Kashmir: world conscience

September 18, 2019


IT is ironic that a country that attained freedom from British colonialism is today itself colonising autonomous territories using brutal force.

India has been criticised by international rights organisations for disproportionate use of force in Kashmir against stone-pelting unarmed civilians, including the use of deadly pellet guns which have caused permanent blindness to thousands of youth.

This is in addition to enforced disappearances and extrajudicial killings and privacy violation in the form of illegal and unannounced raids at home. At the moment, there is a strict curfew all across Kashmir, internet and phones are disconnected, elected representatives are either in police detention or under house arrest, public assembly is banned, and the region is off limits for the media.

The raw footage that was recently aired by some international media outlets revealed massive protests and violent police action, including firing and teargas shelling.

There is a slow and systematic ongoing genocide in Kashmir and the world is acting deaf and blind to this tragedy.

It is outrageous that the EU, UN, OIC and the self-proclaimed international policeman — the US — have not issued any statement of condemnation against this total disregard of international conventions and modern day imperialism.

It is a shame that trade and greed have desensitised foreign governments to such an extent that loss of human life and destruction of entire generations holds no value and meaning to them. This inaction of world powers and muted response from international rights bodies is dangerous because it not only sets a nasty precedent for other governments to crush entire populations and get away with awards and medals (recent awards to Modi), it makes the UN and other similar bodies like OIC irrelevant in the eyes of the oppressed.

Before it is too late, the UN, EU and OIC should pressure India to immediately stop ethnic cleansing of Kashmiris because the Kashmir conflict has the potential to spiral out of control and turn into a full-fledged Pakistan-India war.

It is hoped that sense will prevail and the international community will swiftly intervene to end the Kashmiris’ suffering.

Mirza Muhammad Ali Hossain

Published in Dawn, September 18th, 2019