Note: In this article, the author discusses the Kashmir dispute, the longest-standing unsolved international crisis & India’s illegal occupation of IIOJK.
The disputed Kashmir issue to date remains the longest-standing unresolved international crisis and as 2023 rolls in, the Indian occupation slowly tightens its grip upon the once majestic lands of Kashmir by systematic immigration of Indians and forceful eviction of Kashmiris. It seems the Indian state has adopted the Israeli model where Indian plans on replacing the majority Muslims with Hindus in an attempt to gain demographic legitimacy and forever integrate (Occupy) Jammu and Kashmir. This not only makes the fate of Kashmiri Muslims uncertain but also raises regional geopolitical tensions.
“We are under threat of becoming a minority in our own land,”
After the removal of Indian-administered Kashmir special status, the Indian state immediately put into effect a suppression campaign via internet blackouts, forced curfews, Kashmiri political leaders’ arrests, law enforcement intimidation and more. The goal was to hold down the voice of Kashmiris and stop united resistance while the Indian state could start migrating Indians (Mostly Hindus) within the occupied territories. This increase the population of people residing in Kashmir which are more likely to vote for union with India in any future referendum, in other words a second Crimea.
What’s worrying is that many Indian political leaders have been documented quoting the Israeli model as a solution to Kashmir, which was basically the systematic eviction of Palestinians from their homes which would later be occupied by Israeli settlers as a form of slow Israeli expansion. The same is being applied in Kashmir where local residents are being evicted from their homes on false charges and threats of violence, which are later sold off to Indian buyers. When any riots take place these are supressed via riot police brutality and later passed any civilian casualties are reported off as terrorist encounters.
In this regard the NIA (National Investigation Agency) is heavily active, as it holds special rights to operate its own courts without outside interference. This means it has the power to accuse, arrest and silence Kashmiris in staged encounters. This fear of arrest is being used as a tool to keeping Kashmiri populous complicit while outsiders settle their lands.
If all this is allowed to continue unchecked, millions of Kashmiris will lose their identity and homeland. Pakistan has continuously taken this issue up in the united nations, to communicate the simple fact that Kashmiris are facing a serious existential threat and there is a dire need for the world to push for the rescue of the Kashmiri people and play its role to help Kashmiris achieve their cherished goal of freedom by allowing them to exercised their right, the right to self-determination guaranteed to them by the international community.