The curfew in Kashmir turned 50 days yesterday. The brutal siege laid on occupied Kashmir by hundreds of thousands of Indian troops that are armed to the teeth has rather galvanised the determined Kashmiris. Such is the resistance that New Delhi is still scared of lifting the restrictions it had imposed on August 5 while revoking the special status accorded to the occupied state. Even despite the oppressive curbs, there have been a total of 722 protests by Kashmiri men, women and children since the illegal annexation of the occupied state 50 days back — and that means nearly 15 protests a day. Media reports say that nearly 200 civilians and 415 security force members have been hurt in these protests. As many as 95 civilians have been injured only in the last two weeks, showing a spike in the resistance. More than 4,100 people, including 170 local political leaders, have been detained across the valley.
There was a likelihood of Prime Minister Narendra Modi easing the curbs, if not undoing them completely, before his ongoing US visit, but he could not dare do that, anticipating a likely eruption from the never-say-die Kashmiris. The wrath of the Kashmiris though chased down Modi in the US too. As the Indian prime minister shared the stage with President Donald Trump at a ‘Howdy, Modi!’ rally in Houston held on the sidelines of the ongoing UN General Assembly session, protesters gathered outside to raise their voice for residents of occupied Kashmir. Hundreds of people belonging to various ethnicities held an ‘anti-Modi demonstration’, inviting the world’s attention to the ‘racist Modi regime’ and its ongoing human- rights violations in the occupied territory.
Pakistan’s delegation in the US, led by Prime Minister Imran Khan, has so far done a good job drawing the world’s attention to Modi’s fascism in Kashmir at the various sideline events held so far. Prime Minister Imran’s address to the General Assembly on coming Friday will be the most important in the context. All eyes thus on the September 27 address.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 24th, 2019.
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