Saturday, January 31, 2009

IHK Bar members meet Kashmiri detainees in Indian jails

Kashmir Media Service

SAFAR AL-MUZAFFAR 04, 1430 A.H SRINAGAR SATURDAY, JANUARY 31, 2009: A six-member team of the High Court Bar Association of occupied Kashmir visited Tihar Jail and other prisons in different Indian states to observe condition of Kashmiris prisoners languishing in the jails.


The team comprising the Bar President, Mian Abdul Qayoom, Secretary General, Ghulam Nabi Shaheen, Bashir Ahmad Siddiqi, Muhammad Ashraf Butt, Tanveer Ahmad Kotey and Intikhab Ahmad Parey held separate meetings with Kashmiri detainees in Tihar and other jails and heard their complaints regarding the jail administration.

The Bar members had taken permission from the High Court of occupied Kashmir to visit and monitor the condition of Kashmiri prisoners.

The detainees told the delegation that police personnel have registered fake cases against them only to get promotions. They said that the police were not presenting them in the courts for seeking justice.

Sources in the Bar Association said that after Mumbai attacks the Kashmiri detainees were being harassed in jails and have been kept with criminals and as a result the criminals have attacked and injured them several times. They added that the Bar members would prepare a report on the plight of Kashmiri detainees kept in different jails of India.
  

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Guns roar in North 4 houses, cowshed destroyed

4 militants, 2 troopers killed 


Guns roar in North
4 houses, cowshed destroyed


Rising Kashmir News


Srinagar, Jan 28: Top commanders of Lashkar-e-Toiba and Jaish-e-Muhammad and two troopers are among six persons killed in three separate encounters in North Kashmir on Wednesday. 
Assistant Superintendent of Police Sopore Bhim Sen Tooti told Rising Kashmir that on Tuesday afternoon, Sopore police, 179 CRPF and 52 Rashtriya Rifles personnel laid siege around Amargarh area in apple town of Sopore after receiving inputs about the presence of militants in a residential house.
 “The troopers zeroed-in on the house of one Mohammad Akbar Ganaie son of Mohammad Ramzan and asked the militants to surrender. They, however, turned down the offer and fired from sophisticated weapons. The fire was returned, triggering an encounter,” he said.
The police officer said that the operation was suspended last night and resumed early Wednesday morning. “A top commander of Lashkar-e-Toiba, Abu Hamza and an army man was killed in the ensuing gunfight,” he said, adding, “Three army personnel were also injured and the house, where from militants were firing on troopers, was destroyed in the gunfight”.
Tooti said that Hamza was one of the most wanted militants and was active in twin districts of Kupwara and Baramulla. “He was involved in various attacks on troops and had been active in various parts of North Kashmir,” claimed the police officer.
The militant commander’s body was buried in the local graveyard, where hundreds of people attended his funeral prayers amidst pro-freedom and anti-India slogans. 
Tariq Mir adds from Bandipora: Two militants and a trooper were killed in a gunfight at village Ayatmullah in this newly created district.
Police sources said that after receiving inputs, 57 RR, 54 RR, 10 Para and SOG personnel laid siege around the village on Wednesday morning. “After plugging off the possible escape routes, the troopers zeroed-in on a residential house of one Abdul Aziz Lone son of Abdul Samad Lone and asked the militants present inside to surrender. They, however, turned down the surrender offer and fired from assault rifles towards the troopers. The fire was returned and in the ensuing gunfight, which lasted for more than four hours, two Jaish militants and a trooper were killed,” they said.
The locals alleged that the troopers fired dozens of mortar shells and heavy weapons toward the house, where from militants were firing at them. “The three-storey house was completely damaged in the gunfight,” they said adding at least three adjoining houses also suffered partial damage. A cowshed was also damaged.
CO 57 RR Col Vadera identified the slain militants as Wasim Bilal alias Mujahid and Shakeel Ganja. “Wasim was divisional commander of Jaish-e-Mohammad while Shakeel was his body guard,” he said.
He said that an Army man Mohammad Amin Bhat was also killed in the encounter and two others injured. “Two AK rifles were recovered from the encounter site,” he said. Meanwhile, a police spokesman said that a Lashkar-e-Toiba militant was killed in an encounter with 21 RR and SOG personnel at village Baki Hakar, Handwara in border district of Kupwara. He identified the slain militant as Abu Abdul Rehman. A house belonging to Ghulam Rasool Kar was damaged during the shoot-out
Destruction and Arrests
The encounters left a trail of destruction.
In Handwara the structures surrounding the house of one Ghulam Hassan Kar where militants were holed up, were also gutted. 
The residents alleged that troopers fired mortar shells towards the house during the gunfight. “Besides Kar’s house, the houses of Abdul Ahad Sheikh, A M Dar and Ramzan were also damaged,” they alleged.
Eight year old Abdul Majid, in whose house the militant was holed up said his elder brother, Mohammad Din was picked up by troops. Din was working as a peon in local school.
In Bandipora, the son of the house owner, whose three-storey house was completely damaged in the troopers action was detained by the troopers.  
A local news gathering agency, KNS reported that two persons were arrested from Warpora, Sopore by troopers after the gunfight at Amargarh ended. “A lady had gone missing under mysterious circumstances from the same area,” the news agency reported.


Greater KASHMIR

3 Militants, 2 Troopers Killed

UMER MAQBOOL DAR/GHULAM MUHAMMAD


Varmul, Jan 28: Three militants and two troopers were killed while seven troopers sustained injuries in two separate gun-battles in north Kashmir, Police said on Wednesday.
 A police official said a joint party of policemen and troopers cordoned of Hayatmullah village in Bandipora this morning and launched searches. “Militants present there opened fire on the search party and tried to break the cordon,” the official said, adding that in the initial round of firing a trooper of 57 Rashtriya Riffles was killed, while two of his colleagues sustained injuries.
 The official said that reinforcements were rushed and all the escape routes were plugged. “Militants again opened fire which was retaliated, triggering a gun-battle,” he said, adding that in the ensuing gunfight two militants of Jaish-e-Muhammad, Waseem Bilal, the divisional commander of the outfit, and his associate, Shakeel, were killed.


LeT COMMANDER, TROOPER KILLED

 A police official told Greater Kashmir that the gunfight which commenced on Tuesday at Amargah Sopur ended this morning with the killing of Lashkar-e-Toiba operational commander, Abu Hamza. A trooper, Sohan Kumar, of 52-Rashtriya Riffles was killed while three policemen also sustained injuries, the official added.
 Locals alleged that troopers resorted to mortar shelling and destroyed the house of Ghulam Nabi Chopan where the militant was believed to be hiding.
 After the encounter, hundreds of people including women and children took to the streets and staged a massive pro-freedom demonstration. The protesters were demanding the release of two youth who were picked up during the encounter. Hundreds of people attended the funeral prayers of the slain militant and he was laid to rest at martyrs’ graveyard amidst pro-freedom slogans.
WITH AZIM JAN IN BANDIPORA

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

DR.MUHAMMAD QASIM

A MISSION, A VISION

HE IS DYING BEHIND THE BARS, DOES ANYONE CARE ???

KASHMIRI PRISIONERS

He completes 15 years in prison, He is languishing in Jail for holding political views that are unacceptable to the ruling establishment. He has lost half of his eye sight, and has been advised surgery by doctors for his L4 disc. He is taking medicine regularly for his chronic intestinal ailment. His heart disease is a matter of serious concern for his family and well-wishers but the Government of India still considers him a threat to Indian sovereignty, Advocate Abdul Mateen sums up the life and thoughts of Dr. Qasim.


“Dr Muhammad Qasim an outstanding political ideologue and writer of contemporary Kashmir, is suffering incarceration for holding political beliefs that are unacceptable to the ruling establishment and he has been convicted under an infamous Indian anti-terrorist legislation in a trial that manifestly was wanting in judicial fairness as overzealous prosecutors employed dubious investigatory methods for collecting materials of evidential value on the basis of which Dr. Qasim was ultimately tried and convicted for life. 

The international commission of jurists and other like minded non-governmental organizations has a Sisyphean task in combating the unfairness of these political trials. Yet they can play a useful role in mobilizing world public opinion against the iniquity of such trials, as a large number of faceless, voiceless and hapless people in several countries of the world are suffering incarceration for their political beliefs and nobody has time in the civilized world to address to their plight. 

The trial of Dr.Qasim should serve as a wakeup call for those international organizations who are striving for “Human Rights” and “Rule of Law” so that we are able to establish a world order that is just, equitable and rational. I earnestly hope that Dr. Qasim’s case will receive due attention from concerned quarters that it really deserves on its own merits.” Sayyid Tasaduq Hussain
Sr. Advocate J&K High Court


