Canada refused entry to retired Indian General Amrik Bahia due to his role in human right violations in Indian Occupied Kashmir. The incident came on the heels of a recent refusal to a member of the Indian BSF (Border Security Force)
for his association with what Toronto considers a “notoriously violent” force
Canada bars Lt-Gen over J&K ‘record’
Canada humiliates Indian General over IHK abuses
Since the incident, owing to diplomacy and in the interest of foreign relations, Canada seems to have backtracked on its stand. While the backtracking is unfortunate, the heart of the matter remains evident. The facts speak volumes. UN and other HR organizations have documented indian crimes in Occupied Kashmir extensively over many many years. Thousands of innocent Kashmiri men, women and children have been killed, raped, tortured … The graves keep growing but the Kashmiris refuse to bow down in front of their oppressors. What is the crime of the Kashmiris? They keep chanting “Azadi, Azadi” (Freedom, Freedom).
World governments and media (particularly western ones) talk of liberties, freedom, democracy. They even wage wars under the pretext of furthering these. What about the Kashmiris? They are only asking for the right to self determination. They are not terrorists or making any undue demands. Freedom is a basic human right. The world community ignores the core issue for many reasons. Firstly, it is muslims being oppressed (not a very popular motivation for stern action against human right violations) and secondly, they don’t want to sour relations with India. Trade and defense deals are at stake. Money talks. But, unless and until the occupation is ended and the murders, rapes and tortures end, Kashmir will keep pricking the conscience of people all over the world. Freedom from an occupier who invaded and occupied Kashmir in the aftermath of the British Partition of SubContinent in 1947. Freedom. Seven Letters. But seven letters which have a lot of weight. IS FREEDOM NOT THE RIGHT OF THE KASHMIRIS? Movies are made about freedom struggles, both historical and fictitious. This is not a movie. This is real life. These are real people. They only ask that they be allowed to breathe free, live free.