Economic Implications of India’s Illegal Measures in Indian Occupied Kashmir

I attended a webinar on 4 th August 2022 arranged by the Pakistan embassy in Belgium and spoke on the above subject .

The illegal changes india has done in Kashmir , it has been doing for a long time which has now become more blatant & is what occupiers do & have done to strengthen their occupation which in turn has effected the economy for a long time before august 2019 and continues .

1. Control of land & Occupation

This has been done in different ways like acquiring land for various reasons on the name of development and security reasons . The J&K government when headed by Mehbooba Mufti admitted in the state assembly that during (2015-2018) more than 4.3 lakh kanals (53750 acres ) of land in J&K is under the illegal occupation of Indian army and other military forces stationed in the state. The Jammu Kashmir Coalition of Civil Society (JKCCS) indicates that the current deployment of regular Indian army and other forces in J&K is estimated to be over 700,000 personnel turning the region into the largest militarized deployment in the world, with one armed personnel for seventeen civilians. Also, there are studies that suggest presence of Indian troops, with a ratio of one soldier for every eight Kashmiris . Moreover, there has been an emergence of a new form of military, multilateral, and humanitarian occupations that reinforces institutionalized vehemence against occupied people .

The stationing of this colossal army has resulted in the land grab of diverse topographies, including forests, hills, glaciers, mountains, stream beds, paddy fields, and peripheries of lakes, in both urban and rural settings, thereby establishing permanent military structures. The exact figure of land under Indian armed forces in J&K may be even higher as huge chunks of the area remain illegally occupied, which was never officially demarcated, requisitioned, leased, mutated, or attained under the J&K Land Acquisition Act .

A classical example of land grab by the army is shown by the occupation of Tatoo grounds a 200 acres in the centre of the city and where a garrison is in place . The army took replacement of it in Shariefabad some two decades back but still occupies this place . Being an economic space the Kashmir Chamber was at the forefront for asking it back but inspite of agreement of the army in 2015 with the then mufti syed govt it still remains in occupation .

The JKCCS documents also show that the occupation is not limited to land only, but also includes 1,856 buildings, including 1,526 private buildings, 280 government buildings, 14 industrial units, give cinemas, and 28 hotels. The irony is that most of the owners of these establishments have not been paid rent and that whenever the military has paid rent, it is negligible compared to the real worth of the property under the occupation. The Public Commission on Human Rights in 2005 identified 46 schools and educational establishments occupied by armed forces .

Indian authorities have furthered the occupation by acquiring land through agencies such as the National Highway Authority of India, Indian Railways, and others in the name of improved connectivity and development. There have also been forcible land acquisitions for projects including highway and railways .

In a report by the Oakland Institute Research Team USA , in context of scrapping of the Article 370, the researchers call the investment could be a “Trojan horse for forcing the demographic composition of Kashmir” and adds that this move resembles to that of the “illegal Israeli settlements in Palestine’s West Bank”

The government of India is using occupation as a tool to disempower residents of Kashmir. As stated above, military rule has systematically furthered the land grab, making inhabitation hard for the locals and rendering the population dispossessed. In Kashmir almost every village at the entrance and exit there are army camps or drop gates even .

2. Hydro-economics and confict .Jammu & Kashmir’s rights over one of the most precious natural resources, water capital, were taken away by New Delhi through the Indus Water Treaty of 1960, which was mediated by the World Bank. The International Water Management Institute has stated that the Indus Water Treaty deprived J&K state of approximately 6500 crore (800 million dollars ) annually, and that the treaty has negatively affected the power-generation and agriculture-potential of the state .

New Delhi’s apparatus through which the state controls resources like water includes India’s hydropower generation company, National Hydro Power Corporation (NHPC). New Delhi owes 20000 crore ( about 2.5 billion) to J&K State for using their water as a reparation for the power-generated from their resources. The occupation of our resources particularly our power generation from our water resources which is under their central govt companies ( NHPC Limited (erstwhile National Hydroelectric Power Corporation) . This company has an asset base of 97 billion dollars with a yearly income of 710 million dollars . One third of its generating capacity is in kashmir and has rightly got the name of “EAST INDIA COMPANY “ in kashmir .Kashmir chamber of which I was head from 2006-2009 had been fighting regarding return of our assets which they built with or without agreement of limited time but never returned to the state although different commissions like RANGARAJAN COMMISSION recommended return of some projects .While our industry and business are reeling under power cuts they are by occupying our most important resource earning and becoming big corporations with profits besides we are incurring losses which is further depriving us economically .

3. Economic losses .The economic losses businesses had to incur because of extended curfews and Hartals particularly from 1990’s were more than 3600 days which have been lost ( which roughly means 10 years ) , the magnitude of which the world can understand with LOCKDOWNS done under Covid where strong economies of the world like USA , Canada as well as Europe are reeling

In the latest press report on December 2021 the losses calculated by the Kashmir chamber , Kashmir has suffered a loss of around Rs 50,000 crore ( 5 .5 billion dollars ) since 5 August 2019 . This is loss calculated for two years and multiply it by at least 5 times if not more giving us a figure of 200000 crore rupees . ( 27.5 billion dollars ) This is only from 1990 and not to speak from 1947 because of non settlement of kashmir as per aspirations of the people

This has also effected in number of ways Our people like :

—who invested in industries particularly from the 1990’s became sick because of the prevailing situation in kashmir because of frequent curfews and Hartals which were done as a form of resistance to different terrorist actions by the Indian forces wherein it is estimated that about more than 3600 days have been lost in the last thirty years which was further accentuated by the action in august 2019 and subsequently by covid . The world can understand it more with the experience of covid lockdowns as explained previously above . We lost more than 10 years in closure of last 30 years . You can realise that how businesses can survive and lot of them have become bankrupt.

Now by the change of laws after 2019 the big corporates of India will buy these assets at rock bottom prices and occupy our economic places .

I am reminded by a personal episode I got to know in 1993 when I went to buy Brass handicraft items from Moradabad . The items are manufactured by Indian Muslims while the traders are mainly Hindus . This has happened by cyclical religious riots where usually & invariably Muslims suffered and they remained the workers while the main profits were taken by the traders . This is what is going to happen in kashmir .

——In kashmir lot of local assets have been created on leased properties particularly in resort places like Gulmarg and pahalgam whose leases are not being renewed & the option of owning by locals have purposely not been done previously although there are numerous cases in even New Delhi where such properties were converted into ownership. . Now by withdrawing the 35A on 5 th august 2019 we fear they will be handed over to the big corporates of india and Kashmiris in their own country will become servants and second rate citizens

——-The latest law of land use where agriculture land can be used for non agriculture use thereby making a way for land to be taken over by corporates from India

——Already unfortunately our waqf properties were taken over by the state by one of the previous regime of Mufti Syed on the pretext of corruption but we now realise that it was done under a plan to disempower Kashmiri Muslims.

4. Control over financial institutions . The Indian state, over decades, has gradually and systematically used numerous measures to ensure economic imperialism of the J&K, which has included control over of the local financial institution, the Jammu and Kashmir Bank Limited (JKB). The state administrative council headed by the previous J&K governor S.P. Malik has turned JKB into a Public Sector Bank, which has meant taking away its independence. The bank has lost all its autonomy that it used to derive under the Article 370. Also, the bank has undergone much restructuring, and all the shareholding that the state used to own are now owned by New Delhi since the revocation of the Article.J&K bank was in 1990’s made strong by local people in transferring their assets to the bank instead of Indian banks and by the change of law the whole has been reversed .

While occupying our economic spaces India has done the biggest human right violation of not providing KASHMIRI RIGHT OF SELF DETERMINATION & We cannot forget that it has resulted from 1990 a human catastrophy resulting in more than 100000 killed , 150000 civilians arrested ,8500 custodial killings , 12000 disappearances , 110000 structures destroyed / arsoned ,11,170 rape cases , Injured will be running in hundred thousands with at least 7000 with pellet injuries and out of them at least 700 with eye injuries resulting in blindness of different levels besides the above financial implications .

