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India failed in diverting attention from Kashmir

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Sajjad Shaukat

THE Indian former home ministry and ex-investigating officer Satish Verma disclosed on July 19, 2013, that terror attacks in Mumbai in November 26, 2008 and assault on Indian Parliament in January 12, 2001 were carried out by the Indian government to strengthen anti-terrorism laws. Although by arranging various false-flag operations like the previous terror attacks, including at Indian Air Force Base in Pathankot, India succeeded in deflecting attention of the world from the uprising in the Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK) due to the US-led West’s double standard, yet Indian rulers have failed in diverting the attention of the international community from the drastic situation of Kashmir in the aftermath of the Uri base assault which was also staged by the Indian intelligence agencies, especially RAW on Setember18, this year. Under the mask of the Uri base attack, without any investigation, India’s top civil and military officials, including their media, started propaganda against Pakistan by accusing that the militants who targeted the Uri base came from Pakistani side of Kashmir. New Delhi created war-hysteria against Pakistan and started mobilization of troops near the LoC, while claiming surgical strikes in Azad Kashmir. But, the myth of Indian surgical strikes was exposed, when in a statement, DG of Pakistan’s ISPR, Lt Gen Asim Saleem Bajwa said, “The notion of surgical strike linked to alleged terrorists bases is an illusion being deliberately generated by India to create false effects. This quest by Indian Establishment to create media hype by rebranding cross border fire as surgical strike is a fabrication of truth.” He repeatedly stated that Pakistani troops have been giving equal response to Indian unprovoked firing across the LoC. Differences also arose between the Indian civil and military leadership—as to how cover the falsehood. In this regard, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and country’s Army Chief Gen. Dalbir Singh had decided to prepare a ‘fake video’ of surgical strikes to pacify the Indian public, media and the opposition parties. In fact, since July 8, 2016 against the martyrdom of the young Kashmir leader Burhan Wani by the Indian security forces in the Indian-Held Kashmir in wake of continued sieges and prolonged curfew, Indian forces have martyred more than 120 innocent people who were protesting against the martyrdom of Burhan Wani. With the acceleration of war of liberation and Indian state terrorism in the Indian controlled Kashmir, pressure on the Indian government led by BJP has been mounting both domestically and internationally.
this respect, A S Dulat, former chief of India’s spy agency RAW, writing in the magazine, ‘The Wire’ on August 27, 2016 said “Pakistan’s role is not the only catalyst for the crisis, talks about the need for the Indian government to start talking to separatist leaders in the Hurriyat Conference, Pakistan and other important political players.” His condemnation of the Modi government for its high handedness in IOK is spot on. He rightly concludes that the Kashmiri uprising is 100% indigenous.
Meanwhile, in response to the letter of Pakistan’s Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif, on August 19, 2016, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon deplored the killing of the Kashmiris in Indian-held Kashmir, and urged India and Pakistan to settle Kashmir and other issues through dialogue by offering his “good offices”. On September 21, 2016, Pakistan’s Prime Minister Sharif emphatically highlighted Kashmir situation during the annual session of the UN General Assembly by explaining, “Kashmiris had to face barbarism from India, which made Burhan Wani, the face of freedom movement…Pakistan fully supports the demand of the Kashmiri people for self-determination, as promised by several Security Council resolutions. Their struggle is a legitimate one for liberation from alien occupation.”
During his visit to Pakistan, in the joint press conference with Prime Minister Sharif on November 17, 2016, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan urged for an immediate resolution of the Kashmir dispute and stated that “the escalating tension on the Pakistan-India border and the atrocities in Kashmir cannot be ignored. He elaborated, “The Turkish government and the Turkish nation stand in solidarity with the Kashmiri people.” Earlier, the visiting Secretary General of the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) Ayad Ameen Madani in Islamabad expressed grave concern over extra-judicial killing of people in the Indian Occupied Kashmir and added, “OIC will support Pakistan on Kashmir issue”. Besides, Western politicians and media have also taken serious notice of the deteriorating situation of Kashmir. For instance, the Italian Minister for Defence, Mrs Roberta Pinotti who visited Pakistan said on September 19, 2016 that her country “opposes use of force and lethal weapons against peaceful protestors in Kashmir…it cannot be allowed to go on.” She further said that Italy will apprise the international community about what is going on in Indian held Kashmir. Leading TV channels and newspapers are giving appropriate coverage to the ongoing uprising in Kashmir, while pointing out Indian atrocities. For example, with the title, “India’s crackdown in Kashmir: is this the world’s first mass blinding?”, The Guardian wrote on November 8, 2016, “The Long Read: A bloody summer of protest in Kashmir has been met with a ruthless response from Indian security forces, who fired hundreds of thousands of metal pellets into crowds of civilians, leaving hundreds blind.”
Notably, in frustration, during the sixth Heart of Asia Conference which was held in the Indian city of Amritsar on December 3 and 4, the Indian government did not allow the Pakistan’s Adviser to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz to hold a scheduled press conference. In sheer violation of diplomatic norms, the Adviser was also barred from leaving the hotel premises and the media persons were not allowed to meet him in the hotel. The Indian authorities also stopped Pakistan’s High Commissioner to India Abdul Basit to enter Media Centre set up at the conference venue. Nevertheless, Kashmir dispute has been internationalised, while India has failed in diverting world’s attention from the present situation of Kashmir.

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