US Congressional Hearings; Rebuffing of Indian Claims Pertaining to IOK
Saffron government of India under Modi’s reign of terror has unilaterally revoked article 370 -pertaining to the special status of Kashmir- of Indian constitution in an attempt to silence the hue and cry of Kashmiris and their opposition against India’s saffron hegemony and human rights abuse. However, in doing so, the power hungry BJP regime seemed to have forgotten that saffron nationalism can only make Indian junta to feign ignorance towards the pain of Kashmiris for the rest of the world doesn’t use saffron lens, therefore it won’t remain silent. From eastern to western world, most of the states appear to be concerned about the unilateral revocation of article 370 and grave human rights abuses committed by Indian government in the ill-fated region of Kashmir.
This time, even the US -India’s strategic ally- couldn’t maintain her traditional criminal silence and seemed to have rebuffed Indian government’s claims over Kashmir and the whole mantra of article 370 of Indian constitution. In the US House Foreign Affairs Committee’s Congressional hearing of 22nd October, not only has India been lambasted for unilateral revocation but has also been criticized for violations of human rights in IOK. Alice G Wells -US’ Assistant Secretary of State- reiterated US official position that the US considers Kashmir a disputed territory. She stated, “We consider the LoC (line of control) a de-facto line separates two parts of Kashmir.... we recognize a de facto administration on both sides of LoC.”
This time, even the US - India’s strategic ally - couldn’t maintain her traditional criminal silence and seemed to have rebuffed Indian government’s claims over Kashmir and the whole mantra of article 370 of Indian constitution.
Additionally, Ilhan Omer - US Congresswoman - snubbed the Times of India’s journalist ArtiTikoo Singh while the later was trying to play smart by defending India’s action on the grounds of terror by putting the blame on Pakistan. It wasthen; Ms. Omer not only criticized India but also the journalistic approach of Indian media. She stated, “I am aware of how the narrative shaped by reporting can distort the truth I am also aware of how it can be limited to sharing only the official side of the story. The press is at its worst when it is a mouthpiece for a government. In your version of the story, the only problem in Kashmir is caused by what you call militants.” Similarly, India has faced a backlash owing to the human rights abuses Indian government has been committing in IOK. Francisco Bencosome - Asia Pacific Advocacy Manager at Amnesty International told the US congress that Amnesty International has documented a record of authorities that have detained politicians, activists or anyone opposing inhumane practices of Indian government and its goons in IOK. Not only this, Indian government has also not given access to any foreign and neutral journalist. Brad Sherman, the sub-committee chair, stressed the fact that Senator Chris Van Hollen had been denied permission to visit Kashmir and raised a question, “Are we supposed to trust these -government of India’s- officials when the government of India doesn’t allow our diplomats to visit?”
It is time to hold India accountable for brutalities and mass murders she has committed in the Occupied Kashmir or else humanity will keep on suffering in limbo.
On the same hand, in the second congressional hearing hosted by Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission on 14thNovember, Indian government’s horrendous strategy of subjugating Kashmiris has been unveiled. From using media blackout to detaining political activists and from refusing foreign journalist entry in IOK to putting the entire area under brutal curfew, it seems that India has been using several inhumane tactics to suppress the resistance or freedom movement in IOK.Human rights lawyer ArjunSethi, one of the witnesses, while explaining what happened on 5th August in IOK stated, “On Aug. 5, India revoked the autonomy of Jammu and Kashmir without any legal foundation or consultation with the people. Security forces have arrested thousands of Kashmiris, including children as young as nine without cause. Family members fear that security forces may cause disappearance of their loved ones and dump their bodies in mass graves.” It appears that congressional hearings have not only unmasked India’s saffron face but has also made the world realize the pain Kashmiris are enduring. These congressional hearings pertaining to ongoing Kashmir crisis are testament to the fact that deep down everyone realizes that India, with all her genocidal tendencies and bellicose ambitions, has been abusing basic human rights in Occupied Kashmir. But this realization is of no use if no real and pragmatic action is taken against India. It is time to hold India accountable for brutalities and mass murders she has committed in the Occupied Kashmir or else humanity will keep on suffering in limbo.