My speech in Ziam university Istanbul on Pakistan resolution day :Title: ‘Pakistan Resolution Day: Why Kashmir Matters’AsalamAlikum .As a Kashmiri who is in exile to fight for the right of self determination for Kashmiris it is important to understand and tell why kashmir matters for Pakistan . & before I elaborate on this I would like to quote from :Article 257: Provision relating to the State of Jammu and Kashmir“”When the people of the State of Jammu and Kashmir decide to accede to Pakistan, the relationship between Pakistan and the State shall be determined in accordance with the wishes of the people of that State.”””This promise was never kept by India who had promised the same in 1947 and the result is what we are facing for the last more than 70 years .This completely goes with the right of self determination which Kashmiris of all hues and thoughts concur with , so that Kashmir is settled as per aspirations of Kashmiris .NOW WHY KASHMIR MATTERS :• Pakistan feels a moral duty to support all local Muslims populations but the Kashmiri Muslims are seen as much more important due to their proximity to Pakistan territory and the deep ethical bonds of many Kashmiris living for hundreds of years inside the territory of the current state of Pakistan . • All the five rivers of the Punjab flow through kashmir & it is important for Pakistan not to delay the settlement of kashmir through every means in its power as it may be too late afterwards . By the changes done by india in august 5th 2019 where all facades of india were exposed and the changes they have started which among other things including the changes of population which our Palestinians brothers are facing of making us into a minority is the utilisation of water as a weapon by which Pakistan May loose the water coming to Pakistan through kashmir under the Indus water treaty . We may expect any time india to come out of these agreement as they are getting away of all international promises without they being made accountable . •While India will use it as a weapon we in kashmir consider it The occupation of our resources particularly our power generation from our water resources which is under their central govt companies ( NHPC Limited (erstwhile National Hydroelectric Power Corporation) . This company has an asset base of 97 billion dollars with a yearly income of 710 million dollars . One third of its generating capacity is in kashmir and has rightly got the name of “EAST INDIA COMPANY “ in local parlance . • Territorial closeness to China the greatest and closest ally by CPEC which provide China direct access as the route passes through the Gilgit Baltistan region of Pakistan Kashmir to middle east via Gwadar and Karachi ports and can according to me the most important Initative between the two countries which could help in peaceful settlement of kashmir . • Geopolitics of the south asian region will never get stabilised without addressing restive Kashmir . Subcontinent can be effectively secured only when Kashmir is tranquil.That tranquility can be ensured not by coercion or at gunpoint but by acceding to legitimate rights and aspirations of the people inhabiting the region.It should not be seen through the prism of a land mass called Kashmir but the people should be at the centrestage.The region is spending precious and scarce resources on occupation of the land in utter disregard of the rights of people concerned.We are in the 21st century.Our preoccupation should be to rid the region of poverty,disease,squalor.This can be achieved by slashing wasteful expenditure on arms race.Why national egos should stand as a hurdle.Give Kashmir a chance to act as a bridge between warring parties.Given our civilisational legacy,we can bring the parties to an amicable settlement acceptable to all stakeholders.Power rivalries should yield place to cooperation for human development.Indispensable requirement for coperative development is to acknowledge the rights,dignity of all stakeholders.Why choke breathing space of Kashmiris. This is where CPEC is crucial as it is the way to make the whole region together and kashmir is the bridge . • There is a model of peaceful settlement through the above provided india understands that Kashmiris want their occupation finished and the majority of the people want either to merge with Pakistan or become fully independent based on the right of self determination . • Turkey my adopted country has supported Kashmir and I recall his statement of our President Erdogan in joint session of Pakistan Parliament in February 2020 : “”We have never forgotten and will never forget the help which the Pakistani people extended by sharing their own bread during our War of Independence. And now, Kashmir is and will be the same for us. It was Canakkale [Gallipoli] yesterday and it is Kashmir today, [there is] no difference,”Kashmir zindabad ,Pakistan zindabad , Turkiye Zindabad

Services and sacrifices of Kashmiri businessmen towards the struggle for freedom of Kashmir.

For speaking on this subject I would like to put the sacrifices and services in the right perspective keeping in view the ground situation for the last 75 years with the illegal occupation of our land , resources and every aspect of life whether it is economy , social set up & the situation now which relates to what was happening previously .

The basic points in this are

  1. System of Push back
  2. Economic losses
  3. Economic occupation

1 . System of Push back

The conditions in which businessmen had to work starting from 1947 when their businesses were occupied or forced into unholy partnerships by the rulers particularly during the Bakshi regime starting from 1953 which was institutionalised by a system of PUSH BACK where any businessman just like any civil society member ( Famous person who went through this MR Yousuf Buch , Kh. Ghulam Nabi Bazaz ) would be pushed back to AJK if they showed dissent , support Pakistan or resistance to their rule which also included forced partnership .

It happened then and is happening now in different models but amounts to same that they do not want any dissent .

I for example showed dissent and represented one of the premier institutions which has come into being even before 1947 . THE Kashmir Chamber OF Commerce & Industry which is a Non-govt company, incorporated on 26 Apr, 1937 & I was its president from 2006-2009 .
The dates are important as in 2008 the Kashmir chamber became a part of the resistance movement to oppose land transfer to Amarnath shrine board and I as well as the organisation was marked by the Indian govt since then as we continued to resist the different illegal steps govt of india was doing like GST & others which also culminated in the organisation asking publicly for settlement of Kashmir and I was arrested on august 5th 2019 including my colleagues like shakeel qalandhar who was President of the industries federation in 2008 as well as Yasin khan President Traders federation . We were arrested to make examples so that nobody of our organisations or in our position will dare to resist and which is presently happening.

Now at this time who are in kashmir can’t speak out whether from civil society or businesses as they will be incarcerated in jails with no bail under draconian laws . When our journalists the latest case being Fahad Shah of kashmiriwala are not spared we need to imagine civil society or businessmen who will not been even talked about by anybody .

  1. Economic losses
    The economic losses businesses had to incur because of extended curfews and Hartals particularly from 1990’s were more than 3600 days which have been lost ( which roughly means 10 years ) , the magnitude of which the world can understand with LOCKDOWNS done under Covid where strong economies of the world like USA , Canada as well as Europe are reeling

In the latest press report on December 2021 the losses calculated by the Kashmir chamber , Kashmir has suffered a loss of around Rs 50,000 crore since 5 August 2019 which includes around Rs 10,000 crore this year while business in Kashmir is down compared to last year.This is loss calculated for two years and multiply it by at least 5 times if not more giving us a figure of 200000 crore rupees . This is only from 1990 and not to speak from 1947 .

2. ECONOMIC OCCUPATION -Being the ex president of the Kashmir Chamber of commerce from 2006-2009 and also the Ex – President of the Joint Jammu & Kashmir chamber of commerce & industry ( JKJCCI ) from 2012-2014 I feel it is my duty to bring to the notice the occupation of our resources particularly our power generation from our water resources which is under their central govt companies ( NHPC Limited (erstwhile National Hydroelectric Power Corporation) . This company has an asset base of 97 billion dollars with a yearly income of 710 million dollars . One third of its generating capacity is in kashmir and has rightly got the name of “EAST INDIA COMPANY “ in kashmir .We as an organisation fought regarding return of our assets which they built with or without agreement of limited time but never returned to the state although different commissions like RANGARAJAN COMMISSION recommended return of some projects .While our industry and business are reeling under power cuts they are by occupying our most important resource earning and becoming big corporations with profits .

Our people who invested in industries particularly from the 1990’s became sick because of the prevailing situation in kashmir because of frequent curfews and Hartals which were done as a form of resistance to different terrorist actions by the Indian forces wherein it is estimated that about more than 3600 days have been lost in the last thirty years which was further accentuated by the action in august 2019 and subsequently by covid . The world can understand it more with the experience of covid lockdowns as explained previously above . We lost more than 10 years in closure of last 30 years . You can realise that how businesses can survive and lot of them have become bankrupt.
Now by the change of laws after 2019 the big corporates of India will buy these assets at rock bottom prices and occupy our economic places .
I am reminded by a personal episode I got to know in 1993 when I went to buy Brass handicraft items from Moradabad . The items are manufactured by Indian Muslims while the traders are mainly Hindus . This has happened by cyclical religious riots where usually & invariably Muslims suffered and they remained the workers while the main profits were taken by the traders . This is what is going to happen in kashmir .
• In kashmir lot of local assets have been created on leased properties particularly in resort places like Gulmarg and pahalgam whose leases are not being renewed as by change of laws we fear they will be handed over to the big corporates of india and Kashmiris in their own country will become servants and second rate citizens
• The latest law of land use where agriculture land can be used for non agriculture use thereby making a way for land to be taken over by corporates from India
• Already unfortunately our waqf properties are taken over by the state by one of the previous regime of Mufti Syed on the pretext of corruption but we now realise that it was done under a plan to disempower Kashmiri Muslims

This above gives my views about what sacrifices of Kashmiri businessmen towards the struggle for freedom of Kashmir as all the above is happening or happened because businesses have got effected by the ongoing movement and they are continuing to give these sacrifices for sacred cause of freedom of Kashmir based on Right of self determination . It has to be understood that the business community was fully committed to settlement of kashmir as per aspirations of Kashmiris .