Dr. Muhammad Qasim  S/o Gh. Nabi R/o Soura Srinagar was born in 1967 in a middle class family at Zaldagar Srinagar. His father was a well known handicraft exporter. Among five children he was the youngest one. In the year 1980 when he was 13 years of age his father at the age of 50 years due to a severe heart attack left this world. It was a great shock to whole family and his friends. It was time when all the five children were studying thus, the main problem before the family was of livelihood. They were having two showrooms at Pather Masjid and Rainawari localities. But the problem was that, who will take care of these two showrooms. At that time the age of elder brother of Dr. Muhammad Qasim was just 18, it was crucial stage for whole family as the studies of all the children could have effected. At this sensitive moment his elder brother showed his broad mindedness and courage by coming forward to take the whole responsibility of the family and sacrificing his own studies so that Dr. Muhammad Qasim and three sisters could continue their studies without any problem, but due to his young age and inexperience the business started to decline, but during this period his two sisters completed their studies and got married. In 1983 Dr. Qasim completed the basic studies i.e. Matriculation from the Modern Islamia High School, Nawab Bazar and immediately after that started tuition to some local children and got an ordinary sort of engagement to help his family financially. In 1985 the police department sought applications from the youth for the recruitment for the post of Sub-Inspectors. Dr. Qasim also appeared in the selection test for the said posts. For the selection he was demanded Rs. 25000/- as bribe since he was not in a position to pay the amount so in spite of completing all other formalities he was not selected. Dr. Qasim often uses to say that I felt very much sorry and distressed at that time for not being selected for the said post. I used to curse that person who demanded the money, but now I pray for his good, regarding that incident he says that when your point of view changes regarding life, the yardstick to measure good and evil also got changed. At that time not becoming an Inspector was a great shock for me but in 1993 immediately after my arrest the advisor to Governor D.D. Saklani came to me at Papa-2 interrogation centre three times to convince me for taking part in the elections. He not only assured me the success in the elections but also assured me the ministerial berth. On another occasion in Jan 2002 at Talab Tiloo interrogation centre Jammu the same offer was repeated by some intelligence officers but on the both occasions without giving any thought to their offers with great satisfaction I rejected the offer thus, gave priority to the jail. Although there is no comparison between an ordinary inspector post and ministerial berth but my view point regarding life was entirely different now. Regarding the year 1987, Dr. Muhammad Qasim writes that this year was turning point for me. In his autobiography (yet to be published) Bebasi (helplessness) he says that until 1987 I was an ordinary type of college student, always engaged in playing, seeing cricket and other sports. But in that year first time in my life I felt actively inclined towards Islam. Probably in this change, by the will of Allah the book of Maulana Ashaq Illahi, Marne Ke Ba’d kya Hoga (what will happen after death) played an important role. “Now I kept related myself with Darsgah and used to remain in touch with religious minded companions.” In 1987 Dr. Qasim completed his B.Com degree from Islamia College and in order to appear in the exams of ICWA which were going to be held at Delhi started the preparation for the entrance test. During that period with the help of one religious colleague namely Tariq Ahmad Sheikh of Hyderpora Dr. Qasim met a well known guerilla leader Muhammad Abdullah Bangru who had returned to Kashmir after getting guerilla training in Afghanistan. In 1990 Dr. Qasim was appointed as spokesman of the Hizbul Mujahidin (H.M) outfit. He did not give up his studies but changed his subject and chose Islamiyat instead of ICWA and with that also started his writing career. He regularly wrote for the local newspapers. His columns were published in the newspapers and journals. He used to write column Kadwa Sach (Bitter truth) for the daily Alsafa newspaper. In 1990 he along with his two other companions namely Nasir ul-Islam and Dr. Muhammad Shafi Khan objected to the patronage of Jamat-i-Islami over Hizbul Mujahedin and laid the foundation of Jamait-ul-Mujahedin (JUM). He was appointed its spokesman. In Oct. 1990 Dr. Qasim married chairperson of women reformist organization Dukhtran-i-Millat, Asiyah Andrabi and got related with known educated and religious family of Kashmir. While continuing his studies he completed the degrees of Maulvi Fazil, M.A, M. Phil and Ph.D (Islamic Studies) from the Kashmir University. Teaching and preaching became his fulltime engagements. He started giving the sermons in different mosques, and also raised the voice against the social evils and theoretical apostasies which were flourishing in the society, and alongwith these engagements he also worked for permanent solution of the Kashmir problem according to the wishes of the people and used his oratory skills and pen in this regard. Hundreds of his essays which were on various topics were published not only in the local dailies but also in the fortnightly and monthly magazines of the various states of India.

Besides this his many books in which i) Insan ka ta’ruf, ii) Dai Da‘wat Aur Madu‘ iii) Maslaki Masajid Aur Tafriq bainul Muslemin iv) Kashmiyat Aur Itihad Bainul Muslemin v) Maslai Kashmir ki Shari‘e Hassiyat vi) Aqedah Tawhid Aur Bharti Intikhabaat Main Shirkat vii) Al-Tawhid (in English) viii) The Status of Sunnah are particularly worth mentioning. In 1993, he along with his wife and infant child Muhammad were arrested at Srinagar airport while returning from Delhi. After 13 months of detention his wife and infant son were released but he was detained under PSA and sent to the jail for one year. Since you had endowed his pen for the freedom movement, for the Indian rulers who always talk about freedom of expression and pen should not have been any crime but here their yardstick is quite different. Not any where in the detention grounds militant activities were mentioned so it was obvious that, the government would have been compelled to release him after one year thus, ruling establishment used extremely wicked method to settle its political rivalry, as BSF men and intelligence agencies through severe torture in the notorious Papa-2 interrogation centre forced Dr. Qasim to sign some blank papers and after that he came to know that he has been involved in the conspiracy of a murder of some person namely Hardai Nath Wanchoo. In March 1999 when he was released on bail there arose severe differences between him and the ‘actual controllers’ of the militant movement which resulted end of his affiliation with militant organization. And thus he confined himself to writing and preaching. During this period on the invitation of Muslim Parliament of London he visited Britain and on the invitation of WAMY visited Saudi Arabia and to meet some relatives he visited Pakistan. On his return he established teaching centres at Raj Bagh, Hazratbal and various other places.In July 2001 the TADA Court Jammu honourably acquitted him and his two companions in the above said case. But the decision did not suit ruling establishment thus, they filed petition against this judgement in the Supreme Court of India and in Jan 2003 the Supreme Court acknowledged that since there is no evidence against Dr. Qasim and his two companions and case is solely based on their ‘confessional statements’ still the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India sentenced them for life imprisonment. Here I want to draw the kind attention of the readers towards an important point.In August 2002 the Chairman of JKLF Mr. Muhammad Yasin Malik informed Dr. Qasim through his friend that, he (Yasin Malik) had information through some of his Delhi based friends that platform has been set for slapping the life imprisonment for Dr. Qasim. In Nov. 2002 a well known Hurriyat activist Muhammad Salim Zargar has personally told Dr. Qasim that the sleuths of intelligence department have told him (Salim Zargar) in the Jammu Court that they will never allow Dr. Qasim to come out of the jail. Here an important question arises that the judgement was to be given by the Supreme Court of India as in Jan 2003 it did, how came the intelligence sleuths and ruling establishment know about this judgement before it was announced? And that too when the famous advocates of the valley like Mr. Abdul Qayum, Mr. Mufti Mehraj-ud-din, Mr. Zaffer Ahmad Shah, Sayyid Tasaduq Hussain, Mr. Abdullah Pandit and also the famous advocates of India Mr. Kapil Sibal and Mr. B.B. Singh had assured Dr. Qasim after seeing the charge sheet that there is not even an one percent (1%) chance of conviction in this case. Important question here is that, from where then this decision of sentencing him was taken?......

His political views:
Dr. Qasim’s political views regarding Kashmir are based on historical realities, justice and logic. He doesn’t consider Dogra ruler Hari Singh as public representative thus, rejects his decision of accession to India. He is of the opinion that Indian National Congress with the help of Shaikh Abdullah created such atmosphere for Hari Singh which ultimately forced him to sign document of accession even he himself was not mentally prepared for that he was very much confused about the future of Kashmir and it was assurance given by Shaikh Abdullah to him which encouraged him to take decision of accession, which was not only against the principle of partition but in every aspect against the wishes of the masses of Kashmir. At the same time Dr. Qasim did not accept this cooked history that Indian forces landed in Kashmir only after the document of accession was signed by Hari Singh while quoting an authority on Kashmir Alastair Lamb in his book mentions that Indian forces were already here and they even received their companions on 27th of Oct, 1947. He raises million dollar question when he asked Indian rulers that, they are asking Huriyat Conference leadership to prove their representative character what about Hari Singh? Was he elected representative of Kashmiri people? How his decision of accession was accepted? If as a ruler he had a right to take such decision what about ruler of Junagarh why his decision to accede Junagarh to Pakistan was not accepted by Indian rulers? Another irrelevant aspect of this so-called accession is that Hari Singh signed the document of accession at a time when public movement against him was on its peak and he was forced to quit Kashmir and he signed the document only after quitting Kashmir. I do not think after knowing these historical realties any sane and just person can say that, Hari Singh’s decision of accession has no legal or moral standing. According to Dr. Qasim battle between people of Kashmir and Indian rulers is basically battle between history of Kashmir and Indian occupation. Universal truth about history that it repeats itself will deliver its part in Kashmir also and once history of Kashmir repeats itself India will be forced and forced by circumstances to quit Kashmir thus, one has to wait and see how long Indian might be able to stop history of Kashmir from its repetition. He advocates that while taking history of Kashmir into consideration this problem must be solved according to the wishes of Kashmiri people as has been promised by India’s first Prime Minister Pandit Nehru from 1947 till his demise (1962) he repeatedly took pledges before the world, Pakistani rulers, Indian parliament and people of Kashmir. He used to say as soon as peace restores in Kashmir people of Kashmir will be given right to decide their future. Dr. Qasim argues that demanding plebiscite in Kashmir is in other words demand to Indian rulers that they should fulfill promises of their first prime minister Pandit Nehru regarding future of Kashmir; he further says one fails to understand how it has become crime in Kashmir to demand plebiscite. He is very disgusted with the political leaders of the state, he says it were Shaikh Abdullah, Ghulam Muhammad Bakhshi and Ghulam Muhammad Sadiq and then Faruq Abdullah, Mufti Sayid and Ghulam Nabi Azad now who are giving political shield to Indian military occupation here in Kashmir, he writes further that for mere power and personal interests the state political leader mislead Indian government about ground realities on Kashmir particularly regarding the wishes of people resulting Indian government repeatedly instead of finding solution to this humane problem indulged itself in solving the superficial and secondary problems/issues in Kashmir. He pleads that it is not problem in Kashmir but problem of Kashmir which Government of India should address. He blames state Indian leaders for misguiding Indian government that the present situation in Kashmir is unemployment problem it is why Indian leaders are announcing economic packages and job schemes. He while appealing Indian rulers, says that Kashmir problem is of political nature thus, must be solved according to the wishes of the people and economic packages can not heal up political wounds.While discussing universal principle of the state craft Dr. Qasim says that there are ample examples in history and even today we can see it existing that, rulers ruling over their subjects against their wishes merely on the basis of their military might, he says it was easy to rule over subjects against their wishes in past and even today but in all these cases their rule did not continue for long and shall not exist in future too, resistance of oppressed people and sometimes even circumstances forced such oppressors to quit occupied states.

