Seminar on “Bleeding Kashmir Seeks World Attention”
MUSLIM Institute organized a seminar titled “Bleeding Kashmir seeks world attention” on Tuesday August 2, 2016 at National library of Pakistan, Islamabad. The purpose of seminar was to analyse prevailing situation in Kashmir, to convey the perspective of Kashmiri people to the world and to draw the attention of world community towards this issue. Chairman, Senate standing committee on defence production, Senator Lt Gen (R) Abdul Qayyum presided the event and Federal Minister for Kashmir & Gilgit Baltistan, Ch. Muhammad Barjees Tahir was chief guest on the occasion. Ambassador (R) Masood Khan; Former Deputy Speaker National Assembly of Pakistan Faisal Kareem Kundi; Ambassador (R) Inam Ul Haq; Chairman MUSLIM Institute, Sahibzada Sultan Ahmad Ali; Convener All Parties Hurriyat Conference, Jammu & Kashmir and Pakistan, Ghulam Muhammad Safi and Associate Professor, Politics & International Relations, QAU, Dr. Nazir Hussain spoke on the occasion. Former Parliamentarian Norway Mr Lars Rise, Co-Director IAC USA Ms Sara Flounders, Renowned British Author Victoria Schofield shared their views through video link address. Research Associate of MUSLIM Institute Mr. Ahmad AlQadri moderated the proceedings of seminar. Large number of people from civil society, social and political personalities, foreign delegates, former ambassadors, university professors and students, researchers, lawyers, journalists and individuals from different walks of life participated in the seminar.
Brief summary of views expressed by speakers is given below:
Sahibzada Sultan Ahmad Ali
Chairman, MUSLIM Institute
On the behalf of MUSLIM Institute, I am profoundly thankful to all of you for participation in today’s seminar. Title of the seminar itself highlights the atrocities and brutality of Indian Occupied forces in Jammu & Kashmir and the state terrorism of India which they have been committing in Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK) since they have occupied the state. Being a Pakistani, a Muslim and a human it is our responsibility to express solidarity with oppressed people of IOK who demand freedom and right of self-determination and to draw attention of international community towards their situation. The protest in Jammu & Kashmir is not merely due to the martyrdom of Burhan Wani, although it heightened after this event, but in fact it is reaction against the tyranny of Indian Occupied forces which they are committing there from last seven decades. Kashmiris have decided that they will never give up and they will continue to fight for their rights until they succeed. On July 21 New York Times in its Editorial mentioned the continuous struggle of Kashmiris in this manner:
“A major cause of the uprising is resentment among Kashmiri youth who have come of age under an Indian security apparatus that acts against civilians with impunity. Kashmir is subject to India's Armed Forces Special Power Act, which grants military wide powers to arrest, shoot to kill, occupy or destroy the property. The result is a culture of brutal disdain for the local population”.
Faisal Kareem Kundi
Former Deputy Speaker National Assembly of Pakistan
In this seminar, we have gathered to discuss the killing of Kashmiri young boy Burhan Muzzafar Wani by the Indian forces and consequent series of protests occurring in Indian Held Kashmir which have left many dead and injured. Western media is also turning blind eye towards the Indian atrocities committed in Kashmir. All the political parties in Pakistan should think that why their voice couldn’t be heard by the international community. People of Kashmir have been denied to their inalienable right of self-determination which was pledged to them in UN resolutions. The Kashmir committee in the Parliament of Pakistan should play its active role. International community and United Nations should fulfil their promises made to the people of Jammu & Kashmir and to play their active role to resolve the Kashmir Issue. The recommendations which will be put forward today in this seminar, I ensure on behalf of me and my party that these recommendations will be followed.
Presentation on Kashmir Issue and Emerging Geo-political Scenario
Dr. Nazir Hussain
Associate Professor, International Relations, Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad
Since 9/11 India is trying to malign the freedom struggle of Kashmiris as the terrorism, while Indian forces are committing state terrorism in Indian Occupied Kashmir. Burhan Wani was educated youth of Kashmir who was spreading awareness about the Indian brutalities. The passion of Kashmiris for freedom couldn’t be beaten. Kashmiris are looking towards Pakistan and the world community. Pakistan’s Policy on Kashmir should be unequivocal. The new geo-political reality of the region is Kashmir, Karachi and Kabul. This is what India wants to entangle Pakistan. There are also chances that India might make Line of Control hot in order to undermine the current happening in Indian Occupied Kashmir.
