Shahid Farooq Abbasi
Since its inception, India has prided itself on being the world’s largest democracy and advocator of secularism. But when it comes to reality, India is just another side of the coin. A state that is imperious in its objectives and overbearing in practices.
India doesn’t only pose animus designs against its neighboring countries but has also imposed stringent rules in the states like Kashmir that have been occupied and repressed by a so-called democracy that is hijacked by warmongering Hindutva protagonists.
Today on Jan 5 we reiterate the Kashmiris’ right to self-determination. Self-determination is one of the fundamental rights codified in all major human rights instruments as well as the UN Charter. The denial of this right to Kashmiris in #IIOJK is negation of human dignity. pic.twitter.com/79B1BoAh9U
— Spokesperson 🇵🇰 MoFA (@ForeignOfficePk) January 5, 2022
The homicide against the people of Indian occupied Kashmir is now resonating from global forums exposing the viciousness of a scoundrel regime in the semblance of republicanism. Recently, first-ever Russell Tribunal was held in Sarajevo, Bosnia, and Herzegovina from 17-19 Dec 21 to highlight the offenses committed by Indian tenant forces against innocent Kashmiris over the epochs of oppression.
Russell Tribunal, also known as the International War Crimes Tribunal, works as a Truth Commission and held its first convention in 1966 organized by Bertrand Russell to investigate US war crimes in Vietnam.
In 2012, Russell Tribunal convened on Israeli violence in Palestine attracted enormous responsiveness worldwide. Now, the Russell Tribunal on Kashmir is convoked with the collaboration of Kashmir Civitas a Canadian-based NGO campaigning for the right of Self-determination for Kashmiris.
The Tribunal constituted of Judges who are supposed to listen to eyewitnesses providing indispensable pieces of evidence in front of the panel to draw the results by evaluating facts from the ground. Tribunal on Kashmir was graced by renowned American Islamic scholar Omar Suleiman and 15 international judges, including Jonathan A. C. Brown, associate professor at Georgetown University’s Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Services, David Hearst, managing editor of Middle East Eye, simultaneously, Dalia Mujahid, director of research at the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding in Washington along with many other human rights activists from Kashmir, Bosnia, and Italy.
The appearance of such personages has warranted the legitimacy required for the international community to pay heed to the deteriorating situation of human rights in the Indian-occupied valley.
This inimitable session analyzed genocide, decolonization, settler colonialism, and crimes against humanity in Kashmir based on enough indication in the form of several eyewitnesses, ground survivors, and reports by global human rights organizations including Amnesty International.
Tribunal proceedings revealed the severe situation on the ground with extreme violations of international laws by burglar Indian army involving war crimes against humanity, genocide, massacres, fake encounters, rapes, enforced disappearances, demographic and cultural manipulation, demolition of religious sites, and physical or mental torture with utter impunity under the blanket of counter-terrorism operations devised by black laws.
Dr. Mubeen Shah, an eyewitness and former President of Kashmir Chamber of Commerce while testifying in front of the Tribunal exposed Indian inhumaneness by expressing that, “Indian narrative of fighting Islamic terrorism in Kashmir is just an eye-wash to divert the attention of the international community from the war crimes and genocide committed by Indian troops against defenseless Kashmiris.”
Further exposing Indian atrocities, he shed light on the statistics and told the Tribunal that, “since 1990, Indian forces have killed 100000 natives, among which 8500 were custodial killings, 150000 arrests were made, 110000 structures were demolished, 11170 rapes were committed and more than 7000 demonstrators were incapacitated with pellet guns.
Another participant, Chairman of Peace and Culture Organization Mashal Hussein Malick hailed the convention of the Russell Tribunal on Kashmir to bring facts in front of the international community uncovering Indian war crimes and genocide in the valley that is legalized by illegal state laws of a regime pretending to be democratic.
Dr. Muhammad Hammas Elmasry, Associate Professor in Media and Cultural Studies program in Doha Institute for Graduate Studies tweeted that, Indian occupant forces have been using rape as a weapon and more than 11000 women were targeted and no one was held accountable for this atrocious crime.
Mr. Farhan Mujahid Chakk said that “refusal of self-determination is the prevalent human right violation against Kashmiris by the Indian state, and it is likely to continue until the provision of self-determination to Kashmiris is achieved.”
The Tribunal in its final declaration clinched that “evidence being provided by the participants, verbal statements of the survivors and reports submitted by International Human Rights watchdogs, all indicated that Indian government is curbing basic freedoms of Kashmiris and committing serious Human Rights violations and war crimes facilitated by mass rapes and murders surely meet the criteria of Genocide”.
The Tribunal held the Indian government, Indian Army, and Indian Intelligence Agencies liable for the genocide of Kashmiris and urged international human rights institutions to start in-depth investigations against the perpetrators and to examine the case and indict the culprits.
Tribunal offered an open invitation to the world community to visit Kashmir in order to practically observe the gravity of the situation and by referring to the case of UK decolonization from the Chagos Archipelagos in 1960, stressed the UN’ immediate intervention to stop the Indian government from demographic manipulation in the occupied valley of Kashmir.
Russell Tribunal also suggested the UN consider the International Court of Justice’ legal advisory citing Kashmir as an unfinished decolonization process and implored implementation of UNSC’s resolution regarding plebiscite in Kashmir.
It was indisputably an unprecedented event globalizing the voice of suppressed Kashmiris by fully divulging the Indian regime standing over the falsehood of democracy. The Tribunal is going to submit the outcome of the session with the United Nations and the report may also be distributed to other international organizations and world governments further internationalizing the case of disenfranchised Kashmiris breathing under the glooms of state-sponsored systematic genocide by Modi led fascists.
*The writer is Islamabad based political researcher and strategic analyst.
*The opinion in this article is the writer’s own and does not necessarily reflect the point of view of institutions.