“Kashmir burns”- bedewing in blood, a wounded paradise whose natural beauty perhaps unparalleled but grisly transmuting into a place littered with graveyards of thousands of innocent people due to brutality and oppression of Indian armed forces. Yet, the spirit of sacrifices sparked and a resplendent episode of resistance took another stride in aftermaths of the martyrdom of Burhan Wani.
Since June 2016, valley unlashed new chapter of protests outbreak, violence upsurge and internal political turmoil. So far, 670 violent incidents occurred in which 1466 innocent civilians were martyred, while thousands other maimed. The intensifying violence not only confined to occupied territory but Indian armed forces successively target the civilian population across the border along Line of Control (LoC), which caused massive humanitarian and financial loss. Evidently, the first-ever report on the assessment of human rights violations revealed by UNHCR broached shreds of evidence of genocidal massacres and massive human rights abuse and it also demands immediate inquiry of brutalities in IOK.
Indian ostensible claim of world’s largest democracy and profound secular state seems wobbling because it overtly refuses provision of basic human rights to Kashmiri people. Masses are victimized through imposing curfews, forbidding religious practices and cultural rituals. Furthermore banning print, electronic and social media services ensued further deprivation from basic necessities of life. Ironically, the hallmarks of Indian violence through human shielding, use of pellet guns and shotgun bullets, bloodshed and custodial killings, rapes, and molestation enforced disappearances and torturing fostered irreconcilable conundrums of perpetual peace and stability in the valley.
As a consequence, ardent strategic ploys by India over Kashmir issue holds a significant impact on the resolution of core dispute between two nuclear powers and it also becoming a devious drive in deteriorating regional security architecture. For instance, the use of military force to suppress the rights and voices of innocent Kashmiris have exposed and failed drastically over the years.
Delhi’s deceitful policy of propagating and pretexting rhetoric of “terrorism narrative” and false accusation of “Pakistan’s support of militancy” to justify their brutal militaristic actions in Kashmir, and discrediting and maligning Pakistan at international forums have deemed peaceful resolution of conflict. Pertinently, the Indian government is systematically working to change the demographic structure of Kashmir by initiating settlements of Hindus from other regions of India, which is paving the path to escalate conflicts between Muslims and Hindus in the valley.
As far as diplomatic belligerence is concerned, the inclusion of Hizbul Mujahideen’s leader Syed Salah Uddin in a list of global terrorist is the mirror image of Indian propaganda by the United States. Indian government and its lobbies have been trying hard to prove UNSC resolutions regarding Kashmir as extraneous and overtaken by time. Furthermore, numerous efforts were made to even remove the dispute from issues agenda list of UNSC and making Pakistan stance irrelevant in the Kashmir dispute. It has also made successive attempts to challenge the autonomy of United Nations Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP), by claiming that re-designing of the ceasefire line has made it outdated.
The current strategic policy of Delhi is an orientation of BJP’s oppressive ideological mindset towards Kashmir ensued impoverishment of Kashmiri generation through reduction of the capital income and employment, agricultural resources, abridged investment and of human resources.
The mishandling and incompetency of Delhi to pacify Kashmir issue reassuring the strength of uprising, which may induce catastrophic challenges to the social and political goals of India in the foreseeable future. For instance, the continued genocidal violence and oppression further empowered indigenous voices to gain freedom and spontaneously home-grown struggle is getting worldwide recognition. Instrumenting social media by Kashmiri people and other civil societies to raise their voices and express their reservations made the separatist movement, a revolution of every single individual all across the globe. Even though general masses in Kashmir were exhausted of gun culture due to its prolonged history but in the legitimation of armed militancy in educated and civil society of Kashmir.
Realistically, considering the current circumstances, conflict resolution through the impartial plebiscite as per the wishes of Kashmiri people seems far more difficult and complicated today than ever before. However, there are short and long terms measures through which the favourable environment can be created in order to manage conflict in foreseeable future. India can lower down from its absolute positioning narratives from zero-sum to positive-sum to address issues pertaining to freedom and liberty of rights of Kashmiri people. Furthermore, with immediate effect, it must stop cross border violation and abuses of human rights in the valley through strictly adhering to the agreements of ceasefire along the LoC to ensure the progression of perpetual peace.
International powers and communities have to play their active role in Kashmir issue to address the rights of Kashmiri people and sustainability of regional peace. In short term approach, Delhi has to take urgent measures to amend the Armed Forces Special Powers Acts (AFSPA) through instituting a broad-based investigation into extrajudicial killings and release of political prisoners must be assured at first hand. Furthermore, Truth Reconciliation Commission (TRC) must be set up to assist Kashmiris in prospects of justice and reconciliation. Delhi and Islamabad must initiate a result-oriented dialogue process with the leaders of Kashmir valley to address political concerns as promised in past.
The key features of constitutional article 370 had been removed, therefore, the Indian government must restore the original article and must adhere it in its letter and spirit. Peace in the valley cannot be restored until and unless the ruling elites in Delhi avoid nationalist baggage to resolve their domestic constraints. Therefore, must be dealt on political grounds rather connecting it to ideological symbolism.
Indeed, Kashmiris are fatigued of pellets, bullets, massacres and cannot protests forever, ultimately they will do a cost-benefit analysis and if the intensity of Indian atrocities remained same this resistance may return with greater ferocity and power and youth in Kashmir will defiantly follow the precedent of Burhan Wani. Thus all the stakeholders must realize the essence of the situation otherwise this protracted conflict may lead to a possible outbreak of the war of nuclear arsenals among two states causing irreparable loss and sufferings of humans and assets.
DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy and position of Regional Rapport.