Syed Ali Shah Geelani (Twitter profile image)
Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Chairman of the All Parties Hurriyat Conference, Srinagar, Kashmir has launched a campaign calling on Indian soldiers deployed in the region to “Quit Kashmir”. The region has been under what locals term “Indian occupation” suffering many human rights abuses, detentions, enforced disappearances, rapes, torture, injuries and unlawful killings since British India was partitioned into India and Pakistan as part of the independence process in 1947.
Kashmir Watch, reported that today, August 27th. Geelani will march at 2pm to 15 corps headquarters of the Indian Army at Badami Bagh Srinagar to hand in the following letter to the GOC in-charge asking him to vacate Jammu and Kashmir. The publication quoted an email stating,
“People in Jammu and Kashmir and all over the world are urged to mail this letter to Indian Army, Indian Armed Forces, Indian Navy, BSF, CRPF, ITBP and CISF stationed in the UN recognized disputed states of Jammu & Kashmir.”
See below for contents of the letter,
Indian Occupied Kashmir has experienced the worst violence in recent years following the killing of Burhan Wani (22) commander of Kashmir’s largest pro-independence militant group Hizbul Mujahideen (HM) on July 8th in a gun battle with Indian government forces. Two other separatists died also during the military operation following a day long curfew in Srinagar. Thousands attended his funeral, hailing him a martyr and calling for “azadi” freedom for Kashmir.
Since then, there have been weeks of curfews and concerns raised over alleged human rights abuses from the military and police resulting in the detention of many locals, thousands of injuries and dozens of deaths. Mohamed Junaid an anthropologist working on formation of political subjectivity in Kashmir tweeted, “50 days, 70 dead, >7000 injured, 1.3 million pellets fired, 446 people with eye wounds. Only a state rotten at the core can do this to a people.” Babar Umar who writes for a number of publications including Rising Kashmir and Indian Express said, “never ever was Kashmir curfewed for so long. Current regime has broken all past records. The homeland remains curbed for 50 straight days.”
In neighbouring Pakistan, Dawn media reported that Sataz Aziz, Adviser to Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz briefed the ambassadors of permanent members of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) and the European Union on Friday regarding the ongoing conflict in Kashmir. He “deplored the lethal use of force by the Indian occupation forces against innocent Kashmiri people” highlighting that “oppressive measures by India cannot deter the valiant people of Jammu and Kashmir from their just struggle for their right of self determination”.
Arjun Makhijani writes the following in an article, “A short history of Kashmir”, after detailing an invasion in 1948 by Pakistani “tribesmen” supported by Pakistan government to assist Kashmir,
“1948: India takes the Kashmir issue to the U.N. Security Council, which passes a resolution calling on Pakistan to do all it can “secure the withdrawal” of Pakistani citizens and “tribesmen” and asking that a plebiscite be held to determine the wishes of the people of Kashmir.”
Free Kashmir posted the following on social media today reminding that decades later the people were still waiting for the plebiscite which had never happened as pledged. The people of Kashmir wish to decide their own future.
UK MEP Anthea McIntyre who co-chairs the European Parliament’s Friends of Jammu Kashmir group, was a keynote speaker at a recent seminar in the UK addressing human rights abuses in Kashmir. She stated in The Parliament Magazine that she wanted,
“to send a ‘strong message of condemnation’ over what is happening in Kashmir, and called on the government of India to “end this occupation, stop the persecution and, crucially, to remove the immunity of its military from prosecution for their crimes.”
“We must say to India – of course we want to trade with you, but not at any price. We must tell them they are not abiding by the Geneva convention. We must make it clear we will not stand by and see them continuing to maim, to blind and to kill.”
“Kashmir: Arrest of separatist leader causes uproar”
“Thousands March For Freedom in Srinagar, Ganderbal” (video)
Carol Anne Grayson is an independent writer/researcher on global health/human rights/WOT and is Executive Producer of the Oscar nominated, Incident in New Baghdad. She is a Registered Mental Nurse with a Masters in Gender Culture and Development. Carol was awarded the ESRC, Michael Young Prize for Research 2009, and the COTT ‘Action = Life’ Human Rights Award’ for “upholding truth and justice”. She is also a survivor of US “collateral damage”.