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Indigenous Freedom Struggle

In the meantime, the people of Jammu and Kashmir have not given up their struggle to have their right to decide their own political future. The Bilateral agreements (Tashkent, Shimla and Lahore) have all been signed by both these countries. In making these agreements and in carrying out the discussions to resolve the dispute, the people of Kashmir were neither consulted nor involved as a party.

Kashmiris are known for their pacifist temperament but they have been driven to armed resistance through sheer frustration as a consequence of India's continued occupation and its systematic corruption, brutality and neglect of popular feelings. The Indian response has been bloody and nakedly imperialistic with virtually all pretence to rule by consent abandoned. The Indian Government’s attempts to describe the mass Kashmiri resistance movement in areas under its control, as terrorist activity being waged by ‘infiltrators’, is an attempt to nullify the indigenous nature of the freedom struggle in Jammu and Kashmir. India blames Pakistan for fanning the movement. The fact of the matter is that the struggle for the right of self-determination in the Indian-held Kashmir has been going on since 1947. Despite India’s harsh and repressive measures, the movement could not be suppressed. It began as a political struggle, but faced with continuous setbacks and the Indian policy of backtracking on promises made, transformed the movement into an armed struggle. An Indian scholar, Sumit Ganguly, wrote, ’after years of frustrated attempts at meaningful political participation, and in the absence of institutional means of expressing dissent, the resort to more violent means become all but inevitable.’ (Explaining the Kashmir Insurgency, Vol. 21, No.2, p.96.)  Lt. Gen. V.K. Nayar, a former Indian Army commander, stated that the root cause of the Kashmir situation was ‘political ineptness, due to which Kashmiris felt isolated both from the national mainstream and within the state itself.’ (Low Intensity Conflict: Jammu and Kashmir’, U.S.I. Journal, Vol. C XXVIII, No. 533, July-Sept 1998) According to Sumantra Bose, an Indian scholar, ’Kashmiris rose in rebellion not because Muslims are constitutionally incapable of loyalty to a “secular” state, but because they saw no hope of redressal within the Indian state’s institutional framework to the gross, consistent and systematic pattern of abuse of their rights as citizens and as human beings. The brutal and disproportionately violent response to which their (initially largely non-violent) protests were sought to be suppressed, especially in early 1990, steeled their resolve to seek “self-determination”, through force if necessary, and it was thus that the gun became a legitimate political weapon in a society where the “sight of blood” (as Walter Lawrence observed at the turn of the century) was once anathema.’ (The Challenge in Kashmir, p.115)

Pakistan being a legitimate party to the dispute, by virtue of the Partition Plan and the UN resolutions, has the right to support the cause of the right of self-determination of the Kashmiris. As argued by Dr. Ijaz Hussain, an expert on international law, ‘Pakistan’s locus standi in the Kashmir dispute is also established by the fact that on 22 January 1948 the Security Council decided to change the item on its agenda from the “Jammu and Kashmir Question” to the “India-Pakistan Question.” (Kashmir Dispute: An International Law Perspective, p. 207) The very fact that the freedom movement in Kashmir has been going on since 1947, and gained momentum since 1989, itself establishes the undying indigenous nature of the movement. No outside influence can sustain a movement for such a long period in this manner, in which in the last decade alone, (since 1989), the Kashmiris have sacrificed more than 80,000 lives. To divert world attention from the real situation, India has, since long time, been trying to portray the indigenous struggle as being waged by ‘religious fanatics’ or ‘Muslim terrorists.’ So the first and foremost fact about the Kashmir freedom struggle is that it is a movement for a realization of the right to self-determination of the people of Jammu and Kashmir in accordance with international law.’ 

JKIM: First & largest Political Party of Kashmiri Shias

Copyright 2008-Ittihadul Muslimeen, Karanagar,Srinagar,Kashmir,190010