What do you do about such a reality? Taking righteous and moral positions serves nobody’s cause. Such positions only bolster one kind of politics against another and are inherently selective. Because the people who are outraged over one kind of atrocity adopt a studious silence over another. And the institution, agency or an individual who feign such outrages are hypocritical in their approach. For they look at the tragedies in purely political terms to be exploited in the service of one or another narrative. There is no option for India and Pakistan but to talk, whether sooner or later. But the talks can’t be a repeat of the drawn and pointless processes so far. The neighbours have to ensure that the factors that have invariably aborted the previous dialogues are taken on board and the engagement guarded against them. Unless that happens, no dialogue between the neighbours can succeed.
I am sure that your collective conscience is yet to be satisfied. I am not Syria. I am not Palestine. I am not Gaza either. God has made me “Paradise on Earth”. But now I am as good as living hell. I am an untold story. I am bleeding land being brutally and illegally occupied by your nation which uses its military power to suppress the voice of freedom of my people. They have already killed tens of thousands of my innocent sons. The cheapest thing on my land is none other than that of human blood. My children grow up watching graveyards populate their villages. My daughters continue to live an undignified life. Everything on my land whether it is home, hamlet, town, city or market has tragic tales of grief to narrate. I wonder how your nation has never been questioned of its atrocities. Doesn’t it deserve to be brought before the International judicial court of the United Nations (UN) for her trail of killing about my five lakh people and other crimes like human rights violation in past six decades? Unfortunately your electronic media has always remained biased. They never supported my cause rather they brushed the atrocities of their government under the carpet.
A daily business of slaying my people mainly children is being reported in the internal pages of your print media, quite often in microscopic fonts. That is the biggest reason why you are unfamiliar of the brutalities carried out by the various fascist regimes of your nation. The realities of my land remain shrouded. My people had reasons to live but they see themselves as if they never lived. They are in a grip of utter trauma living a miserable life and there is no one to hear their anguished cry. I am virtually crumbling under Indian occupation and my people are at a fateful crossroad and facing an uncertain future. But one is thing is sure! India cannot occupy me based on gun power. The more they kill my people, the more rebels they would create out of them. Even if India would kill my entire population, yet it won’t be able to brush my issue under the rug and move on. How long you can turn a blind eye? Your “Proud Army” is crossing all heights of atrocities by killing my teenagers mercilessly.
Thousands of Kashmiris have been reported to be killed by security forces in custody, extrajudicial executions and enforced disappearances and these human right violations are said to be carried out by Indian security forces under total impunity. Civilians including women and children have been killed in “reprisal” attacks by Indian security forces. International NGO’s as well as the US State Department have documented human rights abuses including disappearances, torture and arbitrary executions carried out during India’s counter-terrorism operations. United Nations has expressed serious concerns over large number of killings by Indian security forces. Human Rights groups have also accused the Indian security forces of using child soldiers, although the Indian government denies this allegation. Torture, widely used by Indian security sources, whose severity is described as beyond comprehension by Amnesty International, has been responsible for the huge number of deaths in custody.
While as international covenant of human rights entitles a member state to meet an uncalled for situation–an external aggression or a domestic uprising by taking special measures, however it may not be unbridled. Article 4 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) provides the guideline. Article 4 clause 1 (4:1) reads “In time of public emergency which threatens the life of the nation and the existence of which is officially proclaimed, the states, parties to the present covenant may take measures derogating from their obligations under the present Covenant to the extent strictly required by the exigencies of the situation, provided that such measures are not inconsistent with their other obligations under international law and do not involve discrimination solely on the ground of race, colour, sex, language, religion or social origin”.
(The writer hails from Dashiepora Shopian and is pursuing her Ph.D. degree from Kashmir University. She can be reached at: [email protected])