Dr. Waleed Rasool
The United Nations observes 23 June as the International Widows Day since 2011 after resolutions No-A/RES/65/189 is adopted. The Rome statute of the international criminal court (1998) elaborates the definition of the disappeared persons as a heinous crime against humanity. The international convention for the protection of all persons from the enforced disappearance ( ICCPED-2006) explains in article-2 “The enforced disappearance the arrest, detention, abduction or another form of the deprivation of liberty committed by agents of the state or persons or the groups of the persons acting with the authorization support or the quiescence followed by a refusal to acknowledge the deprivation of the liberty or by the concealment of the fate or the whereabouts of the disappeared which place such person outside the protection of the law.” It is a callous Indian dialectical approach even in modern times when human rights are being considered the foundation of democracy. It makes the situation critical when practiced under Cover of democracy. Vis-à-vis it is lethal, which polarizes the practice when used as the weapon of the war by the people in uniform.
International Widows Day is a window to bring the plight of widows into the limelight globally. The IGO, s NGO, s and UN mechanism needs to be sensitized to cover. Uncover and discover the empirical methodology to safeguard widow rights, particularly when any nation is caught under occupation like that of woman folk of the illegally Indian occupied Kashmir, which is a legitimate dispute as per United Nations resolutions and to struggle for the right to self-determination carries international legitimacy as per International Law.
The unabated excessive military might of India since 1990 severely traumatized the woman folk of IIoJK, particularly those whose husbands are arrested and disappeared or killed under Indian custody since 1991 without any FIR or acceptance of the arrest by concerned agencies. Since it is all by design because Indian occupational forces are equipped with legal Cover under a regime of the blanket immunity enjoyed by forces under AFSPA PSA, TADA, UPA. This legal immunity caries the drastic fallout on IIoJK and dents the future generation because it gives the forces a free hand and license to kill. Therefore, non among the uniformed perpetrators are being booked to contain this heinous crime of occupational forces of India, which is continued unabated to date. The gravity of the worst situation intensified in the present hard-liner rightist regime in the name of boosting the morale of the occupational forces at the cost of humanity, which adds salt to injury.
The enforced disappearance has been raised at the human rights commission multiple times on the basis of the quantitative data collected by the Association of the disappeared Persons from primary resources in IIoJK. These heinous crimes are being documented by HRC. The number of half widows as per the Association of parents of the disappeared persons (APDP) is more than 2000. The case studies are carried from case to case. The wives of the killed husbands are caught in a Catch-22 situation. They still don’t know whether their husbands are being killed or alive. This complex dilemma led to pervasive Physical, Social, Economic, and phycological problems because these women cannot re-marry as per Shariah law until it is not ascertained whether her ex-husband is alive or dead. The social stigmatization and physical trauma had crippled the daily routine of widows because they cannot resume the routine until they do not come away from the dilemma.
The gravity of the situation had intensified since 5 August 2019, when any and every legal right had been snatched in Kashmir. IIoJK was reannexed while enforcing central role directly under the governor’s command through Delhi as the Union territory. The political space has been squeezed up to the quantum that the pro-Indian camp was also put behind bars under PSA.
The Indian forces took advantage of the Coved-19. The quantum of the pain raised by the occupational forces goes now beyond the demand of freedom because the gravity of the situation has intensified the anguish and agitation among the masses whose kith’s and kins, vis-à-vis nears dears are disappeared to create havoc among the masses; however, these deep scars had created the deep-rooted hatred among the masses of the Kashmir against Indian illegal rule.
The plight of the Kashmiri woman is heart-wrenching. The woman of the Kashmir is being targeted by the occupational forces by design to silent the struggle to the right of self-determination. This heinous policy of India had brought the future Generation of Kashmir under dark clouds because this weapon is used to silence the political opponents and create fear. It is the fundamental responsibility of the sane international community in whatsoever position he works followed by the International Media to bring the plight of the widows and particularly the half widows in the limelight where it can be seen and dealt with as per International Law because they have no room under the domestic laws of India which is bias.
The right to live is a fundamental right as per international law, not the derivative right; therefore, inhuman and draconian rules of India applied in IIoJK demands further legislation by the UN, particularly when disappearing the innocent people and traumatizing the mothers is used as the war of the weapon by India. The perpetrators are at large though the trenched impunity is evident. The United Nations working group on enforced and involuntary disappearance is the right platform to make access in IIoJK to meet the half widows’ case to case and report to HRC, UNGC, and UNSC.
Dr. Waleed Rasool ( PhD) IR is Director of the Institute of Multi-Track Dialogue, Development, and Diplomatic Studies can be reached@ at waleedrassol@ gmail.com