Even today mighty rulers can rule directly or through local poodles states and countries but can not rule over hearts of people. One can subdue everything by might but cannot win a single heart by might. Dr. Qasim while giving the example of India itself says how many kingdoms were established from Chandar Gupt Muriyah to king Akbar since they only ruled over the bodies of their subjects today their reference is confined only in history books, on the contrary the kingdoms which were established by the great personalities like Gautam Budah, Mahawirah and Hazrat Nizam-al-din on hearts of people are still existing and even today they rule infinite number of subjects throughout the world, the prince of Kapilvastau left his superficial empire because he wanted to rule the hearts of the people thus, established an empire which is existing even today. He raises very important question when he says that in last 58 years Indian rulers with all their efforts and tricks have failed to win the hearts of the Kashmiri people, even though spending billions on Kashmir the situation here is that even a single Kashmiri is not ready to allow any Indian political leader or a security personnel to enter his house thus, there is a yawning gulf of hatred between India and Kashmir and brutalities of Indian forces are adding to this hatred by every passing day. Dr. Qasim regarding this situation goes even to this extent that from the core of heart the political leaders right from Sheikh Abdullah to Faruq Abdullah were not Indians but they became or pretend to be Indians only because of lust for power. If Kashmiris are given right of self determination I am of firm belief that Faruq Abdullah will cast his vote in favour of independence and not in favour of India. That is why Dr. Qasim strongly opposes the killing of pro-Indian political leader and workers. Since having deep knowledge of history of Kashmir he says that history can be mutilated and can be wrongly interpreted too but it cannot be destroyed thus like Hindu faith of rebirth history repeats itself. While clarifying it he writes that against the wishes of the people, Mughals ruled Kashmir for 167 years, Afgan for 66 years, Sikhs for 27 years and Dogras for about 99 years since, they fail to win hearts of Kashmiri people they were forced by circumstance to quit Kashmir. Dr. Qasim is in full agreement with famous historian Pandit Kalhan that, Kashmiris cannot be win over by sword. Since Indian rulers have failed and failed miserably to win the hearts of Kashmiri people thus, their rule over Kashmir will not last long. When Indian rulers will accept this bitter truth they will allow Kashmiri people to decide their future, meanwhile they are doing everything to stop history of Kashmir from its repetition. He further says that the result of this battle between history of Kashmir and Indian occupation might emerge very soon, according to him history is not only unbeatable force but court also and it has to announce its verdict against Indian occupation.Dr. Qasim is also in agreement with the opinion of Raj Mohan Gandhi that to solve the Kashmir issue fairly it is compulsory for the Indian leaders to make aware their subjects about the historical realities of Kashmir at the earliest. In this context Indian print and electronic media has to play vital role. Regarding Kashmir he considers that, may it be accession of Hari Singh (1947), Nehru Abdullah agreement (1952), Indira Abdullah agreement (1975), or Shastri Ayub agreement (1966) Indra Bhattu agreement (1972),Vajpayee Nawaz agreement (1999), these all agreements failed to solve Kashmir dispute because they did not take into account wishes of Kashmiri people, further he says that even if today any agreement takes place regarding Kashmir between Manmohan-Musahraf or Manmohan-Huriyat Conference, where wishes of people are ignored it will be one more attempt in futility and this will not change hearts and minds of people about Delhi. Dr. Qasim in his every book and article requests Indian government that they should show sense of wisdom, farsightedness and political vision and should understand and acknowledge aspirations of people and at the same time should go into history of Kashmir, it is only then they can convince themselves to accept the truth about Kashmir. It is solution of Kashmir issue only which can make relations between Pakistan and India cordial and it is this cordial relation between these two neighbours which will ultimately pave the way for Sub-continent’s peace and prosperity.Dr. Qasim first political leader who put forward three point formula for changing this freedom movement of Kashmir into self reliant movement. 1) After taking the militant organizations into confidence the Huriyat Conference and other political organizations should draft a bottom line on Kashmir issue when he talks about bottom line one should not misunderstand him that he is advocating any solution with in the sovereignty of India not at all what he mean to say is that there are various options even outside the Indian sovereignty thus political and militant leadership should unanimously choose one of them.2) Political organizations should not accept the monetary help from any government or agency instead of this should raise funds locally 3) They must snap all kinds of relations with the intelligence agencies of Delhi and Islamabad. When he put forth these suggestions before political and militant organizations in his speeches and writings Huriyat Conference and other leaders declare all this as mere imagination. But after 9/11 his friends and foes both not only acknowledged his farsightedness but are also talking now about indigenous movement it was his prophecy when he in his famous book Maslai Kashmir ki Shar‘i Hathiyat (published in June 2001) wrote that today or tomorrow Musharaf government will take U turn from Pakistan’s traditional stand on Kashmir which is obvious today. Although people are considering 9/11 responsible for this U turn but Dr. Qasim has in detail discussed the reasons which actually led Musharaf government to this U turn in the said book. Actually it was this political farsightedness and practical vision for which he was sentenced for life in a case he was implicated by the state authorities he often says that if I would have been given this life imprisonment for my political beliefs and thoughts I would have cheerfully accepted it but the cover of murder which the authorities took and without any witness and only on the basis of so-called confessional statement even after Jammu TADA Court had honourably acquitted him with his two colleagues this hurts lot. Dr. Qasim is first ever Kashmiri scholar and political ideologue who has been sentenced for life solely on the basis of his political beliefs. Strange aspect of his case is that TADA court acquitted him saying confessional statement has been extracted without following norms for recording the confessional statement and has been recorded under duress conditions. It is also surprising I think it is unique case in the history of TADA court too that lower court is acquitting somebody and apex court is sentencing him for life.We ask justice loving politicians, intellectuals, journalists, judges, advocates and organizations working for human rights that is it possible that a person having moderate views regarding religion, economy, politics and society can involve himself in a murder of an innocent person?From, last 15 years Dr. Muhammad Qasim is languishing behind bars for a crime he never committed. Not only his family, his wife and little children are in pain and agony but his well wishers too are worried due to his continuous imprisonment people of Kashmir are looking for his earliest release. His religious, educational, political and social services to his community are an open book. In this world of freedom of expression and thought his detention is a question mark on Indian democracy.Here I conclude my paper by the words of Jinab Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Chairman of Tehrik-i-Huriyat regarding Dr. Qasim.

“In Central Jail Srinagar there is our sincere colleague, pious devotee of Islam and freedom fighter Dr. Muhammad Qasim who after acquittal from TADA court, just for political revenge and to keep him away from this oppressed nation and to deprive people of Kashmir from his educational and religious abilities, was sentenced to life imprisonment. His remembrance, his ambition for reformation of society and his wish to liberate this nation will never fade away from our hearts and mind. His continuous imprisonment is a hurdle in our comprehensive work for freedom. It is not beyond the mercy and blessings of Allah Almighty that he comes out from this ordeal.” 

Kupwara residents recall memories of 1993 massacre

29 MUHARRAM-UL-HARAM 1430 AH ; TUESDAY, JANUARY 27, 2009 CE: In occupied Kashmir, Indian troopers, who gunned down 27 civilians in Kupwara district on January 27, 1993 for observing shutdown on India’s Republic Day, continue to roam freely even after 16 years.

Memories of the massacre are still fresh in the minds of people and they are waiting for the day when the perpetrators would be punished.

The Traders Federation of Kupwara, on Monday held a prayer meeting to remember those who fell prey to the troopers’ bullets. “We demand that case should be reopened and killers be punished,” the traders said.

On the fateful day, troops of 15 Punjab and Gharwal regiments opened indiscriminate fire killing 27 civilians in Kupwara market. After the incident, police registered a case and assured the residents that erring troopers would be punished.

“There was no headway made after the case was registered. We are waiting for the day when killers would be punished,” said one of the survivors. 

Recalling the incident, the survivors said that the troops fired upon people only to avenge the strike observed by shopkeepers on January 26. They said that the patrolling party of Punjab regiment had warned the shopkeepers on January 25 of dire consequences if they observed strike and didn’t celebrate India’s Republic Day.  

“As the shopkeepers opened their shops on January 27, troopers opened fire from all the directions killing 27 people. After unleashing death, troopers asked survivors to assemble in the ground and undergo an identification parade,” recalled a survivor.  

He said that no one was allowed to lift the bodies and take the injured to hospital adding, “A boy died in front of his father, who begged the troopers to allow him to take his son to the hospital. But troopers didn’t pay any heed towards his pleas.”


Kashmir Media Service

Kashmir Watch

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Kashmiris remember Handwara massacre even after 19 years

Aftermath of Gawkadal massacre

 After the Gawkadal massacre on 21 of the Januay 1990 were Fifty two unarmed civilians were massacred by the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF)  tens of thousands of people from Handwara  were  heading toward Handwara Chowk to protest aganist the Gawkadal massacre which killed 55 which took place just 3 days before.

Kashmir Media Service

27 MUHARRAM-UL-HARAM 1430 AH ; SUNDAY, JANUARY 25, 2009 CE:-Nineteen years after Handwara district witnessed one of the worst massacres in the history of occupied Kashmir, people still remember the bloodbath by the troops of Indian Border Security Force (BSF).
Twenty-five protesters were killed in cold blood by the paramilitary BSF troopers on January 25, 1990.
“I along with around tens of thousands of people was heading toward Handwara Chowk. When the procession crossed Handwara Police Station, troopers coming from opposite side jumped from their vehicles and without any warning turned their barrels at us and fired indiscriminately,” said Ghulam Rasool who was part of 25 January 1990 procession in Handwara when 25 people were killed.

Rasool said that he and others were protesting against human rights violations and serial crackdowns in Gaw Kadal area of Srinagar when without any provocation troopers opened fire at them. “Suddenly people hit by bullets were falling in front of me. Some of them died on the spot. Many others were critically injured.”

While recollecting what happened on the day, a survivor, Nazir Ahmed said, “Thousands of people from Handwara and other adjoining areas raising pro-freedom slogans assembled in the town to protest against the Gaw Kadal massacre, where 55 persons were shot dead by the troopers just few days before.” He said that BSF troopers continued indiscriminate firing on people for three hours. Hundreds of troopers cornered the demonstrators from every side and emptied their magazines on their chests.

