian court are especially embarrassing for India because only in December 2019 a German court sentenced an Indian couple after they admitted to spying on Kashmiri and Sikh freedom groups for the Indian intelligence agency RAW.

Court documents said the couple, named only as Manmohan S and his wife Kanwal Jit K, were paid more than €7,000 (£6,000) for passing on information.

Manmohan S was given an 18-month suspended prison sentence for espionage while his wife received a hefty fine.

The court in Frankfurt was told that Manmohan S, 51, was recruited by RAW in 2015 and asked to spy on Kashmiri freedom groups.

“The accused reported on the internal affairs of the Sikh temples in Cologne and Frankfurt, as well as on protest events in the Sikh community,” a court statement said.

He attended regular meetings with an Indian intelligence officer from July 2017 and was paid €200 a month for the information he provided.

Also in December 2019, it emerged that a global network of pro-India fake websites and think-tanks was established by RAW across Europe aimed at influencing decision-making in Europe in favour of India and to oppose Pakistan.

The co-ordinated network of 265 sites operates across 65 countries, according to a report by EU Disinfo Lab, a Brussels-based NGO. The network was also found to involve groups responsible for anti-Pakistan lobbying events in Europe.

“More than the fake media outlets alone, it is their combination with the fake NGOs that’s really worrying because it provides a mirage of online and grassroots support to a cause. That’s exactly where the disinformation lies,” Alexandre Alaphilippe, executive director of EU Disinfo Lab, said.

Stepped-up violent CASOs add to miseries of IOK people

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Srinagar, April 18 (KMS): In occupied Kashmir, the stepped-up violent cordon and search operations by Indian troops have added to the miseries and suffering of the people of the territory who are already suffering immensely due to continued lockdown for the last over eight months.

Amid intensification of the restrictions imposed by the occupation authorities to prevent the spread of coronavirus, Indian troops continue their violent operations in different areas of Budgam, Kupwara, Baramulla, Bandipore, Shopian, Kulgam, Pulwama, Islamabad, Kishtwar, Ramban, Rajouri, Poonch, Samba, Kishtwar and Kathua districts. These operations have created an atmosphere of fear, making the life of the people a hell. The residents of these areas told media that Indian forces’ personnel during the operations barge into their houses, harass the inmates and vandalize the household goods.

On the other hand, Indian police have arrested several persons from different areas of the Kashmir Valley on the charges of violating the restrictions imposed to stop spread of coronavirus.

India victimizing detained Hurriyat leaders

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Release of Kashmiri detainees demanded

Srinagar, March 21 (KMS): In occupied Kashmir, Hurriyat organizations have said that India is victimizing the illegally detained Hurriyat leaders and activists to intimidate the Kashmiris into submission and force them to stop resisting its illegal hold over Jammu and Kashmir.

Hurriyat organizations including Tehreek-e-Hurriyat, Tehreek-e-Mazahmat, Kashmir Tehreek-e-Khawateen, Tehreek-e-Wahdat-e-Islami and Democratic Political Movement in their statements said that Narendra Modi-led communal government in New Delhi had devised a plan to send Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front Chairman, Muhammad Yasin Malik, to gallows in a 30-year-old false case. They maintained that India was plotting to prolong the illegal detention of Hurriyat leaders and annihilate them. They appealed to the world human rights bodies to take cognizance of the plight of the Kashmiri detainees.

Meanwhile, the Grand Mufti of occupied Kashmir, Mufti Nasir-ul-Islam, addressing a meeting of religious leaders held in Srinagar, today, to discuss the situation arising out of coronovirus spread, demanded release of all illegally detained Kashmiris, saying that the prisoners could be affected by the disease as most of the jails lacked basic facilities.

Hurriyat leader, Ghulam Muhammad Khan Sopori, in a statement in Srinagar said that due to the lockdown in different countries in the wake of coronovirus pandemic, the world community must have no difficulty in realizing the sufferings the people of occupied Kashmir had been going through during the continued military siege for the past over seven months.

The Chairman of Jammu and Kashmir Employees Movement, Muhammad Shafi Lone, in a statement in Srinagar deplored that the Indian government and its agencies had implicated the illegally detained Muhammad Yasin Malik in a three decades old fake case.

The illegally detained Chairman of Jammu and Kashmir Salvation Movement, Zafar Akbar Butt, was admitted at a police hospital in Srinagar after his health deteriorated at Chanapora police station in Srinagar. The JKSM President, Altaf Ahmed Butt, in a statement in Islamabad called for immediate release of Zafar Akbar Butt and other Kashmiri detainees.

On the other hand, an Indian soldier committed suicide by shooting himself with his service rifles while on duty at Civil Secretariat in Srinagar, last night. This incident raised the number of such deaths among Indian troops and police personnel in occupied Kashmir to 448 since January 2007.

APHC-AJK leader, Sheikh Abdul Mateen, in a statement in Islamabad denounced the chargesheet against Muhammad Yasin Malik by a TADA court in a 30-year-old fake case. He said that India is using its judiciary to suppress the resolve of the Kashmiri Hurriyat leaders and activists but would never succeed in its nefarious designs. The Chairman of Kashmir Council Europe, Ali Raza Syed, in a statement issued in Brussels called upon the world community to put pressure on India to immediately release Muhammad Yasin Malik.

