Editorial: Kashmiris’ resistance to persevere

WEB DESK: To judge if the Kashmiris’ resistance against Indian occupation has weakened over the last four months of shutdown and scores of killings Prime Minister Modi played a trick. He invited a group of pro-India ‘punchayat’ leaders and offered them the lollypop of development.

“Development is the cornerstone of Kashmir solution,” he told them. That he said in line with his policy of human approach. And then he allowed the Hurriyat leaders to meet together to smell if they were ready to relent. So the heads of three main factions of All Parties Hurriyat, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, Yasin Malik and Syed Ali Geelani, could meet in Srinagar a week ago for the first time in past four months. To that meeting they invited host of civil society representatives including educationists, transporters, religious leaders and members of bar association.

After the day-long meeting a thorough review of the state of resistance they point-blank rejected the Modi’s lollypop. “All the participants unanimously authorised the resistance with their full mandate and support to continue the freedom struggle with zeal and passion,” says a joint statement issued after their meeting. And if Modi thought his so-called human approach would gel with the civil society stakeholders in Occupied Kashmir the joint statement added: “The economic losses, education hiccups as well as social constraints are part of the movement”.

In essence, the message the Hurriyat-called meeting sent to Prime Minister Modi, who of late is talking of ‘vikas’ and ‘wishwas’, is whatever the cost it would persevere insofar as its resistance is concerned. Was it a deception or an earnest attempt on the part of Modi government to allow a meeting of the Hurriyat leaders along with other stakeholders only the time will tell – because the BJP’s 2014 election manifesto had pledged to integrate the state of Jammu and Kashmir with Indian Union by repealing Article 370 of the Indian constitution.

But what is on ground unambiguously proves is that despite extreme brutalization the Kashmiris’ intifada has refused to die down. So it is just possible that Narendra Modi has realised that he is left with no other option but to hold talks with the Hurriyat leadership. If he ever thought the Kashmiris’ struggle for self-determination would succumb to brutal, repressive policies he was grossly mistaken. Five years back, the Indian forces had taken the life of some 135 Kashmiri youth, but resistance prevailed.

Now again, more than that number of people have been killed and the uprising remains strident. The Kashmiris’ right of self-determination is not only sanctified by a number of United Nations resolutions – and this was done at the request of Indian leadership – it is recognised, albeit indirectly, by the judiciary. In its verdict the High Court of Jammu and Kashmir said “Article 370 of Indian Constitution is a permanent provision and cannot be abrogated, repealed or even amended. Jammu and Kashmir retained limited sovereignty and did not merge with the dominium of India after Partition in 1947.”

What then holds back the so-called custodians of world conscience and human rights from raising voice in support of the Kashmiris who are fighting for self-determination? Instead of watching what is happening in Occupied Kashmir through Indian lens they are expected to accept the realities on ground.

Source: Business Recorder