Liberate Kashmir, now

It is a clarion call to the conscience of the world to acknowledge that a nation is reeling under a brutal regime

October 27, 2021

Seven decades of struggle in Occupied Kashmir has turned it into a litmus case of judging civil and human rights. The world community is gradually rising to the occasion, and the right to self-determination now stands more espoused than ever. As Kashmiris commemorate Black Day today to mark the excesses, bloodshed and occupation of their land way back on October 27, 1947, by India; they seem to be more committed than ever in realising their birth right of freedom and emancipation. With the gravity of the situation turning worse after the unilateral unconstitutional measures of August 5, 2019, through which New Delhi abrogated the special status of the Muslim-majority state, Kashmiris are now facing extermination under an orchestrated policy of state terrorism.

The good point, however, is that the United Nations, the House of Commons, the European Union and respective parliaments worldwide in recent years have documented the excesses, and called for lifting the siege in the occupied state. This is no small achievement. It is a clarion call to the conscience of the world community to acknowledge that a nation is reeling under a brutal regime, and something out of the box is in need of being done. At the same time, there is no dearth of civil voices in India that have rallied for Kashmir, notwithstanding a Hindutva-driven policy of otherness by New Delhi.

Kashmiris are loitering in pain and anguish, and during the last two years 4.2 million people from India have been illegally granted domicile of Kashmir, and 90 per cent of its landmass has been grabbed by settlers. This is cultural and psychological genocide. Likewise, the Valley’s demography is being altered under a vicious agenda, as India has come out with a zero-tolerance policy for dissent. This is why Pakistan has been endlessly campaigning to highlight the cause at political and diplomatic levels. The need of the hour is to ensure robust coordination at all levels to disseminate the struggle and sufferings in its true perspective. The struggle is on the modus operandi of Palestinians, and has all the hallmarks of endurance and empathy. It’s high time for the world to stand by it in all generosity under the canons of law and justice, as an unarmed community is facing one of the most lethal armies of the world.

This year the Kashmir Black Day is being observed in a changed environment when the region is ripe with geo-economics vibes. Pakistan’s civil and military leadership has time and again offered olive branches to India to get back to the table for talks, by assuring that resolution of the longstanding Kashmir dispute is the key to tranquility and progression. The onus is on India to reciprocate in all sincerity, and scale down the excesses on Kashmiris as they get talking. Today, nonetheless, is the day to remind India by Pakistan and the Kashmiris that as a confidence building measure, New Delhi must rescind its August 5, 2019, draconian measures and lift the siege on a hapless community. This is what the struggle is all about to free a nation of 10 million from the yoke of neo-imperialism.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 27th, 2021.

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