By Anmol Sheraz

Every year on February 5, Kashmir Solidarity Day is observed to communicate a message of support and solidarity with the residents of Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK). The government issues a notification to observe February 5, 2021, as a public holiday.

Observing Kashmir Day signifies moral and political support in their fight for sovereignty. It also shows the honour and respect for Kashmiri martyrs. Whereas, a minute silence is being observed in harmony with the people of Kashmir who facing brutalities of the India government.

The cruelty began on August 5, 2019, India annulled the special status as per Article 370 of Indian constitution, that granted the residents limited land and jobs rights. The alienation and anger in Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK) have a calamitous social, political and economic impact. IOK since then has been under inhuman strict security curfew. Indian forces were deployed in Kashmir to stiffen the lockdown.

Everyone that day woke up to complete information and media blackout, with no internet or mobile networks. Even the global crisis and extreme humanitarian condemnation like COVID-19 could not make the India government end its brutal siege and remove the ban on internet. Whereas, the outbreak of novel coronavirus has further deepened the existing chaotic condition in IOK and has released a new wave of fear in Kashmir. However, the situation before the pandemic was not any less alarming.

Likely, this attempt outraged anger, which met with a barbaric response from Indian military, resulting in confinement of political activist and deferral of every democratic right. The incumbent government of Narendra Modi revealed its vicious agenda for the people of IOK by state terrorism. The sovereignty and special status of Kashmir were brought to an end. Fearing of worst criticism from within and outside the country, the Indian government opted to blackout and lockdown the whole region. Access to the internet and cellular devices were cut off, media personnel were removed and fundamental rights were held over in the name of re-organization of IOK. Srinagar itself became a prison. The former governments Chief Ministers have been under house arrest. In other words, IOK has been converted into the world’s largest jail and unfortunately, the same vicious torment remains.

International media is still intruding into the valley and covering unlawful killings, rape and sudden disappearance of young boys and men. In such a turmoil, the Prime Minister of Pakistan, Imran Khan and the people of Pakistan have become the voice of the muzzled people of Kashmir. It is time to highlight this issue and tell the global powers what India is been doing to the defenceless people of Kashmir.

Pakistan has been, pleading the international community to mediate as the people of Kashmir are being mercilessly treated even in the global health crisis. Amid this chaos, Pakistan raised a voice of tolerance, liberty, reason and humanity. PM of Pakistan has back and forth made peace offers to the PM of India but these were returned with violence and negativity. Muslims, not only in Kashmir but all over India have been targeted by state-terror.

While the Kashmiris and Pakistani living abroad are also determined to bring forth the inhumanity of Hindu fanaticism in India. War has never been the solution to IOK, and so we are left with few non-violent choices to support Kashmir issue. Although the United Nations and International Community have been unsuccessful to react against Indian atrocities as per International law, the people of Pakistan have continued to support the distressed Kashmiris in this hour of intense pain and agony, raising their voice globally.

Whereas, the international community must pressurise the Indian government to remove internet restrictions so that the people of IOK can have access to safety and health-related information. It is high time now as it has been a year that Kashmir should be counted a global crisis where diseases and armaments are abolishing the Muslims of Kashmir. Campaigning, activism and political pressure must be put forth by the international community and UN on India government to end its brutality in Kashmir and move towards and sustainable and peaceful solution as we must remember that the night is darkest just before the dawn.

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Anmol Sheraz

Anmol Sheraz

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