In the wake of the recent unrest in Indian Occupied Kashmir, the Centre for Pakistan and Gulf Studies generated a poll to ascertain opinions over the extra-judicial killing of the freedom fighter Burhan Wani, and the resultant protests in the valley. 53% of the 167 respondents opined that extra-judicial killings in the valley will not demoralize the freedom struggle of Kashmiris. 40% respondents remained uncertain of its consequences, while only 11% of the respondents were of the view that the increase in clashes between the public and Indian Occupation Forces would not favor the freedom struggle.

Indias extra-judicial killings

The people of Kashmir have been living under oppressive rule since before the partition of the Sub-continent (back then a minority elite ruled over its Muslim majority). Post 1947, after the then Kashmiri ruler, with the support of British technocrats, handed the region over to India without taking into account the will of the people, Kashmiris have been fighting for their right of self-determination. When India and Pakistan both laid claim to the Valley, it was split along the Line of Control between ‘Azad’ Kashmir and the Indian-Administered, ‘Jammu’ Kashmir. Every few years, the cycle of violence re-erupts and protests begin all over again in the world’s most heavily militarized region.

Pakistan’s diplomatic initiatives, such as the Track-II diplomacy and Composite Dialogue Process from 2004-2007 have made great ingress towards the resolution of this dispute; however, they remain subject to the volatile political environment of the country, and continue to get reversed with every new confrontation – big or small. Despite the United Nations Security Council Resolution 47, passed on April 21, 1948[1], India continues to refuse holding a plebiscite to determine the status of Kashmir.

Pakistan has been raising its voice for the Kashmir cause at all international forums, and has also proposed the demilitarization of the Valley, for the ‘greater good of the people residing in it’[2]. However, India’s response has not been forthcoming, up until the very latest uprising led by Kashmiri youth who call it an “intifada”. The Indian state has imposed curfews, imposed censorship and restriction of access to international media as it fired pellets to quell massive crowds, blinding many and attracting criticism both at home and abroad[3]. Opposition parties and civil society in India have demanded another plebiscite for Kashmir, with the hope of diffusing tensions[4].

[1] Security Council Resolution 47 of April 21, 1948.

[2] UNGA address: Nawaz proposes agenda to diffuse tensions with India, Dawn, 1 Oct, 2015.

[3] Kashmir unrest: Explore other methods besides pellet guns, J&K High Court to Government, The Indian Express, 27 July, 2016.

[4] Ashoka University students demand for plebiscite in Kashmir, Daily Pakistan Global, 28 July, 2016.

Pakistan again asks India to hold plebiscite in Kashmir, The Economic Times, 28 July, 2016.

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