POK: LIFE ON THE OTHER SIDE OF KASHMIR

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By Shashank Kumar from Surendranath Law College, Calcutta University

INTRODUCTION

“Kashmir is that beautiful poetry of god, which he wrote while experiencing together the highest form of happiness and deepest sorrow.”

Now, this is the [i]current scenario of Kashmir after the Independence. Kashmir also recalled as “Heaven of Earth” where flora and fauna is openly welcoming all the souls. A beautiful Valleys consisting lakes, springs, orchards and flowers, where Agro-climatic condition is at extreme level, A part of Indian subcontinent comprising the areas of south and east Asia. An area covered by 85,800 square miles, where Nature showers all blessings is now suffering from misery, pain and inharmonic riots. A Valley painted with a unique culture now facing the bloody stains of his locals. The current Indo-China conflicts may be because of recents events, but the history of Kashmir conflicts is not recent, it grows along with the birth of India. Now, to understand the whole set-up and background of POK, every Indian have to know its History, which is the root cause of current scenario.       

HISTORY

A territorial conflict over Kashmir started after the partition of India in 1947 both India and Pakistan claimed that the formerly state Jammu and Kashmir. It’s mainly a conflict between India and Pakistan and also with China playing a Third party role. India controls 55% of the land area and 70% of its population and Pakistan controlling approximately 30% of the land area , which is the POK, that means Pakistan occupied Kashmir which consists “Azad Kashmir”( term widely used by Pakistani Militants). Gilgit – Baltistan  and also china controls the remaining portion of 15% of the land which includes, Aksai chin region.

From 1846 to the partition of the India, 1947, the princely state of J&K was ruled by the Dogra Dynasty under the British paramountcy. Thou, the population was of Muslim majority but it was ruled by Hindu Maharaja Hari Singh. As, all treaties and agreements in force was given to rulers of Indian state, under the Indian Independence Act, 1947. But maharaja decided to stay independent just to please his Muslim majority population. But Pakistan made various efforts, under the leadership of Jinnah in July 1947.

When Pakistan blocked all essential commodities and communal violence outbreak in valley. Maharaja Hari Singh came to Delhi, and on Lord Mountbatten’s insistence, maharaja signed the Instrument of Accession on 26th October 1947. And after this India got the legal rights to send the military troops to Kashmir in order to control the situation.

However, Gilgit’s population was not in favor of accession. The rebel forces under the leadership of Sardar Ibrahim who is a Muslim Conference leader, took the control of western part and formed a provision “Azad Kashmir” on 22nd October.

WARS

The partition of India came out as a result of world war II, when whole world was dealing with economic stresses which caused by the war. Many inter communal violence led to 2 million Casualties leaving 40 million people displaced.

  • INDO- PAKISTANI WAR OF 1947

First Kashmir war started in October 1947 when tribal Islamic with the help of Pakistan army attacked and occupied parts of Kashmir, after which maharaja signed instrument of accession to receive Indian military aid. After this, UN council passed Resolution 47 on 1948 and formed “Line of Control”, where India gets two third part of Kashmir valley and Pakistan roughly gained the one third part of Kashmir namely, Azad Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan, which is referred as Pakistan administered Kashmir.

  • INDO –PAKISTANI WAR OF 1965

The Seventeen day started by the following Pakistan’s operation GIBRALTAR in order to infiltrate India’s forces from valley. It was one of the largest tank Battle after World War II. After the intervention of Soviet Union and USA, Tashkent Declaration was made, which was a    so called Peace agreement.

  • INDO-PAKISTANI WAR OF 1999

Commonly known as Kargil war, when Pakistani troops infiltrated LOC and occupied Kargil district in early 1999. The two months of diplomatic and military conflict, in order to Pakistani forces. From putting pressure on Pakistan by UN to destroy Pakistani economy, this war became a major defeat for the Pakistani army.

 [ii]GOVERNMENT OF POK

The POK’s government consists of a president and prime minister of its own. Having a unicameral legislature of elected representative consisting 41 elected members and 8 co- opted members. POK is basically a region administered by Pakistan as a self Governing jurisdiction, also having its own high court and supreme court. The literacy rate of POK was 62% in 2004, which is higher than the other regions of Pakistan.

 UN MEDIATION

On, 1948 January 1 India urged to UNSC to discuss the Kashmir issue as Maharaja signed the instrument of accession after that Pakistan keep sending irregular military to disturb the peace of valley.

