Kashmir is capturing global attention. Though the pace is slow, the Indian excesses in the region have forced the world to be alarmed given the complete blackout of the valley after India’s revocation of Articles 35A and 370. The speakers and participants at an international conference in Turkey’s capital Ankara agreed that the only solution for Kashmir was honouring of a UN-mandated referendum on the right to self-determination.
READ MORE: AC extends Khursheed Shah’s judicial remand by 15 days
Thanks to the silence of the international community that the Kashmiris are living their days and nights under curfew. India’s desire to rule the region with Iron hand is evident from the nominating controversial Bharatiya Janata Party MP Pragya Thakur as a member of the joint consultative committee of parliament on defence. Let that sink in that the likes of Ms Thakur, accused of spreading terrorism, will be on the defence committee that will plan a strategy to gag Kashmir voices against India’s recent belligerent steps. What is surprising is that we have yet to hear concerns raised by any human rights organization.
Nevertheless, at present where many champions of human rights are keeping their criminal silence on Kashmir, Turkey is keen on calling a spade a spade. The conference held in Ankara attests Turkey’s unrelenting support for Kashmiris’ right to self-determination. The world must respond to the words of Sardar Masood Khan, President of Azad Jammu & Kashmir. The more-than-100-days blackout in the Indian Occupied Kashmir, undoubtedly the nuclear flashpoint, carries the seeds of another conflict between India and Pakistan. The primary responsibility for that conflict will be on the United Nations (UN), in general, and the Security Council (SC), in particular.
While Indian Prime Minister (PM) Narendra Modi tried to appease the believers in Hindutva by annexing Kashmir, he committed a dramatic own-goal. The unanimous passing of a Pakistan-sponsored resolution, which reaffirms the right to self-determination for peoples subjected to foreign and alien occupation, by a key UN committee means that the resolution will come up for the General Assembly’s endorsement next month.
The fierce urgency of now demands the UN and SC take up Kashmir issue once again. Any delay in finding out a solution according to the wishes of the Kashmiris will have far-reaching consequences on the security of the region. India’s reliance on the brute force in Kashmir to silence the population is enough to tell the world what the Kashmiris want. It is “Azadi”. They will settle for nothing less than Azadi.