Technology should have been able to prevent wars in today’s era. However, history has proven time and again that humans misuse technology when it comes to territorial conflicts.
Kashmir is a never ending debate between India and Pakistan since 1947. One third of Kashmir falls under Pakistan while the other two third is controlled by India. The Kashmiri people have been fighting for independence since the British colonial rule.
In the recent past few months, the Kashmir conflict has taken a worse and unfortunate turn. On the evening of July 8, 2016 the commander of the Kashmir-based Hizbul Mujahideen, Burhan Muzaffar Wani was killed alongside two of his followers during an encounter in the Anantnag district by the Indian Security Forces. This resulted in an outpour of anger and sorrow in Kashmir as Burhan Wani was considered a martyr and hero in Indian occupied Jammu and Kashmir.
In the last few decades, there has been an astonishing amount of increase in militancy in Kashmir; many of those who are highly educated. Education provides one with not only academic knowledge but a sophisticated way of thinking; or lifestyle. So what prompts the Kashmiri youth to become militants? It would be the loss of hope that the government would ever listen to their concerns.
On the morning of September 18, 2016 the Indian Army Base in Uri was brutally attacked. The attack left 18 soldiers dead and a sense of mourning took over India. India blamed the Pakistani Army for the Uri attack. The Director-General of Military Operations spoke to Pakistan counterparts claiming that some of the militants had objects with Pakistani labelled markings on them. However, the Pakistan High Commissioner in India Abdul Basit said there is absolutely no chance for a conflict among two nuclear powered countries.
Moving on, India claimed to have carried out surgical strikes in Pakistan in response to the Uri Attacks against the terrorist units residing near the Line of Control. In contrast to what India said, Pakistan army rejected all claims made by the Indian military on conducting surgical strikes. Pakistan did however admit to the loss of two of its soldiers during an exchange of fire which also caused the injury of nine others.
Kashmir has always been a controversial and sensitive topic between India and Pakistan. Any form of attack on either army bases could result in a possible war among the two countries. The question is would Pakistan risk their state’s security by attacking the Uri base?
Pakistan rejected claims made by India on attacking or being involved in the Uri attack. The Permanent Representative of Pakistan to the United Nations, Maleeha Lodhi spoke about the Uri attack in her speech. She mentioned the timing of the attack on the Indian Army Base in Uri, seemed to have been a specifically designed operation to avert focus from India’s atrocities in occupied Jammu and Kashmir. In response, the Indian envoy to the United Nations Eenam Gambhir, counterattacked Maleeha Lodhi by saying she made a false statement and gave misleading information of the Indian State of Jammu and Kashmir.
Furthermore, she questioned Pakistan’s home grown terrorist organisations. She ended her speech by repeating what India’s Minister of External Affairs stated in her address earlier on, saying the state of Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India and will always continue to be so. However, Eenam Gambhir barely touched on the Kashmir dispute and the atrocities faced by the Kashmiri people in Jammu and Kashmir by the Indian forces.
“My country has been the principal victim of terrorism including that supported, sponsored and financed from abroad,” Pakistan Prime Minister, Nawaz Sharif said during the General Assembly at the United Nations.
“Pakistan’s Zarb-e-Azab Operation is the largest, most robust and most successful anti-terrorism campaign anywhere in the world, deploying 200,000 of our security forces.
“Over a hundred Kashmiris have been killed, hundreds, including children and infants, blinded by shotgun pellets and over six thousand unarmed civilians injured over the past two months.”
However, Eenam Gambhir was not impressed with his speech and claimed Pakistan to be a terrorist state. She further emphasised on that fact that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif spoke of his support for a self acknowledged commander of a known terrorist organisation Hizbul Mujahideen. This brings us back to the question, why do young and educated youths join such organisations?
The Indian Express recently revealed 35-year-old Mohammed Ehsan became the 1,000th person to suffer pellet injuries to the eye by the Indian forces in the occupied Jammu and Kashmir. However, the Jammu Kashmir’s high court has refused to ban the use of pellet guns. The brutal treatment of the Indian forces in occupied Jammu and Kashmir has been acknowledged worldwide, yet little has been done.
Moreover, for the very first time in 26 years, a curfew was set in motion during this year’s Eid-ul-Adha celebrations. The curfew “culture” has been in Indian occupied Jammu and Kashmir since the start of the conflict. It restricts the Kashmiri people in occupied Jammu and Kashmir to carry on with their daily lives. It has also lead to the lack of food and medicines. The curfew further causes the shut down of banks and ATMs. Many are not able to purchase basic necessities due to no cash in hand. This brings about a sense of retaliation and aggression in the occupied Jammu and Kashmir.
Mirza Waheed a Kashmiri novelist and author of ‘The Book of Gold Leaves’ appeared in Al Jazeera’s segment, Inside Story earlier on in July. He repeatedly emphasised the need for both India and Pakistan to stop treating Kashmir as a territorial property, because it simply is not one.
“The primary dispute is to do with the aspirations of Kashmiri people,” Mirza Waheed said.
“They see their home as a colonised space and decide to resist.
“Pushing a new generation of Kashmir’s towards militancy.”
The focus should not be on India and Pakistan’s political or economical ties as Kashmiri people are the ones suffering between the conflicts of these two states. The Kashmiri people in occupied Jammu and Kashmir ought to be given equal rights to voice their concerns to the Indian government so they do not have to seek external help.
The world needs to know the sufferings of the Kashmiri people in Indian occupied Jammu and Kashmir. This is one of the extreme cases of Human Rights violation and it is time to voice these voiceless people.
Maria Khan Safi
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