Under Resolution 39on 1948 the UNSC set three members of UN commission for India and Pakistan (UNCIP), but it failed to provide its service, as disagreement between India and Pakistan started. Again, commission was reconstituted with the five members to ensure plebiscite in the state, after the restoration of law and order.

In 1947-48, the INDO-PAK war ended in a cease fire, but the dispute over the Kashmir valley remained unsolved. As India took the valley’s issue to UN for prompt and effective control, but UN also failed to provide satisfactory result and it now becomes a global concern of conflicts. Several powers urged to solve the issue bilaterally, but Pakistan with support of China keep increasing military tensions on the Line of Control.

 CURRENT SCENARIO

In a recent report, 60 Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorists are taking and 42 terror camps have been found in POK. POK shares it boundaries with China, Afghanistan and Jammu and Kashmir but it still tops in World’s most backward places. The most disturbing part is that 26/11 attacker Ajmal Kasab is claimed that his training underwent here in Muzaffarabad which is POK’s capital.

Be it a terrorism or cultural encroachment or Ecological threat, the soul of valley is crying deep down somewhere in Pakistan administered Kashmir.

In 2010, many innocents were killed and houses were destroyed in the name of earthquake relief operations. Having a large population of refugee in POK which is monitored by militants and here they can’t even enjoy their universal rights. ISI and Army controls the political life in Azad Kashmir and there is no active independent media as bureaucratic of Azad Kashmir don’t want to show the ground reality.

The beautiful valleys with his mesmerizing beauty now is under the threat as due to smuggling and deforestation. Flood is common here, and in the name of relief, corrupt militants and officers torture their civilians.

In the 28th session of UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, extra judicial killings, rapes and terrorism were raised and discussed by the leaders of POK. Even, Cultural harmony is on stake Shias who ruled POK are now reduced to minority whereas Sunnis getting better job revenues, according to the Indian Defence Review.

Having 10 districts, 33 tehsils and 182 federal councils still there is a lack of justice. The valley is now painted with hate crimes lack of cultural harmony, job opportunities and rights.

CONCLUSIONS

Kashmir is and will be the heaven of the earth, but there are some creatures who keep trying to hurt the soul of valley. There may be a lot of cultural gap in the people of POK and the people of Jammu and Kashmir. Still they and even we all shared a string of humanity and brotherhood.

Kashmir always been a heated topic for global concern, as there are many reasons be it a recurring terrorism or be the displaced Kashmiri pundits or any frequent violations of the Line of Control. Pakistan keep pointing fingers over Human rights violation at army and paramilitary but never dares to talk about the Islamabad’s version of paradise.

[iii]On august 5,2019 the NDA led government finally fulfilled the dreams of Dr. Shyama prasad Mukherjee and revoked the Article 370 and divide the state into two union territories. According to Government Article 370 was the root cause of corruption and militancy in the state. However, the Kashmir valley stands in the midst of an uneasy calm and can be explode on the mild blow of provocation. Thou, this may increase new job facilities and many more restrictions will be end. On the positive side, valley is ready to bloom with all its potential in coming time period.

[iv]But on the other side the people of Azad Kashmir, has now started acknowledging their rights, they now started talking and raising their voices against oppression at international level. Multiple rallies were organized to condemn the atrocities committed by Pakistan.

Surely, on one side after losing thousands of lives in wars, Kashmir is not merely a piece of land its now a question of pride and all sacrifices done by the brave soldier in order to save the motherland and, on the other side humanity and peace is on stake.

REFERENCES


[i]               . PoK: Life in the other side of Kashmir, (March 25, 2015, UPDATED: April 1, 2015 14:01 IST),https://www.indiatoday.in/india/north/story/pok-life-in-the-other-side-of-kashmir-245802-2015-03-25

[ii]              . 15 Interesting Facts and History about Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (POK), (Jun 03, 2020), https://m.jagranjosh.com/general-knowledge/amp/15-interesting-facts-and-history-about-pakistan-occupied-kashmir-pok-1499324721-1.

[iii]             . Life in Kashmir after Article 370 Ayjaz Wani, Issue Briefs and Special Reports, (Jan 28 2020), https://www.orfonline.org/research/life-in-kashmir-after-article-370-60785/.

[iv]             . UK-based Mohajir leader exposes atrocities committed by Pakistan Army in PoK, expresses discontent over country’s handling of Kashmir issue, Asian News International (September 10, 2019 13:49:11 IST), https://www.firstpost.com/india/uk-based-mohajir-leader-exposes-atrocities-committed-by-pakistan-army-in-pok-expresses-discontent-over-countrys-handling-of-kashmir-issue-7316641.html/amp.

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