Sun April 22, 2018
Advertisement
Can't connect right now! retry

add The News to homescreen

tap to bring up your browser menu and select 'Add to homescreen' to pin the The News web app

Got it!

add The News to homescreen

tap to bring up your browser menu and select 'Add to homescreen' to pin the The News web app

Got it!

Editorial

April 15, 2018

Share

Advertisement

Justice for Asifa

Justice for Asifa

It is a truism of war that the aggressor ends up dehumanising the occupied. They see those who they are brutalising as lesser beings who exist only to be controlled. Let’s make no mistake about it: what India is doing in Kashmir is nothing less than waging a brutal war. In January, eight-year old Asifa Bano was kidnapped, gang raped and murdered by members of the police and a retired government official. She was sedated and taken to a Hindu temple where she was repeatedly raped for four days before being strangled to death. Five men have now been charged with the crime. Needless to say, they deserve the fullest punishment of the law but that should only be the start of the reckoning. India needs to wake up to the fact that such heinous acts are a natural outgrowth of its occupation of Kashmir, which sees the Kashmiri Muslim population as its enemy. The government has already declared all those who yearn for liberation as terrorists. In such an atmosphere, rape and mass killings are seen as acceptable tools of war.

It is telling that Asifa was kidnapped, raped and killed because the administration in the Hindu-majority Jammu region wanted to scare the members of the Muslim Bakerwal community into leaving the area. From Kosovo to Darfur, ethnic cleansing of this kind has frequently used the rape of minors as a tool in its arsenal. If nothing else has opened the eyes of the international community as to the nature of the Indian occupation of Kashmir, this should serve as a wake-up call. It needs to be an eye-opener for people in India too. Using rape as a weapon in Kashmir is hardly a new practice. And now, with the Narendra Modi government demonising Muslims in the same way in India itself, what are the odds that it won’t spread? We have already seen the rise of vigilante violence against Muslims in India. Should the ruling party continue to fan the flames, what is happening in Kashmir could repeat itself elsewhere. The solution is not to only place a few people on trial. This is a crime for which the entire occupying state is responsible. Only an end to the occupation and an opportunity for the Kashmiri people to decide their own fate will start the process of healing the wounds inflicted by India.

Advertisement

Comments

Advertisement
Advertisement

Topstory

Opinion

Newspost

Editorial

National

World

Sports

Business

Karachi

Lahore

Islamabad

Peshawar