“How carelessly imperial power vivisected ancient civilizations. Palestine and Kashmir are imperial Britain’s festering, blood-drenched gifts to the modem world. Both are fault lines in the raging international conflicts of today.” Arundhati Roy
By Marium Fatima
In January, this year I witnessed Judge Abdul-Qawi Yusaf, President International Court of Justice, Hague, delivering the final verdict, which in my personal view is a provisional order and not even close to being final, on Gambia’s case against Myanmar for committing genocide against the Rohingya. The years-long case was the first step, which I would rather call a baby-step to hold Myanmar accountable for the serious situation faced by Rohingya people. Sitting in the Great Hall of Justice with my Indian colleagues, a glaring question popped in my mind that why does it require an international court to give provisional orders for ensuring the preservation of evidence to qualify a black and white situation as genocide under genocide or Geneva convention? Why the international legal regime is slow to determine grave humanitarian crisis as an established crime while humanity languishes helplessly for years waiting for a messiah to wrest it from the grip of oppression? This ICJ provisional ruling strikes me slightly as an inelegant metaphor; that is telling a ‘murderer’ to stop killing and also preserve all evidence of his crimes committed in the past. Drawing on the parameters of this case, and Genocide Watch, most recent genocide alert on Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir, I wonder that why the international community is beating around the bush and not direct enough to qualify the crimes committed by Indian government in Kashmir. Though the Indian crimes in Kashmir are an open and shut case, but being a scholar of law I believe that establishing an academic legal discourse is pertinent. I consider that the model terminology best suited to international law of discrimination and persecution, can be weighed on the scale of the works of Dr Gregory Stanton, President Genocide Watch, which proposes 10 embryonic stages of genocide, aptly utilized here to test the case;
The GOI has tried to hide the impunity of Indian armed forces through a draconian law, Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act,1990 which give special powers to armed forces ‘to enforce law and order’ in ‘disturbed areas’ and protects the armed forces against any prosecution for charges of rape, murder and arrests. Pertinently the political discourse often tags the indigenous struggle for the rights of Kashmiri people as ‘terrorism’.
India as an occupying power in violation of Geneva Conventions has clearly trespassed institutional boundaries in Occupied Kashmir which needs a prompt intervention of international community
Kashmir on Political Touch stone
India as an occupying power in violation of Geneva Conventions has clearly trespassed institutional boundaries in Occupied Kashmir which needs a prompt intervention of international community instead of an all-attendant sensational and popular ICJ decisions, which in the end erodes the capacity and legitimacy of international law and the larger accountability drive( in my view, pointless) after the commission of genocide. Recent unconcealed shift in foreign policy of Gulf countries towards India and moderation on question of occupied Palestinian territories , coupled with Trump administration’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital challenges the existing legal frameworks, steering the debate to a big question mark on effectiveness of international law in the sphere of international power politics.
RSS, strikingly similar to German Nazi party, is an ideological parent of current Right-wing ruling party, has disappointingly headed Indian secularism on a proto-fascist trajectory
RSS, strikingly similar to German Nazi party, is an ideological parent of current Right-wing ruling party, has disappointingly headed Indian secularism on a proto-fascist trajectory. The right of self-determination of Kashmiri people and the politically frozen territorial dispute has been compounded by the abrogation of article 370 which controversially established a relation of the autonomous state with India. India persistently lobbied for the world community to recognize the massacre of Jalianwalan Bagh (Amritsar massacre 1919) as a genocide of unarmed protesters in the indiscriminate fire ordered by General Reginald Dyer in Colonial India , likewise everyday for unarmed non-violent Kashmiri protesters is a commemoration of a massacre and a genocide. Kashmiri people are simply asking for political freedom, human rights and substantive democracy however things cannot move on until Indian Government acknowledges the grave human rights violations and apologize to the people of Kashmir for the well-thought-out Genocide.
Politically, Hindu right-wing government shows a lack of Andreia, ‘taking the fight to enemy’ where the enemy is one’s own ignorance and foolishness in this case and Phronesis, ‘prudence’; the two great concepts of virtue which are absent in current Indian politics. Hindu Nationalists have made a “Sudden dash” for instant social-divisions as the shortest route to acquire political acceptance, tragically suggesting that Indian politics is short of Machiavellian virtue, Intellect plus force. While the world observes in a criminal silence, Indian politics is dominated by intolerant elements patronizing inter-communal conflict; signifying Political shortsightedness and weakness. I would contend that, the region is potentially ripe for a ‘communal genocide’ which the world needs to prevent without further ado instead of allowing the crisis gain magnitude in a legal rag tag on ‘toothless’ international judicial forums.
Marium Fatima is a Lecturer at National Defense University and also pursuing a PhD Degree in Peace and Conflict Studies from National Defense University (NDU), Islamabad, Pakistan