Indian PM Narendra Modi's induction into "Order of Zayed" by UAE monarchy doesn't reflect the "will of the people" of UAE, Kashmir-based APHC says while releasing five-point plan to defy what it calls India's bid to dilute Kashmir's demographics.
A popular resistance group in India-administered Kashmir on Saturday derided UAE for awarding Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi with the highest civilian honour, saying the act has "disappointed" Kashmiris and that it doesn't reflect the "will of the people of UAE."
"It's an embarrassment for the entire Muslim Ummah (community)," a Pakistan-administered Kashmir-based spokesperson of APHC, which functions in India-administered Kashmir told TRT World.
All Parties Hurriyat Conference [or APHC] is an amalgam of dozens of political groups that challenge India's sovereignty over the disputed region.
"The award has come from the country's monarchy. It does not reflect the voice of the people of UAE. We urge democracies like Turkey and Malaysia to intervene in Kashmir dispute and show mirror to such monarchies," said Sayied Abdullah Geelani.
Modi received the UAEs' highest civilian honour during a visit to the oil-rich Gulf nation on Saturday.
Modi's induction into the "Order of Zayed" shows the importance the UAE places on India, the world's third-largest consumer of crude oil, even as the Indian right-wing leader pursues stripping statehood from the disputed Muslim-majority region of Kashmir.
India is home to a rapidly growing consumer market and labour pool that the UAE relies on for its own economy.
Activists, however, decry the UAE bestowing the award on Modi as he clamps down on the Himalayan region claimed by both Pakistan and India.
Modi also flew to Bahrain to become the first Indian premier to visit the island nation.
The UAE is causing further outrage among Kashmiris by awarding Narendra Modi with its highest honour. https://t.co/lAXO3mjEyU— TRT World (@trtworld) August 22, 2019
Kashmir's nominal autonomy
On August 5, Modi revoked Kashmir's decades-old nominal autonomy that was guaranteed under Article 370 of India's constitution and sent thousands of troops to the region.
The move has touched off anger in Pakistan and in the Indian-controlled region, which has been under a security lockdown that has seen thousands detained to prevent protests there.
One of Modi's revisions allows anyone to buy land in the territory, which some Kashmiris fear could mean an influx of Hindus who would change the region's culture and demographics.
Critics have likened it to Israeli settlements in Palestinian territories, and Pakistan says the demography change will affect a future plebiscite in the territory where majority Muslims want independence or merger with Pakistan in a UN-brokered self-determination vote.
Humbled to be conferred the ‘Order of Zayed’ a short while ago. More than an individual, this award is for India’s cultural ethos and is dedicated to 130 crore Indians.— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) August 24, 2019
I thank the UAE Government for this honour. pic.twitter.com/PWqIEnU1La
APHC calls for "peaceful protests"
Meanwhile, for the first time since the clampdown, APHC's Syed Ali Shah Geelani, an old but popular Kashmiri leader who holds sway on many Kashmiris especially youngsters, issued a statement on Saturday calling on Kashmiris to organise "peaceful protests," under a five-point "programme of action."
"If the Indian armed forces still attack our gatherings, the entire responsibility for the possible loss of lives and property will be on them and the world will remain witness to their deeds," the statement said.
Geelani said it's time for Kashmiri bureaucrats and police force to revolt and take people's side, adding during recent events the region's police force was "disarmed" and the entire command was given to the Indian Army and paramilitaries – a claim Indian officials reject.
"If such a humiliation does not awake them to stand up and protest, probably nothing will, and then they should mourn their consciousness and faith, and wait for their destiny of total irrelevance like pro-India politicians in Kashmir," he said.
Urging Kashmiri diaspora and Pakistan to keep the world informed about the situation in the region, Geelani said India's decision will affect all areas of the disputed Himalayan territory inhabited by majority Muslims, and minority Buddhist and Hindus.
"At this juncture, there's no other alternative but to fight with full determination. India should know that even if it brings its entire armed forces into Kashmir, people will not let go of the struggle for their rights and liberation."
Indian social media is being flooded with low-budget “patriotic pop” songs about buying land in Kashmir and marrying Kashmiri women pic.twitter.com/O6H9WBjK10— TRT World (@trtworld) August 23, 2019
Indian leaders say scrapping temporary Article 370 will vitalise the region's economy.
The provision dates to 1927 when an order by the administration of the then-princely state of Jammu and Kashmir gave its subjects exclusive hereditary rights.
Two months after India won independence from British rule in August 1947, Maharaja Hari Singh, the ruler of Jammu and Kashmir, signed a temporary Treaty of Accession, disputed by Pakistan, for the state to join India, formalised in Article 370 of the Indian Constitution.
Further talks culminated in the 1952 Delhi Agreement, a presidential order that extended Indian citizenship to the residents of the disputed region but left the maharaja's privileges for residents intact.
Regional pro-India parties in Kashmir, whose leaders have also been detained by Indian police have called abrogation of Article 370 an aggression against the people, but many parties in other Indian regions have welcomed the decision.
More than 150 people in Kashmir have been treated for tear gas and pellet gun injuries since Indian security forces launched a sweeping crackdown in early August pic.twitter.com/l0UFhhG0SU— TRT World (@trtworld) August 23, 2019
Kashmir, the world's most-militarised region, is divided between India and Pakistan and both claim the region in its entirety. China also controls a silver of the territory.
Two of the three wars between the nuclear-armed neighbours have been fought since their independence from British rule were over Kashmir.
Over a dozen rebel groups are fighting nearly 500,000 Indian soldiers deployed by New Delhi in the region since 1989.
Most Kashmiris support the rebels' demand that the territory be united either under Pakistani rule or as an independent country, while also participating in civilian street demonstrations against Indian control.
About 100,000 people have been killed in the uprising and the ensuing Indian crackdown.