10 martyred in IOK in February

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India extends 37 laws to IOK

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Srinagar, March 01 (KMS): In occupied Kashmir, Indian troops in their unabated acts of state terrorism martyred 10 Kashmiris during the last month of February.

According to the data issued by the Research Section of Kashmir Media Service, today, of those killed, three were martyred in fake encounters or in custody. During the month, 30 people were critically injured due to use of brute force and firing of teargas shells by Indian police and paramilitary personnel on peaceful demonstrators in the occupied territory while 137 civilians, mostly youth, were arrested. Most of the detainees were booked under black law, Public Safety Act.

The people of the Kashmir Valley continue to hit by severe hardships due to the ongoing military siege and internet suspension on the 210th successive day, today. More than 50 per cent industrial unites have completely stopped functioning as a result of seven-month lockdown and internet gag.

In view of the mass uprising threat in the upcoming summer against revocation of Kashmir’s special status, India has decided to retain its additional troops, brought into the territory in the wake of New Delhi’s illegal action of August 5, last year. At least 400 additional companies of paramilitary forces including Central Reserve Police Force and Border Security Force were deployed in Kashmir the day before the Article 370 was revoked.

Meanwhile, Indian occupation authorities invoked draconian law Public Safety Act against two more Kashmiri youth identified as Pervez Jilani and Tashoq Ahmad.

In yet another step towards the total annexation of occupied Jammu and Kashmir with India, New Delhi has approved 37 laws, which could not be previously applicable to the territory because of its special status under Article 370 of the Indian constitution. Indian Food and Drug Control department has refused to register more than 8,000 Kashmiri students who completed medical assistant course during the year 2019 citing the reason that they completed the course under the Pharmacy Act of occupied Jammu and Kashmir, which did no longer exist after the abrogation of Kashmir’s special status.

The first opening ceremony of the book ‘Dogra Ahd Ka Rajouri’ by Maulana Shamsi, the Chairman of Pir Panjal Civil Society, was held in Rajouri. A large number of people from different walks of life from Rajouri and Poonch districts attended the ceremony.

In Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, over 22 Kashmiri students of Aligarh Muslim University were booked on the charge of participating in anti-Citizenship Amendment Act protests.

 

Anti-Muslim violence in India reaches alarming proportions

By C J Werleman

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The ongoing brutality in New Delhi dubbed ‘communal violence’ is the live unfolding of a pogrom against Muslims.

The international media fixated on the pomp and ceremony, or rather glitz and glam of what was a two-day extravaganza of right-wing populist and ultranationalist odes and slogans. US President Donald Trump and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi went about their business pretending as though the country’s second-largest city wasn’t literally and actually on fire.

On Monday, pro-government Hindutva thugs responded to the city’s ongoing and growing protests against recently legislated anti-Muslim citizenship laws, otherwise known as the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and National Register of Citizens (NRC), by attacking protesters and setting Muslim owned homes, cars and businesses alight.

Eerily, the same Hindu nationalist goons had marked Hindu-owned properties with saffron-coloured flags to help attackers identify Muslim targets, borrowing a sinister measure used on the eve of the 2002 Gujarat riots, which left more than 2,000 Muslims killed and thousands more battered, raped, and abused.

Starting in the Muslim-majority areas of northeast Delhi, the violence spilt into Monday evening, culminating with the deaths of at least two anti-CAA protesters, and the injuries of dozens more.

Footage shows Delhi Police officers firing tear gas shells into a crowd, followed by baton large charges. By Wednesday morning, the death toll had risen to at least 20. Among the dead are a 22-year-old rickshaw driver, a labourer, and a father of six.

A video that went viral on social media shows a dozen or so Muslim males being kicked and beaten before being forced by police to recite Vande Mataram — India’s national song and a nationalist ode of sorts — as they lay defenceless on the ground.

Another shows an isolated Muslim man being mercilessly punched and kicked by a mob of dozens of pro-government street thugs, as cars and shops around him are vandalised, while another shows a Muslim shrine being torched with a petrol bomb.

Hindus have woken up after long [passivity],” one man, who identified as a pro-CAA protester, told a local journalist as he carried out an arson attack.

On Tuesday afternoon, a mob chanting Jai Shri Ram (victory to Lord Rama) and Hinduon ka Hindustan (India for Hindus) surrounded a mosque in Ashok Nagar, before setting it alight, while a man placed a Hanuman flag atop its minaret.

That footage also shows Delhi Police officers participating in the violence, joining pro-CAA protesters in throwing rocks at Muslims, underscores the dangerous new reality the country’s largest religious minority now face.

“The police is with us,” a Hindu man says in a video posted on Twitter, as his colleagues throw rocks toward mostly Muslim anti-CAA protesters.

Chillingly, these moments of violent mayhem and madness, which evidently enjoy the tacit and implicit approval of the Modi government, are perpetrated to an ode to a Hindu deity, but one now heard as a death chant to victims of this violence. Today, Jai Sri Ram is typically the last three words a Muslim hears the moment before he or she is attacked or murdered.

All across India, Modi radicalised saffron terrorists are assaulting, raping, and lynching Muslims with impunity, as government leaders openly refer to the religious minority as “termites” and “pests,” while they declare an urge for another 1947-scale Muslim exodus.

