US military should also strike pellet gun users in Indian Kashmir : Pak Media

US President Donald Trump ordered a massive military strike on a Syrian airbase on Thursday, which was carried out immediately.

The reason: The US alleges Syrian President Bashar al-Assad had conducted a “horrible chemical weapons attack on innocent civilians” with a deadly nerve agent.

Syria’s regime denies the use of chemical weapons and its state media described the US strike — which was reported to have pulverised the base and killed at least four servicemen — as an “act of aggression”.

Understandably, both sides will stick to their respective positions. The US will justify the attack and Syria will insist that it did not do what the US used as a pretext for the said military action.

As a matter of principle, the Assad regime had no right to use chemical weapons. And when it denies that it did anything like that, the US should not have gone for a “massive military strike on a Syrian airbase” without verifying the allegation first.

The US should have raised the matter with the United Nations and taken any further action with the sanction of the world body. But the superpower did not adopt the procedure it should have adopted in such a situation.

The US action has fully exposed the redundancy of the United Nations and the ability of the world’s sole superpower to do what it likes to do.

But if the Trump administration thinks that it did the right thing by going for a military strike in Syria, then it has a moral obligation to take a similar action against any country involved in similar practices anywhere in the world.

And India should be the next target for the US strikes because of the atrocities it is perpetrating on the people of Kashmir under its control.

People of Indian Kashmir have been struggling for their right to self-determination for the past three decades for which they have rendered sacrifices with probably no parallel in history. Not a single family living in the disputed territory remains unaffected by barbarism of the world’s so-called biggest democracy.

The world media has consistently been highlighting atrocities in Indian Kashmir, but unfortunately no country has taken any notice thereof. Even President Trump has been keeping silent on the subject, although he receives reports from the US ambassador to New Delhi. If economic interests are not a consideration and if President Trump is really against the alleged use of chemical weapons in a country like Syria, he must also do something to save the people of Indian Kashmir from similar crimes being committed against them by India.

An article carried by The Guardian in November last year was headlined: “India’s crackdown in Kashmir: is this the world’s first mass blinding?”

It said: “Since July, when the killing of a young militant leader sparked a furious civilian uprising across the Kashmir valley, the Indian state has responded with singular ruthlessness, killing more than 90 people. Most shocking of all has been the breaking up of demonstrations with ‘non-lethal’ pellet ammunition, which has blinded hundreds of Kashmiri civilians”.

In four months, 17,000 adults and children have been injured, nearly 5,000 have been arrested, and an entire population spent the summer under the longest curfew in the history of curfews in Kashmir.

In July 2016, The Guardian had carried another article: “India is blinding young Kashmiri protesters – and no one will face justice”.

The author of the article refers to two sets of images that haunted him then. “One is a series of photos of people splashing bucketloads of water to wash away blood from the streets of Kashmir, where Indian forces have shot dead at least 45 people since 9 July.

“The other set of images is that of scores of young men with bandages on their eyes, before or after undergoing surgery to remove tiny steel pellets from their retinas. Indian forces deployed in Kashmir now routinely use pellet guns to stymie roadside demonstrations”.

The author further says: “The first image is of something I have witnessed nearly all my life. The Indian troops and state police who enforce India’s rule over Kashmir have been shooting at Kashmiri protesters for as long as there have been protests. And that is a long, long time: 27 years if you count from the start of the armed and popular uprising against India in 1989; 70 if you chart the history of the subcontinent from 1947 when Kashmir was left unresolved as the British departed; and more than eight decades if you go back to July 1931, when the then king’s troops killed 22 protesters”.

“The second set of images is relatively new, as it’s the fruit of “non-lethal” weapons introduced in Kashmir in 2010. But the pictures haunt you nonetheless, as you peer into the bloodied, plum-sized eyes of those who suspect they may never see again”.

Then in October at a session in Islamabad, Ms Mishal Malik said all the women of an entire village were gangraped regardless of their age after the men are forced out of their homes. She said killings, gangrapes and molestation by the Indian forces has become the order of the day.

She also referred to a study conducted by Doctors without Borders in which it was revealed that Kashmiri women suffer the most sexual violence in the world. She said that according to the report, Kashmiri women have been subjected to sexual violence since the beginning of the armed struggle in 1989, with 11.6pc of the respondents saying they were victims of sexual violence. She said this figure is higher than that in Sierra Leone, Sri Lanka and Chechnya.

“Children and women are more vulnerable to violence and are easy prey. The Indian army uses children as human shields during search operations,” she said.

This means if the US failed to take a Syria-like punitive action against India, the people of Indian Kashmir would be justified in concluding that the superpower had different yardsticks to deal with Muslim and non-Muslim states facing similar charges.








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