Kashmir — a bleeding wound

Indian security personnel guard a street during a lockdown in Srinagar, Kashmir. Tough restrictions were in force for Eid Al-Adha festival. (AFP) 
Updated 13 August 2019

Kashmir — a bleeding wound

  • Jammu and Kashmir is described as the jugular vein of Pakistan

According to the Partition Plan of June 3, 1947, which was passed by the British Parliament on July 18 that year, the former British colony was divided into two sovereign states. The Hindu-majority areas constituted India, while the Muslim-majority areas of the western provinces and east Bengal were included in Pakistan.

At the end of British suzerainty over the Indian subcontinent, more than 550 princely states became independent but with a choice to accede either to Pakistan or India.

However, India illegally occupied Hyderabad, Junagarh and Kashmir through military invasions. With an 87 percent Muslim population, Jammu and Kashmir had a natural tendency to accede to Pakistan.

Prominent British historian Alistair Lamb challenged the Indian version of the story in his book “The Birth of Tragedy.” 

He wrote that the events after partition strongly suggested that Indian troops invaded Kashmir prior to the signing of the Instrument of Accession, and that for this reason the Indian government never made the document public at any international forum.

The Muslims of Jammu and Kashmir, particularly those living in the Jammu region in 1947, paid a heavy price for their aspirations to join Pakistan. 

The Indian occupation faced stiff resistance from the people of Kashmir, who launched a mass struggle against it. This resolute movement forced India to approach the UN Security Council on Jan. 1, 1948 to ask for its help in settling the dispute. Through successive resolutions, the UNSC nullified the Indian invasion and called for the dispute to be resolved by granting the Kashmiri people the right to self-determination. It also approved an impartial plebiscite, or referendum,
for the people Jammu and Kashmir to express their wishes, under UN supervision. Despite all the promises made by Indian leaders before the world community, the plebiscite has still not been held.

Disappointed by the failure of all efforts to resolve the dispute through peaceful means, the people of occupied Kashmir intensified their freedom struggle. 

People took to the streets in large numbers in every part of the occupied territory on a daily basis, demanding their right to self-determination.

However, Indian police and troops continued to use every available brutal tactic against the protesters, including firing pellets, bullets and tear gas shells at the demonstrators. 

More than 270 people have lost one or both of their eyes as a result of pellet injuries, while about 1,000 are on the verge of losing their eyesight. Hundreds of people, including leaders of the pro-separatism Hurriyet political, social and religious alliance, have been put behind the bars.

However, all these brutalities have failed to dent the resolve of Kashmiris and their commitment to the ongoing liberation movement. It is an undeniable fact that the Pakistani leadership has always supported the just struggle of the Kashmiris and never betrayed the trust placed in it by them. The father of the nation, Quaid-i-Azam Mohammed Ali Jinnah, described Jammu and Kashmir as the jugular vein of Pakistan. 

The current government is forcefully raising on the international stage the suffering of the Kashmiri people and the gross human rights violations by Indian troops in the occupied territory.


What We Are Reading Today: Escalante’s Dream

Updated 19 August 2019

What We Are Reading Today: Escalante’s Dream

Author: David Roberts

Famed adventure writer David Roberts re-creates the extraordinary 1,700-mile journey of the 18th-century Domínguez-Escalante scouting expedition.
In this adventure-history, Roberts travels the Spaniards’ forgotten route, using Escalante’s first-person report as his guide. Blending personal and historical narrative, he relives the glories, catastrophes, and courage of this desperate journey.
“The places that the Spaniards went were sometimes incredibly inaccessible. Some still are to this day, which is as it should be. There should be places left where people don’t go, that keep their secrets,” said a review in goodreads.com.
In a review for The New York Times, critic Philip Connors said Roberts “knows his Southwestern history, and he knows how to craft an artful sentence. The one thing he doesn’t appear to know is just how cranky he sounds when people he meets along the way don’t share his Escalante enthusiasm, including the woman running a visitor center in Jensen.”
Roberts is the award-winning author of 29 books about mountaineering, exploration, and anthropology.
His most recent publication, Alone on the Wall, was written with world-class rock climber Alex Honnold.