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Posts Tagged ‘Kashmir’

Of Gazans, Kashmiris & Human Rights

Yes, International community condemns Israel for the brutal attack on Gaza-bound aide convoy Flotilla. Our very own Talat Hussein, a much respected and known to a have neutral-view point-journalist was on board and all of Pakistan came out on streets to support the brave effort. Israel’s act of aggression needed condemnation and it finds itself cornered in the world, for except USA and India – every country and its foreign office issued strong statements against Israel. Gaza is burning and Gazans don’t have access to basic facilities of life — they needed this attention.

Attention, a word often weighed in relative terms as priorities vary with perceptions. Talking about Gaza is necessary and is a must to unveil Israel’s true face but talking about Gaza alone does not suffice. Talking about injustice, disputed territories, declining conditions of human rights, rapes, illegal tortures and disappearances in one part of the world and ignoring the other might mean we have biased way of looking at things – of looking at human beings and humanity, irrespective of color, creed and faith.

I write to draw YOUR ‘attention’ towards Kashmir for a second, you can press the X button and close the window, as what I am writing here is not making headlines in world media. Human rights activists, who cry for Gaza, all of a sudden become quiet when it comes to protesting for Kashmir – Relief workers cannot access Kashmir and the idea of Freedom Kashmir-tilla, an aide convoy to Kashmir does not attract them as much as Gaza does

From 1990 to 1999 some organizations report that Indian Armed Forces have been responsible for the deaths 4,501 of Kashmiri civilians. Also from 1990 to 1999, there are records of 4,242 women between the ages of 7-70 that have been raped.

A 2005 study conducted by Médecins Sans Frontières found that Kashmiri women are among the worst sufferers of sexual violence in the world, with 11.6% of respondents reporting that they had been victims of sexual abuse. Some surveys have found that in the Kashmir region itself (where the bulk of separatist and Indian military activity is concentrated), popular perception holds that the Indian Armed Forces are more to blame for human rights violations than the separatist groups. According to the MORI survey of 2002, in Kashmir only 2% of respondents believed that the militant groups were guilty of widespread human rights abuses, while 64% believed that Indian troops were guilty of the same. This trend was reversed however in other parts of the state. Off late Amnesty International has called on India to “unequivocally condemn enforced disappearances” and to ensure that impartial investigation is conducted on reality of mass graves in its controlled Kashmir region. As the Indian state police confirms as many as 331 deaths while in custody and 111 enforced disappearances since 1989

A 1996 Human Rights Watch report accuses the Indian military and Indian-government backed paramilitaries of “committ[ing] serious and widespread human rights violations in Kashmir. Moreover, Amnesty International and the Human Rights Watch (HRW) have condemned human rights abuses in Kashmir by Indians such as “extra-judicial executions”, “disappearances”, and torture.

And Gaza’s statistics reiterate the following figures with slight variation.

 

Apart from Kashmir, areas of Parachinar, Waziristan, Swat and Baluchistan have been witnessing greater number of deaths than in Gaza. Aide workers have been found butchered trying to access Parachinar many a times without enticing the same reaction over the years.

I do not write to undermine Gaza, please understand that. I write to compare Gaza with many other Gaza’s that have witnessed far more atrocities, and have not still been able to win an international citizens heart. Maybe, we Pakistanis need to focus more on our home before trying to solve world’s problems and maybe the ‘corporate’ human rights activists need to address declining human rights conditions everywhere in the world alongside Gaza.

Interestingly, in a ‘Letter to American People’ written by Osama bin Laden in 2002 he stated that one of the reasons he was fighting America is because of her support to India on the Kashmir issue – but the most-wanted man on this earth too had a different approach when it came to dealing with Kashmir issue, because we haven’t heard him calling out to wage Jihad on ‘Muslims’ being oppressed in Kashmir for a long time now, ever since our Intelligentsia changed its position on Kashmir during Musharrafs regime.

You see – humanitarians, aide workers, peace activists and militant organizations all go with the wind!

Syed Ali Abbas Zaidi

P.SL Y’all remember MCC? Music Channel Charts? The pioneers of Pop-Music in Pakistan in early 90’s? You must remember this song about Kashmir issue then: JAAAAGOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

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