Human rights are based on the ‘respect for the individual’. Fundamental assumption of human rights is that each person is a moral and rational being who deserves to be treated with dignity. They are called human rights because they are universal – these are the rights to which everyone is entitled – no matter whom they are or where they live – or even from which race they belong – simply because they are alive.
According to above international standard aren’t Kashmir human or they don’t possess any human right? Why don’t human rights organizations consider it or simply they don’t consider Kashmiri people human being?
Before proceeding further let Me put light on Kashmir and Kashmir conflict. Briefly Kashmir conflict arises from the partition of Sub-Continent in 1947 into India and Pakistan. Both countries have made claims to Kashmir based on historical developments and religious affiliation of Kashmiri people. At the time of independence, Viceroy Lord Mountbatten of Burma urged the Maharaj Hari Singh (Ruler of Kashmir at that time) to determine the future of his state but before the transfer took place, Hari Singh demurred. In October 1947, incursions and counter-incursions by India took place leading to a war, as result of which the state of Jammu and Kashmir remains divided between the two countries.
Attempts to resolve the dispute through political discussions were unsuccessful. In September 1965, war broke out again between Pakistan and India because of Indian violations. The United Nations called for a yet another cease-fire and peace was restored again following the Tashkent Declaration in 1966 by which both nations returned to their original positions along the demarcate line. After the 1971 war under the terms of the 1972 Shimla Agreement between Prime Minister Indra Gandhi of India and Zulifqar Ali Bhutto of Pakistan. It was agreed that neither country would seek to alter the cease-fire line in Kashmir which was renamed as the ‘Line of Control’, unilaterally, irrespective of mutual differences and legal interpretations.
Numerous violations of the Line of Control have occurred including the infamous incursions by insurgents and Indian armed forces at Kargil leading to Kargil War.
India believes that the insurgency and terrorism in Kashmir is deliberately being fueled by Pakistan to create instability in the region. If truth be told disputed region are based on the rejection of Indian claims to Kashmir, namely the Instrument of Accession. Indian forces were in Kashmir before the Instrument of Accession was signed with India and that therefore Indian troops were in Kashmir in violation of Standstill agreement.
From 1990-1999 some organization report that Indian armed forces, its paramilitary groups and counter insurgents militants have been responsible for the deaths of 4501 Kashmiri civilians and records of 4242 women between the ages of 7-70 that have been raped.
Popular Kashmiri insurgency demonstrates that Kashmiri people no longer wish to remain with India. It means that either Kashmir wants to be with Pakistan or independent. Here we examine the population of Kashmir and percentage of Muslim and Hindu community. In Kashmir valley total population is 6 Million and 95% are Muslims, whereas in Jammu and Ladakh total population is 5 million and 80% are Muslims. According to the Two-Nation theory which is one of the theories that is cited for the partition that created Pakistan and India, Kashmir should have been with Pakistan because it has a Muslim majority.
India has shown disregard to the resolutions of the UN Security Council and the United Nation Commission in Pakistan and India by failing to a hold a plebiscite to determine the future allegiance of the entire state.
The Kashmiri people have now been forced by the circumstances to rise against the alleged repression of the Indian army and uphold their right of self-determination through militancy. Recent protests in Indian administrated Kashmir show a large number of people showing increased anger over Indian rule with massive rallies taking place to oppose Indian control of the state.
Wide spread use of extrajudicial killings in Indian administrated Kashmir carried out by Indian security forces while claiming they are caught up in encounters with militants. These fake encounters are common place in Indian administrated Kashmir according to following non-human, unethical, anarchic laws enforced in Jammu and Kashmir.
1. TADA (Terrorist and Disruptive Activities Act)
Under this law a confession before a police officer even though being given under torture is admissible as evidence in court.
2. POTA (Prevention of Terrorist Activities Act)
According to this law detention of a suspect for up to 180 days without the filing of charges in court is permitted. It also allows law enforcement agencies to withhold the identities of witness and treat a confession made to police as an admission of crime. Under any regular law, a person can deny such enforced confession in court but not under POTA.
3. AFSPA (Armed Force Special Power Act)
Under this act an armed force officer has powers to fire upon, even to the causing of death against any person who he think is acting contravention of any law against assembly of five or more people. According to this law an army officer has power to arrest anyone without a warrant and to enter and search any premise in order to make such arrests.
AFSPA is employed in Jammu and Kashmir since 1990.
I want to question all international organizations for human rights about above mentioned laws. Don’t they breach contemporary international human right standards? Why all human right organizations are still inactive and sitting idle on such a serious issue. Why these brutal actions by Indian armed forces entice world’s attention? For what Kashmiri people are being punished for 63 years. Are they being punished for being humans or for being Kashmiri? A big question mark for all human rights organizations.