Geneva (KMS): The Chairman of All Parties Hurriyet Conference, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, has sid that India’s stubbornness is the main hurdle in resolving the Kashmir dispute in accordance with the Kashmiris’ aspirations.
The APHC Chairman addressing a seminar, entitled, ‘Defending the Will of the People’ during the current session of the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva said that the most tragic aspect of the present situation in occupied Kashmir was the Indian government’s refusal to recognize the internationally mandated status of Jammu and Kashmir as a dispute. The seminar was moderated by Dr Ghulam Nabi Fai, the Executive Director of Kashmir Centre Washington.
The Mirwaiz maintained that the liberation movement in occupied Kashmir was a popular, indigenous and non-violent. He said that the people of Jammu and Kashmir were determined to present the peaceful objectives to the international community, led by the United Nations. “Our objective is to determine a peaceful and lasting solution to the conflict through dialogue, with the participation of all three parties, India, Pakistan and the Kashmiri leadership,” he added.
The Mirwaiz said, the APHC believes that Kashmir issue cannot be resolved through military might. “It is a political issue and has to be resolved through peaceful negotiations. APHC also believes that peace process between India and Pakistan; and killings in Kashmir cannot go together. In this regard, APHC has submitted to the Government of India a proposal to create a conducive atmosphere for dialogue, which includes complete withdrawal of Indian troops from the territory, unconditional release of all Kashmiri political prisoners and immediate repeal of all draconian laws, including Disturbed Areas Act and Public Safety Act,” he stated.
The APHC Chairman reminded the audience that he people of Kashmir needed their help in persuading India and Pakistan that Kashmir could not be resolved bilaterally. He said that the experience of last 63 years proved that all bilateral talks failed because the Kashmiri people were never party to these talks. He said that the time had come that the talks should be tripartite involving India, Pakistan and the genuine leadership of Kashmiri people.
Speaking on the occasion, Dr Ghulam Nabi Fai said, the will of the people must prevail in all international situations where the United Nations promised the people a referendum to decide their future but which has not yet been carried out. He referred to the Article 21/3 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which states, “The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government.” Dr Fai also referred to UN Security Council’s resolution number 47 of 1948, which says that the future of Kashmir must be decided in accordance with the wishes and the will of the people. He said that while as the latest uprisings in Egypt and Kashmir were popular and non-violent but there was a clear distinction between the two situations. “The armed forces in Egypt sided with the people while as the military in Kashmir used brute force to crush the genuine aspirations of the people for freedom and self-determination,” he said.
Barrister Abdul Majeed Tramboo, the Chairman of Kashmir Centre Brussels, said that the time had come the International Criminal Court should take serious note of the grave situation in occupied Kashmir. “India has given the pledge to the people of Kashmir here at the United Nations that they will be allowed to decide the future according to their own free will. This free will cannot be exercised except in an environment, which is free from coercion and intimidation,” he added. Barrister Tramboo said that the presence of over 700,000 Indian military and paramilitary personnel had made Kashmir the largest army concentration anywhere in the world.
The Executive Director of Kashmir Institute of International Relations, Sardar Amjad Yousuf, said that the will of the people had prevailed in Egypt and Tunisia and it must prevail in occupied Kashmir as well where the people were demanding their right of self-determination for the last more than six decades. He said, the people of Kashmir have paid a heavy price in demanding their ultimate objective, the right of self-determination. He stated that the revolution in Egypt became a success story simply because it was endorsed by the world powers.
The Executive Director of Kashmir Scandinavian Council, Ali Shah Nawaz Khan said, Egypt seems to have taken a cue from Kashmir. He said that the Kashmir uprising of 2008 until today was not anyway less than the Egypt revolution and the protests in the occupied territory were much shriller and louder than those in Egypt. “The Lal Chowk (Red Square) in Srinagar had witnessed millions of people demanding freedom from the Indian rule. Unfortunately, the world leaders quickly responded the revolution in Tahrir Square (Egypt) but kept mum on Red Square (Kashmir),” he deplored.
The seminar was organized by Los Angeles-based International Educational Development and was co-sponsored by Association of Humanitarian Lawyers, International Human Rights Association of American Minorities, International Islamic Federation of Student Organizations, World Muslim Congress, AHRKI and KMMK-G. Others who spoke on the occasion included, Dr Karen Parker, IED Delegate to the United Nations, Dr Ahmed Abdellatti, Secretary General IIFSO, Logman Ahmadi, Congress of Nationalities for the Federated Iran and Dr Ayman Ahmed Ali, Egypt.