by Zafar Bangash (Editorials, Crescent International Vol. 45, No. 9, Safar, 1438)
Both the Kashmiris and Palestinians are suffering the brutal occupation of their land by alien invaders. Both occupations are the direct result of British colonial intrigue.
The Muslim world is engulfed in numerous conflicts. Some are internally generated but most are externally imposed. Among them, Kashmir and Palestine top the list of trouble spots. Both are also the victims of this strange refrain that since these are decades-long conflicts, not much can be done about them. Peoples in both lands suffer precisely because global powers have turned a blind eye to the crimes being perpetrated by the colonizing powers.
British colonialism was responsible for creating these problems. The Brits are notorious for leaving problems in lands they were forced to quit. The State of Jammu and Kashmir should have been part of Pakistan because of the partition formula agreed upon in 1947 as well as the fact that the overwhelming majority of its people do not wish to be part of India. They have shown it through frequent protests and more importantly by sacrificing their life and blood. The latest uprising that started in the immediate aftermath of the execution-style killing of a young Kashmir freedom fighter Burhan Wani and two of his companions on July 8 symbolize the Kashmiris’ plight and struggle. And lest we forget, Kashmir has never been a part of India.
In Palestine, the British made an illegitimate promise to the Zionists to create a homeland for them in the Holy Land. Britain had absolutely no legal or moral right to do so. The land of Palestine was not theirs and never has been. Even the Zionists who laid claim to Palestine did so on a spurious pretext: that there was a “Jewish” kingdom more than 2,500 years ago when the father and son Prophets Dawud and Sulayman (David and Solomon – Ç) ruled that land for a total of 73 years. Zionist hustlers from Europe and Russia flooded into Palestine brandishing the Bible, their real estate manual, in one hand, and a gun in the other. Religious Jews were appalled at such manipulation and distortion of Judaism for political ends. To this day, committed Orthodox Jews reject Israel’s creation as a clear violation of the teachings of the Torah. This stands in contrast to the myths that racist rabbis peddle about God promising the Holy Land to the Jewish people. God has no favorites, notwithstanding the Zionists’ self-serving assertions. The Merciful Lord did not promise the Holy Land to hustlers and mass murderers from other parts of the world, especially those who had no connection with Palestine. How absurd to even claim that God would reward a group of people for committing mass murder! The land is named after the people residing there: the Palestinians. To argue that the great Prophets David and Solomon (swt) ruled the land for 73 years some 2,500 years ago entitles the Zionists to the Holy Land is beyond absurd. The Zionists have used Judaism and the name of the Jewish people for a purely colonialist enterprise.
Hindu India’s claim to Kashmir is equally spurious. In fact, after the partition of British-occupied India into the two independent states of Pakistan and India, there were a few princely states whose future was not immediately decided. Three states in particular stand out: Junagarh, Hyderabad, and Jammu and Kashmir. In case of the first two, there were Muslim rulers but Hindu majority populations. The newly created Indian government argued that since there were Hindu majorities there, these belonged to India regardless of what the Muslims rulers said. In Kashmir’s case, the Indian rulers, in connivance with the British, turned this argument on its head. They claimed that the Hindu ruler wanted to join India against the wishes of the overwhelmingly Muslim population. It was on this basis that Indian troops landed in Srinagar, the capital of the state of Jammu and Kashmir, creating a problem that has bedeviled the region to this day.
In the 110 days since the Kashmiris’ spontaneous protests erupted, more than 100 people mostly youth have been shot and killed by the 700,000 Indian army of occupation. According to hospital sources in Kashmir, nearly 1,000 people have suffered eye injuries, many of them blinded permanently. And another 15,000 people have been arrested in night raids. Among them are Kashmir’s political leaders, 82-year-old Syed Ali Shah Geelani and Mirwaiz Umar Farooq.
Tensions have also risen along the Line of Control in Kashmir that divides the two parts from each other. Armies of India and Pakistan are on heightened alert. There is daily exchange of fire along the Line of Control. What is extremely worrying is — although the world has paid little attention to this aspect so far — that both India and Pakistan have nuclear weapons and any serious conflagration could easily escalate into a nuclear exchange with catastrophic consequences not only for the region but the entire world. The nuclear cloud recognizes no boundaries. Perhaps the US — India’s latest ally — wants such a scenario to develop. Washington is using Delhi in its hegemonic designs to contain China’s growing power. Beijing is closely aligned with Islamabad and has entered into a $46 billion agreement referred to as the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). It has been referred to as a “game-changer.” Both India and the US are out to wreck this agreement before it is completed hence the deliberate campaign to destabilize Pakistan.
Regarding the latest uprising in Kashmir, more sobre Indians have admitted after visiting the state that the people truly hate India. This manifests itself in the way “elected” Kashmiri officials are afraid to come out in public. Further, Kashmiris hoist Pakistani flags from every conceivable place in order to show their rejection of India. Slogans such as “Go India, Go back” are plastered everywhere — on billboards, walls, closed shutters of shops, and on street corners. India refuses to take heed. For this, it will surely pay a heavy price even if the rest of the world has turned a blind eye to the suffering of the Kashmiris and India’s illegal occupation of the state.