See More on Facebook

Opinion

Let Kashmir breathe

It is the 100 day anniversary of India’s moves in Kashmir.


Written by

Updated: November 15, 2019

IT is a grim milestone. Tuesday marked the 100th day of the siege of India-held Kashmir, after New Delhi clamped down on the region and did away with its special status guaranteed by the Indian constitution.

Read: Occupied Kashmir marks 100 days of annexation

Since then, life has become a nightmare for the Kashmiris, as they have been living under constant lockdown, their routines disrupted by the heavy hand of the Indian establishment.

The matter was raised during a Senate session in Islamabad on Tuesday, with lawmakers questioning the UN’s relative silence where the suffering of Kashmiris is concerned. Former Senate chairman Farooq Naek urged the government to approach the International Court of Justice over the matter, while the leader of the opposition in the upper house, Raja Zafarul Haq, condemned the inaction of the international community over Kashmir.

In the occupied region itself, journalists held a small silent demonstration in Srinagar to protest the blockade of the internet in IHK, and the crippling effect it has had on unfettered reporting from the region.

“The authorities have treated journalists […] as potential troublemakers and choked journalism in the process,” one media person said at the protest. Indeed, Kashmiri journalists must be commended for their brave protest in the face of Indian brutality.

India’s lockdown has affected people from all walks of life in IHK.

Mothers lament that their sons have been picked up in midnight raids by New Delhi’s enforcers; schools and colleges have been shut, paralysing educational activities; trade and business have taken a similar hit; even religious occasions, such as Muharram and Eid, have not been spared as Kashmiris have been denied the opportunity to freely observe rituals.

Is this how a democracy — which India claims to be — behaves?

However, despite 100 days of suffocation, the Kashmiri spirit for azadi remains undeterred. However much India brackets the Kashmiri desire for autonomy and freedom with militancy, it is clear that the held region’s people will not give up their democratic demand for self-determination, as New Delhi’s brutal tactics for decades have failed to snuff out their courage and spirit of resistance.

Pakistan has made a major effort to raise a voice for the Kashmir cause across the globe, and many conscientious people have spoken up for the rights of the besieged region. In fact, activists within India have also questioned their government’s appalling tactics in IHK.

India can continue its brutal approach in the region for another 100 days but the result is unlikely to be different, as Kashmiris will not start treating their oppressors as their benefactors. Instead of this failed approach, India must immediately lift the siege of Kashmir and listen to what its people have to say. The BJP-led government must understand this is not a conquered territory, but a region with its own unique history and culture that cannot be subjugated.

Let Kashmir breathe.



Enjoyed this story? Share it.


Asia News Network
About the Author: ANN members comprise The Korea Herald, China Daily, China Post (Taiwan), Gogo Mongolia, Yomiuri Shimbun and The Japan News, Dawn (Pakistan), The Statesman (India), The Island (Sri Lanka), Kuensel (Bhutan), Kathmandu Post (Nepal), Daily Star (Bangladesh), Eleven Media (Myanmar), The Nation (Thailand), Jakarta Post, The Star and Sin Chew Daily (Malaysia), the Phnom Penh Post and Rasmei Kampuchea (Cambodia), The Borneo Bulletin (Brunei), The Straits Times (Singapore), Vietnam News, Philippine Daily Inquirer and Vientiane Times (Laos).

Eastern Briefings

All you need to know about Asia


Our Eastern Briefings Newsletter presents curated stories from 22 Asian newspapers from South, Southeast and Northeast Asia.

Sign up and stay updated with the latest news.



By providing us with your email address, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

View Today's Newsletter Here

Opinion

China confident of virus battle victory

 Xi thanks Pakistani, ROK leaders for support, donations in phone talks. China is capable of winning the battle against the novel coronavirus pneumonia outbreak, which cannot undermine the foundation of China’s long-term development, President Xi Jinping said on Thursday. Xi made the remark in telephone conversations with Imran Khan, prime minister of Pakistan, and Moon Jae-in, president of the Republic of Korea. In the phone call with Khan, Xi said that the top priority of the Chinese government is to fight the disease, and the situation has developed in a positive direction thanks to the great efforts made by medical workers and people across the nation. China is confident of winning the battle against the disease, and it will minimize the e


By China Daily
February 21, 2020

Opinion

China confident of virus battle victory

Xi thanks Pakistani, ROK leaders for support, donations in phone talks. China is capable of winning the battle against the novel coronavirus pneumonia outbreak, which cannot undermine the foundation of China’s long-term development, President Xi Jinping said on Thursday. Xi made the remark in telephone conversations with Imran Khan, prime minister of Pakistan, and Moon Jae-in, president of the Republic of Korea. In the phone call with Khan, Xi said that the top priority of the Chinese government is to fight the disease, and the situation has developed in a positive direction thanks to the great efforts made by medical workers and people across the nation. China is confident of winning the battle against the disease, and it will


By China Daily
February 21, 2020

Opinion

Combating Covid-19: Toward closer China-Asean community

 This meeting is convened at a critical moment when China and Asean are battling the severe challenge of Covid-19. The Special ASEAN-China Foreign Ministers’ Meeting on Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) will be held in Laos on Thursday. This meeting is convened at a critical moment when China and ASEAN are battling the severe challenge of COVID-19. It reflects the firm resolve of China and ASEAN to fight the epidemic and the unique, friendly relationship between our two sides. It will also be a leading example of responding to epidemics through cross-border cooperation. Since the COVID-19 outbreak at the end of 2019, under the strong leadership of President Xi Jinping, the Chinese government promptly set up a nationwide framework to mobilize personnel


By The Jakarta Post
February 20, 2020

Opinion

Singapore Budget 2020: 10 things to know, from cash payout for S’poreans to GST not going up in 2021

Here are 10 highlights introduced by Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat on Tuesday (Feb 18).  A slew of measures to deal with short-term challenges such as the coronavirus outbreak and long-term economic development were introduced by Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat on Tuesday (Feb 18). Immediate measures included a $4 billion package to help firms with cash flow and retain workers, and $1.6 billion for household expenses amid the coronavirus outbreak. More long-term help included $6 billion set aside to cushion the impact of a future goods and services tax (GST) increase, and $8.3 billion to be spent on growing and transforming the economy over three years. Here are 10 highlights: 1. GST NOT GOING UP IN 2021 The increase i


By The Straits Times
February 19, 2020

Opinion

OPINION: Quarantined in China

With the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic in full bloom, a Pakistani student in Beijing describes the daily routine for students on campus, hoping to dispel some of the anxiety being fuelled by news reports. It’s 09:00 am on Monday in Beijing. I am still lying in my bed. I have a lot of research work to do but I lack the motivation to get started on it. Winter has never been this boring in Beijing before. I am living in the dormitory for international students in China’s only media university. I came here last September to do a PhD in communication studies. I was quite happy and satisfied when I registered here. Little did I know this university would become a mini jail for me in the next five months. I am waiting for the Ayis (Chinese


By Asia News Network
February 18, 2020

Opinion

Toyota to restart three China plants amid virus fight

The spread of the virus has weighed on the global economy, with some major carmakers extending plant shutdowns amid shortages of parts. Toyota Motor Corp will partly resume operations at three plants in China this week, bringing back some of the capacity that had been on an extended halt in response to the coronavirus outbreak that’s killed more than 1,600 people and pitched Asia’s top economy into turmoil. The factories in Changchun and Guangzhou will restart on Feb 1


By China Daily
February 17, 2020