Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the Quaid e Azam, declared the Muslim-majority state of Jammu and Kashmir ‘a jugular vein of Pakistan’. Understanding the gravity of the situation, Jinnah soon after independence had ordered the army to move in and secure freedom for Kashmir. The location of the valley of Jammu & Kashmir is a geographic bloodline for Pakistan. More than 90% of Pakistan’s waters flow from the glaciers and rivers located there. India built hundreds of dams and water reservoirs in Jammu and Kashmir to be able to control or restrict Pakistan’s water supply, in clear violation of the Indus Water Treaty that was signed between the two countries.
The name of Pakistan was coined very articulately considering all areas that connected Pakistan. The letter ‘K’ in Pakistan represented Kashmir. However it is not just the issue of water that carries a lot of significance, the freedom of Kashmir holds vital importance for Pakistan on firm ideological grounds.
The current unrest in Kashmir, which began after the martyrdom of Burhan Muzaffar Wani, has brought with it greater abuse of human rights and brutality at the hands of Indian forces. Increasing atrocities and abuse committed by Indian armed forces has shaken millions across the globe. The entire world is witnessing ever-new torture techniques Indian forces have been applying over innocent Kashmiris. It is deeply dismaying that the United Nations has remained a silent spectator, failing to take any action on what is happening from the past 12 months.
It should be taken into account that Jammu and Kashmir is a Muslim majority area and the Kashmiris deserve their right to self-determination. Once enslaved by Imperial Britain, we were enslaved again by India since the past seven decades, subjected to Indian zealotry in different forms.
Pakistan is dearer to us Kashmiris more than our lives, only because it is the land of ‘La ilaha il Allah’ (There is no deity worthy of worship except God). The Kashmiri public rejects Indian occupation. Our crime is that we strive for our right of freedom. Freedom for which our mothers have sacrificed their sons; thousands of wives have lost their husbands, children have become orphans and our sisters have been raped and tortured.
We are sacrificing all what we have. The Kashmiri youth, women, kids and even the elderly are coming out on a daily basis, chanting slogans of freedom while suffering severe physical torture. Indian forces may be able to control Kashmiris physically through force but cannot suppress the zeal and enthusiasm with which they are fighting for their rights. Despite our losses and suffering, our morale is high and our faith is strong, we are certain of our victory. Whereas, on the other hand, the Indian military leadership and experts are asserting that they are on the brink of losing Kashmir.
India has been able to sustain the occupation of Kashmir with the help of nearly 1 million armed forces and a puppet government which has no following among the masses. It is the most densely militarized zone in the world, something that speaks for itself regarding Kashmiri ambitions. Kashmir’s fate is intertwined with the future of Pakistan. It is an incomplete agenda of partition which can only be settled by acknowledging the aspirations of the Kashmiri people. India should realize, it cannot subjugate or colonize us forcibly for an infinite time.
Pakistani media has often highlighted our issues but they need to work more. The Indian media never ceases to create hype, declaring our freedom movement as terrorism. A powerful narrative regarding the Kashmir issue needs to be created and promoted. Recently Kashmiri masses rejected Indian elections in Kashmir. Thousands of people protested all over the valley and successfully slammed Indian attempt to jeopardize the freedom movement.
The people of Jammu & Kashmir have refused to surrender to the brutal Indian army. Our students are on the roads, our girls have picked up stones and we are fighting on the streets. Kashmiris are waiting for another Salah-ud-Din Ayyubi to come and rescue them. In these clouds of fear and terror, Prof. Hafiz Muhammad Saeed has emerged as the beacon of hope, raising the voice of oppressed Kashmiris everywhere. It is the responsibility of every Muslim to respond to our distress and misery, as Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta’ala) reminds the believers:
“And what is [the matter] with you that you fight not in the cause of Allah and [for] the oppressed among men, women, and children who say, ‘Our Lord, take us out of this city of oppressive people and appoint for us from Yourself a protector and appoint for us from Yourself a helper?” (Surah An-Nisa, 4:75)