Centre Finally accepts KPs were subjected to Genocide as Policy Shift on dealing with Kashmir becomes Visible.
On 22 March 2019,Union Home Secretary, K S Gauba, while announcing the imposition of ban on Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF), the pioneer of insurgency in Kashmir, said that this terrorist organization was primarily responsible for genocide of Kashmiri Pandits, which eventually purged them out of their habitat in Kashmir.
It may be mentioned that your organization had taken up a case with the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) in the middle of the last decade to examine our complaint of killings of Kashmiri Pandits in Kashmir in 1989-90, when Islamic militancy created a turmoil in the Valley and had specifically urged the NHCR to declare these large-scale killings as genocide. In continuation of this case, State of Jammu and Kashmir too presented a fact-sheet to the august institution.According to this fact-sheet, the State Government had said that 719 Hindus had been killed.
The report states, “Due to the targeted attacks by the militants against the innocent civilians in the early years of the ongoing militancy in Jammu and Kashmir, coupled with calls by Islamist terrorist groups to Kashmiri Pandits to leave the Valley, the vast majority of them and other minority communities were forced to migrate.”
For a community numbering less than half a million prior to their exodus from Kashmir in December 1989, having over 700 of its members killed from the fall of 1989 up till the summer of 1990, was indeed a heavy toll.
The basic human rights of Pandits, as of every other Indian, are guaranteed by Indian Constitution and the provisions of International Law. These provisions were clearly violated and their abuse should have straightway attracted the invoking of such provisions to defend the basic human rights of Kashmiri Pandits. For getting justice under such provisions, they did not have to belong to a minority community. It was only because Indian Government and international organizations turned a blind eye to their plight,that they (Pandits) had to present their case in front of the NHRC.
AIKS, along with some other Kashmiri Pandit organizations and individuals, like Sh. Rajinder Premi, had presented a comprehensive case, in which they pleaded with the NHRC to declare the events preceding the exodus of Kashmiri Pandits, and those that continued till much after they had evacuated the Valley, as ‘genocide’, as defined by the International Convention, to which India is a signatory.
In order to preserve its secular façade, the political establishment sacrificed the Kashmiri Pandits at the altar of political expediency and vote-bank politics. Truth became a casualty and Pandits became the victims of unjust and unjustified stand taken by the State and Central governments.
It is, nevertheless apparent from the stand taken by the NHRC that they were hard put to justify their eventual stand as they appeared to have been convinced of the Pandits’ argument that genocide did actually take place. The NHRC resorted to the jugglery of semantics and played with the words to conclude that ‘genocide-type of situation had got created’. Actually, what they said was this, “Killing and ‘ethnic cleansing’ of Kashmiri Pandits must be seen in the deeper intent to secure the secession of the State of Jammu and Kashmir. The crimes committed against the Kashmiri Pandits are, by any yardstick, deserving of the strongest condemnations…… but against the stern definition of the ‘Genocide Convention’; the Commission is constrained to observe that while acts akin to genocide have occurred in respect of Kashmiri Pandits, and that, indeed, in the minds and utterances of some of the militants, genocide type design may exist…… the crimes, grave as they undoubtedly are, fall short of ultimate crime of genocide.” (NHRC Case No. 938/94–95 7 1181/94–95, 11 June 1999).
Till now, leave alone calling it a genocide, all previous governments at the centre had shied away from calling it even as ethnic cleansing, which it certainly it was. In view of the clear and unambiguous stand now taken by the Centre, the displaced Kashmiri Pandits see the change in the governments stand as a very positive development. What is more important is the fact that it has not shied away from naming JKLF as the main culprit for our genocide.
It may be mentioned that in 1988-90, JKLF was the sole terrorist group (Tanzeem) operating in Kashmir and was clearly the pioneers of terrorist violence/insurgency in Kashmir, which later engulfed the whole state and still later spread to other parts of the country. It is also pertinent to add that this Tanzeem was entirely made up of local youth, most of whom were well-known to their victims and the Kashmiri Pandit community at large. Therefore, the killers were quite easily identified.
In view of this latest positive development, AIKS appeals to the government to take this matter to the logical conclusion by bringing the perpetrators of our genocide to justice. This includes the self-proclaimed killer of Pandits, Farooq Ahmad Dar, aka, Bitta Karate, and many others who continue to roam free.
Certain recent actions of the Centre vis a vis the State of Jammu and Kashmir also need to be viewed in the context of the events taking place in Kashmir over the last three years and the recent developments between India and Pakistan and its fall out at international level.
First came the fall of the PDP-BJP coalition government in J&K. BJP was left with no alternative but to withdraw support to PDP as the latter had taken such decisions which only appeared to help further the separatist and radical Islamist agenda.
This was preceded and followed by ‘Operation All Out’ launched by the security forces in Kashmir against the Pakistan-sponsored Jihadi militants operating in Kashmir. The operation has accounted for nearly 400 jihadis during the past three/ four years, with the top leadership of jihadis getting almost entirely wiped out. While Operation All Out neutralized the jihadis, action was also initiated against their masters in Hurriyet and other underground/over ground workers.
Post-Pulwama attack on the CRPF convoy by Jaish e Mohammad suicide bomber on 14 Feb 2019, India carried out an air strike against Jaish camp at Balakote, well within Pakistani territory. This had been preceded earlier by a surgical strike on Pakistani forward posts on the Line of Control after their militants had attacked on our Army camp at Uri earlier.
However, use of air power, in the attack on Pakistani territory as retaliation against their suicide attack on our convoy, achieved many milestones; it called Pakistan’s bluff of their being a nuclear power and their assumption that they could not be touched. It also conveyed in clear terms to Pakistan that their territory is no longer sacrosanct and will be hit as and when Pakistan dares to carry out attack on us in Kashmir or anywhere else.
The international opinion against Pakistan has clearly been on India’s side as the world has grown vary of Jihadi violence and more importantly of the violence emanating from Pakistan. China obviously is siding with Pakistan, but the Dragon too stands isolated for its hypocrisy of dealing harshly with its own millions of Muslims in Xinjiang and at the same time, supporting one of the world’s foremost Islamic terror organization. Needless to say, we have not heard the last on the subject. END