Examining the Alarming Silence: InterCommunity and the Indian Brutality in Kashmir
Kashmir, the Heaven on Earth, and famously known as the “Switzerland of the East” because of its salutary nature and alluring surroundings, is well-known for its unique flora and fauna. In the words of John Morris “Kashmir has always been more than a mere place. It has the quality of an experience or a state of mind or perhaps an Ideal.” The valley of flowers is bleeding for decades. The Indian occupying forces are trying to turn paradise into hell through their oppression and suppression.
Amidst this upheaval, the plight of almost seven million Kashmiris have been agonizingly silenced by the Indian government’s confinement tactics, which have isolated them within their homes while preventing communication with the outside world. In the past four years, 792 Kashmiris were killed by occupying Indian forces, 2,362 Kashmiris were tortured/ injured, 21,265 were arrested, 1104 structures were destroyed, 52 women were widowed along with a large number of half widows, 128 children were orphaned and 129 women were molestedby occupying Indian forces. Arundhati Roy, the Indian novelist, in a discussion at Asia Society, said that “Kashmir is one of the most protracted and bloody occupations in the world and one of the most ignored.”
The International community was more vociferous about the Kashmir Issue when India had close ties with the Soviet Union, but after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 90s they realized that it was in their best interest to align with India. The geopolitics of the region is changing as Dragon has awakened and become Asia’s economic giant, set to replace the US as a superpower in probably 2030s. India has secured the leading position in the global market. India is an important ally of the US and the US supports its stance on Kashmir Issue. Dr Nadeem at an Islamabad based thinktank said that “Human Rights are secondary to the business and economic interests of Western Powers.”
A depressing illustration of this occurred in June 2023, when Indian Prime Minister Narindra Modi visited the United States., Biden warmly welcomed Modi despite questioning him about the human rights violations in Kashmir. Human Rights were the cornerstone of the Jimmy Carter’s foreign policy but the US has forgotten this. The US administration was repeatedly reminded by Pakistan of its moral responsibility to speak out about the horrific tragedy taking place in Indian-occupied Kashmir.
Moreover,the United Nations, while ensuring international peace and security, has displayed a concerning lack of tangible action when it comes to Kashmir. The UN Secretary Generals have been too mild for the occasion. Their role was limited to all talk and no action.
The international landscape paints a complex picture in which economic considerations can trump human rights concerns. The convergence of the far-right in Europe with certain segments of India’s political class reflects this complex situation. As Islamophobia unifies the far right and some segments of India’s political elite, members of the European Union’s far-right support India on the Kashmir issue. Of the approximately 30 MEPs from far-right, anti-immigration, and Eurosceptic parties, two dozen visited Indian-occupied Kashmir in 2019. This visit demonstrates the similarity between European and Indian far right who sees Islamic terrorism as a global threat. These far right group have supported authoritarian regimes in MENA region in past and now they continue to support Modi’s undemocratic regime and have remained tight-lipped about brutality in Kashmir.
Moreover, Bangladesh has opted to remain silent over Kashmir’s right to self determination. According to Alina Younis’ article in the Daily Times, the police of Bangladesh have issued a warning criminalizing any protests and processions put out to show solidarity for the Kashmiri cause.” Bangladesh’s silence on Kashmir’s self-determination demonstrates that maintaining diplomatic connections often takes priority over voicing for human rights.
Turkey, Indonesia, and Egypt, according to Giorgio Cafiero, condemned India’s actions and did not attend the G20 meeting in Kashmir, but Arab world leaders did not utter a single word in condemnation of India’s actions, presumably due to historical, economic, and socio-cultural ties. Cafiero cites Walter Russell’s viewpoint, claiming that India is an important neighbor for the Arab Gulf because of its economic importance, trained workforce, military power, andgeopolitical stability concerns in a dangerous region.The Arab Gulf countries view India favorably and view its geopolitical rise to be beneficial in a multipolar world. While leaders from the UAE and Saudi Arabia expressed solidarity with Kashmir but stayed away from issuing strong words against India. Saudi Arabia’s state-owned oil company, Aramco, has made large investments in India’s Reliance, indicating a financial nexus reflecting shared interests.
According to Dr. Asmat Naz, former Vice Chancellor of Women’s University of Multan, “India is a potential market for purchasing weapons from major powers, and they cannot afford its resentment and displeasure.”
In 2022, India’s economic growth to the fifth largest economy highlighted a global trend in which economic considerations frequently trump human rights concerns. Engagement with oppressors who target Muslims is perceived as prioritizing economic ties over justice by the international community. Investments in these countries continue, although the plight of repressed groups is frequently disregarded.
The deafening silence that has surrounded India’s actions in Kashmir is a call to action. The international community must look beyond economic interests and recognize the humanrights crisis that is unfolding within the region. The international community has the authority to demand accountability, establishing a society in which justice triumphs over silence. The international community should unite in calling for rigorous anti-violence measures to ensure that the peaceful paradise of Kashmir is no longer stained by oppression. It is time for the entire world to speak up for the rights of the voiceless and allow their voices to be carried by the winds down the valley, bringing the hopes of those seeking justice.
Emaan Tanveer is an International Relations student at the University of Azad Jammu and Kashmir. She previously interned at the Institute of Strategic Studies Islamabad (ISSI) and currently interns at the Legal Forum for Kashmir (LFK). She passionately advocates for the UN-sanctioned Right of Self-Determination, vital to the Kashmiri people.
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