Earlier this month, hundreds of right-wing nationalists converged on New Delhi’s Jamia Millia Islamia University (JMI), chanting anti-Muslim slogans and shouting, “shoot the bastards” as police stood by as idle onlookers.

Recently, the international watchdog group Genocide Watch recently issued genocide alerts for Muslims in both Kashmir and Assam.

“Preparation for genocide is definitely underway in India…The next stage is extermination – that’s what we call a genocide,” said Professor Gregory Stanton, the author of the 10 Stages of Genocide in a speech to US lawmakers in December.

Certainly, both territories are ground zero in the government’s effort to marginalise and make invisible the country’s persecuted religious minority, with eight million Muslims in Kashmir living under a military lockdown and communications blackout that has now surpassed 200 days. Three million Muslims in Assam face the prospect of deportation or detainment as a result of measures implemented as a result of the NRC.

“My mother gave birth to me at home. My birth was never registered, so how do I produce a certificate?” a Muslim resident of Assam told Foreign Policy. “Nor do I have land ownership or tenancy records dating back five decades. Although we’re law-abiding citizens, having lived peacefully in India all our lives, we might be thrown out of the country.”

The events of the past 48 hours have demonstrated that the safety and well-being of India’s 200 million Muslims have never been in greater peril since the Gujarat pogroms and the violence of partition.

Should they become the target of overt state-sanctioned violence, recognising they always been the target of covert violence in the country, then the international community would be presented with a catastrophe of unprecedented proportions, resulting in the world’s largest pogrom and humanitarian crisis.

At the helm is Narendra Modi, a man accused of direct involvement in the country’s most recent anti-Muslim pogrom during his capacity as Gujarat’s chief minister.

If these realities aren’t enough to give rise to global alarm, then what is?

Is India sleepwalking toward a Muslim Holocaust?

By Irfan Raja

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Men ride a motorcycle past security forces patrolling a street in a riot-affected area after clashes erupted over the new anti-Muslim citizenship law in New Delhi, India, Feb. 26, 2020. (REUTERS Photo)
Men ride a motorcycle past security forces patrolling a street in a riot-affected area after clashes erupted over the new anti-Muslim citizenship law in New Delhi, India, Feb. 26, 2020. (REUTERS Photo)

The holocaust – the last century’s tragedy that left unbearable losses and stains on the face of secular Europe – could happen again in secular India.

Shockingly, Indian Muslims are experiencing the same sets of denunciation as the Jews faced under the Nazi regime: exclusion from mainstream society, racial profiling based upon belief, negative media representation and bigotry.

Exactly identical to the representation of Jews in German films and press during the Nazi rule as the “bad guys,” the Bollywood films and sections of the Indian media portray Muslims as gangsters, dons, smugglers, terrorists and anti-state actors.

Hindu nationalist RSS terrorists are ideological equals of the Nazis. They back and endorse more horrific forms of torture including the imprisonment of Muslims in detention centers, police raids on Muslims mosques and at Jamia University, brutally beating young and elderly Muslims in public, intentionally demolishing their homes and lynching on the pretext of “holy cow protection.”

What hypocrisy! At home, Hindu radical mobs kill any Muslim who eats beef, but the outside world sees India as the world’s largest exporter of beef, an activity that has dramatically increased under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government. This is the real face of a democratic India that is clearly anti-Muslim.

History seems to be repeating itself. As the Nazi Jews were seen as “disloyal” and “enemies within,” similarly, in today’s India, from Kashmir and Assam to Bengal, Indian Muslims have to prove their loyalty to Modi’s fascist government which considers them the “enemy within.”

Dr. Gregory Stanton believes “possible mass extermination of Muslims” is “definitely underway in India” as Modi had already committed a Muslim genocide in Gujrat.

So what can be done to stop the horrific repetition? This situation is petrifying as each day Indian Muslims are losing their hope to live as normal citizens.

Are they the new Jews?

Today, Muslims are living in concentration camps in Palestine, China, Myanmar and India.

Charles B. Anthony wrote: “Muslims are the new Jews. Perpetually vilified in the press, scapegoated by politicians and attacked in ever-increasing numbers on the street, Muslims are punished for their faith and culture, shackled to the jailer of prejudice drunk on his own self-righteous thirst for supremacy.”

Ordinary Europeans were persuaded that the Jews controlled money and businesses, conspired against their country of residence and plotted to kill European royals. The Nazis’ frequent and skillful propaganda brainwashed ordinary Germans to such an extent that they believed that the Jews must be expelled or killed.

Currently, similar patterns and tactics are in practice, as the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leadership backs a systemic campaign aimed at Indian Muslims that labels them as outsiders, incompatible, an enemy within and a threat to the RSS version of Indian society. Therefore, Muslims must be expelled according to their rhetoric.

Such a destructive campaign against the Indian Muslims has resulted in the rise of a racist slogan – “Go back to Pakistan” – which has been heard in films and from sports stars, namely, Nasseruddin Shah.

Hitler of our time?

Today, Modi has proved that he has much in common with Hitler such as Hitler’s concept of blood superiority (the Aryan nation) and racism centered on Jews. This prompted Imran Khan to say that Modi has Hitler’s mindset.

