Kashmir Martyr’s Day – 13th July 1931. . .

“It was on July 13, 1931, that the foreign occupying Dogra troops shot dead 22 Kashmiris in cold blood in front of Srinagar Central Jail. Since that ominous day, Kashmiris have organized peaceful protests, seminars and conferences throughout the world. The people of Kashmir observe Martyrs Day to reaffirm their resolve to continue the struggle for self-determination and pay homage to the 100,000 innocent men, women and children killed brutally within the past 29 years. In Srinagar, a massive march will take place towards the martyrs’ graveyard at Naqashband Sahib. This march has been approved by Joint Resistance Leadership – Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Mohammad Yasin Malik. We clearly and unequivocally call for all Kashmiris to continue to increase their solidarity at this critical juncture. As we know that Indian impotence, wilful ignorance and desperation to avoid a meaningful peace process and initiate wimpy attempts to pacify Kashmiri passion will fail miserably,” stated Dr. Ghulam Nabi Fai, Secretary General, Washington-based World Kashmir Awareness Forum (WKAF).

The Kashmiri people’s resolve and continued commitment to peaceful protest is principled on the ongoing massive violations of their human rights, and the Indian Government’s atrocious dismissal of their aspirations for self-determination. Amnesty International (AI) report, for India (2017-2018) says, “Impunity for human rights abuses (in Jammu and Kashmir) persisted. Security forces continued to use inherently inaccurate pellet-firing shotguns during protests, blinding and injuring several people. Authorities frequently shut down internet services, citing public order concerns.”

In that regard, the recent report issued by the United Nations on June 14, 2018 on the situation in Kashmir, is congratulatory. The report underscored that “Impunity for human rights violations and lack of access to justice are key human rights challenges in the state of Jammu and Kashmir.” And that “Impunity for enforced or involuntary disappearances in Kashmir continues as there has been little movement towards credibly investigating complaints including into alleged sites of mass graves in the Kashmir Valley and Jammu region.”

The people of Kashmir clearly have little faith in or respect for the so-called Indian democracy, and India hasn’t the slightest idea how to earn it. Its solution to the anger of people crying for freedom and a respite from the terror of 700,000 troops is to clamp down even harder, adding to the death toll of such a policy that now approaches the six-figure range.

The desire for self-determination is the one very big “element” India should be concerned about, yet continues to pretend to the world that it does not exist. However long India refuses to acknowledge it, the decades-old movement in Kashmir will not simply die out. Even the latest United Nations report recommends the Government of India to “fully respect the right of self-determination of the people of Kashmir as protected under international law.”

The hopes of the United Nations that the Kashmir dispute could be settled through bilateral talks between India and Pakistan are misguided. The litany of failed bilateral efforts proves this erroneous theory of bilateral peace, and this has been supported by the people of Kashmir, who have steadfastly maintained that tripartite talks between the Governments of India & Pakistan and the legitimate leadership of the people of Kashmir are the only way to resolve the Kashmir issue.

We appeal to the world powers to recognize the long-standing wishes and aspirations of the Kashmiri people as they observe Martyrs Day, July 13th. And we hope that the world powers will realize that what is at stake in the dispute is not only the survival of the people of Kashmir but also the peace and stability in the region of South Asia.

About Writer:- Dr. Ghulam Nabi Fai is the Secretary General Washington-based World Kashmir Awareness. Dr. Fai has been a leading spokesman for the Kashmir cause for over four decades and has traveled to over forty countries lecturing on the subject. His articles appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Washington Times, Chicago tribune, Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, Plain Dealer, Baltimore Sun and many other foreign policy journals in the United States and around the world. Dr. Fai can be reached at: [email protected]

( Courtesy By The Nation, Published 13July2018.)

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