Another survivor, Fayaz Ahmed said that the mere thought of that day sends shivers down his spine. “The BSF troopers had gone mad. Doomsday cannot be worse than what I wave witnessed. Within minutes bodies were piled on streets and blood was scattered everywhere,” he added.

The locals said “Instead of allowing us to construct a memorial where the carnage took place, occupation authorities constructed a bunker there to add insult to our injuries.” “Their memorial should be built in the main Chowk so that our future generations don’t forget the history,” they added.


Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Gawkadal massacre

Fresh memories and forgotten killers

Greater KASHMR


TASIM ZAHID



Srinagar, 23 MUHARRAM-UL-HARAM 1430 AH Wednesday, January 21, 2009: Fifty two unarmed civilians were massacred by the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) troopers on 21 January, 1990 at Gawkadal. The memories of the first of a series of bloodiest massacres by Indian troopers across the Valley carried out to quell the freedom struggle are fresh in the minds of the survivors and the families of the victims. And the spot where the people were mowed down like flies is marked by a granite memorial which has a marble stone inscribed with the names of the martyrs and a tap from which passersby drink water. The memorial is hidden from the public gaze for most of the times by a row of auto rickshaws. The accused killers, as a norm, were exonerated a long time back.  
 Not knowing how to respond to the mass uprising, New Delhi deputed governor Jagmohan to Kashmir. He took the charge on January 19 and on the same night the troopers searched homes in the Guru Bazaar area during crackdown operations, and randomly arrested 56 civilians, beat up and abused people. 
 On January 20, the families including a large number of women, took to streets demanding the release of their kin who had been pulled out of their beds. They laid siege on the divisional commissioner's office for the whole day. Eventually, by the evening 50 of those arrested were set free as nothing was found against them. 
Next day, a huge procession was taken out from Mehjoor Nagar and thousands of people from civil lines areas joined it. The protesters were marching toward Chota Bazar where the troopers had molested some women a day before. But when it reached Gawkadal the CRPF troopers fired at the unarmed peaceful protesters killing 52 of them and injuring scores of others. 
 Prominent journalist and columnist Zahir-ud-din witnessed the massacre. He says, “I was in the middle of crowd, when they started firing started. First they fired a shot in air and then at people. I just ran.”
 “Next day we buried twelve bodies in our martyr’s graveyard at Magarmal Bagh without knowing the identities of the dead. I think some of them were never identified,” Zahir-ud-din said.
  A Shopkeeper at Gawkadal wishing anonymity said, “The bodies were scattered on the road. The Imam Sahib of our mosque mustered up courage and walked among the bodies, trying to see if someone was breathing. How can we forget that day?” But for Abdul Rouf Wani’s courageous act the death toll would have been much higher than 52. Rouf stood in front of the barrel of a machine gun from which a CRPF trooper was firing at the procession.
 Rouf was 20 years old and the results of his matriculation exam were declared three months later. 
 His elder sister, Zulehuma, said, “Who would rejoice at the exam results of a dead brother. When he was martyred my younger brother said Rouf was not made for this world. He was always different from all of us.”
 “When he was young he once told me that he wanted to die a martyr’s death. Every breath he took was in the way of the Allah,” she said. Rouf had spent the night before the massacre in a mosque reciting Quran, Zulehuma said, adding, “He had returned home two days before from Gulmarg where he had spent a month along with many other preachers of Tabligh movement, preaching Islam.”
 Zulehuma belives that her brother’s sacrifices would not go waste. “Today we are in the same situation as we were in the 1990. People have sold the blood of those who offered sacrifices which will not go waste,” she said. 
 Zulehuma has only one question for the Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah, “Has he ever asked himself where thousands of people of his age in Kashmir are? They have been killed.”
 The massacre changed the life of Showkat Ahmed Khan. He built the memorial at the Gowkadal crossing. He joined the JKLF which spearheaded the struggle at that time. On 12 March 2002 he met the same fate as those killed at Gawkadal. After his arrest by the dreaded Special Task Force, his body was found from Shalteng. His father-in-law, Nazir Ahmad says that Showkat’s face “had nearly split into two with bullets.”
 Showkat left behind a small baby girl who was barely three months old at that time. His wife has remarried since, but his daughter lives with his Showkat’s family. Nazir Ahmed says that she calls Showkat’s brother as his father.

 And Showkat’s neighbor’s remember him as the “man who made the memorial.”

Gawkadal massacre: Fresh memories and forgotten killers

TASIM ZAHID

Greater Kashmir

Srinagar,23 MUHARRAM-UL-HARAM 1430 AH Wednesday, January 21, 2009: Fifty two unarmed civilians were massacred by the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) troopers on 21 January, 1990 at Gawkadal. The memories of the first of a series of bloodiest massacres by Indian troopers across the Valley carried out to quell the freedom struggle are fresh in the minds of the survivors and the families of the victims. And the spot where the people were mowed down like flies is marked by a granite memorial which has a marble stone inscribed with the names of the martyrs and a tap from which passersby drink water. The memorial is hidden from the public gaze for most of the times by a row of auto rickshaws. The accused killers, as a norm, were exonerated a long time back.  

 Not knowing how to respond to the mass uprising, New Delhi deputed governor Jagmohan to Kashmir. He took the charge on January 19 and on the same night the troopers searched homes in the Guru Bazaar area during crackdown operations, and randomly arrested 56 civilians, beat up and abused people. 
 On January 20, the families including a large number of women, took to streets demanding the release of their kin who had been pulled out of their beds. They laid siege on the divisional commissioner's office for the whole day. Eventually, by the evening 50 of those arrested were set free as nothing was found against them. 
Next day, a huge procession was taken out from Mehjoor Nagar and thousands of people from civil lines areas joined it. The protesters were marching toward Chota Bazar where the troopers had molested some women a day before. But when it reached Gawkadal the CRPF troopers fired at the unarmed peaceful protesters killing 52 of them and injuring scores of others. 
 Prominent journalist and columnist Zahir-ud-din witnessed the massacre. He says, “I was in the middle of crowd, when they started firing started. First they fired a shot in air and then at people. I just ran.”
 “Next day we buried twelve bodies in our martyr’s graveyard at Magarmal Bagh without knowing the identities of the dead. I think some of them were never identified,” Zahir-ud-din said.
  A Shopkeeper at Gawkadal wishing anonymity said, “The bodies were scattered on the road. The Imam Sahib of our mosque mustered up courage and walked among the bodies, trying to see if someone was breathing. How can we forget that day?” But for Abdul Rouf Wani’s courageous act the death toll would have been much higher than 52. Rouf stood in front of the barrel of a machine gun from which a CRPF trooper was firing at the procession.
 Rouf was 20 years old and the results of his matriculation exam were declared three months later. 
 His elder sister, Zulehuma, said, “Who would rejoice at the exam results of a dead brother. When he was martyred my younger brother said Rouf was not made for this world. He was always different from all of us.”
 “When he was young he once told me that he wanted to die a martyr’s death. Every breath he took was in the way of the Allah,” she said. Rouf had spent the night before the massacre in a mosque reciting Quran, Zulehuma said, adding, “He had returned home two days before from Gulmarg where he had spent a month along with many other preachers of Tabligh movement, preaching Islam.”
 Zulehuma belives that her brother’s sacrifices would not go waste. “Today we are in the same situation as we were in the 1990. People have sold the blood of those who offered sacrifices which will not go waste,” she said. 
 Zulehuma has only one question for the Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah, “Has he ever asked himself where thousands of people of his age in Kashmir are? They have been killed.”
 The massacre changed the life of Showkat Ahmed Khan. He built the memorial at the Gowkadal crossing. He joined the JKLF which spearheaded the struggle at that time. On 12 March 2002 he met the same fate as those killed at Gawkadal. After his arrest by the dreaded Special Task Force, his body was found from Shalteng. His father-in-law, Nazir Ahmad says that Showkat’s face “had nearly split into two with bullets.”
 Showkat left behind a small baby girl who was barely three months old at that time. His wife has remarried since, but his daughter lives with his Showkat’s family. Nazir Ahmed says that she calls Showkat’s brother as his father.

 And Showkat’s neighbor’s remember him as the “man who made the memorial.”


Thursday, January 8, 2009

Indian Troops kill passerby outside CM house

 
Wasim Khalid/ Shabir Ali

Srinagar/Islamabad, Jan 7: A 34-year old deaf and dumb was shot dead by army personnel few meters away from the residence of the chief minister, Omar Abdullah at Gupkar Sonawar last night. 

Police sources said that the incident took place at 10:30 pm on Tuesday evening when [Indian] army men stationed at the residential compound of Commander 31 Sub Area on Gupkar Road opened fire on Abdul Rashid Reshi, who was killed on spot. 


They said the chief minister; Omar Abdullah’s residence is few meters away from the spot, where the incident took place.

After hearing the gunshots, a police team rushed to the spot to inquire into the matter.


“During preliminary investigations, we found Reshi had entered the army camp by scaling the wall,” SSP Srinagar, Afhad-ul-Mujtaba told Rising Kashmir.

He claimed that he was challenged and asked by army personnel to stop. “He, however, ignored the warning and continued to move ahead. Later, the sentry stationed at the third check post opened fire on him, killing him on the spot,” he said.

Mujtaba said a Kangri (firepot) and an identity card were recovered from his possession. The deceased, Abdul Rashid Reshi, belonged to Veer Saran village of Pahalgam, Islamabad.  

When asked whether any weapons were recovered from the deceased, SSP said, “No weapons or incriminating material was recovered from him. During investigations, it was found that he was impaired by speech and hearing”.

“We have taken cognizance and registered case under CRPC,” added SSP. 

Family Speaks

The family members of the deceased said that Reshi had left for Srinagar on Tuesday morning. “He had left his home to work as a labourer in Srinagar,” Reshi’s brother, Ghulam Qadir Reshi said. 
“He had not informed us and we were searching for him”.

He said, “On Tuesday evening they came to know about his killing from their distant relative, Ghulam Nabi Reshi, currently staying in Srinagar”.