In a similar manner, BJP’s leaders are constantly suggesting they are Brahmins and Aryans, making them superior people in comparison with the Dalit Muslims of India.

So what next? A tragic and horrible past is turning into a reality in India. Seriously, we are at the threshold of a probable Indian Muslim’s Holocaust. So what shall be done to stop it?

BJP leader Rajeshwar Singh vowed to wipe out Indian Muslims and Christians by Dec. 31, 2021. Singh said, “We have decided that Islam and Christianity will be finished in India by 2021.” This is the “pledge” of the BJP, the political party with the most representation in the Indian parliament and state assemblies.

Already, the world is witnessing a growing tidal wave of bigotry and oppression against the Indian Muslims who are being forced to live as stateless.

To put it simply, a list of the Modi’s government illegal actions includes the Citizenship Amendment Bill, National Register for Citizens (NRC) and Citizens Amendment Act (CAA).

The British liberal press such as The Guardian have criticized Modi’s government over its draconian citizenship laws. These bills are evidently anti-Muslim which shows a plan for a grand-scale expulsion and a genocide of Indian Muslims.

Whether someone takes it or denies it, this is the writing on the wall. A Muslims holocaust will happen, if not now maybe later, as Modi’s seeds of hatred against Muslims have already rooted deep.

If Modi is genuinely patriotic to India, he should not forget what happened to ordinary Germans because of Hitler’s madness.

The challenge ahead is to deprecate ill designs of the fascist BJP, and this can only happen if all peace-loving Indians come together in this battle.

Restrictions on IOK mass rape day intensified

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Srinagar, February 23 (KMS): In occupied Kashmir, Indian authorities further intensified restrictions particularly in Kupwara district, today, on the 29th anniversary of the Kunan-poshpora mass rape incident.

Indian troops had gang-raped around 100 women of all ages from eight to eighty on the night of February 23 in 1991 during a siege and search operation in Kunan-poshpora area of the district. The troops were deployed in strength on all entry and exit points of the district to prevent people from expressing solidarity with the victims of the mass rape.

Since 2014, twenty-third of February is observed as Kashmiri Women’s Resistance Day every year, the call for which was, first, given by the Jammu and Kashmir Coalition of Civil Society and supported by the All Parties Hurriyat Conference. Hurriyat leaders and organizations in their separate statements expressed solidarity with the victims of the heinous crime. Jammu and Kashmir Muslin Conference Chairman Shabbir Ahmad Dar in a statement termed the incident as one of the most horrifying and terrifying incidents in the history of mankind.

APHC leader Muhammad Shafi Lone in a statement in Srinagar urged the US and other big powers to promote peace and development in South Asia through settlement of the Kashmir dispute as per the aspirations of the Kashmiri people. The Jammu and Kashmir Students and Youth Forum rejected the statement of the Indian Foreign Ministry on Kashmir, saying that Kashmir was an international dispute awaiting settlement on the basis of the relevant UN resolutions.

Meanwhile, the upcoming visit by US President Donald Trump to India has, once again, raised fear among the Sikh community members of the Kashmir valley. The visit has freshened the sad memories of March 2000 among the community when 35 innocent Sikhs were massacred by men in uniform in Chattisinghpora area of Islamabad district during the-then US President Bill Clinton’s visit to India. Jagmohan Singh Raina, the Chairman of All Parties Sikh Coordination Committee, in a statement in Srinagar said that the Sikhs of the Valley have to face such fearful situation whenever a high profile foreign personality, especially, from the US visits India.

APHC-AJK leader Abdul Majeed Malik addressing a meeting in Islamabad condemned the continued military lockdown and gag on communication means in occupied Kashmir.

UN Secretary General’s visit of Pakistan – his role under Article 99 of the Charter in Kashmir

By Dr. Syed Nazir Gilani

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Welcome Mr. Secretary General to Pakistan and have a rewarding stay, in a country which is home for major religions of the world. It has hosted the Afghan refugees and 2.5 million Kashmiri refugees (five generations) recognised in UN Security Council Resolution 47 of 21 April 1948. Your participation at the International Conference on Afghan refugees would attract a criticism of inequity and discrimination, if you fail to uphold the guarantees made to Kashmiri refugees in paras 12 and 14 of UN Security Council Resolution 47.

The principle of ‘equality of peoples’ under the Charter, calls upon the United Nations Secretary General to interpret article 99 in the manner Dag Hammarskjold interpreted in the case of Tunisia in 1961, U Thant in 1971 in Nigerian civil war, Waldheim in North Vietnam and Vietcong, Perez de Cuellar in Iran-lraq war, Boutros-Ghali in 1994 in Burundi, Kofi-Annan in 2005 in Zimbabwe and Ban-ki Moon in 2006 and 2013 in Fiji and Syria.

UN Secretary General Dag Hammarskjold, on receiving an invitation from President Habib Bourguiba to visit Tunisia in 1961, told the Security Council that it was “Obvious that he could not discharge the responsibilities flowing from article 99 unless he could make visits and thus be in a position to form a personal opinion about the relevant facts of a situation which might threaten international peace and security”. No member of the Council challenged the interpretation of the duties of the Secretary General. Nor were there any objections to the fact finding missions initiated by U Thant in connection with the Nigerian civil war.

