Recently, an attack on Indian Army in Kashmir by the Kashmiri freedom fighter, killing 40 soldiers in its wake has elicited world reaction. Conservative leader Andrew Scheer has also read a statement which, among other things, goes like this:
“The Conservatives of Canada condemn the attack of Jaish e Muhammad on Indian Army in Kashmir and we remind Pakistani Government to make good on the promise of rooting out the terrorism. There must not be any safe haven for the terrorists. The Conservatives would keep up supporting their security partner (India) against her war on terrorism. The partnership between India and Canada against the terrorism is historical and the two countries stand with each other to eradicate this. India and Pakistan must find a peaceful solution for this issue. We stress upon the stability of this region.”
The above statement smacks of bias, partiality and sheer (no pun intended) ignorance of the historical facts. The killing of the soldiers must be condemned. But the Conservative statement quoted above is an obvious display of lack of knowledge, rushing forward to favorite conclusions without any evidence and sadly, seems to be a part of any smear campaign and a sort of charge sheet against Pakistan. Not only that, but the statement in question and any thinking behind it seem to be a cruel mockery of the slogans of global peace and social justice. Reading the statement made me think if the colour of blood changes its hues with the colour of the currency of different countries or if it remains the same no matter where the blood is spilled. It is only rueful to think that even in the present age of so called modernity the blood of the poor is shed without any due notice. Could the leaders of the civilized western world who pride themselves for raising their voice for the sake of the human rights become deaf and blind to facts wherever they so choose.
The Indian soldiers killed in the attack quoted above were part of the same Indian Army who has been using pellet guns in the occupied Kashmir. The eyes of dozens if not hundreds of infants as little as eighteenth months old and of countless adults as old as eighty years have been gouged out of their sockets for good. The same Indian army has been killing unborn infants right in the wombs of their mothers when its soldiers spread their bullets indiscriminately upon the common folk doing the ordinary chores of routine life. For the last seventy years, countless Kashmiri fathers in the Kashmir Valley have buried off their innocent children. Children have been watching their fathers be killed in front of their eyes. Sisters are being raped in front of the eyes of the brothers. And this ruthless violation of (Kashmir) human rights is STILL going on. Almost by every daybreak. By every sundown. No eyebrows raised over that. No notice taken by the champions of human dignity and human rights. Does all this not deserve a mere condemnation? Do the Kashmiri human beings not have any human rights? Mr. Scheer. It’s the same Indian army with a strength of 700000 doing all this. Widespread evidence of all these heinous crimes against humanity can be found in global media, including the Canadian one. How on earth you, or anyone else for that matter, could keep mum over all this?
Granted there was a loss of the lives of the forty lives of the soldiers. But should it not be counted as a loss of war? Is not the Indian army in a state of war against the Kashmiris? Are the soldiers not supposed to kill and be killed in a war? And if one argues that Kashmir is just a normal state in India like other states, then could one explain what is a 700000 strong army doing there?. Killing and suppressing its own people? Even if we accept that, it still is not the violation of the human rights which should have induced you to condemn it? Sadly the same Conservatives have either been blind to all these happenings or have chosen to be blind. Unfortunately let any condemnation on these flagrant human rights violations apart, the Conservatives have never raised a question for such a huge number of army personnel in Kashmir. There never has been even a single question raised in Canadian parliament. On the other hand Pakistan herself has suffered a loss of 70000 innocent lives including both the civilian and the military lives but we has never heard about any condemnation on that account.
Mr. Scheer, if you do have to make a statement, you should go back to the India Pakistan war of 1948 over Kashmir. When the then Indian Prime Minister, Nehru asked the UN to help end the war and UN had asked for the retreat of Pakistan army and asked India to decrease her army personnel in Kashmir and to hold a plebiscite in Kashmir where Kashmiris be given the right of determination to choose whichever country they want to be part of between India and Pakistan. Do you have any idea of the great injustice done to the Kashmiri people at that time?
Kashmir has been a Muslim majority since the time of the Partition of Indian subcontinent between India and Pakistan. The rule under which the partition was done was that the states where there was a majority of the Muslims would join Pakistan and where there was a majority of the Hindus would join India. The Hindu Raja of the then Muslim state Kashmir, went against the will of the Muslim majority people of Kashmir and rushed to make the declaration for joining India. The People of Kashmir did not accept that. And they are still in denial. Since then there has been two United Nations resolutions calling for a plebiscite to be held in Kashmir where the Kashmiris could exercise their right of self determination. Since then Indian army has been used to suppress the voice of the Kashmiris and has been brutally doing it.
In this modern age, the leaders voice their supports even for the animal rights let alone the human ones. Look for a moment. Could you think that the people in Quebec be dealt with in the same way as the Kashmiris are being treated? Did you not go on the Referendum way? But on the other hand if the so called biggest democracy in the world, India, is denying the same rights to Kashmiris, then should you not condemn it first?
