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