UN Secretary General Dag Hammarskjold visited the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir, for two days from 20-22 March 1959. He wanted to know for himself the situation in Kashmir. These were the times when Indian citizens, required an Entry Permit (VISA) to visit Indian administered part of Jammu and Kashmir.

Indian Government has committed a political vandalism on 5 August and a military aggression on 31 October 2019. People have remained under lock and key and cut off from the rest of the world. It is not only article 99 that envisages  your duty towards the people of Kashmir but  the 9 December 1991, General Assembly resolution 46/59; “Declaration on Fact-finding” in the Field of the Maintenance of International Peace and Security”, has further  strengthened the role of Secretary General. The Secretary General can start any activity designed to obtain detailed knowledge of the relevant facts of any dispute or threatening conflict, in which the competent UN Organs need effectively to exercise their functions pertaining to the, maintenance of international peace and security. He may bring any such matter to the attention of the Security Council.

Seven of your predecessors listed above have explicitly invoked the duties under article 99. “Declaration on Fact-finding” by the United Nations has strengthened this role since March 1991. I wish to quote UN Security Council record of 611th meeting held on 23 December 1952 and invite your attention to “a very grave offence”.

The representative of Netherlands addressing the 611th meeting of the UN Security Council on 23 December 1952, has said, “In obtaining the consent of the parties to have the final and deciding process, that of an impartial plebiscite, held under the offices of the United Nations, the Council has placed the authority of our world Organization at the service of both parties and at the service of the people of Jammu and Kashmir themselves. We believe that this in itself constitutes a guarantee of considerable value. The party that would dare to violate an agreement thus reached would load upon itself a very grave offence against the other party, against the United Nations, and against the right of the people of Jammu and Kashmir to self-determination, a right which, in other contexts, both parties have so often and so eloquently defended.” Para 28.

On 5 August and 31 October 2019 Government of India has “loaded upon itself a very grave offence against the other party (Pakistan), against the United Nations, and against the right of the people of Jammu and Kashmir to self-determination.” Netherlands has further added that, “So, when there is a difference of opinion on the question of the remaining military forces, let us not underestimate the significance of the fact that the authority of the Security Council has become a factor in the solution of this matter- unless an agreement can be found outside of the Council and that the auspices of the United Nations are involved.”

The two OHCHR reports on the Human Rights Situation in Jammu and Kashmir and your report of May 2019 on Children and Armed Conflict, warranted an urgent consideration of your role under article 99 and Under UN “Declaration on Fact-finding” in saving Kashmiris defined by UN as “Historic” and “People of Legend”, entitled to “Rights and Dignity” and “Security and Self-Determination.”  Maharaja of Kashmir was able to impose a curfew for 11 days in 1931, but the present Government of India led by Narendra Modi, has placed men, women, children, sick and elderly under the guard of over 900,000 soldiers.

The character, number and location of Indian forces in Kashmir, has been defined in UN Security Council resolutions. These forces do not have an occupational role. They were required, “for the maintenance of law and order and of the cease fire agreement, with due regard to the security of the State and the freedom of the plebiscite.” These forces are sub-ordinate to the local Government. As a supplement, these forces remain under seven restraints.

Secretary General has to address the Kashmir Case on the basis, that India has surrendered its Kashmir accession at the UN Security Council on 15 January 1948, for a UN supervised vote. The earlier arrangements from 27 October 1947 to 14 January 1948, changed on 15 January 1948. Authority of the Security Council has become a factor in the solution of this matter

UN Security Council has explained that “Security of the State”, would not be the exclusive responsibility of India. In respect of Resolution S/2839 Netherlands has argued that, “The draft resolution takes into account a difference in the basic positions of the two parties with regard to the State of Jammu and Kashmir. It recognizes a difference in the responsibility of the remaining forces on both sides of the cease-fire line when it refers to the principles and criteria contained in paragraph 7 of Mr. Graham’s, proposal of 4 September 1952. According to that paragraph, there shall be, on the Pakistan side, the minimum number of forces required for the maintenance of law and order and of the ceasefire agreement, with due regard to the freedom of the plebiscite; on the Indian side, in addition to these two criteria, the stipulation “with due regard to the security of the State” must be taken into account – although that does not mean that India has the exclusive responsibility in this respect.”

India has “loaded upon itself a very grave offence” and there is an urgent need for the UN to unfreeze the five out of the six elements (sixth being India), from inaction, frozen under UN Resolutions and allow them to structure a credible defence of the people of Kashmir. Or it is time that UN Security Council revisits Pakistan’s proposal to induct UN Forces into Kashmir. The proposal has been supported by Australia, Cuba, United Kingdom and United States of America. Thirdly, UN Security Council needs to move in and ensure to establish a “Provisional and Responsible” Government of Jammu and Kashmir, represented by all principal elements, to re-appoint the Plebiscite Administrator and consider the final disposal of Indian soldier, to ensure the freedom of Plebiscite.

Azad Kashmir Government (on the Pakistan side) established to discharge responsibilities under UNCIP Resolutions, has its berth in the UN supervised Government in Jammu and Kashmir (at Srinagar). Its forces (Azad Forces) need to be re-organised and the UN should assist the Azad Kashmir Government, to be able to build institutions and prepare for participation in holding the Plebiscite. Although Pakistan has taken on to help Azad Kashmir Government to discharge the responsibilities under UNCIP resolutions, it needs further support of all member states of the United Nations.

