Kashmir Rights Forum

Day: October 7, 2021

A Generation of Conflict

     For more than 30 years, insurgency and depraved cross-border support have been the biggest challenges for the progress of Kashmir and its people. The governance, land, women’s rights or employment- everything has suffered terribly in the shadows of paralyzing fear.

2.         Political volatility between India and Pakistan has further made the situation in Kashmir fragile.  Pakistan has innumerable times used this hostility for its own benefit. It is evident that Kashmir issue always holds the top place in Pakistani agenda for electoral campaigning. Young Kashmiris are often targeted and brain washed to support terror groups in the name of religion. A large number of parents have lost their sons to mindless violence over a misleading idea of territoriality. All this has led to a whole generation to be called as ’children of conflict’.

A Landmark Event

3.         Ever since the Instrument of Accession was executed by Maharaja Hari Singh on 26 Oct 1947, India has considered Kashmir as an integral and unified part of the country. Various development plans and schemes had been introduced to aid the growth and prosperity of this region which has been a traditional victim of conflict. Constant efforts had been made to ensure a terror free environment for the locals, where the society could thrive and achieve its true potential. But all these efforts were marred by the nefarious designs of India’s western adversary.

4.         It has been more than 2 years since the abrogation of Article 370 and Article 35A of Indian constitution. This landmark event on 5th August 2019 has brought hopes of holistic development to an erstwhile militarized pseudo-autonomy. Removal of the special status given to this state and ensuring the central government laws become applicable by downgrading Jammu and Kashmir into a union territory has finally brought Kashmir on the right side of history. Today, Kashmir is experiencing unprecedented benefits of development enjoyed by Indians elsewhere.


Sustained Efforts for Development

5.         After the abrogation of Article 370 and Article 35A, union territory of Jammu and Kashmir has witnessed decrease in terror activities as well as a stable progress in the spheres of human resource, infrastructure and education. During last two years, the government has undertaken a holistic approach for all-round development. Some major headway projects include Udhampur-Srinagar-Baramulla railway project, establishment of prestigious AIIMS campus and gas-pipeline project. These development projects in the region call for numerous employment opportunities for the locals. There is also a renewed focus on the agriculture and horticulture sectors, which employ the largest segment of Kashmiri population.

6.         Efforts have been made to create digital infrastructure, expanding usage and making government processes as transparent as possible. IT sector and telecom services are reaching new heights with latest government schemes. New investors are showing more and more interest in ever growing industrial sector. People in Kashmir are connected more than ever and there is a paradigm shift in people’s mindset towards the country. Budding entrepreneurs and several self sustained businesses are gaining popularity among Kashmiris.

A New, Progressive Kashmir

7.         Kashmiri society has always had a rich cultural heritage. There is no dearth of talented artists, scholars and sportspersons. While in earlier times the popular trend was to move out and settle in other parts of the country, more and more people have embraced the Kashmir post Aug 2019 wherein talent and hardwork is respected, and there is an inherent sense of peace and prosperity. Here are a few glimpses of stalwarts of a new, progressive Kashmir:

(a)       TahirahRehman.    The first woman from Jammu and Kashmir’s tribal Gujjar community and from a remote village in Rajouri who has been selected for training in Indian Air force.

(b)       Adnan Manzoor.     This young Rabab artist from Kashmir has taken valley’s traditional music to a global platform through social media and has become an inspiration for youth of the valley.

(c)        HoorainZulfikar.      The 19 year old from Srinagar is spreading magic through her art, currently working as a director for Centre of Art, Youth Parliament, J&K- a non-profit organization registered with the United Nations.

(d)       Umran Malik.            This cricketer from Srinagar is playing for Sunrisers Hyderabad team in IPL in Dubai and has set the record for the fastest ball bowled in IPL 2021.

(e)       HinaJaan.     She is an extremely talented 8th standard student from Handwara, and has become the youngest writer to release her book ‘To Infinity and More…’.

Role of Army

8.         Indian Army has been the frontrunner in promoting peace and safety in Kashmir. Through its Operation Sadbhavna, the army has helped Kashmiri society overcome the sense of despair and lost hope. Recognizing young talent and extending a helping hand for those in need has become the second nature of armed forces in valley.

9.         People are sick of ongoing terrorist activities and are longing for peace and peaceful right to life and liberty. Terrorist activities have declined sharply in recent years indicating that the young Kashmiris no longer seek to be a part of the never-ending pit of militancy. Increased feeling of acceptance and harmony can be seen amongst the Awaam and army, moving together towards a peaceful and progressive Kashmir

The Way Ahead

10. Dreams and aspirations of the society can be seen rising through positive social and economic changes in the valley. Under the assuring watch of Indian army as sentinels of the valley, youth of Kashmir is hopeful and keen to shape a better tomorrow.

