Speakers at a Round Table Conference in Islamabad denounce Indian atrocities in Kashmir
Islamabad: Denouncing in strong terms the use of systematic violence against Kashmiri people by Indian occupation Forces, the president of Azad Jammu and Kashmir Sardar Masood Ahmed Khan while addressing a Round Table Conference (RTC) hosted by Jammu and Kashmir Council for Human Rights (JKCHR) here on Thursday said that Kashmiris fighting against India’s illegal occupation were the most defenseless people on the face of earth.
The RTC titled “Indian Atrocities against Kashmiris: A threat to good community relations”, was attended addressed by leaders of political and religious parties, representatives of Hurriyat Conference, Lawyers, civil society representatives and members of human rights organizations including Syed Nazir Gilani chairman JKCHR, former chief justices of Azad Kashmir Justice retired Abdul Majeed Malik, Justice retired Syed Manzoor Gilani, former AJK president Sardar Anwar Khan, Ghulam Muhammad Safi, Syed Faiz Naqashbandi, Mehmood Ahmed Saghar, Rafiq Ahmed Dar of JKLF and others.
AJK president Sardar Masood Ahmed Khan, who was chief guest on the occasion, said that hapless unarmed Kashmiris were facing serious threat at hands of occupation forces and its allies in Indian held Kashmir. Terming Kashmiris most defenseless people the president said, “Kashmiris rights are being violated every day and they have no right to defend the selves as this right of self-defense has been denied to them”. He said that over a half million Indian military and Para-military forces present in the disputed territory were killing innocent civilians, blinding peaceful protesters and torturing common masses, vandalizing their houses and destroying their properties day in and day out. “Let me say it with full conviction that there is no terrorism whatsoever in Kashmir, Kashmiris have been fighting for their legitimate right”, Khan said adding let it be very clear that It were Indian occupation Forces that have been terrorizing Kashmiris by unleashing rein of terror in the region. He said that Kashmiris fighting against Indian illegal occupation have no right to bear arms whereas in Yemen, Syria and conflict hit areas rebels were armed to the teeth. He said that lawless laws were being enforced by India to perpetuate its forcible and illegal control over the disputed territory.
Paying tributes to Kashmiri people he said that the valiant people of Indian held Kashmir were rendering supreme sacrifices by investing their blood in sustaining the freedom movement. “It is due to their sacrifices that Kashmir issue is alive at the United Nations and all around the world”, he maintained. Terming it as a great achievement he said that there despite all this we have not been able to secure right of self-determination for the people of Jammu and Kashmir.
Terming Kashmiris as a peace loving nation he said that the people of Kashmir will sustain their struggle peacefully. “Kashmiris will speak through high moral ground,
Denouncing Indian state-terrorism Khan said that India has been violating international law by carrying out genocide of Kashmiris. He said that Kashmiris have been demanding freedom (Azadi) from India and they say it in categorical terms that “Pakistan say rishta kia…..”. Referring to Kashmiris’ unflinching faith in freedom struggle, Khan said that 70 years have passed but India has not been able to integrated Kashmir with Indian Union. He said that ground reality in Kashmir (IoK) falsifies Indian myth that Kashmir is an integral part of India.
“Kashmir is not a bilateral issue, there are United Nations resolution calling for a referendum in Kashmir”, he said adding that Kashmiris were the most important and basic party to the dispute. He said, “Since bilateralism has failed to yield any positive results, we should move back and raise the issue at the UN as India has cheated us as they (Indians) are no more interested in discussing Kashmir at bilateral level talks”.
Kashmiris he said were not isolated, it were actually the Indians who have been peddling this myth that there were no more takers for Kashmiris’ freedom struggle but let me say that OIC the second largest world platform has always supported Kashmiris just cause and their struggle for right to self-determination. The AJK president said that had House of Commons too have made a demand for resolving the Kashmir issue.
Appreciating Kashmiri Diaspora community for promoting Kashmir cause he said, “The community has done marvelous job and there is need to mobilize the community and have leverage the full potential of the community settled in Europe, UK and other countries”. Regarding highlighting Kashmir issue at the upcoming session of the UN general assembly Khan observed that Kashmir should be principle element of Pakistan’s presentation at world forum (UNO).
In his opening remarks the JKCHR chairman Syed Nazir Gilani said that Kashmiris were worst victims of the decades’ long old conflict. He said that Indian army was using Kashmiri youth as human shield. As per the international law Gilani said that using unarmed civilians as human shields constitute a war crime. Referring to recent spate of violence in Kashmir he said that history of Jammu and Kashmir stands witness to the fact that since 1846 there was no such example of violence in recent history. Such kind of serious atrocities being inflicted upon the people of Kashmir he said were a potential threat to good community relations. He said that the government of Pakistan and AJK must tell the world that “this is now spilling over posing a threat to peace and security of the region”.
“Do Kashmiris have any kind of self-defense?”, Gilani said adding that this right has been taken away from Kashmiris by the United Nations. As for as Indian’s response to current situation and using of Kashmiri youth as human shields is concerned he said that India’s political, judiciary and military establishment has in unequivocal terms said that bullet was the only reply. He said that BJP leaders and even Indian generals have said that tying a Kashmir against jeep was no violence. He said that Kashmir Bar Association had filled a petition against the use pellet guns in Kashmir in the court of law but judiciary put a condition that if they stop youth from pelting stones, they will order government not to use pellet guns.
He said that was not it an ample evidence to prove it at international level that India forces were committing war crimes in Kashmir.
“Is not India at war with UN as it has failed to protect lives of common people in Kashmir”, Gilani said adding that as per the UNCIP resolutions India was duty bound to protect life, property and honor of the people of the region. Profiling of Kashmiri youth he said was yet another dangerous dimension of the conflict. He said that Maharaja of Kashmir imposed a 12 day curfew from 24 September to 5 October in 1931 whereas under the present regime the people in the Valley have endured several months of curfew.
Ghulam Muhammad Safi said Kashmiris were being killed, maimed, blinded and brutalized by Indian forces because they demand their right to self-determination.
Since United Nations recognizes Kashmiris’ peoples of right to self-determination he said there was a dire need that international community must respect Kashmiris verdict who he said have rejected elections held under Indian Election Commission. He said that it was the prime responsibility of international community to protect life and property of Kashmiris who have been reeling under state repression. “If International community fails in protecting the life and property of common masses in Kashmir then who will look after them, would it be the Indians who have illegally occupied Kashmir or the world community that has been watching the situation in Kashmir as a silent spectator”, he asked.