Human rights violations by India | By Ashfaq Ahmad

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SINCE the very beginning of human history, the world has observed two forces, opposite to each other, one being the suppressor while another one is an oppressor. The same has been observed when the word “Junagadh” echoes in one’s mind.

The issue of Junagadh is nowadays talk of the town and glimpsing highlights of print and digital media. The issue was brought to life after the unveiling of the new political map by Govt. of Pakistan in which Junagadh was shown as an integral part of Pakistan. Junagadh’s official inclusion in the political map is among the notable changes.

Junagadh’s dispute has its roots in events of 1947 which in turn is a clear demonstration of blatant violation of theterritory of Pakistan. During the pre-partition era, Junagadh was a premier state in western Kathiawar among 562 imperial states of the sub-continent.

The then state had an independent standing Army and an independent system of governance was placed there. Further, the state had its postal system. Owing to the fact of being the fifth-largest state in terms of revenue generation and second-largest among Muslim states, one can say confidently that Junagadh was a welfare state.

When the rulers of princely states were given an option to either accede to Pakistan or India or to remain independent under the Indian Independence Act 1947, Nawab Mahabat Khanji, being inclined to Mr Jinnah’s fair policy regarding the imperial states and his respect forrulers’ sovereignty, decided to get the State of Junagadh annexed with Pakistan.

The decision was taken after consulting with the state council of the State of Junagadh consisting of representatives of all the communities present in the state.

An “Instrument of Accession” was signed between both sovereign rulers of independent states which as per Article 26 of the Vienna Convention on the law of treaties is binding. The instrument came into existence on September 15, 1947, and become the first princely state to get accession to Pakistan.

Thereby, the Government of India decided to take unilateral action and sent a standing army consisting of 70,000 troops. India entered the state of Junagadh forcefully.

Nawabzada Liaqat Ali, the then prime minister of Pakistan told Jawaharlal Nehru the Indian counterpart that such blatant occupation of the state of Junagadh is a clear violation of Pakistan’s territory and a breach of international law has been observed. Issue was raised in United Nations, however, it remains unresolved till today.

The all above was just a brief history of Junagadh which in my opinion my reader must know to understand the historical perspective of the Junagadh issue. As I mentioned earlier, the case of Junagadh is now everyone’s tale.

A recent worth mentioning activity on the issue is the seminar conducted on the issue and human rights violations in India which was arranged by Nawab Muhammad Jahangir Khanji, the present Nawab of Junagadh, at the State House Karachi on November 10, 2021. Several speakers shared their views on the occasion.

Many of them were seen trying to convey the very need for resolution of the Junagadh issue and raise voice over human rights vilations in India and linked the required resolution with the peace of reason as they deem the continuous dispute is leading to further tensions in the region.

Many of the speakers described that the recent human rights abuses and atrocities against humanity are being perpetrated in India which is a reflection of extremist Hindutva ideology.

Further, they told that the massacre of Muslims and other minorities in several states including Kashmir and occupied Junagadh has been observed.

Speakers referred to Amnesty International that many people were killed during a peasant protest in India and more than 10 thousand Muslims were arrested in the single state of Uttar Pradesh without any solid reason and they were torched severely.

Against the basic principles of freedom of expression and independence of journalism, the voice of Amnesty International was frozen.

—The writer is contributing columnist, based in Karachi.

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Disclaimer: Human rights violations by India | By Ashfaq Ahmad - Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not necessarily reflect point-of-view

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