My brother could not speak or hear. Those who say he was mentally ill are trying to project the things differently” he said.  
Qadir said, “He had come to Srinagar to earn livelihood but instead his life was cut short by army personnel, who killed him without any justification”.

Stating that he and his family members voted for National Conference during the assembly elections, Qadir said, “We voted for development but got death bag in return. The troops killed my innocent brother without any reason”. 

As the body of Abdul Rashid Reshi was brought to his village for last rites, hundreds of people took to roads and staged anti-India and anti-army demonstrations. Shouting pro-freedom and anti India slogans, the villagers and relatives of the victim demanded judicial probe into the killing.

Rafi Mir, the local MLA also demanded a judicial probe into the incident. “The guilty persons should be taken to task and punished,” he said.

He said that the case should not be hushed up.

Army orders probe

A defence spokesman while confirming the killing of the impaired person said, “Army guards at the residential compound of Commander 31 Sub Area on Gupkar Road, Srinagar fired on an intruder who scaled over rear boundary wall and entered its premises at about 10 pm on January 6”.

He claimed that the intruder despite being challenged repeatedly by the sentries did not stop and continued to run towards the residence. “The sentries then fired on the individual resulting in his death. The body was handed over to the police, who are investigating the matter,” he said.  

The defence spokesman said that army has ordered a high level inquiry into the incident.

He, however, claimed, “While the intention of the individual is not clear at this juncture, the possibility of his carrying out reconnaissance with the aim of launching a fidayeen attack at a later date cannot be ruled out and the same is also being examined by the inquiry instituted into the case.”  

[Rising Kashmir]

[KW Note: Since 1988, the U.N. recognised disputed state of Jammu and Kashmir has been hit by confrontation between Kashmiri Guerrillas and the Indian Military, which has resulted in more than One hundred thousand of deaths.

Armed Forces Special Powers Act contains no guidelines for ensuring effective control of the Military forces by the civil authorities. Under the act the Indian Military have the power to shoot, arrest, search, seize and even kill when they deem it necessary.]

‘I wish I see my son before my death’

Srinagar, Jan 8 (PBI): While seven years have elapsed, the whereabouts of a Pattan youth who was picked up by forces are still unknown leaving the family of the youth in unending despair. 

Gh. Mohiudin Mir, a taxi driver, was picked up by the forces at Nihalpora in Pattan area of North Kashmir on 15 October, 2000. When he was driving his taxi at Nihalpora in Pattan.

“My son was picked up by a party of forces led by Capt. G.S.Gandial.” Abdul Khaliq Mir, father of Gh. Mohammad Mir told Press Bureau of India.

“After my son was disappeared by the forces, I visited every force camp, every police station but could not get the whereabouts of my 28 year old son”, said Khaliq Mir.

The old father who has been wrecked by the disappearance of his son told in a paused voice to Press Bureau of India, “Police recovered my son’s taxi from Hyderbaig later but my son is still oblivious to my eyes. I wish I see him once then bid adieu to this world where I feel vapid and chained now”, said Mir.

Though Khaliq Mir has been reduced to a hulk by the unbearable separation of his son who has no more tears to trickle, he is all resolute to fight for justice till he breaths his last, “ So long as the world allows me to live, I will not give up the struggle for justice” said the bruised father.

Recalling a protest rally at Delhi, Khaliq Mir said, “Two years back our union held a protest demonstration at Delhi and were joined in by noted human rights activist, Nirmala Desh Panday also but it too passed as a trifle over the government”.

While the world has trivialized for Khaliq Mir now, his only aspiration is to see his son once, “If my son is alive show me his whereabouts, if he is dead, show me his grave”, Mir told PBI in shrieks and sobs.

[KW Note: Jammu and Kashmir is the U.N. recognized disputed state under the illegal occupation of India.

Since 1988, the disputed state of Jammu and Kashmir has been hit by confrontation between Kashmiri Freedom Fighters and the Indian Military, which has resulted in more than One hundred thousand of deaths. Unofficial sources put the number of Indian troops deployed in the state to seven hundred thousand.

Local human rights group, the Jammu and Kashmir Coalition of Civil Societies (JKCCS) has reported that 8 to 10 thousand had disappeared in the U.N. recognised disputed state since the armed resistance against Indian rule.]

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Documented Mass Massacres by India in Occupied Kashmir



The Dogra rule, followed by Indian occupation in 1947, is a bleak chapter in the history of Jammu and Kashmir. The Dogra rule, which continued from 1846-1947, is considered as the gloomiest period. Indian armed forces occupied a major part of Jammu and Kashmir on October 27, 1947 and the occupation is still continuing. The Indian troops pursued the policy of suppression in a systematic manner to reduce the overwhelming Muslim majority in occupied Jammu and Kashmir. To achieve this objective Indian troops started the process of mass massacre. There are plenty of events and evidences to support this gory fact. Some of the events are mentioned as under: 

July 13, 1931

The people of Kashmir have been raising their voices against the Dogra usurpation of their land and as a result, they faced brutal consequences. On July 13, 1931, a large number of Kashmiris, gathered in front of the Srinagar central jail, at a time when the trial of a youth, Abdul Qadeer, accused of involvement in a case of agitation, was in progress inside the jail. The objective was to demonstrate solidarity with the young man. As the time for obligatory prayer approached, a young Kashmiri stood for Azan(Call for the prayer), The Dogra police opened fire on him, and he got martyred. Thereby, another youth took the place of the martyred young man and started Azan. He too was shot dead. In this way, 22 Kashmiris embraced martyrdom, in their efforts to complete the Azan. 

August 26, 1947

Earlier in June 1947, people of Poonch had launched a no-tax campaign against the heavy taxation of Maharaja. To curb the agitation, Maharaja Hari Singh, the last Dogra ruler of the state, ordered the use of brute military force. On August 26, the mobs clashed with the Dogra-armed forces. The Dogra troops opened bran-gun fire on the huge crowd of 5,000 civilians, martyring and wounding hundreds of them. 

October-November 1947

Maharaja Hari Singh fled from Srinagar to Jammu on October 26th 1947, as the liberation armed activists were poised in Srinagar's suburbs to capture the city. On reaching Jammu, he issued orders to his troops and police besides the Hindu extremist groups, to kill Muslims found anywhere. The Muslims were asked to assemble in parade ground in Jammu so that they would be driven to Pakistan in lorries. While on their way, on October 20, 1947, eight thousand Muslims were massacred at Malatank Jammu. On October 22, 1947 at least 14000 Muslims were massacred at Saniya Jammu and 15,000 Muslims were gunned down near the bridge at Akhnoor. On November 5 and 6, 1947, more than 100 lories were loaded with women, children and old men who were taken into the wilderness of Kuthua forests. Hindu extremists and armed gangs were let loose on these innocent people and an unparallel butchery was perpetrated, killing thousands of them. Women were raped, molested and their valuables looted. All these bloodsheds were taking place in full view of the Indian army, which had by that time occupied a major part of the state. In another act of butchery, a large gathering of 25000 Muslims, in Miran Sahib and Ranbir Singhpora, were machine-gunned. 

On 9th November 30

While on their way to Pakistan, through Surcharged route, nearly 300,000 people, were massacred in cold blood. The British daily "the London Times," wrote on October 10, 1947 in a report from its special correspondent in India that the Maharaja, under `his own supervision, got assassinated 237,000 Muslims, using military forces, in Jammu area. The editor of "Statesman" Ian Stephen, in his book "Horned Moon" wrote that till the end of autumn 1947, more than 200,000 Muslims were assassinated. Right from 1947, the fury of mass killings go on unabated. Kashmiris suffered massacres in 1965 and 1971. Since 1989, India increased its acts of brutalities and people were killed enmasse. Some of the savage events are as under. 

January 15, 1990

In Kupwara town, the Indian army and paramilitary forces shot dead 17 unarmed civilians including one woman when they subjected peaceful protesters to unprovoked firing. 

January 21, 1990

55 innocent civilians were killed in the localities of Basantbagh and Gawkadal, in Srinagar city by CRPF troops when more than 20,000 people took to the streets, defying curfew. 

January 22, 1990

The Indian army and paramilitary forces, resorted to unprovoked firing at Alamghari Bazar, Srinagar and killed many unarmed civilians. The people had come out unarmed to protest against the military killings at Gaw Kadal in Srinagar. 

January 25, 1990

26 civilians, most of them pedestrians, were shot dead in Handwara town of Kupwara district. The township was set afire by BSF, after the latter was panicked by a bang. Some of the slain persons, including women, were roasted alive. 

March 1, 1990

In order to halt massive demonstrations by the people, who were to submit a memorandum to UNMOGIP, Indian army opened fire at Tengpora bypass and Zakoora crossing in Srinagar, killing 21 and 26 demonstrators, respectively. 

May 21, 1990 

Fifty nine persons were put to death by CRPF troops near Islamia College Srinagar. The unarmed civilian mourners, were carrying the dead body of late Mirwaiz Molvi Muhammad Farooq, prominent liberation leader and father of former APHC chairman, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq. More than three hundred people were injured. Five women, one of them pregnant, were killed. Even minors were not spared. The forces did not spare even the coffin-bearers. The dead body of late Mirwaiz was also shot at. 

August 6, 1990

The troops besieged Mashali Mohalla, in Srinagar, raided the houses of local inhabitants and killed innocent civilians. In this incident, more than two-dozen people were brutalized, of whom nine died on the spot. Some others could not be identified as their bodies had been disfigured. 

August 10, 1990

BSF cordoned off the whole area of Pazipora, Kupwara. The male inmates were ordered to gather in a park for identification parade. The locals objected to let ladies stay at their homes without being accompanied by any male members. Later the forces, in absence of male members, entered the houses, raped and molested a number of ladies. By hue and cry of the ladies, the male members tried to rush to their respective homes in order to rescue the ladies from the clutches of the armed forces. But the troops fired on the unarmed civilians of the locality and killed 25 of them on the spot. 

September 11, 1990 

A civil passenger bus, carrying about fifty persons, was intercepted by the BSF troops. Passengers, who tried to come down and save themselves, were fired upon. 22 civilians died on the spot. The bus was set on fire due to which, eight persons got burnt alive. The driver and the conductor of the vehicle were also killed on the spot. 

