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Kashmir’s Struggle

New Delhi’s perpetual denial of the right to self-determination of Kashmiris should be a cause of concern for the international community. Unrelenting crimes by Indian forces in the illegally occupied part of Kashmir have been going on for decades, but for the past couple of years they have soared to new proportions. The continuing oppression has further intensified the desire for independence among the Kashmiri people who have refused to accept the Indian occupation. Human rights violations have targeted innocent Kashmiris including women and children. India has blatantly stripped the occupied territory of its special status and by doing so has triggered a new wave of demonstrations and protests across the occupied territory. No liberation struggle can be crushed by brute forces as the Indian forces are using. The use of tear gas and batons by police in Srinagar to stop a Muharram procession in the city on the 8th day of one of the holiest months on the Muslim calendar exemplifies the kind of oppression and discrimination continuing in Kashmir. Such incidents have become almost a norm since August 2019.

The UN resolutions call for holding of a plebiscite but India has been consistently not abiding by the UN resolution. As the valley of Kashmir burns, the world must take notice of the Indian atrocities in this region. The fundamental right to self-determination is an inalienable right of all people across the globe. No country can keep unwilling people under its fold if a majority of them do not want to remain in that country. The world appears to be following a double standard in this matter by not forcing India to hold a plebiscite as stipulated in the UN resolutions.

There is significant unrest in Occupied Kashmir and the world must fulfil its obligations in accordance with the desires of the Kashmiri people and in compliance with the UN resolutions. Mass detentions and killings of Kashmiris at the hands of Indian forces have not dampened the spirit of the people who aspire to nothing less than complete freedom from the Indian occupation. Putting people behind bars and using pellet guns to blind peaceful protesters has become a usual practice of Indian forces who have been unable to crush the demonstrations. Molestation of women and arson of civilian properties form a major weapon of repression in Kashmir. Now the BJP government has also started changing the demography of the territory under its occupation. India wants Kashmiris to surrender their right to decide their future status on their own free accord. The Hindutva-driven strategy of the BJP government must be taken note of by the international community which must offer its support to this liberation struggle.