Gupkar Declaration and challenges ahead in Kashmir

By Dr. Syed Nazir Gilani

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It is for the first time in the history of Kashmir that all main pro-India political parties had a premonition that India might commit aggression against the people of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh. They decided to meet at the Gupkar Residence of Dr. Farooq Abdullah, President Jammu Kashmir National Conference (JKNC) on 4 August 2019 to “deliberate upon the prevailing political situation, triggered by massive deployment of security forces, advisories issued, abandonment of Amarnath Yatra midway and forced removal of tourists from the Valley.” The meeting was attended by 18 leaders from 7 political parties, namely NC, PDP, JKPC, Congress, CPIM, PUF and ANC. The two members of Parliament elected from NC also attended the meeting. After deliberations the parties adopted a “Gupkar Declaration”, which carried the following three demands:

  1. “That all the parties would be united in their resolve to protect and defend identity, autonomy and special status of the JK State against all attacks and onslaughts whatsoever
  2. The modification, abrogation of articles 35A, 370, trifurcation of the State or unconstitutional delimitation would be an aggression against the people of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh.
  3. That the parties participating in the meeting resolved to seek audience with the President and Prime Minister of India and the leaders of other political parties to apprise them of the current situation and make an appeal to them to safeguard the legitimate interests of the people of State with regard to constitutional guarantees given to the State under the constitution of our country

They will also apprise them of the unwholesome consequences bound to follow the unconstitutional violation, if any, of these guarantees

The representatives of the political parties resolved to remain together and stand united in their struggle for safeguarding the identity, autonomy and special status of the State.”

Indian government as anticipated in item 2 of the Gupkar Declaration, committed an “aggression against the people of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh” and placed leaders under detention and the State under curfew – longest ever witnessed in the history of Kashmir. Gupkar Declaration is a new political dissent against Indian control. It is for the first time that pro-India leadership, which has served Indian interest and co-operated with New Delhi, to control the popular dissent through punishment, has tasted punishment and loss of liberty.

National Conference President Dr. Farooq Abdullah and Awami National Conference Vice President Muzaffar Shah have just been released. Others remain detained under the draconian laws which they used to enforce against other Hurriet and non-Hurriet leaders and militants.

The new alliance created under Gupkar Declaration, has resolved “to remain together and stand united in their struggle for safeguarding the identity, autonomy and special status of the State.” Hurriyet and the militant leadership are fighting for an enlarged cause, broader than “identity, autonomy and special status of the State”, that is, for a UN supervised Plebiscite, to determine the right of self-determination of all people of the State.

Gupkar Declaration is a resolve to seek the ‘internal self-determination’, while as Hurriyet Constitution and the armed struggle, add to internal self-determination, the second component of external self-determination as well. It would be helpful if Hurriyet and other non-Hurriyet leadership backs up the Gupkar Declaration, or remains decently favourable to the understanding scripted in item 2, which explains and warns India against committing an ‘aggression’.

Government of India has committed an aggression as envisaged in item 2 of Gupkar Declaration. Let us encourage and assist the seven political parties in their resolve made in the Declaration. The internal self-determination could easily be roller skated into achieving the external self-determination, by ensuring that India and Pakistan return to UN template to conduct a free, fair, impartial and a secure Plebiscite.

Gupkar Declaration was adopted on 4 August 2019. On 5 August and 31 October 2019 Government of India has done all those sinister and unlawful things that the Declaration had cautioned it not to do. We have described the “aggression” as a re-occupation of the part of the State which is not a part of India. The people distributed under three administrations on both sides of the cease fire line have a title to self-determination.

Participants of Gupkar Declaration, have to live up to their resolve and make a full-fledged united effort to vacate the Indian aggression. They need to be referred and reminded of UN Security Council Resolution of 30 March 1951, which interprets the character of their competence. These people represent or are elected from only a part of the State territory and therefore, suffer from a legal infirmity in their representative character. They do not represent the other two administrations of Azad Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan and the Diaspora.

There is no issue with Gupkar Declaration as long as it keeps its resolve to undo the Indian aggression. The issue would be, if these leaders are beguiled and repeat the mistakes made in the past and attempt to hurt the UN template to determine the future of the people of Kashmir. Important of all factors, is the resolve that these seven parties remain together and stand united in their ‘interim’ “struggle for safeguarding the identity, autonomy and special status of the State.”

