Structures of Violence In Kashmir
"We must take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented. Sometimes we must interfere. When human lives are endangered, when human dignity is in jeopardy, national borders and sensitivities become irrelevant. Wherever men and women are persecuted because of their race, religion, or political views, that place must - at that moment - become the center of the universe.”
The structures of violence is a report that tries to highlight how the state is involved in the abuse of Human Rights Violations.
If you agree with the above quote then you should read this report and take action to bring about change for the peoples of Jammu and Kashmir who continue to suffer in every way.
the full report is available by clicking the link below:
Shopian Rape Case Report
Across Kashmir, women and children, and others, have been victimized and subjected to horrific forms of physical and sexualized violence by the security forces, including rape, gang and collective rape, perpetrated on women. For example, in 1991, between 23 and 100 women, including minors and the elderly, including those pregnant and those with disabilities, were allegedly raped by the 4thRajputana Rifles Unit in Kunan Poshpora, Kupwara district. Notwithstanding testimonies, witnesses, and concerted campaigns on the part of human rights organizations, such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, the armed forces have denied all the instances and allegations of rape.
When the authorities do bow to pressure and carry out investigations this is what happens, Read the full report of the Shopian rape case by clicking the following link Shopian Rape
Letter to your MP template
Dear Member of Parliament,
We hope you are in good health, We are writing seeking your support in bringing to an end the struggles of the Kashmiri people to fulfil their objective of self-determination.
No doubt you are aware of the situation in Jammu and Kashmir, however, it would be pertinent to bring to your attention some of the key issues:
- · The Kashmir conflict is a territorial conflict between India and Pakistan which started just after the partition of India; both these countries have fought three wars over Kashmir, including the Indo-Pakistani Wars of 1947, 1965 and 1999.
- · Under the Simla Agreement (signed on 2 July 1972) both India and Pakistan agreed to settle their disputes with regards to Kashmir peacefully, but this has not been done so to date.
- · Claims of human rights abuses have been made against the Indian Armed Forces and armed insurgents operating in Jammu and Kashmir. (Brad Adams Asia director at Human Rights Watch 13 September 2006 – “India: Impunity Fuels Conflict in Jammu and Kashmir).
- · Since 1989, over 50,000 people have died during the conflicts, data released by Jammu and Kashmir Government state that in the last 21 years, 43,460 people have been killed including 13,226 civilians killed by militants.
- · According to cables leaked by the WikiLeaks website, US diplomats in 2005 were informed by the international committee of the red cross (ICRC) about the use of torture and sexual humiliations against hundreds of Kashmiri detainees by the security forces (Jason Burke in Delhi 16 December 2010 – “ WikiLeaks cables: India accused of systematic use of torture in Kashmir World News” Guardian London 3 August 2012); the cable said Indian security forces relied on torture for confessions and that the human right abuses are believed to be condoned by the Indian government (Nick Allen 17 December 2010 –“WikiLeaks: India systematically torturing civilians in Kashmir” The Daily Telegraph London 3 August 2012).
- · According to a report by Human Rights Watch “Indian security forces have assaulted civilians during search operations, tortured and summarily executed detainees in custody and murdered civilians in reprisal attacks. Rape most often occurs during crackdowns, cordon-and-search operations during which are held for identification in parks or school yards while security forces frequently engage in collective punishment against the civilian population, most frequently by beating or otherwise assaulting residents, and burning their homes. Rape is used as a means of targeting women whom the security forces are attempting to punish and humiliate the entire community (Rape in Kashmir – A Crime of War by Asia Watch, Human Rights Watch and Physicians for Human Rights).
- · From 1990 to 1999, over 4240 cases of females aged between 7-70 have been raped (Anver Suliman – “Cry and Anguish for Freedom in Kashmir” media Monitors Network 2 February 2010).
- · There have been numerous UN resolution on Kashmir, calling upon both India and Pakistan to peacefully resolve their disputes, without any success.
Clearly, such atrocities of mass torture, killing and raping of innocent civilians cannot be tolerated in any God fearing and humanitarian society, therefore we call upon your support to bring an end to this indiscriminate abuse and what can be described as ethnic cleansing and dehumanising the innocent people of Kashmir.
There are approximately one million Kashmiri residents in the UK and EU, all who have families in Kashmir and who have been engaged in peaceful attempts to bring theirs and their families’ plight to the attention of decision makers such as yourself.
We have limited access to our Prime Minister the Rt Hon David Cameron, and therefore are very dependent on your good self to help us in our struggle, we ask you to either raise the issues of Kashmir directly with the Indian Prime Minister Mr Narinder Modi during his visit to the UK, planned for November 2015, and/or write to our Mr Cameron on our behalf to asking him to raise the issues confronting the Kashmiri people with the Indian Prime Minister Mr Narinder Modi.
