By Abdul Zahoor Khan Marwat

The absolute truth is that Pakistan’s relations with India have been held hostage by the fiery issue of Kashmir. The recent incidents in the valley, especially the death of folk hero Burhan Wani, have once again proved that without resolving the Kashmir issue, the relations between the two countries cannot be normalised.

The Crime Branch of the held Kashmir police recently came out with statistics of violence. “J&K has witnessed as many as 3,404 cases of rioting in 2016 as compared to 1,157 such cases in 2015, an increase of 2,247. Similarly, police registered as many as 267 cases of arson in 2016 as compared to 147 such cases in 2015, thereby showing an increase of 120 during the period.”

The Indian claims of ‘civil unrest’ or arson in the Valley are utter lies. At a seminar on Kashmir that was organised by the Jammu and Kashmir Coalition of Civil Society, noted Indian writer Arundhati Roy had admitted that soon after the Independence, India became a colonising power. She declared: “Kashmir has never been an internal part of India. It is a historical fact. India fought in Nagaland, Manipur, Punjab and Kashmir. It projects itself as the biggest democracy in the world and emerging economic power but at the same time it oppresses its states and the people of diverse cultures.”

A brief repeat of history: In January 1948, the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) adopted Resolution 39, establishing the United Nations Commission for India and Pakistan (UNCIP) to investigate and mediate the dispute. The UNSC Resolution 47, adopted on April 21, 1948, mandated a plebiscite to decide the fate of Kashmir. Later, subsequent UNSC resolutions reiterated the same.

Moreover, the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) passed a resolution in 1993 in Geneva, proclaiming Kashmir’s accession to India as bogus, null and void. India has never produced the original copy of the Instrument of Accession on an international forum, claiming in 1995 that the original document was lost or stolen.

Thus, the fact remains that Kashmiris are fighting an independence movement and cannot be called militants or terrorists. There is no terrorism in Kashmir and the world media should see to it. Conclusively, the people of the valley cannot be portrayed as terrorists or militants. On the other hand, our media should sensitise the world media about the Kashmir freedom movement and be proud of being the voice of Kashmiris in their struggle movement.