The reality is that due to the incessant propaganda of the Indian Government, and without any evidence on that account too, you have come to the conclusion that Pakistan supports the freedom fighters of Kashmir. But do you remember or do you have the knowledge that in 1971, there was a province in Pakistan, called East Pakistan. It is still there. But it is now an independent country called Bangladesh. In that province of Pakistan, some people demonstrated against the injustices, they claimed, were done by the Pakistan Government. They formed a terrorist organization, called Mukti Bahni. Do you know that these terrorists went across the border to get military training in India? Do you recall what the then Indian prime mister had said at that time? Let’s reread it again:
“Can we just watch on and keep silent when blood of people is being spilled across the border and people there are subject to injustice and cruelty?”
When the Bengalis were waging acts of terrorism in their own country Pakistan, had India stayed out of it, considering it an internal affair of Pakistan? Had India not trained Mukti Bahni inside Indian borders? Not only the answers are in yes, but after the breakup of Pakistan into Pakistan and Bangladesh, Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi had proudly boasted, “Today I have drowned the ideology of Pakistan in to the bay of Bengal”
Could Mr. Scheer go a bit back in the history for a quick refresher before making a statement? Would he like to condemn India and remind it in hindsight what she herself had done in the past? And as a direct result of that Indian interference and support of the terrorists Pakistan as a country broke up into two countries? If, say, as a neighbor country, India thought it her right to interfere into the affairs of a neighboring country, then why that rule has been changed now?
Even if one does not go deep into historical background, any common person keeping a quick eye over the current affairs knows who is supporting the terrorists and the rebels in the Sindh and Balochistan provinces of Pakistan. Do not forget that these two provinces are the ‘undisputed ‘provinces of Pakistan. Any interference there by any country is interference into the sovereignty of Pakistan as a sovereign country. Whereas on the other hand Kashmir is still marked as a ‘Disputed Territory’ on the global map. To raise the voice for the right of the self determination for the Kashmiris would NOT constitute as interference into Indian internal affairs. How could it be when UN Resolutions are still calling for a plebiscite to be held in Kashmiris? Then why the Conservative Leadership chooses to be silent on the terror attacks perpetrated inside Pakistan. What holds them back to condemn these attacks? Is it the bigger economy of India, any ideological affinities? Is it not an open fact that even today India openly supports and helps those Pakistanis who, due to any reason, speak against their own motherland? Even if such elements are found in Canada doing so, India delivers financial and emotional help to these persons and outfits. Every reader of the current affairs can enumerate many names of such persons and groups in Canada. No one dares to speak in favour of the oppressed Kashmiris or the Pakistanis. But it is deemed a profitable to extend support to India, however immoral that support may be.
And yes, Mr. Scheers, if you have to condemn something, you would have to go the whole hog. You cannot be selective, and that too arm twisting the facts, or at best, remaining ignorant of the historical facts. And if you lack some background, then a leader of your caliber, must take it upon him to know the truth before making any statement. At least being a leader of a major Canadian political party deserves all this. A leader of Canada has got to condemn the injustices without any bias. Where the blood has been spilled, does not matter. Blood remains blood. Everywhere it has the same colour. And shedding of blood needs to be condemned the same way. Unconditionally. Honestly. The near and dear ones of all those who die unjustly, suffer the same fate. Mothers, fathers, wives, children and siblings of all the victims of oppression go through the same painful and unjustified situation. Some of us sometimes get blinded by expediency and our eyes are dazzled by the attraction of worldly benefits. The truth consequently is lost in between. That’s why when India supports the Bengalis, or the Balochs, or those Sindhis who are involved in the terror activities in the state of Pakistan, it is not considered the support of the terrorism. How one could, just out of economic benefits, choose to look the other way.
On international level, Kashmir is a disputed Territory. It is not considered a part of India, and Pakistan is a party to this issue. Pakistan is not allowed to interfere into this area. But if atrocities are committed in this area and Pakistan condemns this or shows its sympathy to the victims of brutal cruelty, then how easily some leaders of the free world condemn it. When the Kashmiris rise against the oppression, cruelty, rape, arrest, and death of their near and dear ones and in the process some agents of the state are even killed at their hands, then these freedom fighters are condemned? Such condemnation can be called the biggest example of the human bias.
Canada is a country which prides itself as a champion of the human rights in the world. And rightly so. But when a leader, even if he/she happens to be an opposition leader, issues biased statements, in clear disregard of the historical facts, then such statements are doomed to be condemned by Pakistani, Muslim and Kashmiri Canadians, and in the strongest terms too. They rightly demand and hope that such leaders should speak up against every form of cruelty, repression, every drop of blood shed of the innocent and the poor….or better remain silent…unless they educate themselves about the background facts behind the global events.