Syed Ali Geelani

I am writing to you in continuation of my previous letters of 1, 6, 13 and 26 August, 16 September, 31 October and 12 December 2019; 9 March, 10 April, 21 May, 1 August, 18 September and 20 November 2020; and 1 February, 15 June and 2 August 2021 on the developments in Indian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir.

The Jammu and Kashmir dispute continues to pose an ever-present threat to international peace and security. The dispute can be resolved by enabling the people of Jammu and Kashmir to exercise their inalienable right to self-determination in accordance with the relevant Security Council resolutions, which have prescribed that the “final disposition” of the disputed territory should be decided by its people through a free and impartial plebiscite held under the auspices of the United Nations.

Having accepted the principle of self-determination, India has – through obfuscation and oppression – obstructed for several decades all attempts at holding a United Nations-supervised plebiscite in violation of Security Council resolutions 47 (1948), 80 (1950), 91 (1951), 98 (1952), 122 (1957), 123 (1957) and 126 (1957).

On 5 August 2019, India gave up all pretence and instituted unilateral and illegal measures to consolidate its occupation of Indian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir, in what the neo-fascist rulers in New Delhi call the “Final Solution” for Jammu and Kashmir.

Since then, an Indian occupation force of 900,000 troops has operated with characteristic brutality and complete impunity to impose a colonial and genocidal policy in Indian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir, resorting to extrajudicial killings in fake “encounters” and “cordon-and-search” operations; the indiscriminate use of pellet guns and live ammunition against unarmed peaceful protesters; the imprisonment of Kashmiri political leaders; the abduction of 13,000 youth, torturing many of them; the destruction of entire villages and neighbourhoods as collective punishments; and a campaign to change the demographic structure of the occupied territory by illegally installing settlers from outside to change its Muslim majority into a minority.

Not even the dead are spared. Syed Ali Geelani was an iconic Kashmiri leader who struggled peacefully for seven decades for the Kashmiris’ right to self-determination. When he passed away last month after years of detention, the Indian occupation authorities “abducted” his body and denied his family the right to perform Islamic burial rites and to choose his burial site.

On 12 September 2021, the Government of Pakistan released a comprehensive and well-researched dossier containing the entire range of gross, systematic and widespread violations of human rights perpetrated by Indian forces in Indian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir. The 131-page dossier covers accounts of 3,432 cases of war crimes perpetrated by senior officers of the Indian occupying forces. The crimes catalogued in the dossier are corroborated by audio and video evidence that has been meticulously collected over time. The international community should take cognizance of this evidence immediately and hold India accountable for its war crimes and crimes against humanity in Indian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir.

India’s crimes in Indian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir are continuing. The recent surge in extrajudicial killings, staged cordon-and-search operations, and arbitrary arrests in the occupied territory are the latest examples of India’s State terrorism and human rights violations in Indian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir. This included the arrest of over 1,400 Kashmiris on false charges in one of the biggest-ever crackdowns in Indian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir.

On 14 October 2021, the Indian Home Minister threatened to continue so called “surgical strikes” in Pakistan. This delusional statement may be an attempt to divert Indians’ attention away from the multiple domestic problems of the Bharatiya Janata Party-Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh regime: a stagnant economy, riven by corruption; the repression of widespread protests by farmers; the public denunciation of repressive and inhuman campaigns against Muslims in Assam and other parts of India; as well as multiple issues with almost all of India’s neighbours.

The desire to divert attention from its own problems may also explain Indian attempts to blame so-called “infiltrators” for the Kashmiri resistance. This is quite disingenuous, since most of the so-called “encounters” between Indian occupation forces and the Kashmiri resistance have taken place well inside Indian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir and behind the multiple layers of “security” that the Indian occupation forces have emplaced there.

Pakistan, however, cannot discount that these Indian allegations and hostile rhetoric may be a precursor to another act of aggression against Pakistan, a tactic that the Bharatiya Janata Party-Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh extremists have often utilized to generate political and electoral support. Pakistan has, therefore, been alerting the international community to India’s sinister designs of orchestrating false-flag operations to malign Pakistan and undermine the Kashmir movement.

The reported murder of Kashmiri Hindus and stirring-up of communal tensions is probably one such ploy in the Indian regime’s playbook to create the conditions for possible misadventure.

Pakistan desires peace with India as with all its neighbours. But we will spare no effort in resolutely thwarting any aggressive designs. Pakistan’s swift and effective response to India’s Balakot misadventure in February 2019, including the downing of Indian combat aircraft and the capture of an Indian Air Force pilot, should leave no one in any doubt about Pakistan’s will and capacity to respond to Indian aggression.

Pakistan is prepared to engage constructively with a view to averting the danger of a conflict, lowering tensions and promoting sustainable peace in South Asia. India, however, should create an enabling conducive environment for such an engagement. To this end, India should take the following steps outlined by the Prime Minister, Imran Khan, in his address to the General Assembly:

(a) Reverse the unilateral and illegal measures instituted in Indian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir since 5 August 2019;

(b) Stop its oppression and human rights violations against the people of Jammu and Kashmir;

(c) Halt and reverse the demographic changes in the occupied territory.

Pakistan stands ready to cooperate in every possible way with the Security Council, the Secretary-General and the world community to promote a peaceful resolution of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations, the relevant resolutions of the Council and the wishes of the Kashmiri people.