Swallowing the Sun & Dispossessed India


Adeel Mukhtar Mirza

Indian occupation forces have crossed all red-lines in Jammu & Kashmir (J&K), as far as human rights are concerned. The list of Indian atrocities is getting longer with each passing day, throwing all ethics to the wind. The latest victim of Indian paramilitary forces’ brutality is Bashir Ahmed Khan, a civilian who was dragged out of his vehicle and shot down in front of his three-year old grand-son. Widely shared on social media, the image is extremely disturbing – toddler is sitting on the chest of his dead grand-father. No only it shows India’s true heinous face, usually covered in the slogans of being largest democracy, the image also divulges helplessness of Kashmiris who are now used to seeing dead bodies of their relatives, not to mention the dread inaction as well as inability of international community to stop India.

In its bi-annual report covering the events from January 1 to June 30, the Jammu and Kashmir Coalition of Civil Society (JKCCS) said that “the region witnessed the extrajudicial executions of at least 32 civilians and the killing of 54 armed forces personnel… It also saw 55 internet shutdowns and the destruction of 48 structures… three children and two women were also killed, while at least 107 cordon and search operations and cordon and destroy operations were conducted in the region.” The report also adds that “vandalism and destruction of civilian properties were reported.” Kashmiri media has also been muzzled through harassment and intimidation.

As per the report, “besides physical assaults, a few Kashmir-based journalists were also booked under stringent charges and cases were filed against them… the police filed cases against two Kashmiri journalists under the Unlawful Activities Act, which clearly infringes on the right to freedom of expression and freedom of the press as such tactics signal a forewarning for media personnel to adhere to the state narrative.” Moreover, after the massive protest because of Indian abrogation of Article 370, the internet services have also been banned since August 05, 2019; internet was totally blocked 55 times. Most worryingly, a new media policy is also introduced that would enable India “decide what is “fake,” “unethical” or “anti-national” news and take legal action against the journalist or media organisation concerned, including sharing information with security agencies.”

Furthermore, India is trying to bring demographic change in Indian occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IOJK), which is a clear violation of 4th Geneva Convention. According to JKCCS report, “the new domicile law could permanently alter the demography of the disputed region.” The report also touched upon the India’s poor handling of Corona Virus Disease (Covid-19) in IOJK, where “many doctors in the region have been harassed and beaten by government forces while performing their duties.”

For how long this brutal oppressive setup will last? Will the international community’s response be same if such human rights abuses would have happened in any other corner of the world? No Sir! International media would have been on fire, chanting the slogan of human rights. Where are they now when an innocent three-year old child is being subjected to brutal violence. Perhaps Kashmir and Palestine are invisible to them or these are not of this hypocrite world.

Still, justice must be done; those involved in this atrocious act of violence should be punished. But again, can justice be dispensed in an occupied territory? According to rights groups, “over 30 civilians have been killed in Indian military operations in IHK since January.” According to another report released by United Nations (UN) Secretary General António Guterres asked “India to do more to protect children from violence in the disputed region, while adding that minors had been detained by Indian security forces in IOJK.”

There is a need to do much more than just giving statements to put an end to New Delhi’s frustration to dampen Kashmiris’ desire for freedom. Pakistan, on its part, strongly condemns state terrorism in IOJK. "Pakistan strongly condemns the unabated extrajudicial killings of Kashmiri youth in acts of state terrorism perpetrated by Indian occupation forces in Indian occupied Jammu and Kashmir,” FO Spokesperson Aisha Farooqui said in a statement. And Pakistan will continue to support Kashmiris’ freedom struggle. It is when we finally realize th