August 5; the darkest day in the history of Kashmir
August 5th is often referred to as “Youm-e-Istehsal” because it holds great significance in the political history of Kashmir. On this day in 2019, the Indian government made a series of decisions that altered the status quo of the region. Kashmir, a disputed territory located in the northern region of the Indian subcontinent, has been a bone of contention between India and Pakistan.
Youm-e-Istehsal, observed on the 5th of August, serves as a memorandum of revocation of the Kashmir’s autonomy. This day offers an opportunity to discuss the importance of granting the people of IIOJK the right to self-determination and to shed light on Pakistan’s principled stance in the matter. This article will delve in to the reasons why Pakistan stands in favor of IIOJK, advocating for their rights and emphasizing the need for a just and peaceful resolution.
Article 370 and 35 A was added to the Indian Constitution in 1954, claiming that India would not interfere in IIOJK’s matters, granting the Kashmiris and the region a special status. 5th August, 2019 was the day when Kashmiris were caged in prison and left isolated by abrogating this article. Pakistan firmly believes that the aspirations of the people of Kashmir must be respected and that they should have the right to choose their political destiny as promised by the United Nations resolutions. Pakistan contends that the Indian government’s actions on 5th August 2019, revoking the special status of Indian Occupied Kashmir, were in violation of international law and the UN charter.
In August 2019, the Modi government made significant changes to the legal status of IIOJK, leading to a new phase of hardship for the Kashmiri people. Article 370 granted special status to the region, while Article 35A defined the criteria for permanent citizenship and land ownership in Kashmir. After the revocation IIOJK of Article 370 and 35A, Kashmiris faced intensified isolation as communication with the outside world was severely restricted, turning the valley into a virtual prison.
Article 35A, conversely, bestowed upon the Jammu and Kashmir legislature the authority to determine the status of permanent residents in the state. This provision safeguarded land rights and government employment opportunities exclusively for the residents of IIOJK, preventing non-residents from acquiring land or securing specific government positions in the area. The annulment of Article 35A sparked apprehensions among the Kashmiri populace regarding possible demographic shifts and the erosion of their cultural heritage.
Kashmir has endured persecution for over a century, but the situation worsened following the abrogation of these articles. The Kashmiri people have carried a heavy burden for centuries, and the presence of thousands of army personnel constantly patrolling the streets has added to their difficulties.
These actions have had a profound impact on the lives of the Kashmiri people. The communication restrictions have posed difficulties for residents in accessing essential services, connecting with their families, and seeking medical assistance. Moreover, the repeal of Article 35A has triggered concerns about potential land acquisition and reduced employment prospects for the local populace. Many Kashmiris view these measures as an infringement upon their rights and an assault on their unique identity.
Pakistan brought the world’s focus to the severe Indian actions against the people of IIOJK and consistently alerted the international community about the potential risks to regional and global peace posed by the Modi government’s aggressive stance.
Regarding the imposed state monopoly, Kashmiri stated that India has arrested innocent Kashmiris and leaders, stifled the voices of genuine Kashmiri representatives, and failed to bring to light India’s oppressive actions and human rights violations in Kashmir.
On August 5, 2019, there were stringent restrictions placed by the Indian forces in the region of IIOJK, leading to a significant change in its environment. The human rights situation in the area has deteriorated considerably over the past three years. The Kashmiri people are facing a challenging situation with continuous military presence, the imprisonment of their top Hurriyat leadership, and instances of indiscriminate extrajudicial killings during search and security operations conducted by the Indian forces. As a result, Kashmiris are enduring constant deprivation of their fundamental rights and various freedoms.
Kashmiris had been under the shade of Pakistani support but the support has been extended after the revocation of the region’s autonomy to clear the clouds of brutalities besieging the territory. Various operatives, journalists, human rights organizations, international human rights bodies, and international community organizations have consistently voiced their concerns about the severe human rights violations in Jammu and Kashmir. Consequently, India’s actions have once again come under international scrutiny, revealing it as an aggressor and occupier.
The Government of Pakistan declared to observe ‘Youm-e-Istehsal’ (Day of Mourning) on August 5, commemorating the anniversary of India’s unlawful revocation of IIOJK’s special status. The primary objective behind observing this occasion is to demonstrate solidarity with the people of IIOJK, bring attention to Indian atrocities, and shed light on their malevolent intentions.
Following the revocation of Article 370, India made efforts to exert control, but the spirit of freedom among the Kashmiri people remains steadfast. Despite Indian influence, the paradise valley of Kashmir continues to uphold its identity. The newspapers report the tragic loss of lives, with the blood of martyrs staining the headlines. The suffering of countless oppressed individuals, trapped in the clutches of tyranny, reaches the heavens. This heart-wrenching situation, though deeply saddening, marks a historic turning point for the quest for freedom in the region. There is a strong call for addressing human rights violations in Kashmir and providing support and aid to the victims.
Pakistan, in its commitment, will persist in advocating for the rights of its Kashmiri brethren, who continue to make enduring sacrifices. We shall offer unwavering support to ensure their legitimate rights are fully acknowledged. We firmly believe that sustainable peace and stability in South Asia can solely be attained by resolving the IIOJK conflict through peaceful means, in accordance with the United Nations Security Council resolutions and the aspirations of the Kashmiri people.
The situation in Kashmir remains complicated and unresolved, with ongoing tensions and ongoing human rights concerns in the region. The situation in Kashmir remains tense and uncertain three years after the historic move.
The writer Ayesha is an Intern at YFK- International Kashmir Lobby Group, and a student of International Relation at IIU, Islamabad.
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