World Kashmir Awareness Forum

5

His Excellency

Ambassador Taranjit Singh Sandhu

Ambassador of India to the United States of America

2107 Massachusetts Avenue, NW

Washington, DC, 20008

Excellency:

We, Americans of diverse backgrounds are deeply concerned by the current political and human rights crisis in Kashmir and in particular for the last two years when Government of India abrogated Article 370 & 35 A. Although, the state of Jammu & Kashmir has been under Indian military occupation since October 1947 but the changes that took place within the past two years have pushed the people to the brink of extinction.

The Indian decision of abrogating article 370 and 35 A that guarantees the special status of the State of Jammu and Kashmir has been rejected not only by the Kashmiri diaspora leadership of all political parties but also by the Secretary General of the United Nations.

He reaffirmed on August 8, 2019 that “The position of the United Nations on this region (Kashmir) is governed by the Charter of the United Nations and applicable Security Council resolutions.” The Kashmiri diaspora leadership stands committed to carry on the struggle till the final settlement of the State of Jammu and Kashmir.

Excellency:

You know it quite well that abrogation of Article 370 and 35 A is further aggression and assault on the Rights of the people of the State. More to the point, such attempts are in open contravention of UN resolution #122 adopted on January 24, 1957; # 123 adopted on February 21. 1957 and # 126 adopted on December 2, 1957. These resolutions prohibit any unilateral action to change the disputed nature of the State of Jammu and Kashmir.

It is to be noted that the United Nations Security Council Resolution # 122 “reaffirm the affirmation of its resolution 91 (1951) and declares that the convening of a constituent assembly as recommended by the General Council of the ‘All Jammu and Kashmir National Conference’ and any action that assembly may have taken or might attempt to take to determine the future shape and affiliation of the entire State or any part thereof, or any action by the parties concerned in support of any such action by the assembly, would not constitute a disposition of the State in accordance with the above principle.”

Excellency:

What Indian authorities and their loyalists are attempting to silence is nothing short of a human rights disaster. The extrajudicial killings, torture, disappearances, displacement and sexual violence that Kashmiris endure must be brought to light and accounted for. Access to widespread reliable information is a matter of life or death for millions of Kashmiris, and is essential in the struggle for a just solution.

There is no press freedom for Kashmir. The Indian government uses internet blackouts, police raids, and traumatic intimidation tactics on activists, journalists and civilians to crush dissent and shield its brutal military occupation and demographic engineering. At the same time, the regime’s followers employ virulent online harassment to silence and discredit those who speak out, study and report on Kashmir from abroad.

The Indian state’s new repressive measures may bring temporary silence among Kashmir’s besieged population and their supporters but it will never buy their allegiance to India. Prolonging the settlement of the Kashmir dispute will bring peace neither to India nor to South Asia and will prolong the unnecessary suffering of thousands of innocent civilians.

New Delhi should accede to international law in Kashmir, cooperate in holding a referendum administered by a neutral agency, and welcome third party intervention or mediation to solve any prickly details. India itself will benefit by the vast savings in military and paramilitary force in Kashmir and by the more favorable investment environment that would follow on the heels of peace in Kashmir.

India should also recognize that it has failed to capture the hearts and minds of the Kashmiri people and should disengage from Kashmir. Otherwise. Kashmir will remain a dangerous canker in India’s body politic with incalculable consequences. A nation displays its greatness by confessing errors and shortcomings and taking remedial action, not by stockpiling nuclear warheads and missile delivery systems.

We call on the Government of India to:

  1. Reverse the constitutional changes brought by Government of India since August 5, 2019.
  2. Release all political prisoners unconditionally.
  3. Allow unhindered access to Kashmir by the United Nations Thematic Rapporteurs to monitor situation in Kashmir.
  4. Allow international human rights organizations and NGO to visit Kashmir.
  5. Grant visas to international journalists to visit Kashmir.
  6. Create conditions conducive for resolving Kashmir dispute in accordance with the wishes and aspirations of the people of Jammu & Kashmir and according to the United Nations Security Council resolutions which were agreed by both India and Pakistan.

It is beyond doubt that the longer the uncertainties continue and the longer the United Nations and world powers ignore Jammu & Kashmir, the more dangerous and intractable the crisis becomes. The crisis requires immediate diplomacy that recognizes the explosive situation on the ground in Jammu and Kashmir and takes immediate measures to avert it before it explodes.

 

With profound regards,

Yours sincerely,

 

  1. Dr. Ghulam Nabi Fai

Secretary General

World Kashmir Awareness Forum

 

  1. Javaid Rathore

President

Kashmir Solidarity Council

 

  1. Dr. Oussama Jamal

Secretary General

US Council of Muslim Organizations

 

  1. Dr. Zahid Bukhari

Executive Director

ICNA/Council for Social Justice

 

  1. Dr. Imtiaz Khan

Professor

George Washington University Medical Center

 

  1. Dr. A. Roof Meer

Herndon

Virginia

 

  1. Sardar Zarif Khan

Springfield, Virginia

 

  1. Sardar Shoaib Irshad

Manassas, Virginia

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.