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Devastated
The Kashmiri people claim that the occupation of Kashmir by India is illegal. They do not want to be part of India nor do they want any Indian presence on their soil.

The provisions of the Instrument of Accession, if genuine, stipulated that the accession to India was to be ratified by a plebiscite. Since 1947, India has occupied Kashmir and has stalled, by whatever means at her disposal, the progress towards the holding of a plebiscite - the original and the most universally accepted solution.

"There is no doubt that had a referendum had been held in Kashmir, the vast majority of Kashmiris would have voted to join Pakistan. Such a a referendum, in the form of a plebiscite, was promised to the people of Kashmir by the Security Council in 1948. India then accepted the principle of plebiscite but has since obstructed all attempts at arranging one" - Kalim Siddiqui.

Paradise exposed to Hell

In 1957, India further violated the sovereignty of Kashmir by implementing a new State Constitution which, in effect, incorporated the state into the Indian Union, in face of fierce protests from the Kashmiri people, Pakistan and the UN. The new Constitution was formally adopted on 26th January 1957 and it declared that "the state of Jammu and Kashmir is and shall be an integral part of the Union of India".

Since the adoption of the Constitution, India has got itself into a state of affairs, which can only be described as hypocritical and aggressive. On the one hand, India claims that Kashmir is an integral part of the Indian Union. On the other hand India has signed two agreements (Tashkent 1966, Shimla 1972) with Pakistan, in which India agreed to resolve the Kashmiri dispute through bilateral and peaceful means. Further, India is still party to numerous UN resolutions which proclaim Kashmir to be a disputed territory.

"It is hardly an exaggeration to say that the whole history of Kashmir has been of misgovernment and oppression; nor was this tradition dead in this century. And the political question mark still hangs over the area despite India's past political control and economic effort. Leaving the legal and moral issues aside, the economic disruption caused by the de facto partition along the Cease-Fire line has been deplorable" - J Dupuis.

Indian forces fire on Kashmiri civiliansMore recently, India has increased her role as an oppressor in Kashmir. The deployment of 500,000 troops to silence the voices of the Kashmiri people is seen as the only solution by the Indian government, resulting in gross violations of human rights. These crimes have been carried out as a matter of routine and some are well documented by the various Human Rights agencies.

The US State department, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have recorded varying categories of human rights violations in Kashmir. These include:

  • Political and extrajudicial killings
  • Disappearances
  • Rape
  • Torture and custodial abuse
  • Arbitrary arrest and detention
  • Wilful destruction of property
  • Denial of fair trial
  • Arbitrary interference into privacy, family, home and correspondence
  • Use of excessive force and violations of humanitarian law
  • Suppression of freedom of speech and press
  • Suppression of freedom of peaceful assembly and association
  • Suppression of religious freedom

Kashmiris protest against Indian occupying forcesDue to these excesses, more than 50,000 Kashmiris have been killed since 1990, with a lot more unaccounted for. Thousands of helpless Muslim Kashmiris have fled across the Line-of-Control to Azad Kashmir and are now living in refugee camps.

The Hindu Pandit population has not been immune to the recent unrest either. They have also fled the valley in their thousands and are now living in refugee camps in Jammu and India.

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This site is maintained by Gharib Hanif (hanif@gharib.demon.co.uk). Comments and suggestions always welcome.