HR activist highlights Jammu massacre on Kashmir Black Day

Exposes Hindutva groups’ploys to defame Pakistan

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New York: Renowned human rights activist Carin Jodha Fischer, who spent many years in Indian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir, has explained in detail the Jammu massacre.

According to Kashmir Media Service, hundreds of thousands of Kashmiri Muslims were martyred by the forces of Dogra Maharaja Hari Singh, Indian Army and Hindu fanatics in different parts of Jammu region while they were migrating to Pakistan weeks after the partition of Indian sub-continent into Pakistan and India in August 1947.

At her speech on the Kashmir Black Day (October 27) event held at Pakistan Consulate in New York, Fischer explained how RSS-backed groups were conspiring to defame Pakistan by falsely projecting the situation in Azad Jammu and Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan.

Fischer, an American citizen of German origin, said that last month, she attended an event at GWU (George Washington University) called “1st Annual Convention on Forgotten Genocides.” It was hosted by the International Commission for Human Rights and Religious Freedom which is led by members of the Indian American extreme Hindu organizations funded by the RSS and the Indian diaspora. Several Kashmiri Hindus co-moderated the event. One leading participant from an organization called HinduAction spoke about the genocide of Kashmiri Hindus and how Kashmir would never be able to reclaim its ancient Bharat glory until Hindu majority was “restored” in both regions and not just Jammu. He also spoke about the 1971 Civil War in East Pakistan and how his group was lobbying to have it declared genocide of Hindus committed by Pakistan, she told.

The activist said other genocides discussed were the alleged Armenian Genocide in Turkey, the current situation of Armenians in Azerbaijan, and alleged ethnic cleansing of Kurds by Turkey. There were no Kashmiri Muslims or any other Muslim groups invited. She said Hindutva lobbies, Armenians, Bangladeshi Hindus, and most recently anti-Palestinian Zionists have formed a powerful lobbying coalition in DC.

“I want to talk about this today because at every Kashmir event we talk about the crimes against humanity in the Valley which of course have been happening unabated for decades. But few ever talk about Jammu and its own sordid history,” she said.

Fischer said the ‘Srebrenica massacre’ by Bosnian soldiers in 1992 during which 8,372 innocent Muslim men and boys were mercilessly murdered is widely acknowledged as the biggest war crime perpetrated on European soil since WW II. She said that for this mass killing, Ratko Mladic, the “Butcher of Bosnia”, was convicted by an international war crimes tribunal for crimes. She said what is completely forgotten by genocide scholars is that Jammu and Kashmir had witnessed the worst human carnage long before the ‘Srebrenica massacre’.

She said in November 1947, thousands of Muslims were killed in what is commonly known as the ‘Jammu genocide’ by paramilitaries led by the army of Dogra ruler Hari Singh and aided by the RSS. The death toll in this genocide was 28 times higher than in Srebrenica. She said this pre-planned ethnic cleansing was carried out to secure an area – bigger than Bosnia, Croatia, and Serbia put together – for India.

Fischer maintained that the Times of London had reported then that 237,000 Muslims were systematically exterminated by the forces of the Dogra State headed by the Maharaja in person and aided by Hindus and Sikhs in October 1947. She said that Muslim subjects from different parts of Jammu were forcibly displaced by the Dogra Army in a pogrom carried out over three weeks between October and November 1947. The massacre of more than two lakh Muslims was state-sponsored and state-supported, she added. She said as a result of this planned ethnic cleansing, Muslims who had been a majority (61 per cent) in the Jammu region became a minority.

The activist said the third generation of refugees in AJK still lives under the shadows of the 1947 genocide and the sense of deprivation vis-a-vis their homeland of Jammu. She deplored that the Indian-sponsored propaganda machine continues to highlight the right of Kashmiri Hindus to return to their homeland after their alleged forced exodus but does not mention a word about the right of Jammu massacre victims to return to their ancestral properties and the graves of their forefathers.

Fischer maintained that after the genocide in Jammu 76 years ago, the Indian government is now executing a similar pattern through settler colonialism in IIOJK. She said since August 5, 2019, the Indian government has normalized a settler colonial project by uttering in massive changes in the constitution and other laws which have paved the way for non-Kashmiris to settle, buy land, and seek jobs in Muslim majority regions of the territory.

“Meanwhile, the crimes against humanity committed in Jammu in 1947 still await an independent and impartial international probe to reveal the actual loss of lives, the number of rapes, the quantum of torture, the number of plundered properties and their present status, and the number of refugees to measure the real miseries and sufferings faced by the Muslims of Jammu,” she pointed out.

The activist said the 76th anniversary of AJK’s founding day was just celebrated on October 24. Meanwhile, in IIOJK, the governor reiterated what India’s Defense Minister Rajnath Singh keeps saying: that the Indian government’s northward journey will only be complete after incorporating AJK and GB and restoring to India all of Jammu and Kashmir’s boundaries to those once enjoyed by the Dogra State.

Fischer said, India says both AJK and GB are part of the Indian territory and Delhi has been demanding that Pakistan vacate it. “India says under Modi it would finally implement the resolution declaring AJK and GB Indian territory passed unanimously by India’s Parliament in 1994. Most Hindus in Jammu support this. Among other things, the coalition of Hindutva and other anti-Muslim lobbies in the US have begun advocating this as the final solution to the Kashmir Dispute,” she added.

Fischer said it is imperative that all of us to consistently advocate the Right to Self-Determination of the Kashmiri people, including of the Muslims refugees of Jammu and their families who were forced to leave their homeland in 1947. She urged the audience to reach out to other communities who have suffered like the Kashmiris or sometimes even worse and would be willing to join their advocacy efforts. “Let’s learn from what the Hindutva groups are doing and stop sitting in our silos. Many Kashmiris say that only Kashmiris should speak for Kashmiris. I disagree. Democracy is a number game and we desperately need to increase ours,” she added.

She maintained that the Hindutva groups backed by RAW are exploiting the current protests in AJK over electricity bills and inflation. She said, these were sensitive governance matters that various sub-nationalist groups started rallying against. “To support these protests, funding was required, and individuals with connections to “RAW” stepped in. They managed to give this “movement” a higher profile than necessary. Additionally, some nationalist groups also began working to undermine Pakistan through this movement,” she said.

Fischer stated that the Indian media are propagating the news about these events out of proportion. However, this does not mean people from AJK are voicing anti-Pakistan sentiments; it is the result of Indian funds working behind the scenes, she said. “People residing outside AJK engage in activities aimed at tarnishing Pakistan’s image globally. They use this protest at the UNHRC to say people are turning against Pakistan. While it’s true that inflation has significantly increased, this issue is not unique to Pakistan; it’s a global concern, as evidenced by the statistics,” she maintained. KMS

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Exposes Hindutva groups’ploys to defame Pakistan - Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not necessarily reflect point-of-view

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