Deteriorating Situation in IOK: An Overview
Ghulam Muhammad Safi
Convener All Parties Hurriyat Conference, Jammu & Kashmir and Pakistan
Situation in the Indian Occupied Kashmir which was described by the European delegation that visited Jammu & Kashmir ‘a beautiful prison Jammu & Kashmir’, what more can be said about Jammu & Kashmir? It was a paradise but has been turned into a virtual hell, by the occupied troops, by India as an occupying power. The situation has always been there as critical but people have always resisted Indian occupation, they are resisting it and they shall continue to resist Indian occupation through all their possible means no compromise whatsoever men women and children. The Indian policy on Kashmir is evident from the fact, one Kashmiri Afzal Guru, he was apprehended and then he was hanged but the words written by the Judge of the Supreme Court in his verdict were, there is nothing concrete against him no evidence against him but we have to satisfy the collective conscious of India so this gentleman Kashmiri should be hanged. Jammu & Kashmir is a disputed territory and the people are still waiting for a plebiscite to be held by UN, not by Indian Election Commission. Indian Election Commission has been conducting election in Jammu & Kashmir but that cannot be a substitute for the right of self-determination and plebiscite.
Human Rights Violations in Indian Occupied Kashmir and Responsibilities of International Community
Co-Director International Action Center USA
Role of the USA and the British imperialism in the Kashmir issue is highly condemnable as condition of human rights is deteriorating with every passing day. It is a pity that Kashmir issue is still unresolved while three generations have passed since the partition of India. US and British imperialism operate through division by inflaming sectarian, national and religious sections which endangers the life of millions of people. They played the same role in creation of Israel and the confiscation of rights of Palestinians. The USA also exploited the Kashmir issue at the time of Afghan war to accrue the support of Pakistan. On the other hand, it backed the Indian force which led to massive violation of human rights in Kashmir. According to the UN resolutions, plebiscite was proposed as the solution of Kashmir issue but India with the backing of USA is recalcitrant to hold the referendum. So, it is the responsibility of international community to intensify international solidarity and create awareness among international media regarding Kashmir issue.
Renowned British Author (Kashmir in cross fire, Kashmir in conflict)
Kashmir issue is close to my heart ever since I visited the valley. The first book I wrote on Kashmir issue in 1996 was ‘Kashmir in Cross fire’. At that time Kashmir was indeed in crossfire. In 2003 I wrote that Kashmir is now one of the most dangerous situations in the world not so much because of the issue itself but because of the India and Pakistan’s failed relations in dealing with it. In 2010 I wrote in my book that another cycle of violence could begin in Kashmir and in 2016 we are on the edge of another volcanic eruption as we can see from the events of last few weeks. The militarization and use of pallets is intolerable for the inhabitants of Jammu and Kashmir. The human cost of this dispute in past thirty years is immeasurable as even one life lost is many. Despite of all events I am still optimistic that this issue can be and will be resolved for the betterment of all mankind.
Settlement of Kashmir Issue and Binding on International Community
Ambassador (R) Masood Khan
Director General, Institute Of Strategic Studies Islamabad
Pakistan has every right to protest for the Kashmiris because it is party to the dispute. Mr. Wani picked up the gun to defend himself and he has the right to do so. The double standards of international community are such like that there is something applicable in Syria, it becomes inapplicable in Kashmir. The regional and international powers in Syria are funding and arming rebels who are opposed to Asad regime. So it is legitimate to arm and finance resistance in Syria but not in Kashmir. We should engage India and exert pressure on it because we have diplomatic relations; we have many agreements and accords with India so we should say to them to stop killing people in Kashmir, lift the ban on people gatherings, stop non-lethal weapons, and stop firing peaceful demonstrations, also to release prisoners and for the reduction of troops. Hurriyat leaders had come out with four point formula, so India should engage hurriyat leaders also India should recognize that Kashmir is a disputed territory.
Former Parliamentarian Norway
Indian forces are attacking the ambulances while cellular, landline and internet communication have been cut down by Indian forces. Although India is signatory of international commission on human rights, but above mentioned acts are serious violation of Geneva Convention. Kashmir is the most sensitive and longest conflict of the world due to the involvement of two nuclear powers. This continuing problem is highly provocative for the youth like Wani. Kashmir is subjected to draconian law like armed forces special powers act which confers the security forces with the powers to arrest or kill anybody and occupy or damage any property. Although US state department spokesman has urged the de-escalation of violence but actions are needed. We should strive to highlight this issue on international level so application of Security Council resolutions in the IOK becomes possible.
