Washington, D.C. -: “The conflict in Indian Occupied Kashmir has acquired a new dimension. Since, July of last year, Kashmiri youth have taken the lead to press for their inalienable right to self-determination, a right guaranteed by the United Nations. The youth has taken to streets, paralyzing the unlawful local administration. They have made it abundantly clear that there is no turning back – this is a do or die phase of the long struggle for “Azadi” (freedom) after decades of the oppressive Indian rule,” said Barrister Sultan Mehmood Choudhry, the former Prime Minister of Azad Kashmir during a press conference in Washington Metro-Politian area.
Barrister warned that the deadly silence of the world powers over gruesome human rights abuses by the occupation forces in Kashmir has given India a virtual license to kill innocent Kashmiris. He insisted that Kashmiris are not opposed to bilateral India‑Pakistani talks if they advance the cause of peace, international law, and human rights. What is outrageous about asking that these talks be made meaningful by including the Kashmiri leadership?
Barrister Choudhary added that it was high time the government of India realizes that such a huge movement that has been there since 1947 and especially after 1990 is a peoples struggle. The government of India has to stop people viewing Kashmir from the prism of Pakistan. Pointing out that hundreds of thousands of people have been killed, tortured, jailed, and are missing, Barrister said that no struggle of such magnitude could be sponsored by an external party.
Dr. Ghulam Nabi Fai, Secretary General, World Kashmir Awareness Forum said that peace between India and Pakistan could help unlock another conflict with even higher stakes for the United States: the war in Afghanistan. Indeed, a growing chorus of experts has begun arguing that the road to Kabul runs through Kashmir — (The Road to Kabul Runs Through Kashmir, Jonathan Tepperman, Newsweek, February 10, 2010.) that the U.S. will never stabilize the former without peace in the latter. Suddenly, bringing India and Pakistan together seems to be very much in America’s interest. Which makes the Trump administration’s determination to avoid the issue increasingly hard to fathom.
The people of Kashmir do not wish anybody to take a partisan side. Kashmiris are convinced, nevertheless, that impartial observers would support the Kashmir cause based on universal principles, democratic values, rule of law and international justice. It is high time that all concerned parties — India, Pakistan and the Kashmiri leadership — sit together and chalk out a strategy for the sake of peace and stability in the region of South Asia. Because ultimately, the negotiations, not violence, is the only way to resolve the Kashmir conflict, and that Kashmiris cannot be excluded from the negotiating table if a peace process is to be serious, meaningful and result-oriented.
The event was sponsored by Sardar Zulfiqar Roshan Khan, Irfan Tassaduq Khan and Sardar Zubair Khan.