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Kashmir main cause of Kashmiris’ sufferings, instability in S. Asia: Shabbir Shah

Srinagar, June 02, 2016 (PPI-OT):The General Secretary of All Parties Hurriyet Conference and the President of Jammu and Kashmir Democratic Freedom Party, Shabbir Ahmed Shah, has said that unresolved Kashmir dispute is the main cause of sufferings of the Kashmiri people and continues threat to the South Asian peace and security.

Shabbir Ahmed Shah said this in a paper distributed during the two-day International Kashmir Seminar organized by the Mirpur University of Science and Technology (MUST) at Jinnah Convention Center in Islamabad. He stated that Kashmir was not a border or territorial dispute between Pakistan and India but an issue pertaining to the right to self-determination of more than 15 million Kashmiris.

Full text of the paper is as follows;

His Excellency, Vice Chancellor, Prof Dr Habib-ur-Rehman and other esteemed guests

Assalam u Alaikum Warahmat Ullah

May I, at the outset, express my profound gratitude to the organizers for arranging this conference; I hope this conference would be instrumental in analyzing different dynamics of the dispute that has now assumed a shape of a deadly conflict with far reaching consequences.

Ladies and Gentlemen:

Kashmir dispute is primarily the issue of right to self-determination of more than 15 million people of the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir. Kashmiris, as I mentioned earlier, are the worst victims of this deadly conflict; however, the issue involves life and future of billions of people of South Asia as it continues to bedevil relations between the two nuclear-armed rivals, besides posing a serious threat to peace, reconciliation, safety, security, stability and sustainable development in the region.

The decades-old dispute had led to three full-fledged wars between the two South Asian neighbours. The conflict in the highly volatile region could not be just ignored as it has the potential to trigger a nuclear confrontation between India and Pakistan that will not only have far reaching consequences on South Asia but it will jeopardize the prospects of peace and security in the entire world.

Ladies and Gentlemen:

The denial of the inalienable right to Kashmiri people by India has actually led to war hysteria and conflicting situation in the region that has pushed the entire South Asia into a quagmire of insecurity and uncertainty. Had this issue been resolved in line with the UN proposed road map there would have been no crisis whatsoever in the region today and South Asian, home to one fifth of humanity, should have been absolutely safe and secure. Like European Union, SAARC nations would have ushered in an era of peace, prosperity and economic stability and there would have been no bloodshed in Kashmir.

Ladies and Gentlemen:

Kashmiris are a peaceful nation and we have supported every diplomatic initiative to find out solution of the dispute through peaceful means. So far as the issue of Kashmir and its solution is concerned it has a legal international dimension and needs to be addressed accordingly bearing in mind the historical context of the dispute. It is neither a religious issue nor an issue of internal security. It is an internationally recognised political dispute and has to be resolved on the basis of universally acknowledged principle of right to self-determination. However, the issue has been hanging around there for last 68 years and it is very unfortunate that the world community failed to settle this long outstanding issue, whereas, it provided all out support to the people of East Timor and Darfor (South Sudan) to get their cherished goal.

The world powers’ lopsided approach and their policy of indifference towards the core issue of Kashmir is indeed a matter of great concern for the struggling people of Jammu and Kashmir who have rendered unprecedented sacrifices during the ongoing liberation struggle against India’s illegal occupation.

Since the outset of freedom movement in Kashmir, thousands of innocent people were mercilessly killed by Indian occupation forces. Massive human rights violations, extrajudicial killings, molestation of women, and discovery of thousands of mass graves in Kashmir are a harsh reminder of extremely brutal Indian state terrorism.

Ladies and Gentlemen;

Kashmir dispute has been occupying the attention of the world occasionally but ironically the sufferings of Kashmiri people continue unabated, there has been no let up, no respite in the agony, pain and sufferings of innocent Kashmiris and the bloodbath of civilians continues even today.

In order to suppress Kashmiris’ legitimate struggle and to strengthen its illegal occupation India had deployed over 700,000 military and paramilitary troops in the occupied territory that makes it the largest military concentration anywhere in the world. The ground situation in the region is exactly what the EU delegation very rightly said that Kashmir is the most beautiful prison in the world.

Ladies and Gentlemen

As far as our struggle for the realization of UN pledged right to self-determination is concerned, it is based on truth and justice and this movement has been nourished by the Kashmiri martyrs with their blood. As per the international covenants Kashmiris have every right to fight for their inalienable right which was guaranteed to them by no less important institution than the United Nations.

I would like to make it very clear that our movement is an indigenous peoples’ movement, our demand is simple and that is the implementation of UN resolutions on Kashmir. We want that the dispute be resolved on the basis of universally accepted principle of right to self-determination.

Ladies and Gentlemen

Rather than creating a conducive atmosphere to implement the relevant UN resolutions on Kashmir India always tried to suppress Kashmiris’ voice by using its military might. The respective governments of India imposed draconian laws like Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA), Public Safety Act (PSA), TADA and other black laws that provide a license to occupation forces to kill Kashmiri people.

Ladies and Gentlemen

Human rights violations in occupied Kashmir ranging from forced disappearances, killing of innocent and unarmed civilians, torture to political repression and electoral fraud and suppression of freedom of speech is a matter of grave concern. India on one hand tries to suppress the people’s movement by using brute force while on the other it has been trying to change the demography of Kashmir by settling non-Kashmiris in the Valley. India’s plan to settle the retired armed personnel and non-state subjects in the territory is in fact a big conspiracy against Kashmiris with far reaching social and political implications. I would like to make it clear that such Israeli-type settlements will be opposed tooth and nail by the people of Kashmir.

Ladies and Gentleman

As I mentioned earlier, Kashmiri leadership is not against talks, we do believe that dialogue is the civilized way to resolve disputes; However bearing the chequered history of South Asia in mind we believe that the UN proposed road map to settle the issue of Kashmir is the most feasible and viable solution of Kashmir dispute. Other than this Kashmiri leadership has suggested a tripartite dialogue involving all the key stakeholders to resolve this dispute but the dialogue has to be meaningful, time-bound and result-oriented. We believe that tripartite talks would lead to a just, equitable and honourable solution of the lingering dispute, which will be acceptable to all parties to the dispute. In this context, governments of India and Pakistan will have to empower people of Jammu and Kashmir thereby including Kashmiris’ genuine representatives in the talks process to make it a credible and result-oriented exercise.

Secondly India must bring an end to all cycles of violence in Kashmir, release political prisoners and revoke the draconian laws enforced in the territory.

India should also restore the right of peaceful association, assembly and demonstrations and let Kashmiri leadership travel abroad without any hindrance.

On this occasion, I appeal to the peace-loving nations to come forward in a big way to help resolve the Kashmir dispute to ensure peace and stability in South Asia.

Ladies and Gentlemen:

I would like to conclude my talk with Martin Luther’s famous quote “The tragedy is not the oppression and cruelty by the bad but silence over that by the good people”. With this I, once again, offer my brotherly thanks to all of you!

For more information, contact:
Kashmir Media Service
Email: info@kmsnews.org
Phone: 92-51-4435548, 4435549
Fax: 92-51-4861736

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