MULTAN/WASHINGTON/HELD SRINAGAR: Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi has said India has prepared Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) terrorists and pushed them into the Indian Held Kashmir (IHK) in order to do massacre in the valley.
“We are getting intelligence information from some sources which indicate that India has prepared RSS terrorists and pushed them into occupied Kashmir in order to do massacre in the valley,” Qureshi said while talking to local media during the Kashmir Conference at his constituency.
Qureshi said the UN Secretary General (UNSG) António Guterres also backs Pakistan’s stance that Kashmir dispute is not an internal problem of India. He said Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi refused to accept the mediatory role by the United States, offered by President Donald Trump, to resolve the Kashmir issue. He said he requested the UN secretary general on Saturday for constitution of a UN commission to visit the blood-stained valley of Kashmir and physically review the ground realities.
The minister said India used pellet guns in the held valley last Friday when Kashmiri leadership gave call for a strong protest. He said Kashmiris rejected the curfew imposed by Indian occupation forces and staged demonstrations.
Qureshi said India also restricted the visit of Rahul Gandhi and other opposition leaders to Srinagar, which was enough to expose so-called secularism and democracy in India. He said India had lost diplomatically all over the world after it revoked the special status of IHK. He said even Narendra Modi faced severe stress after breaking out of protests and observance of Indian independence day as a black day in front of the Indian high commissions worldwide.
The minister said worldwide protests had disturbed India a lot. He said the Modi was in stress which was evident from the fact that he complained to the UK prime minister over protests in front of the Indian HC in London.
Qureshi said thousands of Pakistanis and Kashmiris were organising mass protests in Birmingham in the coming days to condemn India on revoking of special status of Kashmir.
The minister welcomed Iran’s stance on Kashmir and their support. He said people were staging rallies in Turkey. He said Pakistan was expecting a positive response from Islamic countries while the Organisation of Islamic Cooperating (OIC) had already reacted on Kashmir dispute.
Meanwhile, a US think-tank has warned that the specter of nuclear war haunts tensions between India and Pakistan and the disputed territory of Kashmir could provide the spark that lights South Asia’s nuclear fuse.
The report — by Stratfor, a geopolitical intelligence platform based in Austin, Texas — also disputes the classification of the Kashmir issue as India’s “internal affair” or a “bilateral” issue between Pakistan and India.
“It isn’t. A potential nuclear conflagration cannot be anything other than a matter of international peace and security,” the report warns.
According to the report, the possibility of “the conflict going nuclear may have increased on Aug 16,” when Indian Defence Minister Rajnath Singh seemed to abandon India’s “no first use”doctrine. Singh tweeted that “India has strictly adhered to this doctrine. What happens in the future depends on the circumstances”. And “the circumstances are not hopeful”, the report adds.
The report points out that during a recent visit to the occupied valley, correspondents for The New York Times met a herdsman beside his flock in Srinagar. As a car carrying a reporter slowed down to approach him, the herdsman sprang up and jogged to the window. “We are ready to pick up guns,” he said, unprompted.
The report argues that with passions again running high in Kashmir, the stakes for the region and the world could not be higher. “Decades ago, the people of Kashmir were promised a plebiscite that never took place. Will they ever be asked what they want?” the report asks.
It claims that both Pakistani and Indian armed forces possess both strategic and tactical nuclear weapons, which local commanders could use on the battlefield in populated areas. “This would be the first use in war of atomic weapons since the US destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945,” the report adds.
The report points out that last February, Pakistan downed an Indian fighter jet but returned its pilot, Abhinandan Varthaman, on March 1. Indian PM Narendra Modi “did not acknowledge” Islamabad’s conciliatory gesture. “Nor has his government been willing to discuss Kashmir,” whose people were promised a plebiscite on their future by India’s first prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, in 1947.
Giving a historical perspective of the Kashmir conflict, the report adds that the promised vote never took place, but several wars have. Meanwhile, All Parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC) Chairman Syed Ali Geelani has issued a five-point programme of action for resistance against the Indian government and called upon the residents of IHK, Indian police officials deployed in the territory, and the Pakistani people to “resist” New Delhi’s campaign of brutal repression following the repealing of Article 370 of the Indian constitution.
In an open letter to the people of IHK, Geelani detailed and condemned recent events, which includes stripping the occupied territory of its special status and a continued communications blackout and lockdown that has been in place in the region for the past three weeks.
Geelani issued a “heartfelt appeal” to the residents of IHK to “continue to resist the naked Indian brutality with courage,”. He urged the resistance to organise “peaceful protests and demonstrations” in their areas.
“While doing so, we must remain absolutely disciplined and not give the enemy, who is armed and ready to kill, any excuse whatsoever to hurt our lives and property. It is very important that our demonstrations remain absolutely peaceful so that more and more people are able to join. If the Indian armed forces still attack our gatherings, the entire responsibility for the possible loss of lives and property will be on them, and the world will remain witness to their deeds,” he said.
Geelani called upon Indian government officials, bureaucrats as well as police officers employed from the occupied region to “realise that even when they are hand-in-hand in the oppression of their own people, the Indian State does not trust them”. He urged them to “stand up and protest” against the “humiliation” inflicted upon them by the Indian government.
“We have all seen how during the recent events, the Jammu and Kashmir police force was disarmed and the entire command was given to the Indian army and paramilitaries,” Geelani pointed out.
