Over the last few weeks, India has come under heavy criticism for putting the people of Jammu and Kashmir under blockade. For more than 58 days, Kashmiris have virtually been cut off the world by the Indian forces as reports of violence and torture grow deeper.
What’s worst is that amid criticism over India’s human rights abuses in Kashmir, the BJP’s government is further expected to clamp down on Kashmiris in an effort to regularize its actions. Already, the Indian government has heightened security in Jammu and Kashmir in the wake of PM Imran Khan’s speech at the United Nations last week.
New Delhi’s anxiety on the question of ‘why can’t we label Pakistan as a state sponsor of terror’ has come down to the former’s attempt to explain its action in Kashmir as a response to Pakistan’s actions. What has Pakistan done during the past few weeks has fundamentally shocked the Indian ruling elite. Islamabad has practically done nothing besides highlighting the plight of 8 million Kashmiris. There have not been any policy statements from Pakistan that might point towards the use of Jihadists to liberate Kashmir from the Indian occupation. If anything, Pakistan’s Prime Minister in an address in Azad Kashmir told his countrymen that whoever will decide to combat in Kashmir in the name of Jihad will be doing a disservice to the Kashmir cause and Pakistan. This has essentially rattled the BJP to the core: on the one hand India is being told by the world to lift the existing blockade from Kashmir and on the other hand, the country has not been able to find evidence to implicate Pakistan in anything which cou d enrich New Delhi’s agenda.
Moreover, the issue of Kashmir is not the only concern which needs to be highlighted when it comes to New Delhi’s suppression. A number of other states in the North East of India region remain under New Delhi’s authoritarianism. A number of freedom struggles are going on for many decades in these regions. For many years, India has clamped hard on these regions in an effort to kill dissent. It’s expected that in the guise of the Kashmir uprising, India may be using its military force to suppress the people of these areas particularly in Tripura, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Manipur, Assam and Nagaland. Moreover, the recent statement of BJP’s senior leader said that “I today want to assure Hindu, Sikh, Jain, Buddhist and Christian refugees, you will not be forced to leave India by the Centre.” The missing mention of millions of Muslims mean that BJP’s Hindutva agenda is in full swing against the country’s Muslim population among other states.
Fundamentally, Modi’s government wants the world to believe that nothing has changed over the last two months in Kashmir. However, Pakistan has made sure that the world sees the issue of Kashmir what it is: A serious Human Rights issue that can affect the region’s piece. Giants of the world of press, which in the past barely talked about Kashmir as a Human Rights issues, are not only citing Islamabad far and wide, and indirectly building a narrative for the country which was missing previously.
The growing calls against New Delhi’s blockade on Kashmir emphasize that the world is taking note of the Kashmir situation. What should be further worrying for India is that the country appears to be failing when it comes to blaming Pakistan for potential militant activity in Kashmir.Traditionally, India’s playbook has remained focused on blaming Islamabad for all militant activities in Kashmir to undermine the Kashmir cause. However, this time around, Pakistan has not allowed India to take the easy way out.
There has virtually been no activity from Pakistan when it comes to emboldening the infiltration of Jihadists into Kashmir. Moreover, over the last two months, there has not been any calls for violent resistance in Pakistan. In a way, Islamabad has stripped India of the “blame game” that it plays to legitimate its brutal and violent actions in Jammu and Kashmir.
The kind of destructive and damaging press and coverage India has received globally over the last two months, should make any regime nervous. The world is not calling on Pakistan to contain extremist groups that may act in Jammu and Kashmir. Rather, the world is telling India to end its politics of repression in Jammu and Kashmir.
- Courtesy Daily Times