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Kashmiris want Kashmir back from India

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Yes, they are right! Guns, manufactured in India or imported form USA, Russia or Israel can never silence them.That even sacrificing over 1000,000 persons among them they continue to fight for sovereignty in full remands us of long Indian struggle for freedom led by Mahatma Gandhi.

But Kashmiris have lost more people- mostly young- than India had. And Kashmiris deserve sovereignty and freedom in full so that they can build their own home from the scratches. There require entire Jammu Kashmir nation so that they need to worry about any future invasions.  They seek the artificial LOC dismantled between the two parts of Kashmir and being occupied by India on the one side  and Pakistan and China on the other. .

India, Pakistan and China are occupying colonialist nations and cause of pain and agony of Kashmiris- both Muslims and non-Muslims. Discover of  secret grave yards in Kashmir  has only emboldened the Kashmir youth to  push  ahead with their agitation until they are free. . 

In recent years, Kashmiris, mainly youths, have displayed open solidarity with anti-India militants and sought to protect them by engaging troops in street clashes during military operations against militants. The anti-India protests and clashes have persisted despite the Indian army chief warning recently that “tough action” would be taken against stone throwers during counterinsurgency operations.

Kashmiris have taken a resolve not to let  any nation to occupy their land in future.

Protests for sovereignty have stayed in Kashmir, notwithstanding all provocative terror methods of India. Now protests have acquired a national character and house to house   involvement. Large anti-India protests and clashes, spearheaded mostly by students, erupted in India-held Kashmir (IHK) on 01 August after Indian forces killed two Kashmiris or so-called “suspected militants” in a gunbattle and fatally shot a protester during an ensuing demonstration demanding an end to the Indian rule in held Kashmir.

The agitations in Kashmir is not sponsored by Pakistan,a s being  suggested by Indian TV and print media,  or China but by Kashmiris themselves. It is their “Quit Kashmir”  struggle.  Sovereignty is their birth right India or Pakistan cannot steal form them. Jammu Kashmir was an independent nation until 1947 and it shall be so so again sooner or later.

It is only the question of time.

For months Kashmiris have been fighting for freedom. The protests following the killings spread across the region and were led mostly by students, after which authorities ordered the closure of educational institutions.  Inspector General of Police Muneer Ahmed Khan claimed that the “two militants” were killed after police and soldiers, on a tip, cordoned off southern Hakripora village early Tuesday. He said the trapped militants fired at the troops, triggering a gunbattle which lasted at least two hours.

Villagers said the  powerful Indian troops blasted two civilian homes with explosives during the operation.  As the gun battle raged, residents defied the security lockdown and clashed with government forces near the site of the fighting in an attempt to help the trapped militants escape. A young man was killed and scores of others were injured in the clashes in the village.

Large protests and clashes against Indian rule spread to several other places across held Kashmir, including the main city of Srinagar, as students boycotted classes and hit the streets.

Chanting anti-India slogans and demanding the end of the Indian rule, the students hurled rocks at Indian forces after being stopped outside schools and colleges. Troops fired shotgun pellets and tear gas, leading to pitched battles, including in Srinagar’s main commercial hub, where streets were strewn with rocks and broken bricks and the stench of tear gas filled the air. Dozens more were injured in subsequent clashes.

Authorities closed all educational institutions on Tuesday and the institutions will remain closed on Wednesday as a “precautionary measure,” said Baseer Khan, a top civilian administrator. Indian officials also blocked internet service in the region to stop activists from using social media to rally support against the Indian rule in Kashmir.

Separatist freedom leaders, who challenge India’s rule over Kashmir, called for a shutdown Wednesday to protest the killings. Indian police identified one of the suspected militants who was killed as Abu Dujana, a top Lashkar-i-Taiba commander.

The way people took out to streets at various places after Abu Dujana’s killing should be a matter of shame for those who try to portray the killing as their success, ignoring that their terrorists are Hero’s of masses. Abu Dujana being a foreign national, the response to his killing should be cause of more concern as Kashmiris mourning death of a foreign militant is ample to understand which side people stand.

India’s use of brutal force under the garb of CASO has angered the people of Kashmir. Joint Resistance Leadership of Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Muhammad Yasin Malik while terming the use of brutal force under the garb of CASO on the peaceful protestors in Kakapora, Pulwama and Shopian districts killing a young boy Firdous Ahmed Khan and leaving at least 40 injured many of them with bullet and pellets.