Please see the first 20 minutes particularly as I have tried to give the details

https://youtu.be/g7V6aSBuluU

My submission as a witness to the RUSSELL TRIBUNAL ON KASHMIR held in SARAJEVO,BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA

Although in the limited time available to speak I did submit the salient points while this below is the complete document

I thank Kashmir Civitas (Farhan Mujahid Chak ) for inviting me to this ground breaking initiative to

• Bring our plight to the people of the world who believe in justice and human rights

• I hope the decisions of the tribunal will bring accountability of the Indian state and which will make it a World People’s movement to get justice for people of Kashmir as the world governments have failed for last 74 years ( from 1947 ) if not 90 years ( from 1931 ) although there have been efforts which were not forceful enough and got caught up in the previous Cold War politics and we fear will now get caught up with the new Cold War in the making .

• Before going to talk as a witness I would like to point out to the tribunal that India is on a major propaganda offensive to convince the world that its brutal occupation & repression in Kashmir are part of the epic battle against Muslim terrorism—an epic battle that is completely manufactured to justify war, occupation, genocide.

Now as a witness I would through my personal experience talk and bring to the notice of the tribunal the following :

1. ORDEAL OF IMPRISONMENT FROM 5th August 2019 to 7th December 2019

2. Case of sedition against me in June 2020

3. Economic occupation .

4. Genocide

5. Human right violations

1.Ordeal of imprisonment

I consider the action they took on 5 th August 2019 akin to KIDNAPPING

The ordeal started in the early morning of 5th August at about 1.05 am ( 5th August)which also happened to be my birthday also .

I was woken up by calling out of my name who I recognized as the policeman who was from the local police station ( Nehru Park ) as he was the same person who had come when I was put under house arrest when the previous government of Mehbooba Mufti had implemented the GST in Kashmir . The policeman had come with at least 4-5 policemen outside the pathway of our main house . I came out and thought that it may be that they would keep me again under house arrest but he intimated I had to come to the police station . I asked him if there is a warrant of arrest( NO WARRANT OF ARREST ) but he told that I had to go to the police station as the SHO wants to talk to me and it will not take much time . I changed my night dress and put a T shirt and pant and did not take any medicine as I thought the policeman was telling the truth .I did not realize that it was a much bigger thing than simple interrogation at the local police station .The moment I stepped out of our main gate I saw at least 4 vehicles full of police people . I realized it is more serious and the direction of the vehicles was the opposite to the direction of the nehru park police station . I asked the police fellow that were is he taking me and he then informed me that we are going to Ram Munshi Bagh Police station which is near the AmarSingh club and the officer there is in charge of the Nehru park police station.Reaching the police station the police station munshi ( the person who writes the FIR etc in a police station ) wrote my name and address etc in a register besides the time .The same was signed by the person who brought me in and after they left I was asked to sleep in a big hall which had beds occupied by the police personnel who were off duty with some beds empty ( Not in a cell which is usually. Why I think because the officer knew me to some extent ) . I was asked to occupy one of the empty beds but I went back to the office and slept on the chair in the office as I wanted to be near the toilet as I had to go frequently to use that because of my prostrate problem for which I needed to go to the toilet after every two hours and also had a problem of bed wetting and in the way I was taken I had not carried any adult diapers. In the morning I after having tea with a Kashmiri bread slept for some time in one of the empty beds and was awoken by noises in that hall by some policemen who were shouting at the top of their voices and swearing bad words against the CRPF . I saw some of them cursing their officers of confiscating their arms ( which had been kept under lock and key in a room by the central forces with only their officer guarded by an armed guard ) or else they would have taught a lesson to them .On Enquiry from some of them I was informed that one of their colleagues had gone to the market for getting provisions and he had been stopped by a CRPF team for want of identity card although it was meters away from the police station . According to the policemen the CRPF personnel and officer had misbehaved . The whole police force went with lathis ( sticks ) instead of arms or their would have been a mutiny and for the whole day I saw the IPS officers coming to the police station to settle the problem .During the day I was expecting my family to come but unfortunately nobody came and now I understand that my wife had tried no of times to come to the police station but was not allowed resulting I had no clothes and medicine .Although I was able to sleep that day but because of my problem of going to toilet which was quite a walk it was very troublesome and painful .The next day( 6 th ) ( no showing me of any document of arrest ) I was able to send message for clothes to my house through a person who had come for some permission to the police station . He returned with some clothes and medicine and informed that my wife had gone to her parents house .After I received the clothes almost at the same time an order came for shifting me to the central jail which was shown to me .I was taken in a convoy of at least 2 vehicles from the police station to the central jail and on the road I could see the Indian forces all around at every nook and corner as the whole city was under lock down ( curfew ) Central Jail In the central jail I was checked and almost stripped with my belt and even trousers taken out .My telephones were sent to the police station to give to my family including my purse after depositing of the cash with the central jail authorities as they told I would need to pay for things in the jail if needed .Once I entered the jail proper I was taken to a barrack having about 25 – 30 people and handed over to a person who initially I thought was a policeman in civil dress but he was a person made in charge of that barrack and was a prisoner who had committed a murder .Similar was the case with number of other people in the barrack with some of them even involved in the sex scandal .I found myself out of place completely and it was on the afternoon that there came into the barrack MR Shaqeel Qalandhar who was my colleague in the KCSDS ( Kashmir Centre for Social Development Studies ) a civil society group besides a trade group JKSECC ( Jammu and Kashmir Socio- Economic Coordination Committee ) . Besides these two organizations he used to be President of the Industures Federation ( FCIK ) while I used to be the President KCCI ( Kashmir Chamber Of Commerce & Industry ) from 2006-2009 .On the next day( 7 th august ) we had other two persons who were shifted to our barrack namely MR Mia Qayum the President of the Bar Association as well MR Yasin Khan President of the Kashmir Traders Federation .On the same night at about 12 pm ( 8 th August ) we were woken up with light being reflected on us when we were asleep and handed over the PSA dossier with the place shown as central jail the designated place of imprisonment.The PSA was given to me , Mr Qayum and Yasin khan while Shaqeel did not get it.As I needed to go to the toilet and particularly of sometimes bed wetting and without my adult diapers I would get up after every two hours . The toilet was within the barracks and as such it was easier to visit it . Just before the morning prayers I was in the toilet and when I came out we were shown an order in which about 26 names were there and we were supposed to be shifted to Jammu central jail .Our co- detainees provided us some tea and bread so that we are not shifted hungry .Shifting to Agra We were taken from the central jail the 26 of us in two different buses and we saw almost the same no of policemen even more in the buses we were taken . We thought to Jammu will be an arduous trip via the dilapidated buses . We were told that we will not go by bus but by air and thought they are shifting us in an airplane because the Srinagar Jammu road was not dependable besides the route may have trouble because of the action by the Govt regarding removal of 370 .Once we reached the airport we enquired from one of the officers who told us that we are not going to Jammu but Agra which was contrary to the order of shifting which was shown to us at the central prison before taking us out in the morning .( Whether it can be said as kidnapping with order shown different and taking us to a different place ) We reached in about two and half hours Agra most probably as we did not have watches in military planes and were airlifted from the Air Force side of the airport .Once we reached Agra airport which also looked like a Defence airport we were put in police trucks with their sides closed with trampoline . The atmosphere was all tense . I saw most of the detainees were young and the youngest would have been 20 . Once we reached the Central jail Agra we were disembarked inside the jail outside a building which appeared two storied from the outside . Central Jail Agra We were divided into two groups of 17 and 9 . I was in the group of 17 and we were kept in jail cells ( cages ) for two each except our cell where we three seniors were kept that is MR Mia Qayum and Mr Yasin khan and myself . The cell can be imagined to be like the walking pavement of a road with a roof on top and iron bars on the front . The roof was high and that is why the building from the outside was looking a double storied one .The cell or cage was having three cement beds of single bed size and having a Indian type of toilet with a small wall while as the bathing area was open . The whole place was not livable as such and we had insects all over the place .Ants , bed bugs and cockroaches . Even after trying ourselves to clean the place I suffered from infection on my feet for which I am undergoing treatment still . We had to constantly clean the cell on our own although once a week they would send some other prisoners from other barracks to clean the common area between the cells or cages . Although we did it diligently particularly after one and half months when we were allowed to come out of the cells together that is the 17 of us .For the first one and half months two cell inmates that is five of us or four of us to walk outside the cells or cages together for half an hour in the morning and half an hour in the evening to stretch . However after one and half months we were allowed to go out of the cells for three hours the all 17 of us which was extended to 10am to 5 pm one or two days before my release and I understand they are continuing it .The first one and half month was worst as we were not allowed to meet our relatives although I now understand my niece from delhi had come twice once alone and then with my wife while also one of my colleagues from KCSDS had also tried to meet me with medicines . It was strange that they were not allowed although as per the President of Bar association they cannot stop any relative after checking whether they are relatives . They would tell our relatives that permission is to be got from Jk Govt which did not have a system or model which they finally did after one and half months of getting letters from DIG of police designated in Kashmir and based in Srinagar . All relatives had to go and get themselves approved before coming to Agra for meeting the detainees . Lot of detainees were poor people who first of all could not afford to come to Agra although we were allowed in contravention of rules to have visits after 15 days with the relaxation that there can be two visits max in a month .In one particular case out of the 17 in our portion of the prison building his wife and his small girl was able to visit him one or two days before I left the prison that is almost after 4 months .All this we understood was for troubling everybody of us .In my case it was damaging that they allowed my family to visit after one and half months which delayed my family going to the Supreme Court although my permanent lawyer Mr Reyaz Jan had advised the same from the outset and my wife was not able to take a decision without my consent . This has to be understood that as per the standing disposal of such Habeas corpus cases previously , the Supreme Court has to dispose the cases within 48 hours and in maximum 15 days and in rare of rare cases one month . Although in my case the disposal was delayed to two and half months and they disposed it when the Govt revoked my order although one week before that the Govt lawyer had asked for one week to decide my case when they felt the court will give a verdict in my favor . They revoked my PSA detention as they did not have a case and at the same time the pressure which had been built up on the Indian Govt through the US senate hearing as well as Foreign relation committee besides the Lantos commission where my name was mentioned including all foreign media including New York Times as well as other papers .The food was atrocious in the prison with tea given in the morning which was more of water than tea. After the visit of our family they would get us tit bits like biscuits , nuts and other snacks which were allowed by the prison authorities. The lunch had rice which invariably was not cooked properly with two vegetarian dishes out of which one invariably was a Dal (lentils) . These vegetables were prepared in water with no sign of oil and were invariably not fit for eating . All of us protested with sometimes some of us going or threatening to go on hunger strike . Because of this state of foods I lost about 20 kgs while others also lost weight ..

