The people of Jammu and Kashmir (from Azad [free] Kashmir and those under India’s illegal occupation) are observing August 5 as Yaum-e Istehsal (Day of exploitation).
Seminars and roundtable conferences have been held in the Pakistani capital Islamabad to highlight the suffering of the Kashmiri people.
Refugees from Indian occupied Kashmir and their friends and supporters organized these events.
Speakers condemned India’s atrocities against the Kashmiri people as well as Delhi’s unilateral and illegal abrogation of Kashmir’s autonomous status.
Exactly four years ago, Indian prime minister Narendra Modi abrogated articles 370 and 35A of the Indian constitution.
The two articles relate to the status of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) under Indian occupation.
Under Article 370, the state of Jammu and Kashmir enjoyed special status and a measure of autonomy for its people.
Article 35A prohibited non-Kashmiris from acquiring land in the state or settle there.
First enacted in 1927 (20 years before India gained independence from British colonial rule), it was designed to prohibit non-Kashmiris from acquiring immovable property in Kashmir and, therefore, settle there.
Article 35A was incorporated into the Indian constitution in 1948 because the United Nations Security Council had designated Jammu and Kashmir as disputed territory.
With the abrogation of the two articles, Jammu and Kashmir has been designated as “union territory” and placed under governor rule.
In March 2020, India enacted a new law, called the “Domicile Law”, that opened the floodgates for non-Kashmiris to settle in Kashmir.
It is not difficult to understand its purpose.
Under the “Domicile law”, anyone who has resided in J&K for 15 years or studied in the state for 7 years or appeared in class 10th/12th exams can apply for Kashmir domicile.
This is designed to change the demography of J&K.
This is not conjecture.
India has issued domicile certificates to approximately 6 million outsiders since the “Domicile Law” came into effect.
Ethnic-cleansing and ethnic-flooding are being pursued simultaneously in utter disregard of the international and UN-acknowledged status of Jammu and Kashmir as being “disputed area,” where any such change is manifestly illegal.
Hindu temples are springing up in Muslim-majority localities where no Hindus have ever lived before.
Compare this to the targeting of Muslims in India where their homes, mosques and businesses are being torched or demolished by Hindu fascists.
Even before this settler-colonial law, patterned on the laws of the zionist entity in Occupied Palestine came into effect in Kashmir, India’s Hindu fascists had embarked on a policy of economic strangulation of the people.
In the first four months following the August 5, 2019 abrogation, Kashmir suffered losses amounting to Rs178.78 billion (US$2.144 billion).
This was reported by the Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI), in its study of 10 districts in Jammu and Kashmir.
Job losses in the same period amounted to 496,000. These have continued to escalate leading to much despair.
A wave of arrests of Kashmiri youth as well as political leaders were other draconian acts the 900,000 Indian occupation troops indulged in.
Many youth have simply disappeared.
The Indian government also arrested or put under house arrest all political leaders including those that had for decades collaborated with Delhi.
Amnesty International has dubbed the Public Safety Act imposed since 1978 as the “tyranny of a lawless law.”
It allows the Indian army to arrest and detain people for up to two years without charge.
The people of Jammu and Kashmir face a grim future under an oppressive Hindu fascist regime in Delhi but the rest of the world turns a blind eye.
The west covets India as a bulwark to use against a rising China.
Violations of the rights of the Kashmiri people are of little consequence.
One could hardly find a better definition of hypocrisy.