In fact,  the forces entering the Pulwama Hospital and firing at the patients and hospital staff there exposes India’s worst form of state repression and it looks evident that the police and other government forces have been given a free hand to harass, terrorize, kill and commit atrocities on the people of Kashmir. The police and paramilitary force’s action on the Kashmiri students and the youth who were protesting in various colleges and schools against the civilian killing in Pulwama exposes Inidan hidden agenda for Kashmir.  The heinous act of arson, showering students with pellets and tear gas shells, who were peacefully protesting against the bloodbath committed by the trigger happy forces makes it clear that there is no scope for the peaceful protest against the atrocities and highhandedness committed on the people of Kashmir.

The people of Kashmir will observe complete shutdown onAugust 2, 2017 to protest against the bloodbath unleashed by the forces in Pulwama, Shopian  and the innocent killings being committed by the trigger happy cops in Kashmir. The JRL said the shutdown will also be against the continuous raids, torture and arrest of youth and last but not the least, the frequent CASOs being launched by the Army and other forces in the villages of South Kashmir in which common people are targeted and made to suffer.

Kashmiri nation is offering  huge sacrifices for a sacred cause and these sacrifices will remain as true assets for the Kashmir movement.  The continues repression, torturing of youth and frequent raids on their homes and treating them with harsh laws have forced the Kashmiri youth to pick up arms as  a last resort. They said it is the collective duty of the people and resistance leadership to take the present ongoing movement to its logical conclusion.

Kashmir issue is a political and human issue and it is because of the linger Kashmir dispute that peace is under constant threat in the entire sub-continent. New Delhi has to shun its rigidness and stubborn approach and understand that without the resolution of Kashmir issue peace in Sub Continent and South Asia will remain elusive. The reign of terror and the use of brute force on the peaceful protestors in Kashmir by the government forces in South Kashmir, Sopore, Handwara, and Srinagar should stop.  The new wave of instilling fear among the people can have serious repercussions and entire blame will lie on the government.

Government was forced to shut internet and thus proving that it is Dujana not the security forces, who enjoys popular public support. Killing militants has never been the solution and those celebrating deaths are the biggest dividends of the uprising since 1990. Let the security agencies not mislead Indian masses by claiming every killing a grand success and putting just one side of the story in the public domain, thus ignoring that every drop of blood strengthens anti-India sentiment and gives new oxygen to resistance movement in Jammu Kashmir.

Resistance movement for freedom and sovereignty is not terrorism, please! Repressive measure against the people for their legitimate protests is state terror technique; When Indian forces keep killing Kashmirs in their own lands with a view to silencing them – that is terrorism. 

India should come forward to surrender Kashmir to Kashmiris and help them make their own nation. If, later, Kashmiris come back to New Delhi requesting it to take their nation into Indian constitution, India could decide in its favor.

But for now, India is occupying Kashmir as people of Kashmir did not endorse any dirty transaction between the colonialist traitor king Singh and Indian Nehru.

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South Asia

Pakistan Securing Its Maritime Interest and CPEC

Qura tul ain Hafeez

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The IOR is a major sea route that unites the Middle East, Africa, and East Asia with Europe and America. The excessive economic growth of littoral states of Indian Ocean obliges them to protect their energy needs and interests in order to endure their purchasing power. This has great security implications for the sea line of communication of the littoral states of IOR like Pakistan.

Continuing to Pakistan’s interests in IOR the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor has great potential to transmute Pakistan into a central trade platform, which would undeniably gushed the enemies, particularly India, to halt it. The development of Gwadar sea-ports as part of BRI in general  and that of CPEC in particular has amplified India’s concerns’ and aimed for more sophisticated and advanced naval build-up. Furthermore, India perceives the Gawadar port (that is considered as crown jewel of CPEC) as a hazard to its contesting interests in Central Asia countries.  The reason being, India can access Afghanistan, Iran and Central Asian Republics (CARs) only through Cahabahar by passing Pakistan and Gawadar  a deep water sea port that is easily accessible to these land locked states then Chahabahr. A couple of days back on 24th December 2018 India has formally over taken the operational control of Iran’s Cahabahar port – only (0 Km away from Gawadar port. India’s aspirations to become blue water navy in the IOR raise serious concerns among Pakistan’s maritime security. CPEC would lead toward increased maritime politics and contestations not only between Pakistan and India but would also involve China and US.

