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EDITORIAL: Of all the reactions to the Indian Supreme Court’s validation the BJP government’s revocation of Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir’s (IIJOK) special status over four years ago, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq’s was perhaps the most appropriate.

While dismissing the verdict, in categorical terms, the APHC (All Parties Hurriyat Conference) leader said the decision was “sad but not unexpected”. Indeed, as much of India has happily embraced Modi’s Hindutva makeover of its once pluralistic society, the country’s judiciary has had no qualms about counting itself front and centre among leading institutions that have continuously endorsed that shift to the extreme right of the political landscape where BJP’s dogmatic doctrines find unflinching support.

That is why nobody was really surprised at the five-judge Supreme Court bench’s unanimous verdict that somehow legitimised the grave injustice done to the Kashmiri people in August 2019 as “the culmination of the process of integration”.

It’s also no surprise that the BJP dispensation took perverse pleasure as the judiciary added insult to injury suffered by generations of Kashmiris who wanted nothing more than their freedom in keeping with international law and endorsed by the UN (United Nations).

Now we have a country – the world’s largest democracy, no less – whose institutions are busy rewriting history in blatant violation of all sorts of internationally accepted conventions, conveniently dragging an internationally recognised disputed territory into its own borders and unilaterally granting its actions the stamp of legitimacy.

This will, without a doubt, put more wind in BJP’s sails just in time for next year’s elections. And the depleted and disfigured Congress party, running from pillar to post and stitching together alliances in a bid to return to power after almost a decade.

According to its leaders, the SC judgment needs a careful study, noting “prima facie we respectfully disagree with the judgment on the manner in which Art 370 was abrogated”. For BJP and its hardline supporters, however, the verdict was as good as winning the election itself. And now they can merrily go about disfiguring the demographics of the valley by turning its inhabitants into the local minority.

All this makes Islamabad’s position even more difficult than it was. It’s a shame that New Delhi has not reciprocated Islamabad’s peace gestures at any time in the last two decades, at least, and now the latter needs no more proof that its initiatives to bury the hatchet and move forward were never taken seriously across the border. Yet the Indians forget that the most important constituency in this matter is the Kashmiri people.

They have never relented, even in the face of the most oppressive, vile abuse of human rights for the good part of a century. And even though this latest twist makes their struggle a lot more complicated, there is no question of any of them ever giving it up. But the sad truth is that they have only Pakistan to count on for support. For, those holding their breath, waiting for the international community to stand on the side of truth and justice, are also likely to be bitterly disappointed; as usual.

The advanced world, especially so-called liberal and progressive countries that have given themselves the right to call right from wrong across the globe, have made it abundantly clear what sorts of occupations they take a firm stand against and which are fair game.

So you have the US and EU pouring hundreds of billions of dollars into Ukraine’s defence against Russia’s “occupation”, and also funneling hundreds of billions of dollars to Israel’s “right to self-defence” even as the Jewish state commits some of the most horrible crimes against humanity known to mankind.

Unfortunately, the Kashmiri struggle for freedom never did and never will get the recognition and help it deserves simply because India’s large consumer market makes it the best friend to countries that have the decisive say in global affairs and veto at the UN.

This fact, too, is “sad but true”!

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

Comments

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TimetoMoVVeOn Dec 14, 2023 01:17pm
Relax people, there are so many problems in Pakistan first fix what is under your control. If you are serious about UN resolutions vacate POK first as condition 1 of resolutions
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HashBrown® Dec 15, 2023 05:57am
@TimetoMoVVeOn, "Relax people, there are so many problems in Pakistan first fix what is under your control." Why are you lecturing others to relax? You're the ones getting hysterical whenever articles like this are published, and you're the ones murdering Khalistani activists all over the world for a movement that according to you doesn't even have any legitimacy. And spare us the tired, meaningless gibberish about vacating Azad Kashmir - your entire history is littered with deceit and moral bankruptcy, so it's little wonder we won't remove our troops just for you to spread your footprint of rape and murder deeper into the province. Any idea how many mass graves of Kashmiri insurgents have been found in Azad Kashmir? None. Can you say the same about Occupied Kashmir? No of course you can't. So relax, buddy...the truth is out there for anybody who really wants to find it.
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TimetoMoVVeOn Dec 16, 2023 07:51am
@HashBrown®, "hysterical?" LOL. Hysterical is a country like Pakistan even talking about Kashmir and trying to punch above its weight against a behemoth like India, which has moved past Kashmir. BTW, We did not write the resolution; we just want Pakistan to practice what it preaches. If you want a plebiscite, vacate POK first.
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