The second UN Secretary General Dag Hammarskjold visited Srinagar in March 1959. It is high time that the 9th UN Secretary General, António Guterres, should visit Srinagar and Muzaffarabad in March 2020. It would be in keeping with the traditions set by your predecessors. It is right time that the UN Secretary General invokes article 99 and UN “Declaration on Fact-finding”, in the interests of peace and self-determination.

INDIA 2020: ‘SUPERPOWER’ OR STILL ‘SUPER POOR’?

 

The hopes of India’s over 1.3 billion people were shattered after their country objectively failed to become the “superpower” that many of their leading “influencers” (read: propagandists) predicted it would be by 2020, with this finally being acknowledged by the popular Hindu nationalist Shiv Sena party last week after it did an about-face by pleading for Trump to reclassify their country as a “developing” one because it “is miles away from the status of developed countries on parameters like education, health, employment, cleanliness and poverty alleviation” and thus supposedly deserves to retain tariff-free access to the American market.

“Superpower 2020”?

Indians entered the current decade with bated breath, having been indoctrinated since shortly before the turn of the century with the completely false expectation that their country would finally become a “superpower” by 2020. They didn’t know exactly what this would mean in practice, but it sounded prestigious enough and was a welcome distraction from the abject poverty that marks many of their lives. After all, Prime Minister Modi told them last March that they were now a “space superpower” after successfully conducting an anti-satellite missile test. He then declared less than a month later ahead of the parliamentary elections in May of that year that only he could fulfill India’s “superpower” dreams. Then-BJP President Amit Shah seconded this statement shortly thereafter prior to it being reiterated by Modi’s Minister of State in September when he promised his people that India is on the “verge of being a superpower”. Once again, nobody ever really explained what being a “superpower” entailed, but the hyper-nationalist population wanted so desperately for the rest of the world to recognize them as one anyhow.

An Epic Disappointment Decades In The Making

That was why it was a disappointment of epic proportions for them that India entered 2020 without becoming the envy of the world like they falsely expected. The popular Indian online news site Scroll.in published a powerful piece at the time titled “India Superpower 2020: Tracing the brief history of a spectacularly incorrect prediction“, which touched upon the 1998 origin of the “superpower 2020” prediction and then explained its viral evolution across the proceeding years to the point where it basically became the country’s unofficial slogan over the last decade. Those who had earlier expressed their reservations about this unrealistic expectation were viciously attacked for being so-called “anti-nationals”, and if they weren’t Indian, then they were usually accused of “Hinduphobia”, but those defamatory abuses are no longer relevant after the influential Shiv Sena Hindu nationalist party publicly acknowledged that India isn’t even a “developed nation”, let alone anywhere near becoming a “superpower”.

The US Calls India’s “Superpower” Bluff

This was very important development because the organization contributes to framing the national narrative, meaning that Indians might never talk about being a “superpower” again, as if what Scroll.in described in their article as the nation’s “collective delusion” over the past two decades never happened at all. Shiv Sena didn’t suddenly switch their narrative from one of impending “superpower” status to that of India simply being yet another “super poor” “Global South” country no different from dozens of others just for sake of factual accuracy but because the nation stands to lose several billion dollars a year if it sticks to that debunked script. The US recently reclassified India as a “developed economy” ahead of Trump’s visit to the country later this month where he’s expected to sign major military and trade deals with America’s new strategic partner. Asia Times reported that this decision was made for technical reasons since India’s share of world trade was above the 0.5% threshold qualifying it for “developing economy” status, hence why nearly 2000 of its products are no longer eligible for the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) regime that had previously given $5.7 billion in imports to the US duty-free status in 2017, thus making it the largest beneficiary of this program.

$5 Billion In Economic Restrictions Got Shiv Sena To Switch Their Narrative

Shiv Sena, forgetting all about everything that it had said in the previous years about India’s supposedly imminent “superpower” status, furiously lashed out at the US last week by describing its move as “a big blow to our economy…a big crisis for India.” Walking back its entire narrative of India’s “miraculous growth” which had hitherto won it millions of devoted followers all across the country, the Hindu nationalist party repeated the same observations that the nation’s critics at home and abroad have been saying for years already, namely that “India is miles away from the status of developed countries on parameters like education, health, employment, cleanliness and poverty alleviation.” Evidently, speaking incessantly about India’s supposedly impending “superpower” status is useful for winning votes but becomes economically counterproductive the moment that the US acts like it believes that false narrative and then makes moves to eliminate the country’s preferential market access as a result. With $5.7 billion on the line, Shiv Sena had no choice but to tacitly admit that it and everyone else who had been celebrating India’s rise as a “superpower” were simply lying this whole time.