October 01, 1990 

The BSF personnel, deployed in Handwara town of Kupwara district, started indiscriminate firing on the unarmed civilians, who were busy in marketing activities, killing 20 of them on the spot. 

October 08, 1990 

In Rainawari Srinagar, the Indian armed forces set ablaze a number of houses and when the people tried to put out the fire, the forces indiscriminately fired on them due to which many persons, including Ghulam Muhammad Gasi, Muhammad Yousuf Gujri, Muhammad Yousuf Dar, Muhammad Yousuf Bhat, Shaikh Nawaz Pal and some more got killed. 

December 24, 1990 

At Charar-e-Sharief, in Budgam district armed forces cordoned off the area and fired indiscriminately, resulting in killing of a ten-month-old baby and five other innocent people. 

January 19, 1991 

The personnel of 42-CRPF Bn opened indiscriminate fire, killing 11 civilians in Magarmalbagh, Srinagar. Most of the victims were waiting for bus and being a busy place, most of the passers-by received bullet shots and died on the spot. 

January 30, 1991 

In Achabal Islamabad, the Indian armed forces opened indiscriminate fire, killing seven innocent persons. 

March 11, 1991 

At Rakhi Haigam, Sopore, in Baramullah district, Indian armed forces started indiscriminate firing, killing six civilians, including Manzoor Ahmad Dar aged 12 years. 

March 12, 1991

At Zakoora Nagbal, Srinagar, the BSF troops fired on unarmed civilians. The passers-by started taking shelter in the nearby houses and shops. However, the forces cordoned off the area and killed many civilians, including Ghulam Nabi Rangrez of Bohri Kadal, Abdul Hamid Magray of Nowbug, Habib Ullah and his minor son Mehraj-ud-Din Teli of Zakoora. 

March 16,1991

The Indian troops cordoned the area in Pishwari Trehgam, in Kupwara district. At that time, about 12 persons were offering prayers in a Mosque within the cordoned area. The forces directed the worshipers to come out of the Mosque but they could not come out, as they were engaged in the prayers. The forces entered into the Mosque and started firing. The Imam (Leader of the prayers) did not break the prayers. He was shot in his head. Other persons were dragged in the compound of the Mosque and six more persons were shot dead. 

May 5, 1991

At Khayam, Khanyar in Sriangar, the troops fired indiscriminately on the pedestrians due to which, five persons including a girl, Aisha, aged three years were killed. 

May 8, 1991 

In Pir Dastgeer, Khanyar locality of down town Srinagar, troops of CRPF, BSF's 2nd and 60th -Bn opened fire on thousands of people, assembled to bury some martyred Kashmiris. 18 civilians were killed. In this incident, one infant aged two years, and his father were also killed. 

June 11, 1991 

The CRPF troops opened indiscriminate fire, having been frightened by the sound of a tire burst, leaving 32 civilians killed in the densely populated area of Chotabazar, Srinagar. The killed included, shopkeepers, passers-by, old persons, women and children. 

September 03, 1991 

At Safanagri and Nelora, in Pulwama district, the armed forces fired on unarmed civilians and more than 23 got killed. 

April 2, 1992 

In Aloosa village of Bandipore tehsil of Baramullah district, the villagers were kept confined to the village limits for the whole day by the Indian troops, while those out for fishing were fired upon. At least five boatmen were killed in the firing. Many bodies were recovered from the Wular Lake as they had been made to sink by tying heavy stones to their limbs. 

April 13, 1992 

Early in the hours, BSF troops charged into the area, comprising Mohalla Hajama, Talian, Syed Sultanpora, Mahrajpora, and Chinkipora, started indiscriminate firing which resulted in killing of 13 civilians, including one woman. 

July 2, 1992 

There was a tyre burst of a moving vehicle, which created a panic in the crowded marked of Lal Chowk, Srinagar. In response the CRPF troops, posted at Hari Singh High Street, fired indiscriminately, killing six civilians. 

July 6, 1992

Ishbar locality in the outskirts of Srinagar was subjected to firing by the BSF men and at least 7 civilians were killed. 

July 13, 1992 

Army personnel entered the village of Nasrullahpora, adjacent to Budgam, and started indiscriminate firing, killing ten innocent people. 

August 15, 1992 

In Taj Mohalla of Tral, in Pulwama district, BSF troops in cold blood, killed 6 civilians. One of them was burnt alive. 

October 2, 1992 

10 civilians were killed in Handwara town of Kupwara district by BSF troops. 

December 12, 1992 

Indian troops killed 7 civilians in Kishtwar area of Doda district. 

January 6, 1993 

94-BSF-Bn personnel ran amuck, killing 57 civilians, mostly roasted alive, when they arsoned 37 residential and 35 commercial structures at Sopore in Baramullah district. 

April 10, 1993 

47 innocent Kashmiris were burnt alive when BSF set afire, most of the Lal Chowk, Srinagar, destroying 59 houses, 190 shops, 53 go-downs and 2 office complexes. 

July 01, 1993 

In Baba Reshi, area of Baramullah district, the troops started indiscriminate firing and killed 9 civilians who had come to the shrine. 

August 1, 1993 

Sub-inspector Ajmer Singh of BSF, 60-Bn along with three of his subordinates, killed a couple Abdul Rashid Dar and Hajra after barging into their residence in Daribal Srinagar. Their critically injured son Hilal succumbed to wounds in hospital. After thousands of people took to the streets in anti-India demonstration, the police and army resorted to firing, killing 10 of them. 

August 14, 1993 

Indian secret agents dragged out passengers from a bus on Sarthal link road in Kishtawar, Doda and sprayed them with bullets, killing 14 civilians. 

September 03, 1993 

In Rohmoo area of Shopian in Pulwama district, the Indian troops fired on passers-by, killing five persons. 

October 22, 1993 

Troops of 7-Bn BSF, opened fire on a procession in Bijbehara town of Islamabad district, taken out to express solidarity with hostages in Hazratbal shrine in Srinagar, killing 44 civilians. A number of devotees were made hostage in the shrine by the troops for more than a month. 

November 20, 1993 

At Aadipora, in Sopore area of Baramullah district, the BSF personnel opened fire and killed five persons including a woman. 

November 24, 1993 

In Sangrama in Baramullah district, the BSF troops fired indiscriminately and killed seven unarmed civilians. 

December 22, 1993 

At Bulbul Nowgam in Shangas area of Islamabad district, the Indian troops fired indiscriminately, killing six civilians. 

January 24, 1994 

Indian troops killed 18 Kashmiris in Kupwara. 

April 23, 1994 

At Warpora Sadunara in Sonawari tehsil of Baramullah district, the Indian troops, during crack-down, fired at and killed 5 civilians. 

May 10, 1994 

In Bandipora BSF troops, during crack-down, arrested 9 persons in presence of the locals, took them to a military camp in Bandipora where they were killed and their dead bodies were handed over to their relatives. 

February 10, 1995 

BSF opened fire in narrow business street, in Gad Kocha, Srinagar, killed 6 shopkeepers and injured 38 others. 

January 5, 1996 

Indian armed agents massacred 15 Kashmiris, 10 of them belonging to one family, in Barshala village in Thathri belt of Kishtwar tehsil in Doda district. 

June 8, 1996 

In Kamlari village, in Doda district, Indian armed agents killed eight civilians. 

April 7, 1997 

A group of Indian secret agents swooped on Sanghrampora village, in Beerwa outskirts in Budgam district, and shot dead seven Kashmiris. 

September 19, 1997 

In mortar shelling by BSF, 11 villagers were killed in remote village Arin of Bandipore tehsil in Baramullah district. 

January 26, 1998 

Indian agents swooped Wandhama village of Ganderbal tehsil, in Srinagar district, and massacred 23 Kashmiris. 

June 28, 1998 


In the Madwa, Doda 9 villagers were massacred by 26-Rashtriya Rifles, on the Eid (Muslim festival) day. 

February 20, 1999 

In Baljaralan hamlet, of Udhampur district, Indian armed agents killed 10 civilians. Apparently, the same group reappeared in Mora Pota in Budhal belt, and killed 4 members of a family including the couple and their two sons. 

June 29, 1999 

Indian troops and their agents dragged out 17 civilians, including 5 women and 7 children, in twin hamlets of Morha Bichai and Sahotri in Poonch and killed them. 

March 17, 2000 

Indian secret agencies, killed 7 truck drivers, near a BSF camp at Qazigund, in Islamabad district. 

March 20, 2000 


36 Sikhs 2 were massacred by Indian troops at Chattisinghpora, in Islamabad district, on the eve of US President Clinton's visit to India. March 24, 2000 

Five innocent civilians, missing since March 24, 2000, were killed in custody and subsequently roasted by army at Brakpora in Islamabad district. 

March 30, 2000 


7 protestors were killed by SOG troops near Pathirbal in Islamabad district, who were demanding dead bodies of Brakpora massacre. 

May 14, 2000 

Five teen-agers, arrested from Sopore, were killed by Indian troops in Tangdar area of Kupwara district. 

August 1, 2000 

35 Amarnath Yatris (pilgrims) were killed by Indian secret agencies and CRPF troops at Pahalgam in Islamabad district. 

November 14, 2000 

At Tali Mohalla, near Ikhalha village under the jurisdiction of Kishtwar police station in Doda district, Indian agents massacred 6 civilians. 

February 03, 2001 

Indian secret agencies, killed 7 Sikhs at Mahjoornagar, in Srinagar. 

February 10, 2001 

At Kotchatwal, in Bhudal area of Rajouri district, 12 civilians including 6 kids and 4 women were killed by Indian troops and their secret agencies. 

March 21, 2001 

At Mandi in Poonch district, the Indian troops used helicopters and gun ships and killed 10 Kashmiris. 

March 31, 2001 

At Doru, Islamabad, 7 Kashmiri drivers were killed by Indian troops. 

August 06, 2001 


Indian agents killed 7 civilians in Sajjar village of Atholi, in Kistwar tehsil of Doda district. 

December 08, 2001 

10 unarmed civilians, including women and children, were killed in the indiscriminate military firing in Baramullah. 

