Police in northern India have arrested 10 men for allegedly compelling women to change their religion after getting married, under a new controversial anti-conversion law satirically called the “Love Jihad” law. Last month, Uttar Pradesh state became the first Indian province to pass the law. At least four other Indian states are drafting laws against “love jihad”. The law has prompted outrage, with critics calling it Islamophobic.
Indiaunder the rule of Prime Minister Narendra Modi is destroying the remnants of secular democracy, crushing Muslim rights and placing Kashmir under a vicious brutal rule, Professor Noam Chomsky, one of the greatest living intellectuals, stated on December 07. India is a natural member of the “reactionary international” most bitterly attacking and destroying democracy,” Chomsky said.He warned that the world at the moment is at confluence of four severe crises: threat of nuclear war; environmental catastrophe, deterioration of democracy worldwide;and, Covid-19.
Due to obstinate and eternal Human Rights violation, anti-India sentiment runs deep in Illegally Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJ&K).Reports by a number of Human Right Watchdogs, over the recent years, have significantly helped in highlighting the gross human rights violations in Kashmir, including the United Nations Commission on Human Rights. After the UN Human Rights Commission reports of 2018 and 2019, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, Physicians for Human Rights, European Parliament and the All-party Parliamentary Kashmir Group of the UK Parliament have also issued separate reports on human rights violations by the Indian troops in occupied Kashmir. Most of these reports acknowledge that Indian army is using rape as an instrument of war against the Kashmiri women.
Moreover, in violation of the United Nations resolutions, India is settling Indian Hindus in the internationally recognized disputed territory of Kashmir in order to turn the Muslim majority state into a Hindu majority region.India has deployed more than half a million military troops in Kashmir – home to 12 million people – making it one of the most militarised zones in the world.New Delhi says its troops are stationed to quell the ongoing popular indigenous armed rebellion, whose latest spell erupted in 1989.
Most recently, the Organization of Islamic Countries (OIC) has also condemned “in the strongest possible terms” the human rights violations perpetrated by Indian occupation forces in the occupied territory alongside other numerous instances of Indian State sponsored terrorism that have been the source of unspeakable suffering for the innocent Kashmiri people.The OIC is the second largest inter-governmental organisation after the United Nations, with 57 members and five observer states spanning over four continents.
The OIC resolution also deplored the state-sponsored terrorism and crimes against humanity by Indian occupation forces against the people of IIOJK. This alliance of Muslim countries censured extra-judicial killings during fake ‘encounters’ and ‘search-and-cordon’ operations and demolition of homes and private properties “as a form of collective punishment.” It denounced the renewed use of pellet guns by the Indian occupation forces against innocent civilians and condemned the harassment of Kashmiri women by the Indian troops.
The OIC condemned that India has callously exploited the current Covid-19 pandemic to intensify its military crackdown for further advancing its unlawful occupation in IIOJK. The resolution also appreciated the visit of OIC Secretary General’s Special Envoy for Jammu and Kashmir to Pakistan and Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK). It also reaffirmed the sentiments expressed in the unanimously adopted Communiqués of the OIC Contact Group on Jammu and Kashmir in its Ministerial meetings held on 25 September 2019 and 22 June 2020.This indicates that the OIC countries remain steadfastly committed to the Kashmir cause.
The meeting of foreign ministers of Muslim countries have urged India to adhere to its international human rights obligations and allow the OIC special representative on Jammu and Kashmir and the OIC Fact-finding Mission to visit IIOJK. It also “strongly” urged India to implement recommendations of the two Reports of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights on Jammu and Kashmir and called upon international community to review their engagements with India— the occupying power— as it is violating and disregarding the international law, the international humanitarian law, and international resolutions.
The OIC emphasised that the question of Kashmir is of utmost importance for the Muslim Ummah and recognised that Jammu and Kashmir is the core dispute between Pakistan and India, and its resolution indispensable for realisation of the dream of peace in South Asia.
Indian Army has violated the ceasefire line and targeted the civilian population along the Line of Control (LoC) more than 2,700 times during the current year alone. As a consequence, dozens of people, mostly non-combatants,mostly innocent women and children, were martyred, scores were injured, and the civilian house-hold properties damaged/destroyed. Pakistan Army in response to India’s aggression, targeted only Indian military positions while avoiding the Kashmiri brethren living on the other side of the LoC.
The OIC in its resolution categorically rejected illegal and unilateral actions taken by the Indian government in occupied territory since August 5, 2019. “The [OIC] Resolution demands that India cancel the issuance of domicile certificates to non-Kashmiris as well as other unilateral and illegal actions, including ‘Jammu & Kashmir Reorganisation Order 2020’, ‘Jammu & Kashmir Grant of Domicile Certificate Rules 2020’, ‘Jammu and Kashmir Language Bill 2020’ and amendments to the landownership laws”,said the resolution passed during a session of the Council of Foreign Ministers (CFM) of the OIC held in Niamey. Rejecting the draconian policies being pursued by the ruling RSS-BJP regime, the OIC asked India to refrain from taking any steps to alter the existing demographic structure of the disputed territory.
Saudi Arabia has always supported Pakistan’s stance on Kashmir from the platform of OIC. In Niger, the KSA once again robustly explained its stand on the dispute and helped highlight it on the global level. Saudi Foreign Minister Faisal Bin Farhan, in his address to the Niamey conference, stated in unequivocal terms that peace and security of South Asia was not possible without the settlement of the Kashmir conflict. Statement by Prince Faisal assumed more significance because Saudi Arabia is the current chair of the OIC. The people of Pakistan, and Jammu and Kashmir had expected that the brotherly country of Saudi Arabia would adopt a strong position on the situation of Kashmir, KSA obliged. Though UAE representative did not speak much, however, with KSA back on track, return of the UAE to its traditional stance on Kashmir is only a matter of time.
As usual, New Delhi has rejected the OIC’s unanimous resolution. Nonetheless, the OIC Resolution is further proof that India can neither hide its gross and systemic violations of human rights of the Kashmiri people and denial of their inalienable right to self-determination nor can it escape international censure about its egregious behaviour.
RSS-BJP is certainly on the wrong side of history, with a snowballing India-wide farmers’ revolt, it’s hey days may already be over. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and several American congressmen recently voiced support for the peaceful farmers’ protests in India, the first of which elicited a strong condemnation from the Indian government. It remains to be seen whether New Delhi will lash out at Washington as well. More than likely, India will not do so. Modi knows well which side of the bread is buttered. He does not have the choice of getting on the bad side of Biden.
Writer is a freelance columnist; e-mail: Iqbal.firstname.lastname@example.org