In such turbulent circumstances Pakistan is required to prepare its sea based defense to secure its sea lines.   Islamabad needs to carefully evaluate its options and develop its strategic response accordingly, involving but not limited to continuous development of its naval capability and an even closer maritime cooperation with China. In view of the prevailing power dynamics in Indian Ocean Pakistan Navyin order to secure its interest in IOR inked a contract with China’s State Shipbuilding Corporation (CSSC)in June 2018 for two, Type 054AP frigates. The agreement is an extension of a previously signed agreement in 2017. Recently on December 19, 2018 steel-cutting ceremony for the second Type 054A frigate for the Pakistan Navy was held at the Hudong-Zhonghua shipyard in Shanghai. The type 054 AP warship frigates will be equipped with modern detection-state of art sensor and Guided Missiles weapon systems; capable of anti-ship, anti-submarine and air-defense operations. According to the report of China Daily report added that the “Type 054A is the best frigate in service with the PLAN”.

It is pertinent to mention here that maritime security is linked with the Economic security and vice versa. Gawader port is one of the most important projects of the CPEC where Pakistan and China are very hopeful that in future this shipping port will generate the revenue for Pakistan’s economy.  There is a big chunk of fishery industry through which Pakistan can earn a lot. It will stimulate business and trade activities at state level and across the region.  The 054 AP frigates ““Will be one of the largest and most technologically advanced platforms of the Pakistani Navy and strengthen the country’s capability to respond to future challenges, maintain peace and stability and the balance of power in the Indian Ocean region” a report on 2nd January 2019 released by  Chinese state owned media said.

In some, to deal with all these existing defies Pakistan Navy (PN) has espoused to a multi divided line of action for safeguarding the port in more effective manners. It conducts security patrolling h and coastal exercises from time to time. Furthermore, previously in 2013 it has inaugurated its Joint Maritime Information Coordination Center (JMICC) in Karachi to provide with an effective mechanism of Maritime Domain Awareness (MDA).  After receiving these 054 AP frigates warship Pakistan will definitely in far more better position to counter India’s vested interests in Indian Ocean region. It will also help secure the Gwadar port which is the chief component of Pakistan maritime trade activities. China has always been an al weather strategic partner of Pakistan. Although India always tries to propagate that CPEC is military agreement instead of an economic one however, securing the economic interests with an advanced mechanism does not mean at all that it’s planning something militarily. Pakistan has always adopted a defensive policy and it is the right of every sovereign state to secure its interests even if they are economic as there is no morality in international politics, still CPEC is an economic project which welcomes every state of the region for economic cooperation  even if it is India as well.

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2018 was the deadliest year in the history of Kashmir

Irfan Khan

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Kashmir is natural paradise and gorgeous valley located between Pakistan, India, Afghanistan, China and with a small strip of 27 miles with Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan. But it is still a disputed region since partition of United India into India and Pakistan (also Bangladesh in 1971) in 1947.

The history of the freedom of Kashmir dates to 1931 when the people, both Hindus and Muslims, initiated a freedom movement against the then Maharaja (ruler) to have their own indigenous rule. The resentment of the people led to the ‘Quit Kashmir’ campaign against the Maharaja in 1946. Faced with the insurgency of his people, the Maharaja fled the capital, Srinagar, on October 25, 1947 and arranged that India send its army to help him crush the rebellion. India, coveting the territory, set the condition that Maharaja must sign an ‘Instrument of Accession’ to India. At the same time, India had to attach another condition that accession was made subject to ‘reference to the people.’ On India’s showing, therefore, the accession has a provisional character.

Then India brought the dispute to the United Nations where the Security Council discussed the question exhaustively from January to April 1948. Then both India and Pakistan and approved by the international community that the dispute over the status of Jammu and Kashmir can be settled only in accordance with the will of the people which can be ascertained through the democratic method of a free and impartial Kashmiri citizens vote.

The people of Kashmir, despite of being injured since long could not lost their hope. They believe in United Nation(UN), assuming it will advocate choice of freedom for them. During the July-August 2018, people from entire Srinagar and other towns, were protesting government of India’s violation of Article 35-A of Indian’s constitution. 35-A, assure special rights to the state of Jammu and Kashmir.

Whenever, there is peaceful demonstration from them, then they must suffer basic human rights violation, fear and state of starvation as response of Indian government. In 2018, 111 civilians are killed which is double to the previous year recorded 40 killing by the Indian forces. India has some 500,000 troops deployed in Kashmir. Popular unrest has been rising since 2016 when a charismatic young Kashmiri leader, Burhan Wani, was shot dead by Indian forces.