January 21, 2002 

Indian troops killed 14 persons including 8 children of 3 families, at Salwa village in Maindher area of Poonch area of Rajouri district. 

July 13, 2002 

Twenty-seven people were killed at Qasim Nagar in the outskirts of Jammu city by unidentified gunmen. 

August 5, 2002 

Nine pilgrims were killed in Nuwan Pehalgam in Islamabad district. 

March 23, 2003 

In a gruesome act of state terrorism in Nadimarg village of Pulwma District, Indian secret agents killed 24 innocent civilians, including 11 women and two children.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Kashmir And The United Nations

By Wajahat Ahmad 

27 August, 2008
Countercurrents.org


Kashmir, along with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the war in Korean Peninsula, was among the first crisis that the United Nations had to confront in the post-World War II period. Sixty years have passed by since Kashmir conflict was first debated in the U.N and yet the conflict continues to elude a solution. 

The U.N involvement in the Kashmir Conflict largely lasted for 17 years (1948-65).After the Indo-Pak war of 1965, the U.N engagement with Kashmir continued at a very nominal level till the 3rd Pakistan-India war of 1971 and completely ended with the signing of the Simla Agreement in 1972, an Indo-Pak peace agreement, which laid emphasis on adopting a bilateral framework to solve the Kashmir imbroglio and kept the U.N out of the picture afterwards. 

During the course of its engagement with the Kashmir Conflict, spanning 23 years (1948-1971), the U.N passed a number of resolutions, which were aimed at mediation and resolution of the conflict. Between 1948 and 1971, the U.N Security Council passed 23 resolutions on Kashmir Conflict.

The U.N resolutions regarding the Kashmir issue are not self-enforceable. In other words the resolutions are recommendatory in nature and can be enforced only if the parties to the dispute, viz. India and Pakistan, consent to their application. Indian refusal to implement the U.N resolutions on Kashmir was to relegate them to the margins of the conflict. 


India lodged a complaint under Article 35 (Chapter VI) of the U.N Charter in the U.N Security Council on January 1, 1948, charging Pakistan with 'aiding and abetting' the Pakistani tribal invasion in Jammu and Kashmir. In the United Nations, India claimed that all the territories of the Princely State of Jammu and Kashmir legally belonged to her by virtue of the treaty of accession signed by the Hindu king of the Kingdom with the Indian Union. Two weeks later, Pakistan responded to the Indian complaint with counter charges. Pakistan denied having aided the raiders, accused India of annexing Kashmir and of trying to throttle Pakistan in its infancy The first U.N debate on Kashmir started under the rubric of "Kashmir Question". However, the Pakistani delegation argued that the Kashmir Question had to be seen in the context of India's attempts to negate the existence of the newly born State of Pakistan and that the conflict in Kashmir was threatening the very survival of Pakistan. The Pakistani argument was to prevail and the debate in the U.N shifted from "Kashmir Question" to "India-Pakistan dispute". The U.N Military Observers Group that was later established in the divided territories of Kashmir- with offices in both Indian-occupied-Kashmir and Pakistan occupied-Kashmir- was to be known as "U.N Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan" (UNMOGIP) and not as "U.N Military Observer Group in Kashmir". The job of the group was to monitor, investigate and report complaints of cease-fire violations along the "cease-fire line" in Kashmir to the United Nations.


After hearing Indian and Pakistani representatives, the U.N Security Council passed its first resolution (Resolution 38) on Kashmir Conflict on January 17, 1948, calling India and Pakistan to exercise restraint and ease tensions. Three days later, on January 20, the Security Council passed another resolution (Resolution 39), creating the United Nations Commission for Indian and Pakistan (UNCIP) to investigate the dispute and mediate between the two countries.


Led by Britain and the United States, the U.N Security Council passed another resolution (Resolution 47) on April 21, 1948, which enlarged the membership of the UNCIP from 3 to 5 , called for cessation of hostilities between India and Pakistan, withdrawal of all Pakistani troops and tribesmen and bulk of Indian troops(except for a minimal number required for maintaining law order),allowing return of refugees, release of political prisoners and holding of a U.N supervised Plebiscite in the (Princely)State of Jammu and Kashmir to determine the aspirations of her people. The Plebiscite was to be held by a U.N appointed Plebiscite administrator. The U.N Security Council passed another resolution on June3, 1948, which reaffirmed the previous resolutions and asked the UNCIP to proceed to the "disputed areas" to carry out its mission as stated under Resolution 47 of April 21, 1948.


The UNCIP reached the Indian sub-continent in July 1948 and after deliberations with Indian and Pakistani leadership, produced a proposal, which called for an immediate ceasefire and a truce agreement between India and Pakistan, withdrawal of all Pakistani tribals and nationals and bulk of India's troops. India rejected the proposals on the basis of the argument that the proposal did not opportune any blame on Pakistan-which India considered as the aggressor in Kashmir- whereas Pakistan rejected the plan as the Interim administration of Valley of Kashmir and the territories that had fallen under Indian control had been assigned to Sheikh Abdullah's control. Sheikh Abdullah, who had become the Prime Minister of the autonomous J&K State on March 5, 1948, was considered by Pakistan as India's ally and by implication could influence the plebiscite in India's favour. Pakistan also rejected the agreement on the ground that it was supposed to withdraw all its forces from the State whereas India was allowed to retain some of its troops to maintain order, which could potentially lead to coercion or intimidation of voters by Indian forces to influence the outcome of the proposed plebiscite.


On August 14, 1948, the UNCIP submitted proposals to the Indian and Pakistani governments, which for the first time contained an acknowledgment from Pakistan about the presence of its troops in the State of Jammu & Kashmir. The proposal envisioned the withdrawal of Pakistani troops and nationals and bulk of Indian troops from the State, subsequent to their withdrawal the administration of the territory was to be run by the Commission.

On December 11, 1948, the UNCIP laid out a new set of proposals that elaborated on the question of Plebiscite in the State of Jammu and Kashmir. As per the proposals "The question of accession to India or Pakistan was to be decided by a free and impartial plebiscite, which was contingent upon having a cease-fire".


The two countries accepted the cease-fire plan and allowed the U.N to observe the ceasefire from January 1, 1949.The ceasefire-line "went through the western part of Jammu and the eastern part of Poonch, leaving the capital city of Poonch on the Indian side of the line, then crossed the Jhelum River at a point west of Uri and made a large sweep following the valley of the Kishinganga River. From there, it proceeded to Kargil, which also remained on the Indian side, and then north-west to the Chinese border. Hunza, Gilgit, Baltistan, Chilas, the great part of Poonch, and the smaller part of Jammu remained in control of Pakistan and Azad Kashmir". 


On January 5, 1949, the United Nations came up with a new plan for a plebiscite. To address Pakistan's fears that the Plebiscite outcome may be influenced in India's favor by Sheikh Abdullah-who was seen as close to Indian P.M. Nehru and had been appointed as the interim head of J& K administration-and the limited Indian troops which were meant to maintain law and order during the plebiscite, the U.N proposed that the State of Jammu and Kashmir should be under the full control of the Plebiscite Administrator. The Plebiscite administrator was to enjoy quasi-sovereign powers over the State of Jammu and Kashmir. The proposal was rejected by the Indian side, which maintained that the State had become a part of the Indian Union. 


In December 1949, UNSC President General A. G. L McNaughton tried to mediate between Indian and Pakistan at the U.N but failed to manage an agreement between the two sides. McNaughton submitted a series of proposals, suggesting demilitarization of Kashmir to ensure an impartial Plebiscite in Kashmir. These proposals were rejected by India.


After the failure of Mc Naughton proposals, the United Nations replaced the UNCIP by a single U.N representative Owen Dixon in 1950.Owen Dixon after meeting the officials of India and Pakistan soon concluded that there was little or no hope regarding an Indo-Pak agreement on demilitarization proposals. Dixon came up with a set of proposals, which envisioned holding of 'regional plebiscites' in the State of Jammu & Kashmir. The proposals submitted to the U.N Security Council in 1950, suggested (a) holding a Plebiscite in the whole State of Jammu & Kashmir, region by region (b)holding a Plebiscite only in regions which were 'doubtful', the rest would constitute those regions that were expected to vote definitely either for an accession with either India or Pakistan. The doubtful region was meant to be the Valley of Kashmir. However India and Pakistan could not come to an agreement on the Dixon proposals. After the failure of Dixon, the U.N appointed Frank Graham as a U.N representative to mediate between Indian and Pakistan to get them to agree on holding a Plebiscite in Kashmir. Graham worked from 1951-53 without meeting any success. Frank Graham was followed by Gunnar Jarring in 1957 who also failed to make any headway on Kashmir. 


In the wake of the termination of the mandate of UNCIP, The U.N Security Council passed Resolution 91 on 30 March, 1951, which established the United Nations Military Observer Group in India & Pakistan to monitor the ceasefire line (now called Line of Control, the border that divides Indian and Pakistani controlled parts of Kashmir) in Kashmir. The UNMOGIP still maintains its presence in both Indian-administered-Kashmir and Pakistan-administered-Kashmir.


On 23 January 1957, India's client regime in 'Jammu & Kashmir', led by Bakshi Ghulam Mohammad adopted a constitution for the State and a resolution ratifying the State's accession with India. Pakistan raised the issue in the U.N Security Council and a day after, the UNSC passed a resolution which reiterated the earlier U.N resolutions on Kashmir that called for a final settlement of the dispute "in accordance with the will of the people expressed through the mdemocratic method of free and impartial plebiscite conducted under the auspices of the U.N." Thus the 1957 U.N resolution deemed any constitutional change undertaken by India within Indian-administered-Kashmir as irrelevant to the resolution of Kashmir Conflict. 


The Dixon Plan seemed to be the last serious endeavor on part of the U.N to solve the Kashmir conundrum. Although Pakistan kept raising the Kashmir issue in the United Nations in the 60s, U.N involvement in Kashmir was considerably reduced after Indo-Pak war of 1965. In 1962 the Kashmir Question was again debated in the U.N Security Council. However, the UNSC failed to pass a resolution on Kashmir in view of a Soviet veto, which discouraged the UNSC from pursuing the Kashmir question afterwards. 