Although Delhi has perfected the art of deceit in dealing with the people in its administered part of Kashmir, it does not have the sagacity, wisdom and political prudence, to fail or override the combined strength of Dr. Farooq Abdullah, Mehbooba Mufti, Muzaffar Hussain Beg, Abdul Rehman Veeri, Muzaffar Shah, Sajjad Ghani Lone, Imran Reza Ansari, Abdul Ghani Vakeel, Taj Mohiuddin, M Y Tarigami, Omar Abdullah, Justice Hassnain Masoodi, Mohammad Akbar Lone, Ali Mohammad Sagar, Nasir Sogami, Shah Faisal, Uzair Ronga, Suhail Bukhari and others. Indian actions of 5 August and 31 October 2019, have revealed the many layered onion like character of Indian politics, more so, the Hindutva face.

Signatories of Gupkar Declaration should emancipate themselves from party prejudices, and listen to Farooq Abdullah’s call for unity. If these leaders fail to each other and betray the people of Kashmir, history would always abhor any reference to them and their children and grandchildren would be misfits in the habitat of Kashmir.

The best starting point would be to examine the terms under which Indian forces were granted a temporary admission into Kashmir. These forces are sub-ordinate and a supplement to the State authorities. It is open to State administration to terminate the terms of admission and have a Kashmir free of Indian army.

Indian army is not a prevailing army and has outlived its purpose and overdone itself by violating all the seven restraints placed on it. There is no danger that Pakistan would invade Kashmir. The cease fire is monitored by the UNMOGIP and Pakistan has agreed to respect the dignity and credibility of a cease fire line, until the people of the State take part in UN supervised vote. Indian army has been acting outside an agreed discipline and it makes it an occupation force.
The second step should be to examine the manner in which Prime Minister of Kashmir, Bakhshi Ghulam Mohammad rescinded the Entry Permit (VISA) requirement, for an Indian citizen to enter into the State on 31 March 1959. He was elected from only a part of the State and could not rescind the requirement like that. He did it soon after the UN Secretary General returned from his two day visit of Srinagar from 20-22 March 1959. Entry Permit law needs to be reinstated in the interests of the ‘identity, autonomy and special status of the JK State.”

The third step should be asking India and Pakistan to allow an independent international commission as recommended by UN June 2018 and July 2019 reports to see the human rights situation on both sides of cease fire line. Indian aggression and re-occupation has provided an opportunity to all the leaders to reclaim their Kashmiriat and reclaim their soul from the LUCIFER.
The author is President of London based Jammu and Kashmir Council for Human Rights – NGO in Special Consultative Status with the United Nations.

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.

Thousands attend funeral of martyred youth in IOK

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Troops launch massive cordon and search operations

Srinagar, March 14 (KMS): In occupied Kashmir, despite restrictions, thousands of people attended the funeral prayers of martyred youth, Mudassir Ahmed Butt, in Shutloo area of Baramulla district.

Mudassir Ahmed Butt, who was a Hafiz-e-Quran and used to lead prayers at a mosque in Sopore, was martyred by Indian troops during a cordon and search operation in Shutloo, yesterday.

People including women from adjacent villages raising pro-freedom, pro-Pakistan and anti-India slogans poured in to have a last glimpse of the martyred Imam at Shutloo. The mourners took the body of Mudassir Ahmed Butt to the martyrs’ graveyard and laid him to rest amid sobs and tears. Normal life remains crippled due to the shutdown in several areas in protest against the killing of Mudassir.

The Chairman of Jammu and Kashmir Social Youth Forum, Umar Aadil Dar, and the General Secretary of Jammu and Kashmir Islami Tanzeem-e-Azadi, Sheikh Abrar Ahmed, in their statements issued in Srinagar paid glowing tributes to the martyred youth. They said that the people of Kashmir were sacrificing their precious lives for a sacred cause of freedom and their struggle was destined to succeed.

Meanwhile, Indian troops, today, launched cordon and search operations in different areas of Islamabad, Kulgam and Pulwama districts of south Kashmir, causing huge inconvenience to the locals.

The sleuths of India’s National Investigation Agency arrested a fruit merchant, Ghulam Muhammad Mir, after raiding his house in Palpora Pattan area of Baramulla district.

The family members of Kashmiri political detainees languishing in different jails have expressed concern about the health and safety of the inmates in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak that has gripped the entire world. The family members in their interviews demanded immediate release of the Kashmiri prisoners. Renowned Kashmiri human rights defender, Parvaiz Imroz, said that the current scenario might take a toll on the mental health of the detainees.

A 22-year-old Kashmiri student was found dead under mysterious circumstances at a university in the Indian city of Hyderabad. The deceased identified as Asrar Bashir, a resident of Achahipora locality of Islamabad town, was a B-Tech 6th semester student at Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University in Hyderabad.

On the other hand, the Jammu and Kashmir Pir Panjal Civil Society arranged an important meeting of the Jammu refugees with overseas Kashmiris in Gujranwala. The speakers on the occasion highlighted the prevailing situation in occupied Kashmir and apprised the participants of the plight of the people of the occupied territory.