1.         Human Rights violations are generally associated with the activities of Armed Forces, whereas if analysed properly terrorists are the real perpetrators of such violations. There are a few cases of HR violations by the Security Forces, which mostly are due to negligence or occur when the situation goes out of hand. Despite the fact that forces seldom commit such things intentionally & always try to control the situation with minimum damage to civilians & their property, all such cases are dealt with a firm hand & necessary actions are taken against the soldiers involved. There have been numerous examples of harshest punishments levied in such cases. However, on the other hand all the activities of terrorists, be it violence against civilians, their family members, misuse of their property to hide by creating pressure & threatening them, misbehavior with the family members & ladies (which mostly involves sexual assaults) are rampant cases of HR violations against the common Kashmiri civilians by the terrorists. Neither the HR violation monitoring NGOs nor UN can do anything against such prevalent crimes except condemning them, appealing to the terrorist organisations or issuing statements. On the other hand they raise their voices to unrivalled levels on false allegations against the Security Forces that take tangible actions to prevent such HR violations by terrorists against civilians.

2.         Till Sept 2021, terrorists have already killed nine civilians & critically injured four civilians in South Kashmir only. On the other hand they have accounted for nine kills & 13 critical injuries against Security Forces & their family members. These attacks also include gruesome & inhumane assaults on wife & daughter of Fayaz Ah Bhatt of 162 TA at Hariparigam, Anantnag & wife & daughter of Head Constable Sajjad Ah Malik of JKP at Kokagund, Anantnag. Such barbaric acts are conducted by the terrorists, with direct support from their OGWs. OGW are over ground workers, who in the garb of civilians support terrorists covertly, without coming out in open. Most of these are working in government departments& do not reveal their true identity & continue providing weapons & intelligence of security forces presence to the terrorists. They shelter terrorists in their homes & misguide security forces by giving wrong information. All the recces of the targets, their routines & their homes is done by these OGWs, who are guised as well-wishers& common civilians. This information is secretively passed onto the terrorist. They have an equal, if not larger rolein spreading the violence & fear in the minds of common civilians.

3.         Dealing with the terrorists is relatively easy for security forces as compared to dealing with the OGWs. They are the main planners & support base for the terrorists, who orchestrate all the violence, recruitments & funding of the terrorist tanzeems & at the same time stay out of the limelight. It is very difficult to prove their involvement in the terrorist activities &take legal action against the OGWs as they never carry the weapons &thereby have to be left with minor prison terms, even if caught.These terrorists & OGWs claim to be fighting for the just cause as part of the civilian struggle, but in actual they target the civilians who do not support their radical, violence driven agenda of hatred against a particular community. There nexus is very strong & have people working for them from all fields & departments. They use social media to radicalize the youth by spreading false propaganda against the security forces & government.

4.         United Nations Security General Mr Kofi Annan appropriately stated “Terrorism strike at the very heart of everything that UN stands for. It is a global threat to democracy, the rule of law, human rights & stability & therefore requires a global response”.  This statement crisply highlights the effect of terrorism on humankind globally. We must join together to fight this menace globally. No one,be it the government, the security forces or the terrorists should have the authority or power to violate basic human rights of anyone. While, the first two are answerable to people & subjected to the law for their actions, the third ones neither claim responsibility nor are answerable to any lawful body for any of their actions. Having freedom to support any ideology/ faith, expressing dissent or to protest against the government to put forward the demands, does not in any way imply that we could take law into our hands, create anarchy, lawlessness & spread violence. Terrorism is an act against humanity & no argument can justify the killings of peaceful civilians.

Just a day after the killing of three innocent civilians, terrorist target kills two builders of the nation.
The incident happened in Srinagar’s Idgah area. The duo teachers were attacked inside the premises of Government Boys Higher Secondary School Idgah, where they were posted. The male teacher died on the spot and the female took his last breath while on the way to the hospital.
The duo was identified as Deepak Chand (male) and lady teacher Surinder Kaur. Pertinently, one Pandit chemist was killed just a day before, a non-local labourer too. After this, the hue and cry in non-locals, Pandit and Sikh communities have arisen.

The whole of Kashmir is in grief with these killings and they unite to condemn such barbaric acts.
Terror outfits swift their actions in retarding the expansion and development in the industrial sector of the valley. These incidents- the killing of Sikhs and Pandits as identified from last week, has retained fear and suspicion in said communities. The killings can’t be rectified, so won’t be the damage, if continues will take the valley to destruction. As such, these incidents replicate day by day, involving gross human rights violations, curb of freedom and devastation of peace.
This is an attempt to disintegrate and harm the basic fabric of Kashmiri society and Kashmiriyat, that they are bringing a Pakistani culture of violence against non-Muslim members of society.
KRF once again strongly denounces the killings of teachers in heart of the city. Our heartfelt condolences to the victim families in this hour of grief.