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  • Women shout slogans during a protest following restrictions after the government scrapped the special constitutional status for Kashmir, in Srinagar August 14, 2019.

    Women shout slogans during a protest following restrictions after the government scrapped the special constitutional status for Kashmir, in Srinagar August 14, 2019. | Photo: Reuters

Published 14 August 2019

“Our oppressors are united, and our struggles will be stronger if we too unite,” pro-Palestinian BDS movement wrote in solidarity with Indian Occupied Kashmir. 

The pro-Palestinian Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement published Tuesday a statement in solidarity with Indian Occupied Kashmir.

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The BDS National Committee (BNC) wrote that they share the “shock and anger of Kashmiris” over the “authoritarian decision of the Bharatiya Janta Party-led Indian government to effectively nullify overnight the relative autonomy of the state of Jammu and Kashmir. We denounce the increasing use of Israeli-style paradigms and policies by the current Indian government.”

India’s far-right ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) scrapped Article 370 on Aug 5. from Indian Constitution which granted Kashmir some form of autonomy. This was done without any consent from Kashmiris. 

The government started deploying more troops the weekend before, then put all leaders under house arrest, imposed a total communication blackout before removing the constitutional article which according to the BDS movement is undermining the rights of Kashmiris “particularly their right to democratically decide on their future, without their knowledge or consent.”

“With this provision gone, and New Delhi already inviting private investment, the demographic nature of the region is set to be permanently altered, drawing on the Israeli example of creating ‘facts on the ground’ through illegal colonial settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory,” the statement said. 

The movement also condemned the absence of Kashmiri aspiration in every discourse. They said the Kashmir conflict is portrayed as just a contention between “the two nuclear armed states of India and Pakistan and never as a people with their own aspirations and UN-stipulated rights.”

For them, the brutality of Indian forces towards Kashmiris resonates with Israel’s behavior towards Palestinians. 

“As Palestinians, we deeply feel the suffering of the people in Kashmir under military repression that in so many cases is similar to Israeli forms of subjugation and control. Today, the Modi government has literally taken inspiration from Israel’s settlement project to enable forced demographic changes on the ground,” the anti-Israeli occupation movement said.

The statement went on to add that the Indian government has been following Israel’s footsteps for long now. 

“In 2014, the BJP government’s then home minister Rajnath Singh visited Israel and said he was 'impressed' by the electronic fence that maintains the blockade on two million Palestinians in Gaza.

"A similar fence is already being deployed along the Line of Control between India and Pakistan. India is the world’s largest importer of Israeli weapons. The Tavor rifles, the very symbol of the military jackboot in the Kashmir valley, and the drones that India deploys to control the region are Israeli-made. Israeli military delegations have been visiting Kashmir to train Indian troops,” the statement informed. 

The statement concluded by reiterating BDS solidarity with Kashmir, asking others to also speak up against “historical injustice” and demanding the reverse of the latest measures by India.  “We appeal to the people of conscience in India, whose leaders once spearheaded the global non-aligned movement and the fight against apartheid in South Africa, to work towards ending India’s military and security alliance with Israel.”

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