“Even if such a humiliation does not awaken them to stand up and protest, probably nothing will, and then they should mourn their consciousness and faith, and wait for their destiny of total irrelevance like pro-India politicians in Kashmir,” he said.
Geelani urged Kashmiris living outside the occupied territory to “participate in the resistance struggle by acting as ambassadors of the Kashmiri people all over the world”.
“They should use their knowledge of Kashmir’s history and their own lived experiences to highlight the oppression and brutalities of the India. They should also connect with other marginalised and struggling nationalities in other parts of the world and forge solidarities of resistance,” he said.
The Kashmiri leader also called upon the people of Pakistan and their leaders in particular, and the Muslim Ummah in general to come forward at this crucial juncture to help the besieged people of Kashmir.
“You are an important party to the Kashmir dispute and this is the time for unity and action,” he said. “Today, if you once again get ensconced in so-called pragmatism and fail to act decisively, then neither history will forgive you nor will your coming generations. You must continue to heighten your political and diplomatic initiatives to the highest level and respond to the deceit of the Indian occupation with full strength and determination,” he said.
Geelani said that the “Indian occupation and its machinations” threatens not only the people of IHK but also the Dogra community of Jammu, Buddhists community in Ladakh, Muslims of Pir Panjal and Kargil.
“The Indian state not only wants to occupy our land, but it also intends to destroy our collective identity and brotherhood,” he warned. “We must not allow their heinous plot to succeed at any cost. We must all together stand with the resistance struggle to secure our lives, property, and our demographic character,” he said.
“India should know that even if they bring their entire armed forces into our state, even then the people of Jammu and Kashmir will not let go the struggle for their rights and liberation,” he added.
The Kashmiri leader said that the government’s actions show the “the real deceitful and brutal nature of the Indian state in Kashmir”. He said the rulers from Delhi are drunk on power and arrogance of majoritarianism and they have snatched away all precepts of humanity, ethics, and democracy.
“The Indian state subjected the people of Kashmir to a war-like situation, exacerbated by a host of official rumours and psychological warfare, even before the announcement of the decision,” he said.
Meanwhile, The Wall Street Journal reported that India has lost the hearts and minds of the people in IHK following its brutal crackdown in the disputed territory. “There is nothing left for us,” Saqib Rehman, a political science student in Srinagar, told the newspaper.
The report said that Kashmiri leaders, who favoured an independent future for Kashmir, were of the view that New Delhi’s action had “pushed the region towards a deeper crisis because it has lost the hearts and minds of the local population.
“India’s government, led by the Hindu-nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party, did not consult with local political leaders in Kashmir before their move to revoke Kashmir’s special status or inform them or the public beforehand,” the report said, noting that authorities had arrested or confined hundreds of local political leaders, activists, businessmen, students and teachers to their homes.
But, it said, state authorities had declined to provide an updated tally of how many people still remain detained or confined to their homes, or allow the media or their supporters to meet with them.
Happymon Jacob, a professor at the Jawaharlal Nehru University, told the Journal, the Indian government did not take this decision after consulting many political leaders, or creating a consensus about it because they knew there wouldn’t have been a consensus.
Eventually, he said, all these parties will come together and rally under one banner, with a common demand, the reinstatement of Article 370. Citing residents in IHK, the report said it would be difficult for the established mainstream political leadership to appeal to voters.
“New Delhi’s abrupt decision has doomed the future of mainstream political parties here,” Sehrish Hassan, a local businessman, was quoted as saying. Their political agenda stands irrelevant.
In this political vacuum, the Journal said, the clampdown on movement and communications is stirring local anger. “Who can we trust?” Niyaz Ahmed, a Srinagar resident, asked. Residents of Srinagar described chaotic scenes of arbitrary detentions in recent days, the Journal said.
Fayyaz Ahmed Laway, a fruit seller in the city, told the newspaper that three masked men in military uniform barged into his house at 2:30am on Monday and picked up his son Taweez. “My son was sleeping in underwear. They didn’t even give him time to wear proper clothes.”
He said there was no information about when his son would get released. “Where should we appeal? Who should we go to?” Tabassum, who prefers to go by one name, said policemen stormed into her home after midnight on Tuesday and picked up her 13-year-old son. She followed them to the local police station that night and stayed put in the sweltering sun through the next afternoon. She said the police did not offer a reason for holding her son. A policeman there denied they had held anyone. “This is the world we are living in,” she said.
Meanwhile, The New York Times also underlined the gravity of the situation in occupied Kashmir. “We are neither safe at home, nor outside,” Rouf, who declined to give his full name, told the Times, noting that he was rubbing salt into his face to counteract the effects of tear gas. Friday afternoon had begun peacefully, the paper said with men and women streaming into Jinab Sahib for afternoon prayers.
“A cleric then raised a call for ‘Azadi’ several times, and declared Kashmir’s allegiance to Pakistan” “Long live Pakistan,” the cleric said, as worshippers roared back in approval, according to the Times. Meanwhile, Washington Post said ground situation in IHK contradicts the Indian official stance of normalcy in the territory.
In its special report, the paper notes that while the Indian government and state police officials say the region is calm, videos from the ground and eyewitness reports tell a completely different and indeed a bleak story. The paper elucidates that because of communications shutdown photos and video from the ground are hard to come by but the paper s fact checker team finds visuals which dispute the government s claims that no protests have taken place and that there is peace in the territory. The visuals obtained by the paper show civilians protesting and Indian forces using teargas and firing to disperse them. –