Pakistan says India is crushing the innocent Kashmiri voices. Its leaders shout over the top in telling the world community that India’s left, right and centre oppression in Kashmir is now spilling over on streets, shedding youngsters’ blood.
To add to it, people have visuals from Kashmir (the Jammu & Kashmir part that is with India) where people can be seen clashing with security forces on camera – and the lenses recording such scenes roam across the world to tell the stories of the so-called atrocities.
The world can see thousands gathering in funeral processions of terrorists gunned down by the Indian security forces.
The world can see the J&K crowds running amok stone pelting the security forces even if they try to minimize casualties as much as possible. Yes, in the ongoing Kashmir unrest, 55 civilians have lost their lives so far and that is condemnable.
But equally condemnable are the development like where a security personnel (CRPF commandant Pramod Kumar) had to sacrifice his life in an encounter with the terrorists on the day that is very essence of the sovereign India, i.e., its Independence Day. And he was not the first.
If civilians have lost their lives in the Kashmir unrest, the Pakistan driven and Hizbul Mujahideen terror phase that began in late 1980s, so have the security forces. According to the figures available from the South Asia Terrorism Portal (SATP), if over 14,000 civilians have been killed by the terrorist violence in the state since 1988, the Indian establishment has also lost over 6200 security forces personnel.
The world can see the Twitter, Facebook and YouTube feeds of separatist leaders like Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, Ashiya Andrabi and many others. Syed Ali Geelani, one of the prominent separatist leaders and chairman of the separatist outfit All Party Hurriyat Conference (APHC), is free to abuse India on Twitter and Facebook. He regularly posts tweets, posts and videos of clashes, of Pakistani flags and of funeral processions eulogizing terrorists. See these twitter handles yourself – that is self explanatory – @sageelani; @MirwaizKashmir; @aasiyehandrabi. They openly humiliate India by chanting pro-Pakistan rants and by indulging in anti-India activities.
And they do so while staying in India. Can an oppressive nation tolerate that? We all know what China does with its dissident voices, be the Peace Nobel laureates like Liu Xiaobo or the students massacred at the Tiananmen Square of Beijing.
The world can see wanted terrorists like Hafiz Saeed, Syed Salahuddin or Masood Azhar threatening India to launch a full blown war. Hafiz Saeed carries a US bounty of $ 10 million and is main perpetrator behind many terrorist acts in India including the November 2008 terror attack. Syed Salahuddin is the man who started the ongoing phase of Pakistan sponsored terrorism in 1980s that has killed thousands so far yet his bloodlust is very much the same. It is when his family still lives in India and its members are employed by the institutions of the Indian establishment. Masood Azhar was in Indian jails when he was swapped against the innocent civilians hijacked in the Kandahar plane hijacking incident of December 1999. Terrorists like them are the Pakistani patrons for the J&K separatists and we all know the communication channels between them always remain active. Yet it is propagandized that India chokes the voices of dissent in Kashmir.
The world can see the debate that ensues every time whenever such developments take place in J&K. The world can see the Indian Parliament discussing the issue intently for the whole day. The world can see the India’s political opposition charging the Indian government of mishandling the situation and the government defending it.
But can the world say same about Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir including Gilgit and Baltistan and Baluchistan?
Does the world know who the main separatist voices of PoK and Gilgit and Baltistan are? PoK is called Azad Kashmir yet Pakistan implants its puppet governments there and exploits its territory like its own – as is the case the China Pakistani Economic Corridor (CPEC), a $ 46 billion project of which PoK is a vital part of. A simple Google search with tag words ‘J&K separatist leaders’ will return with lots of pages and loads of information but when we repeat the process with ‘PoK or Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir separatist/rebel leaders’, we are going to have tough time.
An obvious argument may be proposed that there are none – that the so called PoK is so heavenly that everyone wants to be a part of the state and its Pakistan driven administration. Well, we all know what the reality is. Pakistan uses the so called Azad Kashmir as a terror backyard for India where it trains terrorists in dozens of camps. Some PoK voices that do speak on international fora speak of how Pakistan is exploiting PoK and abusing its people. Extrajudicial killings and disappearances are common. An India Today report from March 2015 gives a detailed account of how bad the situation is in PoK. The report quotes Kashmir affairs expert, Dr. Shabir Choudhry, who says, “We in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir cannot even complain that we are occupied or expose Pakistani abuses and exploitation of our resources.”
Why the world doesn’t rush to hear those voices? Is it Indian failure or Pakistan’s over-efficiency that the whole world seems engaged about J&K but doesn’t give a damn to PoK?