On Dec 13, 2022, the National Student Kashmir Conference 2022 took place in the House of Commons of the UK Parliament (https://www.eventbrite.com/e/national-student-kashmir-conference-2022-the-house-of-commons-tickets-476386192927). It seems this invitations only event took place under the aegis of some UK Parliamentarians and the Pakistan Society of King’s College. It appears the topic of the conference was the violation of human rights in Kashmir and India.
It is regrettable that the august premises of the UK Parliament are being used for such systematic propaganda on behalf of Pakistan, which has served as an epicentre of the world terrorism. This region of the world has persisted in fostering and supporting terrorism on multiple levels in its quest to have a legitimate identity and to possibly make the world “dar-ul-Islam” (the land of Islam) through an unending chain of draconian jihads. A case in point is a webinar that took place in Pakistan a few months back that was attended by several UK parliamentarians: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CdgSN8TY5r8 . The webinar features shocking statements that call for systematic radicalisation using academia and social platforms as an integral part of brainwashing. This agenda and the official support extended to it by the Pakistan government is the reason why events such as the National Student Kashmir Conference 2022 take place.
Non-Muslims are the real victims in the Kashmir saga
In reality, the real victims of the Kashmir situation are non-Muslims of South Asia. The creation of Pakistan in 1947 cost them the land in the excess of 1 million sq km. Since 1947, the presence of non-Muslims in Pakistan and Bangladesh has become virtually non-existent. Their population in those regions has dwindled from over 25% in 1947 to barely 4% today. They are denied, by law and constitution, prominent places in the government and administration. Traces of non-Muslim heritage – including languages, scripts, religious/cultural functions, and art forms – have been systematically wiped out in that part of the world (see Illustration 1). It should be mentioned that the removal of Article 370 has seen unprecedented peace and prosperity – the law and order cases have dropped by 88% and the region has received investment proposals worth £3.1 billion, which is thrice the amount of loan taken by Pakistan from the International Monetary Fund in 2022 to avoid defaulting on its previous loans.
Can Pakistan even afford the plebiscite?
Pakistan wants plebiscite to be conducted in the Kashmir region as per the United Nations resolution. In the first place, there was no need for plebiscite since the ruler of Kashmir had signed a legal document to merge with India in October 1947. Also, the UN resolution of 1948 – which is not valid anymore due to the 1972 Simla Agreement – lays down the following 3 conditions for that the plebiscite to take place:
- In the first step, Pakistan should use its “best endeavours” to secure the withdrawal of all tribesmen and Pakistani nationals, putting an end to the fighting in the state.
- In the second step, India should “progressively reduce” its forces to the minimum level required for keeping law and order. It laid down principles that India should follow in administering law and order in consultation with the Commission, using local personnel as far as possible.
- In the third step, India should ensure that all the major political parties were invited to participate in the state government at the ministerial level, essentially forming a coalition cabinet. India should then appoint a Plebiscite Administrator nominated by the United Nations, who would have a range of powers including powers to deal with the two countries and ensure a free and impartial plebiscite. Measures were to be taken to ensure the return of refugees, the release of all political prisoners, and for political freedom.
So, the UN resolution requires Pakistan to withdraw completely from the Pakistan Occupied Kashmir, which is labelled and controlled as “Azad Kashmir” by them, and let it be controlled by India as the first essential step of the plebiscite. Is Pakistan willing to accept it? It conveniently forgets that the 1972 Simla Agreement has made Kashmir a purely bilateral issue which rules out any intervention from a third party. Its use of the world platforms in conducting this propaganda to entice the world organizations is deplorable – after all, it had started 4 wars versus India without their consent (1947, 1965, 1971, and 1999) and its terrorists had attacked the Parliament of India without their consent (2002).
Bilawal Bhutto and butchers
Pakistan’s foreign minister Bilawal Butto calling India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi the “Butcher of Gujrat” on the United Nations platform in the US was a new low even for Pakistan. The reality is that Mr Modi has been fully exonerated by the Supreme Court of India after a rigorous trial that lasted several years. Secondly, Godhra riots of 2002 took place in two stages: the first stage took place on Feb 27, 2002 whereas the second stage took place Feb 28 through March 2, 2002. In the first stage, Muslims burnt a train and 59 Hindu passengers in it – 9 men, 25 women, and 25 children. Not a single Muslim was hurt in this stage and the biased media/politicians/activists have completed overlooked this stage of riots. In the second stage, which was the reaction to the first stage, both Muslims and Hindus got killed with Hindus accounting for 25% deaths. Does Mr Bhutto know that the policies of Sir Winston Churchill knowingly led to the death of almost 3 million people in the Bangal famine of 1940’s – https://www.epw.in/journal/2018/42/special-articles/profit-inflation-keynes-and-holocaust.html ? Churchill’s famous comment at that time was “How come Gandhi has not diet yet?” Is Mr Butto going to call Winston Churchill the “Butcher of Bengal”? Mohd Ali Jinnah’s call for “Direct Action Day” caused 4,000 deaths in Kolkata on Aug 16, 1946 and a further 4,000+ died in Noakhali in its aftermath. So, is Mr Bhutto going to call Mohd Ali Jinnah the “Butcher of Kolkata”? In the same speech, Jinnah had said “We will have either a divided India or a destroyed India”. The subsequent creation of Pakistan together with riots and battles caused more than 2 million deaths in South Asia within 18 months of that speech. So, is Mr Bhutto going to call Mohd Ali Jinnah the “Butcher of South Asia”?
The speech of India’s External Affairs Minister Mr S Jaishankar, delivered at the UN Security Council last week, is a measured and scholarly take on such incidents and on the root causes of such incidents: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rpBcCekGsZQ .