Once we complained to a local state committee headed by a district judge about the food and we were given an opportunity by them to prepare in their kitchen by detainees if somebody knows how to cook . We tried that also but because of the very bad attitude of the people in the kitchen it became a non starter and they further made the food worse as we had complained to the committee.

We did not have any hearing before the PSA committee which

is the requirement under law to hear our side for the four months I was in jail .

Besides the above we did not have any pillows ,we were given a dhurrie to act as a mattress on the cement bed and a bed sheet as cover for sleeping . It was only after one and half month that we got pillows , quilts when our family visited while as no mattresses were allowed . In cases who got visits after 2 months or even after 4 months they were provided either by three of us or who had a visit from their respective families . I think sending far away by the Govt was in itself very problematic particularly for younger people who of one instance I know would not sleep for the whole night as his family did not visit and he knew they could not afford it . This person I would see staring from his cell during the night as I used to visit the toilet almost every two hours for my prostrate problem .

For my medical problem I suffered the most because of two problems of night bed wetting and frequency of urine besides initially pain while passing urine . Because it being devoid of any privacy I did not want to get embarrassed by my night bed wetting and till my family visit( after one and half month as explained ) who brought the adult diapers .

I had pain while passing urine and was fearing the worst that if there is complete obstruction what will happen as the medical attention was there but rudimentary initially which was improved afterwards by getting urologists which I understand now was because of the USA Govt whose Ms Alice wells assured the foreign relations committee that the USA Govt in my specific case was assured by the Indian Govt of medical treatment .

As mentioned previously they refused one of colleagues to accept medicine and tried to give their medicine which after some time because of above pressure and family they allowed my family to provide the same . The strange part was they would give us in installments of two day supply . On everything they would make us realize the control they had on us in every aspect of life .

One of our detainee who was in the same cell as me , MR Yasin Khan ( President trade federation Kashmir ) his mother died in kashmir and he was not allowed to attend his funeral and the only thing they allowed was a prayer meeting of the 17 people together which we held in the space between the cells .

On the birth of my grandson I was informed of the good news on 2nd of November and the only liberty was that they allowed me to feed all the 26 prisoners besides the other batch of about fifty with sweets and special food at cost . This act was the only act where we felt that there is some humanity there .

We were treated as if we were from the armed resistance and initially the police personnel on duty told us that the media as well as some officers had told them that we are dangerous people and that is why we are in cages or cells where usually they would keep dangerous people or people who create trouble in the prison .

We were not provided any newspapers for at least one month and after that Hindi newspapers for at least another month which hardly anybody could read as either we knew English or Urdu . We were provided English newspaper after two months and that also only TIMES OF INDIA with their refusal to provide any other . This English newspaper was provided on payment and that also one for all 17 .

Notes

1. All detention orders, along with the grounds of the orders and representations (if any) must be placed before a non-judicial Advisory Board within 4 weeks of the detention.

The Advisory Board is then required to review the detention order, representation and any information necessary and submit its report to the State Government within 8 weeks of the detention. However, the person detained is not entitled to any legal counsel, since PSA explicitly bars detainees from being represented by legal counsel before the Advisory Board.

Critical sections of the Act that violate international human rights

Section 8

Under international human rights law, restrictions on liberty must obey the principle of legality: they must be adequately accessible and precise so that people can regulate their conduct according to it.

However, the PSA does not define “security of the state”, and provides a vague and over-broad understanding of “public order”. The operative provisions of the act are too broad and vague that they end up granting the authorities sweeping powers, at the same time seriously diminishing any real possibility for persons detained to contest the legality of the detention order.

Section 13

Section 13 of the act, allows the authority to not communicate grounds of detention for up to 5 days, which can be extended to 10 days of detention.[38] Article 9(2) of the ICCPR provides that anyone arrested has a right to be immediately informed about the grounds of the arrest, which also applies to preventive and administrative detentions.

And at the same time, the Sub-Section 2, allows the authorities to withhold any information that it considers “to be against public interest” to disclose, which has been abused many times by the authorities to withhold significant information from the person detained.[38] Such provisions of non-disclosure are in violation of Article 9(2) of the ICCPR.

Section 15

Under Article 9(4) of the ICCPR, every person deprived of their liberty, whether arrested or detained has a right to a judicial review,[43] however, PSA makes no such provisions and instead an Advisory Board, a non-judicial body appointed by the government on the recommendations of a three-person committee comprising senior state bureaucrats reviews all the orders.

Section 16

Detained persons have the right to communicate with and be represented by a counsel of their choice, however, Section 16 of the Public Safety Act, states that any person against whom a detention order has been made is not entitled to legal counsel with respect to the Advisory Board and its proceedings.

Section 16 not only disregards the “right to communicate with and be represented by counsel of choosing in the determination of criminal charges” guaranteed by Articles 14(3)(b) and (d) of the ICCPR but also undermines the right to challenge the legality of detention set out in Article 9(4).

Section 22

Everyone has a right to a remedy under international human rights law and standards.

However, Section 22 of the Public Safety Act, provides a complete bar on criminal, civil or “any other legal proceedings…against any person for anything done or intended to be done in good faith in pursuance of the provisions of this Act”, thus enabling impunity by protecting officials even in situations where PSA is abused.[3

2. Case of sedition against me in June 2020 / Settler colonial agenda

• It is under 124A of the Indian penal code

• Even the Chief Justice of india has remarked on 15 th July that the rate of conviction is very low and is misused by the executive power

• This is precisely what they did and are doing in my case as well as thousands of cases in kashmir as this section is added to every person who speaks against their occupation

• The tribunal has to deliberate and decide that whether india can apply this law in a internationally recognised disputed area recognised through numerous UN resolutions

• The basis of my case against sedition is based on a Facebook post in June 2020 wherein I advised and advocated to people of kashmir to stop renting accommodation to non locals as we know it is the starting point of settlers and by the change of domicile laws this is happening and coming to the fore now

• By stopping voices like me and also the stopping of the medium of communication to the people to get informed that post was included by the local police https://twitter.com/kashmirpolice/status/1470398107833692164?s=21 on 13/12 /2021 as they tweeted that “ Beware social media users AIDING AND ABETTING OF TERROR is as grave as the actual act of terror . It is punishable under UAPA ( unlawful activities and prevention act passed as act No 37 of 1967 & since amended from time to time the latest being by “”””Individuals can also be tagged under terrorist Amendment Act, 2019”” to make it more stringent

• This goes as per their plan to as said by me initially “India is on a major propaganda offensive to convince the world that its brutal occupation & repression in Kashmir are part of the epic battle against Muslim terrorism—an epic battle that is completely manufactured to justify war, occupation, genocide.”””

• This law contravenes ICCPR (The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights is a multilateral treaty adopted by United Nations General Assembly Resolution 2200A (XXI) on 16 December 1966, and in force from 23 March 1976 in accordance with Article 49 of the covenant.””