Indian troops intensify CASOs in IOK

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Harassment of juournalists denounced

Srinagar, March 07 (KMS): In occupied Kashmir, Indian troops have intensified cordon and search operations across the territory to suppress the Kashmiris’ freedom movement and to stop them from raising voice against the recent anti-Kashmir moves of the Modi government.

The troops and sleuths of National Investigation Agency have arrested several youth during military operations and house raids in Srinagar, Badgam, Islamabad, Pulwama, Baramulla, Kupwara, Kishtwar, Doda, Bhaderwah, Rajouri and other areas. The main objective behind these operations is to create a sense of fear among the masses. The residents of these areas told media that the troops barge into their houses, thrash the inmates and vandalize their properties. The NIA alone has arrested four people including a woman and her father from Srinagar and Pulwama areas during the last few days.

Meanwhile, the residents of Kashmir Valley continued to face severe hardships due to unrelenting military siege on 216th consecutive day, today.

The Kashmir Press Club in a statement issued in Srinagar strongly condemned the harassment of two photojournalists by Indian police in Pulwama district. Two cameramen, Qayoom Khan and Qaisar Mir, were stopped by the police when they were covering a raid by the NIA in Hakripora area of the district. The police also snatched away their cameras and mobile phones and returned the same after several hours. Qaisar Mir said that he was used as a human shield by the troops during a cordon and search operation at Babgund in Pulwama on 29th February.

The Jammu and Kashmir Islami Tanzeem Azadi in a statement issued in Srinagar urged India to realize the ground reality, give up its intransigence on the Kashmir dispute and come to the negotiation table to settle it through peaceful means.

On the other hand, one civilian was killed and another injured when an unknown person lobbed a grenade towards a bunker of Indian paramilitary Central Reserve Police Force at Maharaj Gunj in Srinagar. Unidentified gunmen shot dead a youth in Tral area of Pulwama.

In Geneva, Kashmiri representative, Syed Faiz Naqshbandi, addressing the 43rd session of the UN Human Rights Council said that the Modi government’s unilateral illegal decision to repeal Kashmir’s special status on 5th August, 2019, was against the UN resolutions and international law. He said that the Kashmir dispute should be resolved in accordance with the relevant UN resolutions on the subject.

Thousands of people held protest rallies in Kabul and Herat cities of Afghanistan and in Bangladeshi capital Dhaka against the state-sponsored brutalities being committed against Muslims in India and occupied Kashmir.

Thousands of women killed, molested by Indian troops in IOK since Jan 1989

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Islamabad, March 08 (KMS): As the world is observing the International Women’s Day, today, the miseries and victimization of the Kashmiri women at the hands of Indian troops and police personnel continue unabated in occupied Kashmir.

According to a report released by the Research Section of Kashmir Media Service on the occasion of the International Women’s Day, today, thousands of women are among 95,507 Kashmiris, martyred by Indian military, paramilitary and police personnel since January 1989 till date. At least 671 women have been martyred by Indian troops since January 2001 till date.

The report pointed out that the unabated Indian state terrorism rendered 22,912 women widowed. The Indian forces’ personnel molested 11,179 women including the victims of Kununposhpora mass rape and Shopian double-rape-and murder of 17-year-old Aasiya Jan and her sister-in-law Neelofar Jan. An eight-year girl, Aasifa Bano, of Kathua, was abducted, gang-raped and subsequently murdered by Indian police personnel, in January 2018.

The report said that thousands of women lost their sons, husbands, fathers and brothers in the occupied territory who were subjected to custodial disappearance by India troops. As per the Association of Parents of Disappeared Persons, more than 8,000 Kashmiris went missing in custody during the past 31 years, the report added.

The report revealed that thousands of school boys 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, Ulfat Hameed (17), Insha Mushtaq, Ifrah Shakoor (17), Shakeela Bano, Tammana (11), Shabroza Mir (16), Shakeela Begum(35) and Rafia Bano (31)were blinded.

The report said that near a dozen women including Hurriyat leaders, Aasiya Andrabi, Fehmeeda Sofi, Naheeda Nasreen and Insha Tariq Shah (23) were facing illegal detention inside Kashmir jails and in infamous Tihar Jail in India. They are being victimized only for representing the Kashmiri people’s righteous demand and aspirations.

The report further pointed out that womenfolk are majority of the Kashmiris suffering from multiple psychic problems.

The women whom these disappeared men leave behind are referred to as “half-widows,” reflecting their uncertain status between wifehood and widowhood.

Many mothers are waiting for their disappeared sons while widows and half-widows are in pain since decades in occupied territory.

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.

 

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.

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