The world is failing the oppressed people of Kashmir

London:  Moeed Yusuf : Friday August 28 2020, 12.01am, The Times

The creation of the United Nations after the Second World War was a landmark in human history. While the world continues to experience wars, destruction and massacres, there is at least the reassurance that international conventions, laws and mechanisms exist under the auspices of the UN to observe and respect human rights.

Despite all the safeguards, some nations continue to suffer crimes against humanity and their territories have become an arena of abuses with no recourse to justice. The situation prevalent in Jammu and Kashmir under Indian occupation and the plight of the Kashmiri nation are glaring cases in point.

Kashmiris carry heart-wrenching memories of the November 1947 massacre of tens of thousands in Jammu, the mass rape of Kashmiri women in Kunan Poshpora in 1991, the discovery of several thousand bodies in unmarked graves in 2009 and many other incidents. The evidence of those atrocities should have been enough to move the world to ensure delivery of justice by bringing the perpetrators to account.

While those responsible for protecting human rights and maintaining world order watched and discussed the sufferings of Kashmiris, in August 2019 the Indian government took a unilateral and illegal decision to strip the disputed region of its autonomy, opening a dark new chapter in its history.

In the year since then, Kashmiris have endured a communications blockade, cutting them off from the outside world, and have been denied access to media, medical facilities (even during the pandemic) and religious gatherings.

Allegations of arbitrary detention, torture, extra-judicial killings and rape have all been reported by the international media, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, among others. UN bodies and Britain's all-party parliamentary group on Kashmir have also published reports on the gross human rights violations in Kashmir under Indian occupation.

Kashmiris are still hopeful that the international community will come to their rescue and justice will be delivered — that the UN will fulfil its promise of the right to self-determination as enshrined in the Security Council resolutions on Kashmir before it's too late.

The international community and the international institutions need to act now before the question mark over Kashmir's future turns into an indelible black mark on the world's conscience.

August 28, 2020

Last updated: Auguat 28, 2020

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