Guest of Honor
Ambassador (R) Inam Ul Haq
Former Minister for Foreign Affairs
Killing of youth by the Indian forces is one of the fundamental aspects of the Kashmir issue. Burhan Muzzafar Wani was a freedom fighter who laid his life for a noble cause. Indian oppression against innocent protestors is a glaring example of state terrorism. To hide maltreatment of Kashmiris, India has shut down all the cellular and internet connections. Among the long term objectives of India, first is changing the demography of Kashmir by allotting land to Indian Brahmans, ex-service men and for Hindu religious shrines. Second is to erode the article 370 of Indian constitution which confers special status to the Kashmir. Third is the trifurcating the Kashmir into three parts and amalgamating a part of it into the Indian union. Pakistan should continue to inform UN Security Council and Commission on Human Rights regarding Indian atrocities in Kashmir. Instead of asking for dialogue, Pakistani concerns regarding Indian policies towards Kashmir must be conveyed in clear words.
Chief Guest Speech
Ch. Muhammad Barjees Tahir
Federal Minister for Kashmir & Gilgit Baltistan
As the topic of seminar describes, current situation in Indian Occupied Jammu & Kashmir is agonizing & painful. It is a fact that Human Right violations by Indian occupying forces are being carried out for last seven decades but in last three weeks, a new black chapter of Human Right violations by Indian occupied forces started when protests broke out due to killing of a young Kashmiri Burhan Wani. The torture on Kashmiris, blinding of people attending funeral, rape of women, killings and maiming, abuse and humiliation have become routine matter in IOK. International community bears the responsibility not only to send fact finding missions to the Indian Occupied Jammu & Kashmir but also to take appropriate actions to stop human rights violations. The security of South Asia is on stake due to this grave issue and without resolving it, durable peace in the region cannot be achieved. I will end with the hope that with so much courage and after so much sacrifices Kashmir’s freedom is verdict of nature which has to come today or tomorrow.
Concluding Remarks by the Chair
Lt. Gen (R) Abdul Qayyum
Chairman Senate Standing Committee on Defence Production
Our Kashmir Policy is embedded in the statement of Quaid-e-Azam made in February 1948, that we will always be with oppressed and suppressed nations, and he talked of the right of self-determination that is for Kashmiris, or Palestinians or any other oppressed and suppressed nations. Other fundamental pillar of our Kashmir Policy is the UN Charter, we have to go by what is written in UN Charter and that talks of right of self-determination very vocally and clearly. We are not asking for any favour from the Indians, these are our obligations these are the obligations of the entire international community because we have promised at the highest forum that we will provide Kashmiris the right of self-determination. India runs away from dialogue why because when we will sit on table, we will talk about Kashmir therefore they say no dialogue. Rest assure any government in Pakistan civil or military has never compromised and will never compromise on Kashmir policy.
Vote of Thanks
Sahibzada Sultan Ahmad Ali
Chairman, MUSLIM Institute
Respected chair of the session, participants, ambassadors, foreign delegates and guests, I thank all of you for participating in today’s seminar. Continuous and committed struggle for Kashmiris is the solution for Kashmir issue and brutality of India. International conscious has failed to resolve the outstanding Kashmir issue it will be resolved with passion. I thank all of you once again for taking out your time on invitation of MUSLIM Institute.
Based on discussion and speeches of speakers, following recommendations have been derived:
- United Nations, its specialized agencies and affiliated organizations, OIC, European Union and other key international organizations should take concrete steps to stop the brutal killing of innocent civilians and for permanent solution of Kashmir dispute.
- Human rights watch, UNHRC and other human rights organizations should take notice of the severe human rights violations in Indian Occupied Kashmir.
- International Community should be convinced through an organized campaign to raise voice on the brutal killings of civilian in IOK.
- Use of non-lethal weapons which are blinding and injuring thousands in Jammu & Kashmir is an international offence which is illegal according to international law, Pakistan is required to raise this issue at UN and all other international forums to show the real face of India.
- UN and International community on the basis of humanity should compel India to abolish the black laws imposed by India in the India Occupied Kashmir.
- Pakistan needs to highlight the issue of Kashmir that it is a disputed territory which is not an integral part of India that was agreed by India in the UN resolutions.
- Syed Ali Gillani’s four point Agenda is valuable India must adopt those points for the peaceful settlement of Kashmir issue.
- Although it is the prime responsibility of Pakistani Government to keep the Kashmir issue alive, but Pakistani Nation should also play its role to highlight and campaign for Kashmir, all segments of Pakistani society needs to work for Kashmir. Pakistani Government should ask UN for appointing one Special Envoy for Kashmir either India is willing or not this must done so that Kashmiri Human rights could be observed.
- India has always tried to avoid dialogue with Pakistan, India also tries to take up minor issues as priority agenda whereas Pakistan must keep Kashmir as priority agenda and Kashmir should not be compromised on trade with India.
- Pakistan should frame a clear long term Kashmir policy which should not change with the change of government. Any successive government in Pakistan should stand by the stated policy on Kashmir, whatsoever circumstances exist.
- International media should play its role to highlight the Indian atrocities committed in IOK and to present the true picture of freedom movement of Kashmir.