Srinagar: A prominent Pakistani newspaper has said that Indian government is deliberately instigating people for a full-scale rebellion in order to justify more violence and possibly even ethnic cleansing. “That is a frightening possibility, one that the outside world simply cannot afford to ignore. If South Asia is a geopolitical tinderbox, the disputed Kashmir region is the match that can cause a regional conflagration,” Karachi-based Dawn newspaper wrote in its Sunday edition editorial.
The newspaper referred to Farooq Ahmad Dar, a Budgam resident who was taken as human shield by the army despite his participation in the widely-boycotted parliamentary poll.
“What is particularly troubling is that at every stage of the year-old protests by the Kashmiri people, the state of India has responded in a manner almost deliberately designed to draw more protests and cause more unrest,” the paper wrote. “The killing of Burhan Wani itself was an alarming military provocation nearly 10 months ago and, now, with the widely condemned use of Farooq Ahmad Dar as a human shield against unarmed protesters, the Indian security forces appear to be emulating Israeli tactics against the Palestinians. Disturbingly, senior government and military officials have defended the shocking treatment of Mr Dar, who was returning from voting in the widely boycotted by-election”.
The newspaper said that Kashmir is seething and close enough to breaking point.
“Sensible, right-minded Indians are speaking out in alarm against the militarised approach of the government of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi towards Kashmir. From newspapers of record such as The Hindu and The Indian Express to widely respected retired military officers, independent media outlets and some of India’s most fearless and respected journalists, the criticism of the Indian government is powerful, unequivocal and growing,” the editorial said.
The newspaper said that Pakistan has adhered to a policy of drawing international attention to the ‘repression in Kashmir’ and speaking up on behalf of the people of Kashmir. It is the right thing to do from a people-centric perspective too: even the possibility of direct Pakistani involvement in Kashmir would be pounced on by the state of India to justify its ‘brutal tactics’ and, perhaps, turn to even greater violence.
“There is no guarantee that conscientious voices in India will prevail soon over a hard-line government. But Prime Minister Modi and his civilian and military advisers must surely recognise that the future of Kashmir will not be settled through the barrel of a gun,” the newspaper editorialized.