Whenever you walk along the streets of New York you may frequently come across some women, young or old, who beg claiming themselves as the refugees from Bosnia. They are the victims out of 25,000-30,000 Bosnian ill-fated Muslims who were forced to take refuge in several parts of the World.
The Serbian forces conducted the cruelest genocide in between July 11-22 of 1995 during the 3-year long ethnic cleansing of Muslims in Bosnia-Herzegovina when 8,372 males, and even minor boys, were massacred only in and around Srebrenica, a Muslim enclave. Muslim women and girls those who were kept alive were subjected to torture, rape and gang-rape for months.
Despite the COVID-19, the tormented relatives of the ill-fated Bosnian Muslims thronged the Srebrenica-Potocari Memorial Cemetery in Bosnia to remember and pay their homage to their dear ones, Al Jazeera and many other international media reported.
Marking the anniversary of the bloody events, among others, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas, former and current UN Secretary Generals Kofi Annan and Antonio Guterres respectively released messages condemning the Srebrenica massacre.
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan recalling that massacre at Srebrenica in particular and Bosnia & Herzegovina, in general, urged the international community to remain vigilant to avert further genocide in any part of the world.
In a video message on July 11, commemorating and remembering the Muslims massacre, Khan said: “I still feel the shock how such a thing could have been allowed by the world community. I think it is important for us to learn lessons from that. The world community must never allow such things to happen again.”
“We see problems for the people of Kashmir. 800,000 Indian troops have besieged 0.8 million people of Kashmir and we all fear that a similar sort of massacre may follow there. So the world community must take notice and never allow such acts to take place again”.
Pakistan Prime Minister’s apprehension deserves due consideration. Kashmir crisis needs to end on an urgent basis. But all concerned, including the UN, western powers, even the Muslim community, are silent and as if, they allow India to continue its barbaric atrocities against the Kashmiris which are worse than Srebrenica massacre.
The disunited Muslim countries are also responsible for the miseries of the Kashmiri people. The money of the Muslim countries, particularly the Arab countries, even Bangladesh, is used to kill the Muslims of Kashmir, and beyond.
A survey conducted by two Indians — Priyansha Singh and Mohammed Ameen Arimbra — printed on American media outlet ‘Medium.com’ on July 30, 2019 said, around 8.5 million Indians live and work in the Gulf countries, one of the largest concentrations of migrants in the world. Besides, the ‘Middle East Institute’ on April 14, 2020 mentioned the number of the Indians as 8,533,518. Most of them work in the GCC countries – Saudi Arabia, UAE, Qatar, Bahrain, Oman and Kuwait.
Out of the total 28 million foreign workers in the GCC countries, 16.9 million (60 %) workers hail from South Asia. Among the South Asians 31.5 % are from India, followed by Bangladesh (11 %), Pakistan (10.8 %), Sri Lanka, Nepal and Afghanistan.
A World Bank report says that India earned the highest remittances in the world both in 2017 and 2018. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) said that 52% of remittances to India came from the Gulf, i.e. Muslim countries.
In 2018 India pocketed $79 billion in remittance. Out of them it fetched $36.3 billion just from Gulf countries – Saudi Arabia $11.2 billion, Kuwait $4.6 billion, Qatar $4.1 billion, Oman $3.3 billion and UAE $13.8 billion.
Besides, Indians also send huge amount from other Middle Eastern Muslim countries like Iraq, Bahrain, Yemen, Jordon, Lebanon, Syria, etc. Bangladesh, Iran, Azerbaijan, Brunei, Malaysia, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Turkistan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan, Indonesia and all other Muslim countries of the world are also India’s sources of remittances.
If the Muslim countries, particularly the GCC countries could jointly threat to boycott India, it would not dare to look at Kashmir or its neighboring countries.
OIC, the apex body of the Muslim countries, remains inactive and indifferent to Kashmir crisis. Its summits, conferences, etc., are turned to mere picnics or get-togethers. All of its resolutions and decisions centering Kashmir and all other problems of the Muslims are confined to papers.
The role of the international community is equally disastrous in case of Kashmir. To end the Kashmir dispute, UN Security Council member-countries are obliged to hold a plebiscite in Kashmir what India welcomed and pledged to implement. Seven decades passed by, but UN resolutions remained unimplemented. Such a role of UN and influential western powers indulged and dared India to ignore UN resolutions, even delete the special status of Kashmir guaranteed by Indian constitution. The world doesn’t know what type of atrocities, humiliations and annihilations India commits now inside the curtained Kashmir.
The Trump administration on July 9 imposed punitive measures on China protesting human rights violations against the Uighur Muslim. It imposed sanctions on Chen Quanguo — a member of China’s 25-member ruling Politburo and party secretary of the Xinjiang region; Zhu Hailun, a former deputy party secretary for the region; Wang Mingshan, director of the Xinjiang Public Security Bureau; and Huo Liujun, a former party secretary of the bureau.
Kashmir is not far from Uighurs heartland. But the Trump administration maintains a mum against harsher atrocities and genocide against the Kashmiris where murder, blinding, kidnap, forced disappearance, rape, gang-rape occur daily. The systematic genocide continues while the champions of human rights in the West, lead by Washington, looks the other way. The international human rights bodies remain silent even. after the discovery of mass graves in Kashmir. President Trump can show leadership by announcing the same punitive measures against India, as it has taken against China, to justify America’s commitment to human rights, justice and impartiality.
It will be suicidal on the part of the world to stay silent if it remains indifferent to the fears expressed by Prime Minister Imran Khan. The international community should give no room to India to keep Kashmir under its illegal occupation and crush a nation that struggles to liberate their motherland from its oppression. India needs to be stopped immediately to avert an unpredictable catastrophe.
Any war centering Kashmir, even on a low-scale one, will ultimately lead to a disastrous one, as both the contending countries India and Pakistan have nuclear weapons. As both the countries are desperate to get Kashmir, more pressure needs to be applied to compel them to agree to a logical and appropriate solution prescribed in the UN resolution, in order to avert worldwide human miseries and destruction.
Mohammad Zainal Abedin is a New York-based Bangladesh-origin journalist & researcher.