The U.N was virtually elbowed out of the Kashmir dispute by Russia after the Indo-Pak war of 1965 when Russian negotiated the Tashkent Peace Agreement between the two rival nations on 10 January 1965.During the Indo-Pak 1965 war the U.N passed a strongly worded resolution, calling on India and Pakistan to agree on a ceasefire. However it was only after intense pressure applied by the two superpowers, U.S and the Soviet Union that India and Pakistan agreed to observe a U.N sponsored ceasefire on September 29, 1965.

The last UNSC resolution (307) that dealt with Kashmir was passed in the wake of the India –Pakistan war of 1971, where Kashmir was not at the centre of the conflict between the two countries. The resolution could be passed only after Indian had declared a unilateral ceasefire. UNSC's attempts to pass resolutions during the 1971 war were blocked by a Soviet veto and with the signing of the Simla peace accord between India and Pakistan in 1972, which laid stress on bilateral solutions to the Kashmir issue, the U.N involvement in Kashmir was in reality dead.


The failure of the U.N in mediating a solution to the Kashmir dispute can be largely ascribed to Indian refusal to heed to the resolutions. India had taken the issue to the U.N, with the hope that the international body would declare Pakistan as an aggressor in the 1947-48 war and would help her to gain control over Pakistan-administered-Kashmir as India claimed the whole of Kashmir by virtue of the accession treaty signed by the Maharaja of Jammu & Kashmir with her. Contrary to India's expectations, the U.N called for a Plebiscite in Kashmir. Consequently India was to shy away from implementation of U.N resolutions.


The fresh delineation of the "cease- fire line" -- which was originally established in 1949 after the Indo-Pakistan cease-fire in Jammu& Kashmir -- in Kashmir by India and Pakistan in 1972 converted the "cease-fire line" into "Line of Control" (LOC), which from an Indian perspective turned the temporary border in the disputed territory of Kashmir into a de facto 'permanent border between' India and Pakistan. Pakistan was forced to accept the change in the wake of its defeat in the 1971 war. India contended that with the formation of Line of Control, the mandate of the UNMOGIP had expired. However Pakistan insisted that the "U.N Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan" (UNMOGIP) continue monitoring the LOC as it was a disputed border and that the "LOC" was in fact the original cease-fire line. India wanted the UNMOGIP to leave as it didn't want to accept any sort of international intervention in the Kashmir conflict. Since 1972 India has not reported to the UNMOGIP whereas Pakistan has continued to report Indian violations of the LOC to the observer group.While the movement of the UNMOGIP is unrestricted in Pakistan-administered-Kashmir, the observer group is no where in sight beyond their office premises at Sonawar locality of Srinagar. With its limited mandate, the group has played virtually no role in the conflict after 1972. Even during the popular Kashmir uprising in 1989-90, when hundreds of thousands of Kashmiris marched in pro-freedom processions in Kashmir Valley and when thousands crossed the LOC to receive arms training, the UNMOGIP remained in hibernation in its Srinagar office.


In October 2001, the UNMOGIP Chief, Major-General Hermann Loidolt described Kashmir as a "tormented country" and blamed India and Pakistan for playing games with Kashmir. The observer also described the LOC as a ceasefire-line and a disputed border, which fell under UNMOGIP mandate. The statement evinced a sharp reaction from India, which called the U.N observer's statement as 'uncalled for' and the Indian External Affairs Minister threatened to lodge a complaint in the U.N against the observer. Not surprisingly, Loidolt's statement was welcomed by Kashmiri separatist leaders.


The most recent U.N effort to engage with Kashmir came during the Indo-Pak border confrontation of 2002, when India mobilized half a million troops along its border with Pakistan to pressurize Pakistan to stop aiding insurgents in Kashmir.U.N Secretary General Kofi Anan's efforts to mediate during the crisis were snubbed by India. Kofi Annan was not allowed to visit India and to placate Indian fears, Annan stated that U.N resolutions on Kashmir were not "enforceable in a mandatory sweep". 

U.N and the politics of separatism in Kashmir

Though U.N involvement in Kashmir has been reduced to a naught, the existence of U.N resolutions on Kashmir has greatly shaped Kashmiri political identity vis-a vis the Kashmir Conflict. The disputed status of Kashmir as declared by the U.N played on the psyche of Kashmiri people and strengthened their distinct political identity. The U.N involvement in Kashmir has left a firm imprint on separatist politics and political mobilization in Kashmir. The Kashmiri separatist party, Plebiscite Front, alluded to and took its name from the U.N's notion of Plebiscite. The party was established in 1955 in Indian-administered-Kashmir by Sheikh Abdullah's close associate, Afzal Beigh and defined the Kashmiri self-determination movement for around two decades. In Pakistan-administered-Kashmir, a pro-independence party, also by the name of Plebiscite Front was formed by Kashmiri nationalists. Though not formally linked to the Kashmir Valley centered, Plebiscite Front, the Pak-administered- Kashmir based Plebiscite Front shared its political vision. Despite that the U.N resolutions on Kashmir gave Kashmiris only two choices to determine their political fate, viz., accession to India or to Pakistan, the Plebiscite movement in both parts of Kashmir, while calling for a U.N referendum in Kashmir wanted the inclusion of an independent Kashmir as a political option in the Plebiscite.


From 1955 to 1974, the words, Plebiscite Front and Plebiscite -known as Mahaz-e-Rai Shumari and Rai Shumari, respectively, in Kashmir- were to dominate the popular political discourse in Kashmir. 'Hold the plebiscite now, holds it fast', constituted the key slogans of the Plebiscite movement in Kashmir during the 1950s and 60s. 


When a popular uprising broke out against Indian rule in Indian-administered-Kashmir in 1990, one of most shouted slogans during pro-independence processions was to be, 'Until a plebiscite is held, our struggle will continue'. During the heady days of the 1990 uprising large pro-Independence processions of Kashmiris would often lead to the UNMOGIP headquarters in Srinagar to lodge protests and call on the U.N to implement its resolutions on Kashmir. In one such procession, more than a million Kashmiris marched upto the UNMOGIP headquarters in Srinagar on 1 March, 1990, shouting pro-freedom slogans and calling for a U.N supervised Plebiscite. The crowd also submitted memoranda to UN Secretary General urging him to intervene and push India into granting Kashmiris their 'right to self-determination'.Even now it is a common practice among Kashmiri separatists to send memoranda to the UNMOGIP in Srinagar, demanding implementation of U.N resolutions in Kashmir or the fulfillment of the right of self-determination of Kashmiris. 


In the ongoing wave of pro-independence mass protests in Kashmir, Kashmiris are again looking towards the U.N with a faint hope. On August 18, 2008, responding to the call of separatist leaders who had called for a mass march up to UNMOGIP office, hundreds of thousands of people from the length and breadth of the valley converged near the Tourist Reception Centre, close to the UNMOGIP office in Sonwar locality of Srinagar to urge on the U.N to intervene in Kashmir. The sea of people -comprising students from schools, colleges and universities, doctors, teachers, para medics, thousands of Kashmir government employees, professionals and peasant masses - carried placards which read, "Stop Genocide of Kashmiris, Intervene UNO", " Ban ki -moon, Come soon", "We want Plebiscite" etc. 

Representatives of the Kashmiri separatist leadership presented a memorandum (addressed to U.N Secretary General, Ban ki-moon) to the UNMOGIP observers, urging on the U.N to intervene in Kashmir. The memorandum, which was also published in the local press in Kashmir Valley stated, "…We the people of Jammu & Kashmir have firm faith in the institution of United Nations ,which has been working for the mitigation of the sufferings of the oppressed around the world, will actively engage/monitor and intervene in Jammu and Kashmir and ; A) Call upon India to end its forcible occupation of Jammu Kashmir and also desist from use of brute force against the people of Jammu and Kashmir. B) By itself take all effective measures in giving the people of the State ,the chance to exercise their right to self-determination for deciding their future as has been conceded to them by Pakistan and India and approved by the United Nations Organization…"

Some of the protestors carried copies of the memorandum which had been circulated by the "Coordination Committee" of the separatist leadership. 

In Kashmir's current media and popular discourses on Kashmir conflict, 'U.N- Kashmir relationship' has again come under focus. Kashmir Valley's largest selling English daily, Greater Kashmir, recently cited Zafar Shah, an eminent Kashmiri lawyer, as saying 'when armed resistance broke out in the valley in 1990,at least 600 memoranda were presented to the UN Observers stationed in Kashmir'. Shah, a Kashmiri nationalist, further said, "The U.N resolutions passed in 1948 are the backbone of the Kashmir struggle and give legitimacy to it".

As the shadows of August 25 lengthen, I write in my house in Srinagar, a city besieged by thousands of Indian military and paramilitary forces and imprisoned by an indefinite curfew. I hear from some local journalist friends on phone that at least five Kashmiri protestors have been killed and more than 150 have been injured by Indian paramilitary forces trying to stamp down pro-independence processions. For the past two months or so, Indian troops trying to stop the new and massive wave of Kashmiri nationalist mobilization have shot and killed around 40 Kashmiris and injured more than half a thousand. As Kashmir groans under Indian military repression and as the U.N maintains its silence on the happenings in Kashmir, Kashmiris' 'wait for Ban-ki-Moon' seems an unending and futile one.

Despite the U.N's gross failure in Kashmir, the presence of UNMOGIP office in Kashmir continues to symbolically affirm the Kashmiri sentiment that their land is not yet another Indian State but an internationally recognized disputed territory and that their cause is a historical and just one.

The words United Nations, Self-determination and Plebiscite have become integral to the Kashmiri political lexicon. Though the U.N has failed in bringing about a solution to the Kashmir conundrum, its past involvement in Kashmir Conflict has undoubtedly provided legitimacy and strength to the separatist argument in Kashmir. Ironically, on the one hand Kashmiri separatism has drawn strength from the U.N resolutions but on the other hand the framing of the Kashmir Conflict as an India-Pakistan (Inter-State) Conflict in the U.N has prevented international recognition of the Kashmiri nationalist movement as the defining characteristic of the present day Kashmir Conflict.