[News] Palestinians denounce India's Israeli-style tactics in Kashmir
news at freedomarchives.org
Thu Aug 15 11:38:07 EDT 2019
Palestinians denounce India's Israeli-style tactics in Kashmir
Ali Abunimah <https://electronicintifada.net/people/ali-abunimah> - 14
Palestinians are calling for solidarity with Kashmir
<https://electronicintifada.net/tags/kashmir> following the Indian
government’s move to revoke the state’s autonomy while imposing an
“As Palestinians, we deeply feel the suffering of the people in Kashmir
under military repression that in so many cases is similar to Israeli
forms of subjugation and control,” the Palestinian BDS National
Committee (BNC) said on Tuesday
The BNC is the steering group for the boycott, divestment and sanctions
campaign for Palestinian rights.
The BNC notes that for years India has been “borrowing Israel’s
methodology and ideology and using Israeli weapons in its control over
“The Israeli weapons that India uses to oppress Kashmiris have been
‘field-tested’ on Palestinian bodies,” the BNC states.
“Our campaign for a comprehensive military embargo on Israel, therefore,
is directly linked to opposing global militarization, including
militarization of Kashmir.”
India has in recent years been the largest customer
in the world for Israeli weapons.
Eight million “incarcerated”
Earlier this month, India’s Hindu nationalist prime minister Narendra
Modi unilaterally revoked Article 370 of the country’s constitution
which granted the Indian-ruled part of Kashmir a measure of autonomy.
Modi won re-election
in a landslide last May.
to Indian writer Pankaj Mishra, the revocation of Article 370 is “part
of a revanchist fantasy of ‘Akhand Bharat,’ or Undivided India – a
vision which includes reclaiming the part of Kashmir ruled by Pakistan.”
“The government prepared for its bombshell … with a massive infusion of
security forces into Kashmir, which is already one of the most
militarized places on earth,” Mishra states.
“It ordered the house arrests of opposition leaders and evacuation of
Indian students and tourists, an indefinite curfew, and the shutdown of
all modes of communications, including telephone landlines.”
Indian-ruled Kashmir remains cut off from the world
especially the populous Kashmir Valley.
“You can say that the entire eight million population has been
incarcerated like never before,” according
to Shah Faesal, a former official in the Indian civil service who now
heads a Kashmiri political party.
Indian state media have tried to claim
that the situation in Kashmir is “normal and peaceful.”
The government hopes that by isolating Kashmir
it can prevent news of its repression of protests from reaching the
But news has nonetheless come out on how Indian forces are using tear
and pellet guns
“The history of atrocities and human rights violations are not new to
Kashmir,” the BNC states.
“Human rights groups have recorded extrajudicial killings, arbitrary
detentions, torture, rape, enforced disappearances, mass blindings and
suppression of protest and democratic expression, along with legal
immunity to armed forces for over 30 years.”
Rule by force
The status of Kashmir has been in dispute
<https://www.bbc.com/news/world-south-asia-16069078> since British-ruled
India was partitioned in 1947 and gained independence as modern India
India controls more than half the territory of Kashmir, including the
Kashmir Valley. Pakistan controls about a third of the territory, and
China the rest.
In 1947, Pakistani militias entered part of Kashmir. Following this, the
princely ruler of Kashmir, a Hindu, chose to join his Muslim-majority
state to Hindu-dominated, but constitutionally secular, India.
India’s first prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, promised
<https://www.mtholyoke.edu/acad/intrel/nehru1.htm> that the people of
Kashmir would be given a referendum on whether they wanted to remain
part of India.
In 1948, the UN Security Council backed the referendum.
However, the plebiscite has never been held and India has ruled the
territory by force rather than consent.
Modi’s move against Kashmir and its people looks a lot like how Israel
has unilaterally annexed Syria’s occupied Golan Heights and Palestine’s
occupied East Jerusalem.
Israel now appears to be moving towards annexation
of the rest of occupied West Bank.
Since the rise to power of Modi’s Hindu nationalist BJP, India has
increasingly turned to Israel
as a model for its brutal repression
of resistance to its rule in Kashmir.
“Today, the Modi government has literally taken inspiration from
Israel’s settlement project to enable forced demographic changes on the
ground,” according to the BNC.
Indian government efforts to manipulate the demographics of Kashmir by
moving Hindus into the state have previously been described
even in Israeli media as “an Israel-style policy of creating settlements
in occupied territory.”
Call for solidarity
In addition to the unprecedented repression in Kashmir, Modi’s move is
escalating tensions with Pakistan, which like India possesses nuclear
India and Pakistan have already fought three wars over Kashmir.
“We call for international pressure on the government of India to
reverse its latest measures that violate the rights of the people of
Kashmir under international law and to recognize and respect those
rights,” the BNC states.
It also appeals to “people of conscience in India” to “work towards
ending India’s military and security alliance with Israel.”
This would “end India’s shameful complicity in Israel’s suppression of
Palestinian freedom, justice and equality,” the BNC says.
It would “also benefit the struggle for the rights of the people of
Kashmir, as well as the social and economic justice struggles of the
people of India.”
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