An Award For Inciting Bloodshed In Kashmir?
The escalating Kashmir issue is finally receiving the due attention it deserves. The international press continues to shine the spotlight on decades of bloodshed Kashmiris have endured at the hands of the Indian armed forces. However, amidst the ongoing crisis and quest for freedom, the UAE prince, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, has done the unthinkable. Bestowing Narendra Modi with the highest civilian award is disgraceful to say the least. The UAE has not only stooped to the standard of India’s government but has also ruthlessly compromised on its integrity for supporting a vicious, domineering leader.
For a Muslim-majority country to bow down to Modi is an offense in its own right. He has used and abused his position of power to incite hatred towards minorities in India, including Kashmir. The present situation in the region is a direct result of Modi’s re-election to office this year. The circumstances in Kashmir have only worsened during his reign. His inability to build India on economic and social grounds is an evidence of pretense and duplicity. Modi’s willingness to negotiate peace in Kashmir is a stellar lie. A man who is incapable of living up to his word deserves no crown. That said, the UAE has compromised on human values for strong diplomatic ties with India, and it screams hypocrisy.
Take for instance Abu Dhabi’s Ambassador to India Dr Ahmad Al Banna’s loaded statement on Kashmir. He finds Indian government’s decision to revoke Article 370 of the constitution, which grants autonomy, a move that encourages “peace and stability.” Words matter and toeing the line of India so bluntly indicates future brutality in Kashmir.
Marred by explosions, rape and gun violence, the Kashmiris have withstood the worst in modern history. What is India fighting for that is not its own? We, as Pakistanis, stand strong with Kashmiris and advocate their freedom. We have not forgotten Burhan Wani and his unfortunate demise that led to additional 100 casualties and 15,000 civilian injuries. We vividly recall the timeline of events when the Indian army exterminated more than 47,000 Kashmiris from 1989-2008.
Indian journalists and the media adhere to nationalist views; they are incapable of reporting the truth because they support their government regardless. That is journalism for you. The Indian army is solely responsible for countless attacks and rising death tolls in Kashmir today. How long will they exercise moral injustice on innocent civilians? How long will the Indian government pursue its foreign allies for help? Diplomacy cannot outshine humanity. Eventually, time will unravel the truth and Kashmir will emerge as the clear winner.
The author is an actor, model and writer for fashion magazines OK! Pakistan, Good Times (GT) magazine, The Express Tribune and Daily Times. He is the creator and host of Pakistan’s first ever web talk show on YouTube titled ‘The Haider Rifaat Show’ and will make his feature film debut in 24 HOURS.