• It is a Draconian law

• As it has a very low conviction rate and the case may fail but people are incarcerated for 8-12 years and already even our journalists are not spared with Asif Sultan behind jail since 2018

3. ECONOMIC OCCUPATION

Being the ex president of the Kashmir Chamber of commerce from 2006-2009 and also the Ex – President of the JOINT Jammu & Kashmir chamber of commerce & industry from 2012-2014 I feel it is my duty to bring to the notice of this august tribunal the various forms of this occupation

• The occupation of our resources particularly our power generation from our water resources which is under their central govt companies ( NHPC Limited (erstwhile National Hydroelectric Power Corporation) . This company has an asset base of 97 billion dollars with a yearly income of 710 million dollars . One third of its generating capacity is in kashmir and has rightly got the name of “EAST INDIA COMPANY “ in local parlance . We as an organisation fought regarding return of our assets which were built with or without agreement of limited time but never returned to the state although different commissions like RANGARAJAN COMMISSION recommended return of some projects .

• Our people who invested in industries particularly from the 1990’s became sick because of the prevailing situation in kashmir because of frequent curfews and Hartals to quell the resistance wherein it is estimated that about more than 3000 days have been lost in the last thirty years which was further accentuated by the action in august 2019 and subsequently by covid . The world can understand it more with the experience of covid lockdowns . We lost more than 10 years in closure of last 30 years . You can realise that how businesses can survive and lot of them have become bankrupt.

• Now by the change of laws after 2019 the big corporates of India will buy these assets at rock bottom prices and occupy our economic places .

• I am reminded by a personal episode I got to know in 1993 when I went to buy Brass handicraft items from Moradabad . The items are manufactured by Indian Muslims while the traders are mainly Hindus . This has happened by cyclical religious riots where usually & invariably Muslims suffered and they remained the workers while the main profits were taken by the traders . This is what is going to happen in kashmir .

• In kashmir lot of local assets have been created on leased properties particularly in resort places like Gulmarg and pahalgam whose leases are not being renewed as by change of laws we fear they will be handed over to the big corporates of india and Kashmiris in their own country will become servants and second rate citizens

• The latest law of land use where agriculture land can be used for non agriculture use thereby making a way for land to be taken over by corporates from India

• Already unfortunately our waqf properties are taken over by the state by one of the previous regime of Mufti Syed on the pretext of corruption but we now realise that it was done under a plan to disempower Kashmiri Muslims

4 .Genocide

We consider it as a GENOCIDE because of the killing of Kashmiris ( 100000 with daily killings continuing ) causing serious bodily injures ( about 7000 pellet injuries besides other injuries ) or mental harm ( PTSD highly prevalent of different intensity in almost half of the population ) as clearly India is doing under Article 2 of the Genocide Convention which defines what amounts to Genocide .

5. HUMAN RIGHT VIOLATIONS IN KASHMIR

What is the biggest human right violations in Kashmir . “It is the Refusal of providing The right to self-determination ” which is an integral element of basic human rights and fundamental freedoms and till it is addressed we will not get justice and the human right violations will continue . The principle of self-determination is prominently embodied in Article 1 of the Charter of the United Nations. Earlier it was explicitly embraced by US President Woodrow Wilson, by Lenin and others, and became the guiding principle for the reconstruction of Europe following World War I.

What has been the result of this is seen in respect of people killed if we take the data from 1990 which is more than 100000 , 150000 civilians arrested ,8500 custodial killings , 12000 disappearances , 110000 structures destroyed / arsoned ,11,170 rape cases , with Injured running in hundred thousands with at least 7000 with pellet injuries and out of them at least 700 with eye injuries resulting in blindness of different levels. If we total these figures thereby giving the families affected directly they are in the vicinity of more than 400000 to 450000 and if we keep in mind that we are a closely knit society the no of people affected will be not less than 4 to 4.5 million keeping in view the extended family of at least 10 per family and not to speak if we consider the localities which have been affected and in case of kashmir the whole valley has got affected and we may not realize the enormity of the trauma and allied problems with majority of them suffering from PTSD ( Post traumatic Stress Disorder ) out of almost the whole population of about 8 million of Kashmir valley .

I rest my case

Kashmiri political prisoners under India’s covid Tsunami

Life in Prison

From my experience in prison for 4 months after August 5th 2019 the conditions of the prison in Agra was deplorable in respect to facilities particularly medical facilities which is relevant in the present situation.

Although because of pressure of American senate in my case which made the prison authorities give better medical attention to me as I was suffering with constant urinary tact infection because of my underlying prostrate problem but still it was inadequate and I can imagine what our people are facing behind bars in not only kashmir but in different prisons in India .

The Bar association in kashmir has the other day come out with this statement

“”In view of the disastrous Covid-19 wave throughout India which is consuming thousands of lives per day, the family members of these prisoners are seriously concerned about the health and lives of their imprisoned kith and kin,” a Bar statement said.

Bar while expressing deep concern about the physical conditions of the Kashmiri prisoners in outside jails demanded immediate shifting of these prisoners to the nearest jails in Kashmir valley.

It also appealed that the cases of these prisoners/detainees must be reviewed for parole and in view of the grave pandemic situation be released on parole for the time being.

“In Tihar Jail, New Delhi, Kashmiri prisoner Shahidul Islam is Covid infected. Brain tumor patient Bashir Ahmad Bhat is very sick in prison. Health condition of other prisoners that include Muhammad Yasin Malik, Shabir Ahmed Shah, Nayeem Khan, Asiya Andrabi, Nahida Nasreen, Ayaz Akbar, Parvaiz Mir and Ferooz Ahmad Bhat is deteriorating fast,” the statement said.””

“The meeting observed that due to Covid-19 restrictions courts are not able to take up cases with the desired priority as such Administration be reviewing cases for shifting or release of the overall prisoners on parole which is the prerogative of the Govt. and not of the judiciary.”””

A Facebook post by a office bearer of bar association is very relevant where he is lamenting and bringing to information to the public at large as follows is an eye opener in respect to the ground situation in the courts :

“””We request chief justice to fix the liberty matters on priority with a roaster before all the single benches on daily basis in jkhc.

Most of the Benches refuse to hear Habeas corpus petitions listed for final hearing under the pretext of non availibility of stenographers in covid period.This is a sorry state of affairs as hundreds of detainees are denied justice and continue to suffer from untestef detentions by the courts.The courts treat liberty matters in abject contrast to the guidelines in this regard and derail the proceedings .DisHeartening to say so but it is truth.Arguing councils are virtually made to beg for justice by courts instead of claiming speedy justice for these cases as a matter of fudamental right.Hope the sorry state of affairs is over and justice done .””

If we see and analyse the above two statements lot is being told in between the lines

• Courts are not listening with the desired priority these cases which are basically Habeas corpus cases which normally are needed to be disposed within one month which in case of Kashmir is never followed and my experience even when my wife approached the Supreme Court there was a delay for 4 months and I was released because of pressure from the American senate where my case was withdrawn in totality and not by court intervention but they had no answer in court and threw in the towel . According to my information even people imprisoned after August 5th 2019 cases are pending on one reason or the other which certainly points out to the fact that the courts in kashmir are an extension of the executive which in my case was to show to people like us that we can put behind bar anyone for quite some time while is in other cases who could no afford or get the necessary support Internationally it could amount to throwing away the keys .

• The physical conditions of the Indian jails as per information available “According to the official data, Tihar jail has an inmate population of 17,534 while its capacity is 10,026.” This is the place where our resistance leaders are interned . It clearly shows it is having double the no’s . “””

• The National Crime Records Bureau data on Indian prisons last year revealed that Uttar Pradesh had the most overcrowded jails despite having the highest capacity to accommodate prisoners among all states in the country.” And Uttar Pradesh is the state where our prisoners in large no’s have been sent outside kashmir

• Currently, against the total intake capacity of 3,660 in J-K’s fourteen jails, however, 4,362 prisoners and detainees are held. These are details a year back .

• According to the data, 4,131 prisoners — 4,005 men and 126 women — are held in jails across J-K as of 6 December 2020. Of these prisoners, 3,735 are currently undertrial, of which 747 have been arrested in militancy-related cases — merely 1.8 percent of these individuals have been convicted. Overall, a staggering 90.4 percent of the total prisoners are still undergoing trials. These are fit cases of parole which the bar association has demanded .

• Earlier, a provision of the draconian Public Safety Act prohibited the government from transferring a detainee to a jail outside the region, said Sheikh Showkat Hussain, a former law professor at the Central University of Kashmir and noted political commentator.That provision was scrapped in 2018 when the Indian government started ruling Kashmir directly. A prisoner can now be sent to far away jails in India so that his family has little contact.This is an attempt to make Kashmiri prisoners and their plight invisible to the world at large,” said Hussain.