It’s No Longer “Hinduphobic” To Share Facts About India

There are some crucial lessons that other countries can learn from India’s humiliating experience, the most obvious of which is for political leaders to be more responsible when talking to the public about their country’s future status. Giving the largely impoverished masses unrealistically high expectations of global prestige using a never-defined slogan such as “superpower” is deceptive to the extreme and strongly suggests that they were deliberately manipulating their people for political purposes, likely to distract them from their dire economic situation with delusions of international grandeur. It’s all fun and games until the deadline for “superpower status” finally passed with a whimper and then the US took India at its word by restricting duty-free market access for $5.7 billion worth of its exports, thus dealing a heavy blow to some of its companies which were dependent on that regime in order to remain competitive. Shiv Sena is right, “India is miles away from the status of developed countries on parameters like education, health, employment, cleanliness and poverty alleviation”, but they were wrong for lying about that all this time, though at least those who repeat the party’s new rhetoric can finally speak freely without fear of being attacked as “anti-national” or “Hinduphobic”.


By Andrew Korybko
Source: One World

Indian action in Jammu and Kashmir and Option of Azad Kashmir Forces

By Dr. Syed Nazir Gilani

Source

Government of India has taken two main actions on 5 August and 31 October 2019 against the habitat and the people placed under her temporary administration. We seem to have overplayed (as a genuine concern) the action of 5 August 2019 of placing the people under curfew and disconnecting them from rest of the world and have missed the severity of the second action of 31 October 2019, when India dismembered the State into Union Territories, annexed them with the Union of India and decided to savage the politics, history, culture and demography of Kashmir for the first time in the last 174 years of the struggle of the people.

Curfews have remained a regular feature in the lives of the people. But the action of 31 October 2019, is unprecedented. India has turned her back on the work carried out under UNCIP resolutions of 13 August 1948, which laid down three stages in the settlement of the dispute: cessation of hostilities, organization of the truce by demilitarization of all the territories concerned, and organization of the plebiscite. It has turned her back on its bilateral and multi-lateral engagements with Pakistan, on the agreed solution of the right of self-determination of the people of Kashmir.

The issue is not the CURFEW but the DISMEMEBERMENT of the State and breaking the pledge made at the 242nd meeting of the Security Council held on 6 February 1948, when the Indian representative reiterated, “What India had said : was, Kashmir offered her accession at a time of peril to her, and we shall not hold her to this offer. We shall accept it now, but shall leave it to her and her people to change their minds and ask to withdraw from the accession to India and to accede to Pakistan or remain independent. If Kashmir does change her mind, then we commit ourselves to the position that we shall give our consent to her withdrawal from accession to India. That, in effect, is the position involved.”

The Government, its various departments, mainly the foreign office, Kashmir Committee, Parliament, Army and the people of Pakistan, have been addressing the loss of liberty and length of curfew. The second most important action of a ‘near war’ against people of Kashmir and Pakistan somehow has not received the due attention. It has not been explained to people at home and the United Nations, which continues to supervise the cease fire line since January 1949.

We have a response from the Government of Pakistan. Prime Minister of Pakistan has made a very strong case against the fascist agenda of RSS and has very ably stripped Modi nude of all his assumed ‘dignity’ as head of a democratic State. It has been done with method and deep passion as a leader. However, his two visits to Muzaffarabad and Mirpur and advice to Azad Kashmir Government and the Hurriet to sit with foreign office and come up with recommendations, may not be the perfect answer.

Azad Kashmir Government should have a plan, ever ready, for any such situations. If not it has to burn mid-night oil for an emergency plan. In addition Hurriet in Pakistan does not represent the character and style, listed in the Hurriet Constitution adopted on 31 July 1993. It was a united alliance at one point and had brought India on her knees. Unfortunately, it did not have any arrangement for any expert and non-party inputs at any point in its history. All Hurriet representatives in Pakistan have remained engaged in the struggle in one form or the other, but all of them may not be tailored to come up with an answer to the challenge. Hurriet Pakistan chapter has the Hurriet Constitution as a guide and would need to reach out to experts, Kashmiri and non-Kashmiri, living in Azad Kashmir, Pakistan and all over the world for a counter strategy.

It is a good advice and the constituent elements in the struggle and the experts shall have to keep on engagement and structuring a policy. But we may still be holding the lamp upside down. We shall have to revert back to remedial measures approved at the United Nations. The UN Security Council involvement of August 2019 and January 2020, is a good beginning.

We need to revert back to UN Security Council and seek remedies as provided under the UN Package on Kashmir and UN Security Council Resolutions on Kashmir. Government of Pakistan shall have to inform the United Nations that Government of Azad Kashmir, has decided to re-organise the Azad Kashmir Forces, which according to Indian statement made at the 234th meeting of UN Security Council held on 23 January 1948, were 65,000 soldiers and according to the statement made by Pakistan at the 235th meeting of the Security Council held on 24 January 1948 were between 60,000 to 70,000 in number. These soldiers had fought on the side of the United Nations during the war.

United Nations Security Council has been told during the 610th meeting held on 23 December 1952, that, “30,000Azad Kashmir Forces, were fully armed, equipped and trained.” Today Azad Kashmir Forces should be enough to neutralise Indian number in Kashmir. Azad Kashmir Forces had recruited even foreign nationals in their fold. Mr. Haight an ex sergeant of the United States of America, was recruited in these forces, and he rose to the rank of a brigadier general under the Azad Kashmir, Government. In addition 400,000 ‘Maliks’ were ready from northern territories to rush to help the civilians in Jammu and Kashmir, against the repression of Maharaja Forces and occupation by Indian forces.

