Throughout the annals of history, the years 1947 and 1948 stand as witnesses to two earth-shattering events that would indelibly mold the destinies of two regions: Palestine and Kashmir. The occupation of Kashmir and the emergence of the state of Israel laid the foundation for settler colonialism, ethnic genocide, and the unyielding battle for self-determination. The sheer gravity of these colossal struggles, marred by unlawful occupations and deeply rooted in the somber legacy of settler colonialism and ethnic genocide, defies adequate expression.
The founders of the Jewish state initially contemplated other locations, such as Uganda and Argentina, before ultimately settling on Palestine. This momentous decision set in motion a perpetual saga of settler colonialism, forcibly displacing indigenous populations and replacing them with settlers.
Nakba Day, solemnly commemorated by Palestinians every May 15, stands as a stark reminder of the devastating ethnic cleansing that unfolded in Palestine in 1948. It was a period marked by the loss of nearly 15,000 Palestinian lives and the grievous injury of another 75,000 individuals.
For years, the Palestinians and Kashmiris have suffered under the yoke of settler colonialism and ethnic genocide. Their voices have often been muted on the global stage, and these ongoing struggles have been largely ignored. As these conflicts have intensified, the occupying forces of Israel and India have further tightened their grip on these regions, committing unspeakable war crimes with alarming regularity.
Almost 80 years after the devastating atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima on August 6, 1945, during World War II, the explosive force of the bombs unleashed by Israeli warplanes on Palestine's Gaza is equivalent to the nuclear bomb dropped on Hiroshima. According to the media office of the Gaza government, Israel has conducted airstrikes on the Gaza Strip using over 12,000 tons of explosives, a quantity claimed to match the Hiroshima bomb. This has resulted in an average of 33 tons of bombs per square kilometer in a densely populated area measuring 41 kilometers in length and 10 kilometers in width (approximately 25 miles by 6 miles). The continuous bombardment of Gaza since October 7 has had a profoundly grave impact on the lives of its 2.3 million residents, leading to a high number of casualties, widespread destruction of buildings, and the displacement of over a million people due to the severe shortage of essential supplies.
Chief of the Army Staff (COAS), General Syed Asim Munir, conveyed deep concern over the relentless violence and deliberate, indiscriminate killing of innocent civilians by the Israeli Defense Forces in the ongoing conflict. He emphasized that the continuous assaults on the Palestinian population, including schools, hospitals, aid workers, and the forced displacement of civilians, represented clear violations against humanity. He called for an immediate cessation of hostilities in the Middle East, the establishment of a humanitarian corridor to Gaza, and the safeguarding of Palestinian civilians.
In India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has employed divisive rhetoric targeting minority Muslims, endearing himself to the Hindu majority while stoking the flames of ethnic tension. An interview with psychologist Ashis Nandy revealed that Modi exhibits traits akin to fascism, a deeply concerning trend in Indian politics that mirrors the tactics used in settler colonialist regimes.
The relentless attack on the demographics, culture, economy, and environment of the people of Kashmir persists without restraint, aiming to strip them of their identity and political rights. This harsh treatment of the Kashmiris is a consequence of their unwavering commitment to the cause of freedom, a right that was denied to them due to India's rejection of UN Resolutions.
As Kashmir endures the relentless advance of India's unlawful occupation, the spectrum of violence encompasses acts classified as crimes against humanity, war crimes, and even genocide. In 2019, Genocide Watch, a Geneva-based organization, delineated ten stages that define the progression of genocide, whether unfolding sequentially or simultaneously. In the context of Kashmir, Genocide Watch identified that the region had reached the eighth stage, a critical juncture with the looming possibility of extermination.
The urgent and imperative nature of the Palestine and Kashmir conflicts demands immediate global attention, as they continue to gravely strain the collective moral conscience of humanity.
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