FOREIGN MINISTER Shah Mahmood Qureshi has unveiled a dossier that lists in detail how New Delhi has been committing gross violations of human rights in India-held Kashmir. It claims that India has also been facilitating and sponsoring the international militant Islamic State group. Flanked by National Security Adviser Moeed Yusuf and Human Rights Minister Shireen Mazari, Mr Qureshi dilated upon the comprehensive findings contained in the dossier and demanded that the international community take notice of these abuses.
Of particular note is the evidence presented in the dossier along with the names of those Indian officials involved in perpetrating these crimes. These names include generals, brigadiers and colonels of the Indian army as well as other officials of various security agencies. The dossier also pinpoints the locations of camps that India has apparently established for the IS terror outfit. Pakistan had issued a similar evidence-based dossier last year which had spelt out the Indian state’s involvement in acts of terror inside Pakistan.
It is obvious that India’s ongoing brutal tactics to quell the freedom struggle in Kashmir are being documented in great detail. The evidence pointing to India’s sponsorship of IS is extremely disturbing — and yet perhaps not altogether surprising given New Delhi’s increasing reliance on violence in pursuit of its interests. Under the present BJP government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, state-sponsored brutality against the Kashmiri people as well as minorities in India has increased sharply. However, it is unfortunate that the international community has not expressed the outrage that these acts of state violence deserve. There is greater realisation among the community that Mr Modi’s India has become intolerant, dictatorial and dangerously majoritarian, but the reaction these traits should elicit has yet to materialise.
With Pakistan now providing substantive evidence of Indian state-sponsored violence and terrorism, it is high time that international organisations and world leaders sat up and took note. As the largest country in the region, India is injecting instability that can lead to unpredictable consequences. In fact, it may perhaps not be inaccurate to say that India has become the most potent factor for instability in the region and if it is not stopped from exporting violence across its borders, and fuelling it in the territory that it illegally occupies, then all stakeholders in the region could become a victim of its belligerence.
Pakistan has done well to proactively expose India’s actions. The foreign minister and the NSA should ensure that the dossier and its contents are not just shared with the international community, but also that policymakers in key capitals are convinced of the veracity of the evidence presented. This will require effective diplomacy and communication. Given the fragile regional situation, there is no time to waste. The press conference should be considered the start of a coordinated attempt in this direction. More evidence should continue to be shared.
Published in Dawn, September 14th, 2021