Azad Kashmir Forces and these Maliks were frozen into a non-action by the UN Resolutions on Kashmir. And if India backs out of the arrangements agreed at the UN Security Council, Azad Kashmir Forces, Maliks and five out of six other elements identified by the United Kingdom at the UN Security Council would be free to organise themselves, as a military force against the Indian action of 31 October 2019. Government of Pakistan would not be in a position, to strip the people of Jammu and Kashmir, of this credible source of defence against Indian military invasion.

It is important to point out that Government of India has accepted the legitimacy of Azad Kashmir Forces at the 608th meeting of the UN Security Council held on 8 December 1952. It has said, “India is prepared to the retention in this area (Azad Kashmir) by the Azad authorities of a civil armed force.” Since India has reneged on her military character and arrangement in Kashmir, Azad Kashmir Forces are free to mount an offensive against Indian forces currently occupying the habitat. Government of Pakistan should find itself free of all restraints and consider appropriate military action directly or by supporting the Azad Kashmir Forces.

According to Document III submitted by the Government of Pakistan at the UN Security Council as “Particulars of Pakistan’s Case” in reply to Indian petition to UN on the question of Kashmir, Pakistan has admitted that 65,000 soldiers from Poonch (Azad Kashmir) fought for the United Nations during the II World War. Pakistan has stated “The Azad Kashmir forces are almost wholly composed of the sons of the soil, and even foreign observers have testified that, wherever they have gone, they have been welcomed as forces of liberation. We are ready to exercise aIl our influence on the Azad Kashmir forces to stop fighting and to see that any tribesmen with them are not only stopped from fighting, but are made to leave Kashmir. These tribesmen, it should be remembered, are the kith and kin of those for whom they are fighting.” The 31 October 2019 action by India, sets Pakistan free of all its pledges of restraint on Azad Kashmir Forces.

Government of India has reneged on her statement made at the 533 meeting of UN Security Council held on 1 March 1951, informing the United Nations, that “Para31.In connexion with the last recommendation I may mention that India has already reduced its forces by 20 to 25 percent, without waiting for any corresponding reduction by Pakistan. May I point out that under the resolutions of the United Nations Commission for India and Pakistan adopted in August 1948 and January1949, which both parties accepted, it was for Pakistan to begin to withdraw its army first and only thereafter was India to begin to reduce its own forces. Nevertheless, as l have said India has begun the process without waiting for Pakistan, and India is prepared to continue the process if Pakistan, on its part, will withdraw its army from the State.”Pakistan has to help Azad Kashmir in re-organizing Azad Forces and inform the UN Security Council accordingly.

Indian troops intensify CASOs in IOK

Source

Lockdown continues on 195th day

Srinagar, February 15 (KMS): In occupied Kashmir, Indian troops have intensified cordon and search operations to harass and intimidate the masses for showing resistance to its illegal hold on the territory.

The troops in the cordon and search operations in Srinagar, Badgam, Islamabad, Pulwama and other areas have arrested several youth during last few days. The residents told media that the troops have made their lives a hell. They said the forces’ personnel barge into the houses, harass the inmates and ransack household goods.

The people of the Kashmir Valley continued to face tremendous hardships due to unrelenting military lockdown and suspension of broadband and high speed mobile internet on 195th consecutive day, today.

Meanwhile, the All Parties Hurriyat Conference sources have said that the occupation authorities have increased the deployment of Indian troops and police personnel around the residence of the ailing Hurriyat Chairman, Syed Ali Gilani, in Hyderpora area of Srinagar. The sources said that the police and troops were not allowing people to visit the veteran leader and even preventing his family members to enter or leave the house. The Secretary General of Washington-based World Kashmir Awareness Forum, Dr Ghulam Nabi Fai, and the Convener of APHC-AJK chapter, Syed Abdullah Gilani, in their statements appealed to the Kashmiris in general and Muslims in particular to pray for the early recovery of Syed Ali Gilani.

The occupation authorities booked former officer of Indian Administrative Service and Kashmiri politician, Shah Faesal, under draconian law, Public Safety Act. Shah Faesal has been under detention since August 14, last year.

Kashmir Tehreek-e-Khawateen in a statement in Srinagar strongly condemned the cold-blooded murder of prominent leader of Kashmir freedom struggle, Abdul Ghani Dar alias Abdullah Ghazali. Ghazali was found dead in a mosque in Maisuma area of Srinagar and locals said that his assassination was the handiwork of Indian intelligence agencies.

Senior Hurriyat leader, Ghulam Muhammad Khan Sopori, addressing a gathering in Sopore and the Chairman of Jammu and Kashmir Peoples Freedom League, Muhammad Farooq Rehmani, in a statement issued in Islamabad paid rich tributes to noted freedom leader, Ghulam Muhammad Bulla, on his martyrdom anniversary, today. Ghulam Muhammad Bulla was arrested by Indian police and killed in custody on this day in 1975 for leading a protest rally in Sopore against Indra-Abdullah Accord.

The Delhi-based foreign envoys, who visited occupied Kashmir, have urged the Indian government to swiftly lift the restrictions on communications still imposed in the territory. Virginie Battu-Henriksson, European Union Spokesperson for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, told media that the EU would want to see the swift lifting of restrictions on communications in the territory.

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