Now what needs to be done

1. Can the Pakistan govt take these cases in all international forums like UN , WHO and get necessary relief

2. Whether Pakistan can go for these specific cases to international court of justice as according to one of our panellist Mr Nazir Gilani sahib in his latest detailed document

3. Jadhav Case (India v. Pakistan) concerned Pakistan’s arrest, detention, conviction, and death sentence of Kulbhushan Sudhir Jadhav, asserted by India to be an Indian national, who had been convicted of engaging in acts of terrorism and espionage in Pakistan. This is the third dispute over the interpretation of Article 36 of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations (VCCR) to come before the International Court of Justice (ICJ). In contrast to the Applicants in the previous consular rights cases, India sought relief that included the annulment of Jadhav’s conviction in Pakistan, his release from custody, and his safe transfer to India. After unanimously finding it had jurisdiction, fifteen judges of the ICJ, with only Judge ad hoc Jillani dissenting, held on the merits that Pakistan had breached VCCR Article 36 by failing to inform Jadhav without delay of his rights under that provision; by failing to notify without delay the appropriate consular post of India in Pakistan of his detention; and by depriving India of its right to communicate with Jadhav, to visit him in detention, and arrange for his legal representation. In addition, the Court, with only Judge ad hoc Jillani dissenting, found that Pakistan is under an obligation to inform Jadhav of his rights without further delay and is obliged to provide Indian consular officers access to him. The Court further found that appropriate reparation required Pakistan to provide, by means of its own choosing, effective review and reconsideration of Jadhav’s conviction and sentence to ensure that full weight is given to the effect of the violation of his rights. Finally, the ICJ, again with Judge ad hoc Jillani dissenting, declared that a continued stay of execution constituted an indispensable condition for the effective review and reconsideration of Jadhav’s conviction and sentence . As all our political prisoners are citizens of kashmir a disputed area claimed by both countries which interalia means that they are citizens of Pakistan also and I understand that in the Pakistan constitution we Kashmiris have the right of citizenship in Pakistan anytime we desire . Pakistan should muster courage and say these are our citizens both de facto and de jure. The idea of this came to me when I was making the basic document for this webinar based on the experience of the problem of doing LOC trade in dollars which was suggested by the Indian govt when LOC trade started and we opposed it as it would for practically converted the LOC into an international border as trade would have been done in dollars ( a currency for international trade ) We were able to convince the Indian as well as for that matter the Pakistan side by default that as both consider us as citizens of their countries there is no reason to do it in international currency . Our voice prevailed as the agreement came about as people need to understand that the agreement came about after an understanding between the then President Zardari and Manmohan singh in New York where the chambers of both AJK and J&K had to agree to the modalities and we went for barter trade .

https://fb.watch/5gT35zeqXQ/

Pakistan India talks

On the issue of 370 and 35A which is being pointed out by some to be reinstated before any talks between India and Pakistan can start

Being on the subject the issue is not 370 as it was a part of Indian constitution & is a part of the model of occupation of India and our resistance leadership much before 2019 opposed the abrogation of 370 because of 35A which will be determine the demographic situation in kashmir.

I have written previously and in my latest blog also .

https://economykashmir.home.blog/

One of my paragraphs in the various blogs could clear this

“The issuance of domicile certificate to outsiders including the West Pakistan Refugees in Jammu under the pretext of humanitarian action. Let me make it clear to one and all that these refugees were baggage of the partition of India and Kashmir is the unfinished agenda of that partition. Hence no body could be allowed to settle here till the agenda is finished . Therefore their rightful place is any part of India particularly Northern India particularly keeping in view Kashmir’s disputed position .No international humanitarian law can override the local laws meant to protect the survival, ethnic, identity and political rights of the people of the state which is disputed .This has now reached a crisis stage with the latest figure of Government of Jammu and Kashmir which has reported that up to January 25, 2021, a total of 33,80,234 domicile certificates have been issued in Jammu and Kashmir”which will have reached now 3.4 million . India is secretive of how many non -natives have been issued this out of the above as they have not made it mandatory to issue these on the basis of the previous state subjects . There are estimates that more than 2.0 million non natives have been issued and with time if not stopped Kashmiris would become a minority in their own country .”””

Terms of negotiations

“”Now yes there should be negotiations but the govt of Pakistan should insist on reintroduction of 35A in some other form as india has in some other states to safeguard locals of the state but the problem is what is the guarantee that they will not change by an act of parliament as was done on August 2019 . For that there should be international guarantee or else talks will be talks like I wrote on my blog :

“”I recall a interaction I had with the daughter of Robert F Kennedy ( as you know Robert was brother of JFKennedy and was unfortunately also assassinated ) regarding her visit to India and her reluctance to visit to Kashmir at the same time to see for herself the human right violations in Kashmir done by India . (She heads a NGO RFK which is one of the important body for human rights in America as well as internationally ) The point by which she got convinced to visit Kashmir was when we told her that her family is to a great extent responsible for our situation as her uncle JFK was the person responsible to convince Field Marshal Ayub Khan to have talks with India to avoid a two front War with India in 1962 .

These unending talks has been the bane as Pakistan went into talks which we have seen were ineffective and India as usual all their procrastination models to delay .

From my knowledge of such talks Pakistan never insisted on implementation of one and only thing which should have be the “Implementation of UN resolution of Right of Self Determination “ which was the opportune time to do it .””

“Any change in that gives more time to India to dodge and procrastinate on the settlement they had in the first place agreed in the highest international body of which it aspires to become a permanent member .””

So the talks should be based on:

1. Time bound negotiations guaranteed by a group of countries like USA , China and Russia ( or any two of them )

2. Reintroduction of 35A with international guarantees

3. Road map of implementation of #KashmirRight2SelfDetermination

4. Hurriyat as the representatives of Kashmiris to be represented in the talks .

Thaw in India -Pakistan relations and Kashmir imbroglio: The way forward

The webinar I attended https://youtu.be/lEwy-BpJbo0 which was very informative and everyone who wants to know the present situation and the way ahead and my take on it :

1) That the authorities represented by Masood khan sahib AJK president and Munir Akram sahib have been told that #RightOfSelfDetermination is the only way ahead which they themselves are convinced of also and Pakistan needs to up the ante in that respect in their any future talks with India as the basis of talks
2) Munir Akram sahib gave the Pakistani govt view of the latest events which he amounted to no thaw and continuation of stand of Pakistan took after 5th August 2019 .
3) The need of making our messaging internationally based on right of self determination from which should come out any future action and preferably make it a people’s movement internationally and for which all NRK have to work .

I hope you people have seen it in full and if not take time out as there is a need to build on it to make a comprehensive action by all.

My two bits in the webinar was based on the following note which I was able to communicate as much as I could in the time allotted :

“”””Thaw in India-Pak relations and Kashmir imbroglio: The way forward

The subject is in regard to unfreezing a complicated issue called kashmir .

Unfortunately we ourselves to a large extent are responsible to make it complicated in the first place by different messaging and actions not consistent with the basic path we needed to have taken .

I recall a interaction I had with the daughter of Robert F Kennedy ( as you know Robert was brother of JFKennedy and was unfortunately also assassinated ) regarding her visit to India and her reluctance to visit to Kashmir at the same time to see for herself the human right violations in Kashmir done by India . (She heads a NGO RFK which is one of the important body for human rights in America as well as internationally ) The point by which she got convinced to visit Kashmir was when we told her that her family is to a great extent responsible for our situation as her uncle JFK was the person responsible to convince Field Marshal Ayub Khan to have talks with India to avoid a two front War with India in 1962 .

These unending talks has been the bane as Pakistan went into talks which we have seen were ineffective and India as usual all their procrastination models to delay .

From my knowledge of such talks Pakistan never insisted on implementation of one and only thing which should have be the “Implementation of UN resolution of Right of Self Determination “ which was the opportune time to do it .

I think in history now is the time is to get it done and that is the only way ahead and this zoom meeting is timely to remind the world that on 21st April 1948 ( 78 years back ) this resolution remains unimplemented .

Any change in that gives more time to India to dodge and procrastinate on the settlement they had in the first place agreed in the highest international body of which it aspires to become a permanent member .