If you require any further information or wish to discuss any issues further, please do not hesitate in contacting me.
Thank you for all your support.
For and on behalf of
Half Widows Report
These are the conclusions of a report entitled “ half widows”.
Half widows are a stark and pernicious, often unidentified, face of the insecurity in Kashmir that stands as a hindrance to broader improvement. As displayed by the summers of 2008, 2009, and 2010, unaddressed needs and lack of space for civil society action can result in vicious cycles of violence. The population of half widows provides an immediate and meaningful opportunity for positive change and engagement in Indian-administered Kashmir.
Kashmiri grassroots organizations face an uphill battle as they work with inadequate resources toward peace and justice in the face of instability and insecurity. Despite the severity of challenges, the small successes of local organizations provide a model for the attention and action required from national and international groups.
The Indian government, the Kashmir government, and Indian and international civil society must not squander this opportunity for change. Half widows and their children demand and deserve immediate action.
To read the full report please click link below.
Resolutions on Kashmir
Resolutions on Kashmir.
How many resolutions have so far been adopted by the Security Council on Kashmir?
How many of them clearly spell out the prescription for the settlement of the dispute?
The Security Council has so far adopted 18 resolutions directly or indirectly dealing with the Kashmir dispute, the latest being resolution 1172 adopted in 1998, which while addressing the nuclearization of South Asia urges Pakistan and India in its Para 5 to find mutually acceptable solutions that address the root causes of tensions (between them) including Kashmir.
India says that the resolutions on Kashmir have lost their relevance. It further contends that the resolutions are not binding on it. How far is this true?
Legally and politically it is not correct. No UNSC resolution can lose its relevance unless the Security Council adopts another resolution calling for its super cession for whatever reasons. This has been confirmed by the UNSG in a Statement on 6 January 1994.
Politically, the resolutions on Jammu and Kashmir have become even more relevant because of the on-ground political situation in Jammu and Kashmir where a legitimate freedom struggle is being suppressed by the Indian army and the situation now poses a grave danger to international peace and security.
India charged Pakistan of committing aggression against India. But it based its complaint on article 35 of Chapter VI of the UN Charter, which relates to the “Pacific Settlement of Disputes” and not Chapter VII, which deals with acts of aggression. Subsequently, India tried to evade the provisions of the resolution adopted by the Security Council saying that the resolutions were passed under Chapter VI and not under Chapter VII and as such its recommendations were not binding on it.
Contrary to India’s distorted logic, under international law all UNSC resolutions which confirm agreements reached among the parties to a dispute-as was the case in Kashmir become legally binding on all parties concerned- in this case India, Pakistan and the UN.
What decision did the Security Council take in its resolutions?
Through its resolutions 47 (1948), later reaffirmed by resolutions 51(1948), 80 (1950), 91(1951)122 (1957), the UNSC decided that the final disposition of Jammu and Kashmir will be made in accordance with the will of the people expressed through a UN supervised plebiscite.
Why was this decision not implemented?
UNSC resolution 47 of2l April 1948 called for “the withdrawal from the State of Jammu and Kashmir of tribesmen and Pakistani national not normally resident therein” and the reduction of Indian forces in the state to “minimum strength required” in order to facilitate a plebiscite. The Security Council modified its decision by resolution 98 of 23 December 1952, which provided for synchronized reduction of troops on both sides of the ceasefire line to 3000 to 6000 on the Pakistani side and 12000 to 18000 on the Indian side. Pakistan agreed while India did not. India’s reluctance to demilitarize the State of Jammu and Kashmir was confirmed by Sir Owen Dixon, Head of the UN Commission for India and Pakistan (UNCIP), in his report to the Security Council on 15 September 1950. He sated that, “in the end I became convinced that India’s agreement would never be obtained to demilitarization in any form or to provisions governing the period of plebiscite of an such character, as would in my opinion, permit the plebiscite being conducted in conditions sufficiently guarding against intimidation and other forms of influence and abuse by which freedom and fairness of the plebiscite might be imperiled”.
India claims that the Simla Agreement had excluded the mediation of the UN in the Kashmir dispute and as such UNSC resolution could not provide a framework for settlement of this dispute. How far is this true?
Again, legally and politically it is not correct. No bilateral agreement between India and Pakistan changed the substance of the provisions of the UNSC resolutions on Jammu and Kashmir. Bilateral Agreements between Pakistan and India merely affirmed the commitment of the two countries to conduct bilateral negotiations to resolve the Kashmir dispute.
