Mar 27 (The Nation) In what seems like a major development, Sri Lanka has expressed its commitment to raise India’s human rights violations in the occupied Kashmir at the UN. Although the Sri Lankan government stated that this was a tit for tat because New Delhi had voted in favour of a US sponsored resolution against the country for its crackdown on Tamil insurgents, it would still help boost the Kashmiri intifada.
It is definitely through such international condemnation that New Delhi can be ultimately pressurised into giving up the occupation. That Sri Lanka has taken a stand means a lot, especially when not many countries are willing to talk about a territory that New Delhi has come to assume as its integral part. The atrocities that the Indian forces have been committing normally are ignored by the Western media. Even the recent discovery of mass graves in the valley that contained thousands of mutilated bodies of innocent Kashmiris did not get the coverage that it deserved. What is, however, shameful is that our own government has also been downplaying the conflict. Consider, for instance, the reluctance to even discuss it straightforwardly with the Indians. This has happened repeatedly during the talks and bilateral meetings with Indian government officials. Unfortunately, in various meetings the government simply kept towing the Indian line that terrorism should be regarded as the core issue. There is little doubt that this guilty silence is also meant to curry favour with the US that appears totally against respecting the will of the Kashmiris owing to its strategic partnership with New Delhi. Also these days, Chairman of Parliamentary Committee on Kashmir and JUI-F leader Maulana Fazlur Rehman has been vociferously defending the rights of Kashmiris. In fact, in each one of his public addresses, he vents his spleen at the government for sitting idle. While his enthusiasm is welcome, one cannot help but wonder what he was himself doing when he was very much a part of the coalition government. It is a sad reflection on his state of commitment to the Kashmiri cause that one did not hear him speak with as much fervour back then. Now that he is out of power and needs something to derive political mileage explains why he is so eagerly whipping up pro-Kashmir sentiment.
It should, however, come as a shock for New Delhi to hear that the Sri Lankans have made up their mind to expose the atrocities in the held Valley. This is apart from their worry that China alongside has also reiterated that it considers the Valley as a disputed territory. Under circumstances of the sort, the reality that it cannot endlessly maintain its stranglehold over Kashmir should dawn on New Delhi. The peaceful way out is to let the UN hold a free and fair plebiscite.