What needs to be done and what is the way forward to get world solidarity for this
• First of all is to correct the narrative completely with #RightOfSelfDeterminationForKashmiris as the dominant narrative in the human rights field also as refusal of that gives rise to the other human rights violations india inflicts on Kashmiris .
• The world needs to recognize that Genocide has occurred in Kashmir because of silence of the international community because of non implementation of Right of self determination.
• We need to point out that the world needs to settle kashmir through implementation of security council resolutions and kashmir does not fall into world power problems for example in the past where the erstwhile Soviet Union vetoed the UN Security Council Resolutions in 1957, 1962 and 1971, seeking UN interventions in Kashmir ,because of the Cold War and India was close to that country then and a strategic Partner . Now India is using its strategic requirement for some world powers against China to get away all the violations amounting to Genocide
• I had in my first presentation internationally after my release told the following which needs to get international traction on our narrative out of which I had suggested
a) NEED OF INTERNATIONAL ICONS IN ENTERTAINMENT / SPORTS FIELDS to tell our narrative . We can see what even a tweet from Rihanna has made a difference to the farmers protest being held in Delhi by Indian farmers internationally and people all over the world are recognizing that India is a fake democracy

b ) KASHMIRI BDS movement against India by picketing of the big corporations who have major investments in India . This is where the NRK can organize in Europe , UK and America who are important to put our message across

c) Approaching organisations like INTERNATIONAL COURT OF JUSTICE AND INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL COURT to act on the genocide conducted in kashmir

d) Importance of NRK and friends of kashmir from different countries primarily from Pakistan ,Turkey need to be tapped to put our message to Europe and America and in case of Muslim countries to build on the OIC resolutions on Kashmir . We not only need to focus on the decision makers but on people directly as basically all human beings are supportive of such movements which are based on truth and rights of people recognized in our case by the UNITED NATIONS.

TIME IS RUNNING OUT . IF THERE IS DELAY IN STOPPING INDIA IN THEIR NEFARIOUS DESIGN WE WILL HAVE KASHMIR BUT WITHOUT KASHMIRIS””

Human Right Violations In Kashmir

I thank ICNA to give me an opportunity to talk today on the important day of 5th February which is the KASHMIR SOLIDARITY DAY and I have been asked to speak on human right violations which I have myself suffered although my suffering was nothing in comparison to what my Kashmiri brothers ,sisters ,mothers ,fathers as well as children have suffered in the last 73 years day in day out .

HUMAN RIGHT VIOLATIONS IN KASHMIR

What is the biggest human right violations in Kashmir . “It is the Refusal of providing The right to self-determination ” which is an integral element of basic human rights and fundamental freedoms and till it is addressed we will not get justice and the human right violations will continue . The principle of self-determination is prominently embodied in Article 1 of the Charter of the United Nations. Earlier it was explicitly embraced by US President Woodrow Wilson, by Lenin and others, and became the guiding principle for the reconstruction of Europe following World War I.

What has been the result of this is seen in respect of people killed if we take the data from 1990 which is more than 100000 , 150000 civilians arrested ,8500 custodial killings , 12000 disappearances , 110000 structures destroyed / arsoned ,11,170 rape cases , with Injured running in hundred thousands with at least 7000 with pellet injuries and out of them at least 700 with eye injuries resulting in blindness of different levels. If we total these figures thereby giving the families affected directly they are in the vicinity of more than 400000 to 450000 and if we keep in mind that we are a closely knit society the no of people affected will be not less than 4 to 4.5 million keeping in view the extended family of at least 10 per family and not to speak if we consider the localities which have been affected and in case of kashmir the whole valley has got affected and we may not realize the enormity of the trauma and allied problems with majority of them suffering from PTSD ( Post traumatic Stress Disorder ) out of almost the whole population of about 8 million of Kashmir valley .

We consider it as a GENOCIDE because of the killing of Kashmiris ( 100000 with daily killings continuing ) causing serious bodily injures ( about 7000 pellet injuries besides other injuries ) or mental harm ( PTSD highly prevalent of different intensity in almost half of the population ) as clearly India is doing under Article 2 of the Genocide Convention which defines what amounts to Genocide .

On 10 Dec 1948, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) was drafted by representatives from all the regions of the world and adopted by the United Nations General Assembly. Since then, the declaration applies to all the signatory members of the UN, restraining them from abuse of any of the fundamental human rights protected in UDHR. Unfortunately, not all have adhered to these rights. The illegal occupation of the Kashmir Valley by the Indian government contravenes multiple articles of the 30 fundamental human rights stipulated in the UDHR.

VIOLATIONS OF THE UDHR IN KASHMIR

Article 3 of UDHR affirms the right to life and to live in freedom and safety.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights released a 43-page comprehensive report calling on India to stop human rights violations in the Kashmir Valley. The report explicitly detailed civilian killings caused by excessive use of force. With 100000 Kashmiris already killed and 150000 Kashmiris imprisoned from time to time there is no safety and freedom of life .

Article 5 of UDHR lays out the right to be free from torture and inhuman or degrading treatment.

Whenever a curfew is imposed, the probability of people facing multifaceted torture increases in that place. Complete Documentation has there been of systematic torture inflicted upon the people of Kashmir for decades. Human Rights Watch reports war crimes committed by the Indian forces who committed gang rapes of 882 Kashmiri women in 1992 alone. Their report, “Rape in Kashmir,” indicates that the security forces raped civilians and detainees in Kashmir. In Kashmir, rape is used as a weapon of torture against the population. It has been reported that 11,170 rape cases since the beginning of the conflict to date.

Article 13 of UDHR describes the right to freedom of movement.

Everyone has the right to travel around their own country. However, in the Valley of Kashmir, the Indian Government imposed a curfew on 5 August 2019. In a curfew, the activity of a population is forcefully restricted and one’s right to freedom of movement is violated. When utterly unjustified, this violation of the people’s rights cannot be justified within the standards of universally accepted human rights.

Article 18 declares the right to freedom of religious belief.

The Indian Government has attempted to forcefully convert the majority of Kashmir Valley residents away from their religion of Islam and its practices. Since the abrogation of Kashmir’s special status, the number of armed forces deployed in Kashmir was doubled—making it the world’s most militarized region. Under the curfew, Islamic religious practices, including the call for prayer, were banned, and freedom to profess the religion was curtailed. The starkest example is the house arrest of the highest Priest of Kashmir Mirwiaz Maulvi Omar Farooq who is under house arrest from August 2019 and has not been allowed to give his religious sermons in the biggest Mosque of Srinagar the Jamia Masjid for which his family has been doing for at least a century .

UDHR’s article 19 highlights the freedom of opinion and expression.

In the 21st century, as the world has been digitised and restricted expression is largely rejected, India has nonetheless attempted to completely blackout communication in Kashmir. The internet in Kashmir has been restricted to 2G, and even this cannot be accessed in every part of the region. On the 100th day of curfew, the media protested against a media ban and called it a “cyber curfew”. India imprisoned our leaders like Yasin Malik ,Shabir Shah , Asiya Andrabi to stifle all opinions contrary to the government and who would have spoken for the people of Kashmir . This India did much before August 2019 on trumped charges and imprisoned them in one of the most notorious Prison of India namely Tihar Jail.

Articles 20 and 21 constitute the rights that protect freedom of assembly, association, and democracy.

The curfews imposed regularly on Kashmir has restricted the entire movement of its citizens. We have had loss of more than 3000 days in the last 30 years meaning 100 days per year and the world needs to recognize it particularly when the world has seen a similar situation because of the unfortunate lockdowns because of COVID 19 and what are the effects .This, in turn, has deprived the population of their rights to assemble or associate themselves with their political groups, which is a direct threat to the democratic system.

The longest curfew in history in Kashmir has hampered every sort of development and progress of life in the Kashmir Valley. It has denied the population their education, and it has compromised the security and living standards of its people.

Quoting the Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) that the industries after August suffered a loss of Rs 17,878.18 crore (roughly USD 2.4 billion), while job losses in the valley were just under half a million (497,000) in the first four months after the restrictions were imposed and it can be imagined what has been the losses if we take the 3000 days previously lost which will come in range of 20-25 billion dollars with generations of people becoming bankrupt or not doing well as per their potential .

Now I would like to speak about the laws which are being implemented to make Kashmiris a minority in their own country besides the modus operandii of implementation of such laws which carry out the Genocide of Kashmiris .

