Today is World Human Rights Day. Let us pledge to uphold and honour the basic human rights on this day.
Human rights, by their very nature are fundamental to all and demand no discrimination under any circumstances. These rights are all interrelated, interdependent and indivisible. Every nation is expected to value these rights so, as to let its citizens feel that they are being taken care of and are being respected by giving due regards to their basic rights. Nations where these rights are dishonoured develop rot and disintegrate day by day as its citizens develop a feeling of disgust and hatred towards the system which prevents them from contributing positively in its growth. Human rights such as the right to freedom of speech, the right to liberty and freedom, the right to the pursuit of happiness, the right to a fair trial and due process of the law, the right to freedom of thought and the right to live your life free of discrimination hold immense importance in the lives of people. These are necessary to be privileged and honoured if any nation wants to build a sense of confidence and reliance among its citizens and pave way for a better, prosperous and successful future. On the contrary, there are some nations which are yet to recognize their importance and thus, continue to reel under misery and melancholy created of their own. Human rights violation is a serious concern that has made every one worrisome and has given rise to a debate as to how an end can be put on it.
The valley of Kashmir has invariably witnessed many incidents that have shocked the entire humanity. Being a disputed territory, it has become the bone of contention between two mighty nations: India and Pakistan, for which the people of valley inexorably have to suffer. Time and again, the cases of human rights violations continue to pile up without any disposal. The inhuman treatment that the people of the valley have to experience at the hands of security forces on the pretext of law and order is also deplorable. The continuous spate of human rights violation has created a sense of alienation among the people who are finding it difficult to resist the merciless and brutal attitude shown towards them. What is their fault to be the inhabitants of a disputed territory? Little did they know about their fate as to where it would land them!!! The valley of Kashmir, although blessed with scenic beauty that could attract any one towards it, is in fact not a happy place to live on, for its inhabitants. How unfortunate! The cries of the people who dont get justice has made this heavenly piece of land a miserable one. The valley stands witness to innumerable cases of such abuse which make even the stony hearts wax in pain. Extrajudicial executions, enforced disappearances, custodial killings, tortures and fake encounters, all have wrecked havoc on the minds of people living here with no or little expectation of getting justice against these brutalities. They, though raised their voice, but to no avail. The human rights violation is backed up by the draconian laws like PSA (Public Safety Act) and AFSPA (Armed Forces Special Power Act). The AFSPA has given unbridled powers to the security forces to act as per their own will. It has not only created fear among the populace but has also encouraged the human rights violations while providing legal impunity to the security forces. It came into force in 1990 and still persists against the wishes of common population. PSA, yet another fearful act that provides for arresting and jailing a person without trial for two years on mere suspicion that he/she may disrupt law and order in the state or may act in a manner prejudicial to the security of the state has also given sleepless nights to the people. It doesnt spare even minors and not to talk of old persons. This act was promulgated in 1978. The Act bypasses all the institutional procedures and human rights safeguards of ordinary criminal justice system in order to secure a long detention term.
Having such draconian laws in place, how can anyone get satisfaction from the basic human rights available to him or her? These acts render the human rights valueless and meaningless!!! It is high time for the government to decide whether it wants to continue with its inhuman laws to deal with humans or create a peaceful atmosphere which could foster effective relationship between the system and the population.
Lest we appreciate and recognize the worth and significance of human rights, the supreme justice would remain confined to words only.
Syed Maajid Rashid Andrabi
Be Part of Quality Journalism
Quality journalism takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce and despite all the hardships we still do it. Our reporters and editors are working overtime in Kashmir and beyond to cover what you care about, break big stories, and expose injustices that can change lives. Today more people are reading Kashmir Observer than ever, but only a handful are paying while advertising revenues are falling fast.