Pakistan always has been bolstering the way of peaceful talk with India over the issue. Last year, in October, Prime Minister Imran Khan, repeated Pakistan’s stance that the solution to the region’s dispute laid in dialogue. He said,”It is time India realised that it must move to resolve the Kashmir dispute through dialogue in accordance with the UN SC resolutions and the wishes of the Kashmiri people”.

Kashmiri leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, in response to PM Khan said we welcomed “Pakistan’s concern” but called for Pakistan to “do much more” to “put an end to the appalling grind of repression and human rights abuse that Kashmiris are suffering at the hands of Indian state.

Happily, UN has issued human right report on Kashmir in June 2018. The report of 49 pages strongly emphasis on human right violation and abuses and delivering justice for all Kashmiris. UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein remarked “The political dimensions of the dispute between India and Pakistan have long been centre-stage, but this is not a conflict frozen in time. It is a conflict that has robbed millions of their basic human rights and continues to this day to inflict untold suffering. Therefore, any resolution of the political situation in Kashmir must entail a commitment to end the cycles of violence and ensure accountability for past and current violations and abuses by all parties and provide redress for victims”.

2018 was the deadliest year in the history of Kashmir. Hope so, Pakistan and India sandwiched by UN would resolve the issue based on Kashmir people’s choice of freedom so that human violation could be ceased.

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South Asia

CPSEC: The Saudi addition to CPEC

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CPEC has been a cornerstone of Pakistan’s long-term macroeconomic policy, and no matter who has been in power, the resolve to continue it further has been steadfast. Pakistan has realized its geopolitical advantage and has focused on constructing trade, energy and transportation corridors throughout its length. China and Pakistan in 2015, had agreed on partnering for the development of an economic corridor which would connect China’s western front with that of the Indus Belt and eventually with the Arabian Sea. The plan saw $ 62 Billion being committed to the execution of the project, building roads, rails, and power projects all along the length of Pakistan.   Contrary to popular belief, the economic corridor actually benefits both countries. China needs alternate routes for uninterrupted trade and energy supply, while Pakistan direly needed infrastructure and power sector development.

Saudi Involvement

At the recent Investment Conference titled “Davos in the Desert”, Pakistan’s newly elected Prime Minister had pitched the investment opportunities in Pakistan. Saudi Arabia now wants to be a partner in the CPEC project. The investment revolves around the establishment of an “Oil City” in Gawadar. Adviser to the Pakistani Prime Minister had said Saudi that the investment in the huge Oil City project in Gwadar would be $22 billion.

Recently after the twitter spat between the US and Saudi Arabia, the relations have been strained between the two long-term allies. Saudi Arabia, a longstanding US ally in the region is looking to diversify its relations with other nations to reduce its American dependence. This is why Saudi Arabia wants to partner into the CPEC project.

What benefits does Saudi Arabia have with the joining in the project? Saudi Arabia is still the largest supplier of crude oil. It has been looking to secure its oil exports and look for stable markets for its oil export. China is the largest importer of crude oil in the world, accounting for 18.6% of the total global import. The US, on the other hand, is the second largest importer of crude oil, though it also has a huge domestic production which accounts for 40% of its total domestic use. China clearly has the demand and the will to import Saudi oil and for this reason, Saudi Arabia wants to establish refineries, storages, and oil processing units at Gawadar to allow for uninterrupted oil flow into western China. The flow of this oil would be through Pakistan which has longstanding friendly bilateral relations with both Saudi Arabia and China. These relations are also independent of each other, hence the relations would not be affected by overlapping national interests. China also wants to have an uninterrupted energy supply to its mainland via alternate routes, which could not be affected by the geopolitics of the seas.

Saudi Arabia also looks at Pakistan as its long-term partner and a potential market for its exports.  Pakistan has a 202 million population, 70% of which is under 35 years of age. In case, peace returns to the region, Pakistan could show exponential growth and bulge of a new vibrant and energy-hungry middle class. In addition to that, Saudi Arabia wants to have stakes in Pakistan’s economy and what better way of doing all this than to invest in an Oil City, which also happens to be geographically nearby Saudi territory. Pakistan has also been very eager for investment diversification in its economy to avoid being labeled a China-only economy. Showing to the world that’s its doors are open for any country willing to invest into Pakistan.

Convergence of interests

This incredible convergence of interests paves the way for the China Pakistan Saudi Economic Corridor to be a very constructive regional partnership.  This partnership would see three regional powers engaging in positive regional trade and connectivity projects which would eventually increase trade, trust, and dependence on each other. Pakistan and China, both have repeatedly stated that CPEC is open for all to join in and collectively reap the benefits of trade and regional connectivity.

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