  • The allowing of land to be sold to outsiders which was at least not allowed under a truncated 370 by abolition of 35A under a false pretext of non development in Kashmir . Land was being provided on long term lease for development of Industries before and now government land will be solld /leased for which in the first instance about 3000 acres have been identified for setting up industries in all districts . On the face of it ,such a move could be allright but the problem is that previously such developed land has been transferred to Police housing colony In zainakote inspite of opposition by industrial and trade associations . The people fear that this could happen now in all districts also .
  • The issuance of domicile certificate to outsiders including the West Pakistan Refugees in Jammu under the pretext of humanitarian action. Let me make it clear to one and all that these refugees were baggage of the partition of India and Kashmir is the unfinished agenda of that partition. Hence no body could be allowed to settle here till the agenda is finished . Therefore their rightful place is any part of India particularly Northern India particularly keeping in view Kashmir’s disputed position .No international humanitarian law can override the local laws meant to protect the survival, ethnic, identity and political rights of the people of the state which is disputed .This has now reached a crisis stage with the latest figure of Government of Jammu and Kashmir which has reported that up to January 25, 2021, a total of 33,80,234 domicile certificates have been issued in Jammu and Kashmir”which will have reached now 3.4 million . India is secretive of how many non -natives have been issued this out of the above as they have not made it mandatory to issue these on the basis of the previous state subjects . There are estimates that more than 2.0 million non natives have been issued and with time if not stopped Kashmiris would become a minority in their own country .
  • The misuse of laws particularly PSA which have become more severe with people not released under PSA for years with even 43 still in Agra jail from the people who were arrested with me and taken to Agra after August 2019 Why ? Because the courts unfortunately in India and in Kashmir have become extension of the executive and the law of PSA which has been termed as a lawless law has lived up to that name completely with no way out for people of kashmir. The application of this law is being done with the sole purpose that nobody raises any voice of dissent or else he/she will be sent to prison .
  • The other law india is taking full use is the AFSPA law by which the so called security forces which are about 900000 in no and are mainly concentrated in the Kashmir valley . The modus operandi of these occupying forces has mainly been to capture and kill with no due process of law as under AFSPA no person from these are accountable . We have hundreds of fake killings by announcing of CASO (Cordon and search operation ) in specific areas on supposedly fake saying that they have information of armed rebels ( who are our freedom fighters ) being in those areas where these operations are done . In majority of cases they are youth who have been already arrested on any false basis and planted in those areas in dead of night and then operation of cordon and search done .
  • Under AFSPA they can designate any building having these rebels and destroy it resulting in majority of the 110000 destroyed mentioned already .
  • The government has declared many areas in every district already as Strategic Areas, like for example in Srinagar , BB cantt., Militia grounds and Tatoo ground have been declared as Strategic Areas.Tatoo grounds is a place in the most prominent commercial area of Srinagar for which already the army had taken replacement also and refused to vacate and now declared as a Strategic area. In these areas they don’t anymore need any clearance from any civilian authority for any work they may want to do . They are going to do the same in every district which we fear will be used for setting up of colonies of different types like Sainik colonies , Pandith colonies resulting in islands of fortified places which will result in a different situations making a future voting for self determination redundant . This is a typical example of SETTLER COLONISATION .

What needs to be done to get world solidarity to counter all the above

  • First of all is to correct the narrative completely with #RightOfSelfDeterminationForKashmiris as the dominant narrative in the human rights field as refusal of that gives rise to the other human rights violations india inflicts on Kashmiris .
  • The world needs to recognize that Genocide has occurred in Kashmir because of silence of the international community because of non implementation of Right of self determination.
  • We need to point out that the world needs to settle kashmir through implementation of security council resolutions and kashmir does not fall into world power problems for example in the past where the erstwhile Soviet Union vetoed the UN Security Council Resolutions in 1957, 1962 and 1971, seeking UN interventions in Kashmir ,because of the Cold War and India was close to that country then and a strategic Partner . Now India is using its strategic requirement for some world powers against China to get away all the violations amounting to Genocide
  • I had in my first presentation internationally after my release told the following which needs to get international traction on our narrative out of which I had suggested

a) NEED OF INTERNATIONAL ICONS IN ENTERTAINMENT / SPORTS FIELDS to tell our narrative . We can see what even a tweet from Rihanna has made a difference to the farmers protest being held in Delhi by Indian farmers internationally and people all over the world are recognizing that India is a fake democracy
b ) KASHMIRI BDS movement against India by picketing of the big corporations who have major investments in India . This is where the NRK can organize in Europe , UK and America who are important to put our message across
c) Approaching organisations like INTERNATIONAL COURT OF JUSTICE AND INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL COURT to act on the genocide conducted in kashmir
d) Importance of NRK and friends of kashmir from different countries primarily from Pakistan ,Turkey need to be tapped to put our message to Europe and America and in case of Muslim countries to build on the OIC resolutions on Kashmir . I as a Kashmiri was impressed and appreciate the work done in Africa by one of the Panelist Salman sahib to organize the different segments of people in that big content . We not only need to focus on the decision makers but on people directly as basically all human beings are supportive of such movements which are based on truth and rights of people recognized in our case by the UNITED NATIONS.

TIME IS RUNNING OUT . IF THERE IS DELAY IN STOPPING INDIA IN THEIR NEFARIOUS DESIGN WE WILL HAVE KASHMIR BUT WITHOUT KASHMIRIS

JULY 13 & IT’S IMPORTANCE

Every year Kashmiris all over the world have this date etched in their memory as the date of killing 22 Kashmiris by an oppressor ruler without any accountability and gave rise a organised movement of Kashmiris to fight for their rights .

This year 2020 I was invited by Tehreek Hurriyat UK to speak on this date .

I am attaching the video part of my speech and was based on the following main points

1) Failure of Kashmiris to communicate to the world the true history of Kashmir . In this regard we need to point out that it is a fight of the tyrannised against tyrants and of the oppressed against oppressors . An example of our failure is that we are not able to convince the world that how they are accepting a Accession document purported to be signed by the Maharajah who was ruling Kashmir on the basis of a Sale document signed by him and the British ( Amritsar Sale deed ) against money whereby not only the land but people were sold by the British for which all British should be ashamed and need to make amends by supporting our demand of “RIGHT OF SELF DETERMINATION “ .

Besides the above we have failed to communicate to the world at large that how the world will accept the Accession document ( Original never shown ) signed by an oppressor and a tyrant who by the events of 13 th July 1931 showed his oppressive rule openly and even forced the then British govt by subsequent events forced largely by advocacy by People like Alama Iqbal and at the same time by advocacy of Punjab Muslims to bring our plight to notice of the Muslims of India .

2) This date is important also as the events which happened after this date of our movement became organised in Kashmir and almost all areas in Kashmir as well as Jammu got effected and there were Martyrs all over the State

3) The man who by his speech made Kashmiris rise against the oppression was Abdul Qadeer who took the opportunity of speaking on the platform which was set up by the Muslims of Kashmir to identify their representatives to make and represent them . The one thing which strikes me is his call to all Kashmiris to rise up against oppression with ONE VOICE .

It will be the most disservice to our Martyrs if we are divided particularly in that whether we should become part of Pakistan or become independent. This division between us is damaging us and by my experience it is the voice and slogan RIGHT OF SELF DETERMINATION which needs to be focused on as was done by the three leaders( Geelani Sahib , Yasin Malik sahib and Maulvi Omar Sahib ) in 2008 when they dropped their individual ideologies and came on one platform and fought it together by which the govt was forced to withdraw the order of Transfer of Land to Amarnath Trust .

4) It is not the question of the first 22 but of our Martyrs which have crossed 100000 , structures arsoned / Destroyed which are more than 110000 , children orphaned more than 108000 , women Raped 11000, Enforced disappearances more than 10000 , women widowed 22800 .

If we take the latest figures of last 6 months upto ending June ( JKCSS ) (https://jkccs.net/bi-annual-hr-review-229-killings-107-casos-55-internet-shutdowns-48-properties-destroyed/) there have been 229 killings ( out of which our feeling is that 80% are encounter killings ( extrajudicial killings )( https://www.google.co.in/amp/s/m.thewire.in/article/government/uttar-pradesh-yogi-adityanath-encounter-vikas-dubey/amp this is regarding a extrajudicial killing which is a norm in kashmir because of AFSPA ) 107 cordon/search as well as cordon/destroyed actions which is more as cordon and destroy actions , 55 internet stoppages , 48 properties destroyed . If this is not oppression what else is .

5) Kashmir does not have only now martyrs graveyard in the Sufi shrine of Naqasband Sahib but in every Mohalla and village and that is an everyday reminder of the oppression of the Indian state against Kashmiris

My Speech on the webinar held by Tehreek Hurriyat UK

The complete video of the conference https://youtu.be/XjiCAejOOtE

KASHMIRI BDS (BOYCOTT , DIVESTMENT & SANCTIONS MOVEMENT AGAINST INDIA

Boycott , Divestment and sanctions

This is an important action which we needs to be planned , & executed in an organised manner as we know that this is going to effect India Economy and is now critical .

Although the honourable President of AZAD KASHMIR MR Masood khan has been suggesting it for some time for specific things but I feel it has to be across the board and I am encouraged by seeing yesterday a news report where 250+ prominent South Africans called for sanctions to stop annexation of Palestinain land by Israel under the BDS movement of Palestine against Israel .

Let us use our Kashmir Diaspora to peacefully picket the corporates all over the world to stop trade , investment in India while as the governments to impose sanctions and war crime cases against security officers who have done these war crimes in Kashmir so that they are made accountable.

BDS MOVEMENT AGAINST INDIA