Pakistan’s Independence Day this year was quite different in Indian Occupied Kashmir. Amid the month long curfew and house arrest for Kashmiri political leaders, the fearless youth of Kashmir came out with Pakistan’s flag in their hands and protested against Indian brutalities. On 15 August, India’s Independence Day was marked as black day and the falling of the flag from puppet Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti’s hands during a hoisting ceremony shows that even the zephyr in Kashmir does not want the Indian flag to be elevated in Kashmir. What a pity for Indians that after many years of their ruthless efforts in Kashmir, they are unable to rescind the resilience and passion of Kashmiri’s people to be part of Pakistan. Listening to lullabies of freedom, nurturing among the uproar of bullets, snooping screams and seeing humiliation of humanity on every nook and corner of its environs, a Kashmiri youngster knows well what freedom is all about. Sighting the struggle of their forefathers and growing up chanting the slogans of Azadi, this Kashmiri youth is undefeatable now. Childhood in Kashmir is different from children living in an independent country who enjoy freedom from playing in streets to having necessities of life.

The freedom movement is decades old and is still anticipating triumph. This Kashmir freedom movement has legal backing of no less than the UN and Security Council’s repeated resolutions but unfortunately the price paid so far is over 100,000 lives and hundreds of thousands of rapes in addition to other human rights violations. The bloody tragedy of poor Kashmiris started after 1947 when they were denied their legitimate and UN approved right to self-determination. As a natural outcome of Indian injustice, people of IOK organised themselves and launched a war of liberation, which India tried to crush through coercion and brutalities. In 1988, India positioned a very large number of Armed Forces to suppress the Kashmir struggle by gun point. Since then, Indian Occupied Kashmir has become a region where the sun rises in gloominess. With the advent of Indian occupational forces the ethnic cleansing campaign against the Kashmiri people has intensified manifold. So far, more than 100,000 killings have been done by Indian occupation forces. The number is increasing every day as Indians are using increasingly heartless methods to suppress the people of IOK and their legal struggle for freedom. The phenomenon of religious persecution against the Muslims of IOK is also not new. The huge Indian occupation forces under the cover of Armed Forces Special Protection Act (AFSPA) and other black laws frequently engage in a dutiful cleansing of Muslims.

The present wave of violence in Kashmir erupted after the death of the 22 year old leader of Hizbul Mujahedeen, Burhan Muzaffar Wani, who was killed by special Indian forces in Bumdoora village of Anantnag district on 8th of July with to others. Kashmir, which is under curfew since Wani’s death and protests by mob, is going through the worst turmoil in its history claiming 70 plus lives and many injured till date. After Burhan’s death, Kashmir is again is going through the vilest uprising since early 90’s when Ashfaq Majeed, another youth leader was assassinated. The hanging of Afzal Guru has changed the freedom struggle for Kashmir and Kashmiri youth and they are particularly more passionate and obsessed with freedom. Covering the body of Burhan Wani in the Pakistani flag and chanting slogans for independence showed their zeal to be part of Pakistan at any cost. This is the third mutiny in Kashmir after 2008. In the years of suppression by Indian security forces, Kashmir is witnessing zeal of its fifth generation for independence. Regardless of the brutal acts by Indian security forces under AFSPA, the freedom movement and passionate youth stand firm.

Several Kashmiri political parties have joined hands to form the All Parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC) to steer the political struggle for self-determination. India has been victimising Kashmiri leaders through dirty tactics to break their will and resolve. They have been repeatedly harassed and physically intimidated. Instead of accepting the existing reality, India has sought to blame Pakistan for promoting the Kashmiri uprising. These Indian accusations against Pakistan are a tactic to delude the International Community over the Kashmir issue and a concealment of their state sponsored atrocities.

Under the AFSPA, Indian forces are not reluctant to use of any kind of violence including shooting, use of batons, tear gas, curfews, detentions and inhumane torture in so-called detention centres along with disappearances of Kashmiri youth. One must appreciate the determination and bravery of these Kashmiri youngsters who defend themselves from Indian forces with only stones. Indian forces are using pellet guns on the protestors and the havoc played this time by these pellets is tragic. Pellet guns shoot over 500 small lead balls and severely wound numerous demonstrators at once. Since 2010, Indian forces have been using pellet guns to disperse protesters and crowds and this time Indian media claimed that so far 300 Kashmiris have blinded because of these pellets.

India, despite knowing the present situation of Kashmir and with no statement to condemn its brutality in Kashmir, declared Burhan Wanni a terrorist. Surprisingly after a month of all havoc going on in Kashmir, Modi spoke out saying, “Every Indian loves Kashmir and the azadi that every Indian feels, Kashmir can feel too”. Well, India must not forget that every Pakistani loves Kashmir too, and it will not stop supporting of their Kashmiri brethren on all forums and will keep showing the world India’s callousness in Kashmir.