The poor turnout of Indian elections (only 2% voter turnout )in Kashmir. The Indians took Kashmir problem as security constituent rather than that of a political question, hence the implementation of UN resolutions have remained worthless uptil now. Kashmiris have been waiving the flags of Pakistan ever since and chanting the slogans of Pakistan, showing the utter demand for unification with Pakistan. All these measures substantiate that India has lost Kashmir.
As I write this, the situation in Kashmir has became strained like never before. Hundreds of stories have circulated in the past few months, showing the ruthless and rough behavior of Indian Army Personnel and Local Police with Kashmiris, age groups ranging from Children to Youth and Elders. Social Media is being widely used to circulate these videos.
Farooq Ahmed Dar, a 26 year old youth, was tied to a CRPF vehicle, to act as a Human Shield against Stone Pelters. “They damaged my bike, thrashed me severely with gun butts and wooden sticks and in an almost unconscious state tied me to the front of the jeep and paraded me through 10 to 20 villages”, Said Dar. As the vehicles pass, a voice can be heard warning: “Aisa haal hoga pather waloun ka, yeah haal hoga (Those who pelt stones will meet the same fate).”
Angered by a police raid on a college in southern Pulwama district on Saturday in which at least 60 students were injured, sparked protests in Jammu & Kashmir. Students of all schools, colleges and universities held protests against India.
12-year-old Faizan Fayaz Dar died after taking a bullet by the Indian Army in Budgam. A heart-wrenching video recorded by a villager on his mobile phone minutes after the killing shows a wailing man cradling the dead boy, blood streaming down his broken face, in a packed vehicle taking him to the nearest hospital. There, the doctors declared him dead.
Sixteen-year-old Akil Wani left his home to fetch medicines for his ailing mother on the morning of 9 April. Elections were being held for the Srinagar Lok Sabha seat. A few hours later, his parents received Akil’s blood-soaked body. A footage, Akil being shot dead at close range by paramilitary personnel, went viral.
Indian occupying forces continue to torture innocent civilians in Kashmir spiking the unrest among the civilian population in the valley.
The most decisive role in the modern Kashmir intifada is being played by Kashmiri youth and the two main elements of their struggle are stone pelting and reaching out to the world through social media. The only way out, as deemed and believed by the youth, is to revolt against an oppressive regime. In order to bring the desired change, they are rendering major sacrifices through conjunction of their dissent and above all; their lives.
With more than 280 days of current up rise, since the martyrdom of a young Kashmiri freedom fighter leader, Burhan Muzaffar Wani, hundreds of Kashmiri youth have joined the ranks of Kashmiri freedom fighters.
It is a known fact, that the youth are the decisive force in any rebellion or conflict. Kashmiri youth are fighting without having any choice; oppressed under the war crimes of global powers. The youth of Kashmir are no different. The number of Kashmiri youth in the jails of Kashmir is more than any other age group, clearly, they are at the forefront of the struggle.
With one soldier for every twenty people, the various atrocities done by the army and local police are being highlighted via social media and mainstream media, repeatedly. The war crimes committed by India has left the youth with no choice but to revolt. Laws, including Armed Forced Special Power act 1958 (AFSPA) and public safety act (PSA) have proved to be calamitous and contemptuous.
Not only the terrorist Indian army and government has deprived Kashmiris of dissent, they are not even allowed to tell the world about the daily massacres they have to endure. India is reluctant to hold any peace talks with Pakistan or Kashmiris. They have completely lost the battle of hearts and minds. Kashmiris are openly showing their hatred towards India, and diametrically showing their affection and reverence towards Pakistan.
The youth turns out to the encounter sites in bulk to support and evacuate the freedom fighters, ultimately resulting the Indian army in relinquishing the area and supersede further back. This led the Indian Army Chief to admit that the Kashmiri population has become hostile, and it’s no more so called Pakistan cross border terrorism they are dealing with. In the same breath, the Bipin Rawat said, that his forces will treat the Kashmiri youth as rebels, and that is what exactly his coward forces did by shooting the young protestors in the faces. He also admitted that they youth are being ‘misguided’ by Social Media. The Indian home minister Rajnath Singh accused Pakistani youth for instigating Kashmiri youth via social media. The social media training workshops setup by Jamat’ud’Dawah Cyber Team have been a constant target of Indian mainstream media. Indian dual standards for being a so-called giant democratic state while curbing Kashmiri voices and their right to free speech and determination are in front of the world to see and decide. Kashmiris have the right to win their freedom by any means, and they have proved throughout the year 2016-17 that there is no looking back this time.
“The police targets people who talk about their rights. They want to kill our generation because we talk about our rights.” – says a a young stone-pelter in one video, and there are many such videos where Kashmiri youth are openly speaking against the regime. “We’ll get our independence no matter the consequences. After me, my son will die, his son will die, this cycle will continue until they unite.” The frustration of Kashmiri youth is unprecedented. The dream of digital India is merely for India. The future of Kashmir is heading towards guns. The slogans of “there is only one solution – gun solution – gun solution” and current uprise is evident to support the claim. The freedom fighters martyred after 2008 are well educated, belonging to the majors of doctorate and engineering. More than 400 youth have lost their lives already between 2008-2017 according to independent data.
Basit rasool dar, an engineering student, left his home to join the ranks of freedom fighters. Zakir Rashid Bhatt, Ishaq Ahmed Parray, Burhan’s brother Khalid, Naseer Ahmed Pandit were all among the educated freedom fighter youths of the valley.
On Pakistan’s part, It is up to the Pakistani youth to confront the Indian masses and their propaganda over social media and support the Kashmir youth in their indigenous struggle. Pakistan has a duty to keep a strong vigil on the responsibility to support the Kashmiri and their struggle on moral, political and diplomatic orders. The Pakistani youth organizations must take initiatives to align Pakistani youth with the freedom struggle of Kashmir through awareness, activism and information.
UPDATE: With each passing the day, with the emergence of new atrocities and stories of oppression, the stories of Kashmir gets replaced with the new each day. From Basit Rasool Dar to Professor Rafiq Ahmed Bhatt, the youth continue to join the freedom fighter ranks to fight the illegal Indian occupation for the demand of their due rights. The Human Rights Organizations must take the Kashmir cause as their utmost priority to highlight the poor plight of Kashmiris and to expose the heinous war crimes of India.