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India Fighting Extremism

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By Waheed Hamid

The Indian society leaps towards more understanding of human values and truth as it  matures its democratic culture after lapse of almost seven decades of its birth.  The uncultured ideology of having no ethics in war and enmity was rationalized and the civilization developed with expansion of space for Human Rights , ethics , rule of law and morality.  The developed world came up with rules for every game including war and the rights for prisoners. Most of this was refined and formalized by the culture of democracy. This culture has been tailored by conscience Indian writers, politicians, officials along with human rights organizations who keep raising their voices whenever they can in restricted environment of Hindu extremism. The strength, power  and control of extremist elements at times force the pillars of state to act on their demand .Recently,  Indian Prime Minister threatened Pakistan after the firing incident on LoC resulting in deaths of soldiers from both sides. Pakistan said unprovoked Indian firing has resulted in death of three Pakistani soldiers where as India blamed Pakistan for killing and mutilating the bodies of its two soldiers. Indian PM warned Pakistan of affected relations between two countries while talking in Jaypur he said “We have told Pakistan that this could affect bilateral relations. We want good ties, but Pakistan too needs to take steps in that direction. It is not possible just due to our efforts.”  All leaders of congress including Rahul Ghandi had to praise Manmohan Singh under extremist pressure. But brave writer like Karan Thapar wrote a thought provoking article in Hindustan Times. He questioned  the beheading and mutilation of an Indian soldier on the LoC even if it happened as per Indian claim. He writes that during a skirmish at Karnah, “Indian Special Forces responded by attacking a Pakistani forward post, killing several soldiers, and by the account of one military official which The Hindu could not corroborate independently, beheaded two.” What makes this claim credible is that it’s reported by military sources who not only ought to know but would not denigrate the reputation of Indian soldiers. He gives another evidence from an eye-witnesses Barkha Dutt who wrote  ‘Confessions of a War Reporter’, published in June 2001 by Himal, a well-known Nepalese magazine, Barkha Dutt recounted how she witnessed a decapitated Pakistani soldier’s head at Kargil.

On the other hand Indian Interior Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde , has put serious blames on Hindu Extremist Organizations supporting Pakistani claims. He said that “We have report that training camps of BJP and RSS are promoting Hindu terrorism. Hindu extremist organizations recruit Armed People. We are closely watching it.” At the AICC session in Jaipur, Shinde had accused BJP and RSS of conducting terror training camps and promoting “Hindu terrorism”.  Another leader Vijay Singh said that BJP demanded concessions for Prohit and others involved in Samjhota Express blasts. “We want to ask Lal Krishan Advani  that he took delegation for following Prohit’s case to Dr Manmohan Singh, Sushmaa Suraj was also part of this delegation, they went to follow terrorists they should be answerable and sorry for it“.  Mani Shankar completely agreed to Interior minister and said,“ its good that interior minister himself told this as it is not something hidden, everybody knew it but no one had the courage to speak.” The extremists even force the sports and cultural events to function under their desire.

Indian Kashmir, keeps suffering at the hands of  security forces. Meenakshi Ganguly, senior South Asia researcher at Human Rights Watch said that “It is extremely rare for the security forces in Kashmir to turn over one of their own to the civilian justice system,”. Over the past two decades, the conflict in Kashmir has left over 47,000 people dead by the official count. The Kashmir Solidarity Day is observed on 5 February each year since 1990 as a day of protest against unjustified Indian control. India has always denied the right of freedom to the innocent Kashmiri masses and tried to suppress their voice through extra judicial/mass killings, arbitrary arrests, ruthless and inhuman torture and sexual molestation using the instrument of Indian security forces. The evidence of unidentified mass graves in Kashmir is yet another dark chapter of human rights violations in IOK. To crush the Kashmiri movement, India has employed various techniques including black laws. Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA), Terrorist and Disruptive Activities Act 1990 (TADA) and Armed Forces Special Powers Act 1990, (AFSPA) are enforced in Kashmir despite the fact that they contravenes the Indian Constitution and international law.  POTA empowers the authorities to hold the accused in detention for a period of 180 days without filing a charge sheet. The burden of proof lies on the accused and the prosecution can withhold the identity of witnesses. It also makes confessions made to the certain level of police officer admissible as evidence. These are all mind boggling illogical happenings but the path being set by maturing India leaves a ray of hope. The emerging vocal democratic elements of India and the world powers will have to stand for the human rights. They will have to see that slogan of bilateral solution should not become source of human sufferings.

The UN resolutions on Kashmir adopted under Chapter VII of the UN Charter remain legally binding on the parties. Article 25 also reiterates their obligatory nature. The Security Council under the UN Charter has the power to enforce its decisions and resolutions militarily or by any other means necessary; the powers that it has used during the Korean War in 1950 and in Iraq and Kuwait in 1991. The debate of legal status and obligations of the parties to the dispute under UN resolutions and that of the Security Council to have its resolutions implemented must culminate. The hope of a prosperous future of Pakistan and India and this region largely depends on solution of Kashmir issue. The turning tides of Indian maturity must realize this and the world powers should facilitate to put an end to all types of extremism.

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