Why is Jammu Kashmir disputed?
Kashmir was a Muslim majority Princely State before the independence of Pakistan and India. On 25 July 1947, Lord Mountbatten, the last Viceroy of India, advised the rulers of the Princely States to accede either to India or Pakistan “keeping in mind the geographical situation of their respective States, the composition of their population and the wishes of their people”. It was, in fact, in line with the partition formula whereby all Muslim majority areas of British India were to join Pakistan after 14 August 1947 and the rest were to accede to the erstwhile British Indian Dominion. Although ruled by a Hindu prince, Muslims constituted 78 percent of Jammu and Kashmir and 93 percent of the population of the valley.
There was a common understanding that Jammu and Kashmir would join Pakistan as in addition to the composition of the population, it was linked to the outside world through Pakistani territory. Pakistan was the source of import of all essential items like petroleum, sugar, salt etc. The Jhelum River was the only source to transport timber for export. However, ignoring the wishes of the people and Kashmir’s historical, ethnic, religious, cultural and social relations with Pakistan, the Hindu Raja (Prince) requested for accession to India in return for military aid and a promised referendum. India never fulfilled its promise of plebiscite and the Prince’s action was never accepted either by the Kashmiri people or Pakistan.
How did Hindu Raja become the ruler of Muslim majority Kashmir?
Historically speaking, Kashmir had been ruled by the Muslims from the 14th century onwards. The Muslim rule continued till early 19th century when the ruler of Punjab conquered Kashmir and gave Jammu to a Dogra Gulab Singh who purchased Kashmir from the British in 1846 for a sum of 7.5 million rupees.
The Raja of Kashmir had initially shown his intention neither to join Pakistan nor India. Subsequently, why did he decide to join India?
The Raja of Kashmir had signed a standstill agreement with Pakistan in August 1947, which allowed continuation of the services Kashmir was availing under the British rule pending fresh agreement. In the meantime, he strengthened his links with the Indian Government by appointing the Indian Congress nominee Mehr Chand Mahajan as the Prime Minister of the State with the promise that military aid could be made available to him at his discretion.
In the meantime, the Raja had ordered his Muslim subjects to deposit all the arms they possessed. Next, he ordered the Muslim personnel of his army to be disarmed. This was followed by a State-supported campaign of RSS- a Hindu fanatic organization- to exterminate the Muslim population of Jammu or to force them to migrate to Pakistan. Commenting on the Raja’s reign of terror, the Times of London observed.
“237,000 Muslims were systematically exterminated, unless they escaped to Pakistan along the border by the force of the Dogra State headed by the Maharaja in person”. The Raja’s attempt to disarm the Muslim population was resisted in Poonch area and a guerrilla movement developed which grew in strength to nearly 70,000 Poonchis who had served in the British army during the Second World War. The Kashmiri guerrillas responded by attacking Raja’s army and their relatives in Pakistan also joined them in the resistance movement.
Sheikh Abdullah, a pro-India Kashmiri leader and father of Farooq Abdullah, the puppet Chief Minister of the Indian Occupied Kashmir, confirmed the atrocities of the Raja in his statement on 21 October 1947 (New Delhi) when he said;
“The present troubles in Poonch, were caused by the unwise policy adopted by the ‘State. The people of Poonch started a people’s movement to redress their grievances.”
On 24 October 1947, Maharaja appealed to India for military help. On 26 October, Maharaja addressed a formal letter to the Governor General of India seeking military assistance. He also signed the so-called Instrument of Accession sent by the Indian Government as a quid pro quo. But later researchers like Alistair Lamb doubted the veracity of this instrument.
Was it an unqualified accession to India?
On 27 October, while accepting the instrument of accession, Mountbatten the British Governor General of India after independence wrote back:
“... It is my Government’s wish that, as soon as law and order have been restored in Kashmir and her soil cleared of the invader, the question of the State’s accession should be settled by a reference to the people.”
On 30 October 1947, Nehru addressed a telegram to Prime Minister Liaquat Au Khan saying:
“Our assurance that we shall withdraw our troops from Kashmir as soon as peace and order are restored and leave the decision about the future of the State to the people of the State is not merely a pledge to your Government but also to the people of Kashmir and to the world.”
On 2 November 1947, in a Radio Broadcast Prime Minister Nehru repeated pledge to hold plebiscite in J&K “under international auspices like the United Nations. So the accession was conditioned with a promise of plebiscite, which was repeated, by the high- level Indian leaders as well as Indian representatives in the United Nations.
However, these promises were never fulfilled.