Palestine & Kashmir: Similar Struggles of Occupations: By Dr. Imtiaz Khan

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Since 1990 Indian forces have unleashed a reign of terror against the freedom loving people of Kashmir who are demanding the implementation of more than 16 substantive United Nations Security Council Resolutions. The acts of savagery by the Indian occupation army are increasing every day and till date, over 100,000 civilians, including youth ranging from 15-30 years of age have been murdered. Kashmiri women were victims of gang rape and over ten thousand missing persons have been recorded by impartial and international NGO’s. Mass graves were discovered by Indian intellectuals and human rights activists in Kashmir, but the search was abandoned as the people involved in unearthing them were arrested or deported by Indian authorities.

 India has used pellet guns on young Kashmiri children as young as 9 years of age and hundreds of them have been blinded due to the wounds.  Since August 5, 2019, the Hindu fundamentalist government headed by Narinder Modi abrogated article 370 and 35A of the constitution, that facilitates non-Kashmiris to acquire jobs and to buy the property in occupied land. Since then, hundreds of thousands of RSS militant Hindus have been transported to Kashmir and provided with residential rights.

 Under   the pretext of visiting holy sites thousands of Hindus are being transported to Kashmir every day. Huge swaths of land is being confiscated from the locals (under the guise of security issues) to build settlements for the Hindu outsiders. The game plan is to change the demographics and deprive the Muslim population of their livelihood, property, and honor. Youth are especially targeted and during army search operations they are arrested and eliminated in the army camps. Their kinfolk considers themselves fortunate if they are able to acquire their corpses. India is encouraged to escalate the atrocities in Kashmir due to the criminal silence of international community. The hapless people of Kashmir are beseeching the freedom loving people to raise their voice at the important corridors of power, be it Washington, London, Brussels, Paris, Tokyo or else.

Kashmir’s tragedy is akin to the tragedy of the Palestinians, looking for a way to realize their rights and freedoms being crushed by hyper militarized states. On October 12, 2023, as Israeli airstrikes were pummeling Gaza, Israel’s ambassador to India, Naor Gilon, told Asian News International that he had received such an outpouring of support from people in India that he could fill another Israeli army just with Indian volunteers. “Everyone is telling me, ‘I want to volunteer, I want to fight for Israel,’” he said. Hindu nationalists openly and loudly celebrate what Israel is doing to Palestinians. The fundamentalist BJP activists have been quoted as stating “Israel is giving us lessons in ethnic cleansing because this is precisely what we are going to do to Muslims in Kashmir. We will send Hindu fanatics to fight side by side, raping, killing, and murdering because this is what we intend to do to Muslims.” January 21, 2024 The Jerusalem Post. 

 UCLA law professor Dr. Khaled Abou el-Fadl said on a YouTube live stream on the Usuli Institute channel that “some of the worst massacres committed against Palestinians in Gaza are by Indian soldiers serving in the Israeli army,” Memri TV reported. Israel has become the second top arms exporter to India. According to recent report in reputed newspaper Haarretz . According to weapons monitors, India is the largest purchaser of Israeli-made arms, spending in excess of $1bn per year which is supposed to increase manifold in coming years.

The nexus between India and Israel poses a severe threat for Kashmir and Palestine. Both these countries share the evil design of expansionism and elimination of the Muslim population of their occupied lands. The political experts and analysts believe that India and Israel share a common geo-strategic interest in destabilization of Pakistan. India and Israel alliance is a strong recipe for major global conflicts based on their immoral theory of Islamophobia and two countries are brazen violators of international treaties. The two countries have well-funded propaganda agencies, and their sole task is to demonize Islam and portray genuine freedom struggle as terrorist movements.

 What is very sinister that time and again news has leaked that the Israeli agents are frequently visiting Kashmir and providing strategic information to India about raising West Bank style settlements  and altering the majority character of the region. Since August 5, 2019, India is aggressively pursuing this agenda and hundreds of thousands of Hindu fundamentalists have provided residential rights in occupied Kashmir.  The strong headed and blatant criminal activities of these two occupiers is the consequence of week kneed approach of United Nations who have utterly failed in implementing the resolutions they passed.

At present Israel is involved in unfettered genocide of Palestinians. Till date about 37,0000 innocent people of Gaza including thousands of women and children have been brutally massacred. The rest of the surviving population is on the brink of starvation. Food and essential medical supplies are unavailable, and all the hospitals have been reduced to rubble.

 The Muslim world and all other peace-loving Jews and Christians have joined the protests against these barbaric actions. It will not be sardonic to state that rulers of major Muslim countries are entangled in their own blatantly luxurious or amorous agenda and have ignored the problems of Palestine and Kashmir. At this juncture the pain for people of Palestine by the peace-loving citizens is totally justified but at the same time the hardships of Kashmiris should not be forgotten.

 As stated above, thousands have been massacred, raped and maimed by Indian armed forces. Kashmir has been turned into prison and Indian army can, kill, rape, plunder and destroy property with impunity. While watching the cries and moans of innocent people of Gaza we should be reminded that Kashmiris are going through similar torture at the hands of Indian occupation. The difference is that while in Gaza world media has limited access and news percolates out, but in occupied Kashmir as stated by New York-based, ‘Committee to Protect Journalists,’ the news media in Kashmir is at the brink of extinction.

 

Undoubtedly, we have to provide unstinted and unwavering support for Palestinian brothers and sisters, but we cannot lower our guard on Kashmir where Muslim population is facing threat of annihilation. Let us pay attention to the warning given by Dr. Gregory Stanton, Chairman, ‘Genocide watch’ during his testimony before the US Congress in January 2022 that “Kashmir was at the brink of genocide.”

 

Dr. Imtiaz Khan is a Kashmiri American human rights defender and board member of Washington-based world Kashmir awareness Forum. For more information, please contact: info@kashmirawareness.org

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