Thursday, September 23, 2010


Text of the Statement of Dr. Ghulam Nabi Fai Executive Director Kashmiri American Council / Kashmir Center Washington, before OIC Contact Group Meeting on Jammu & Kashmir at The United Nations, New York.
September 22, 2010
Mr. Chairman, Mr. Secretary General, Excellencies, Ladies & Gentlemen,
I am enormously grateful for the opportunity to address this OIC Contact Group Meeting on Jammu & Kashmir.
The people of Kashmir would like to express their gratitude to brotherly member states of the OIC Contact Group for their steadfast unwavering support extended to them in their struggle for the right of self-determination.
We are also deeply appreciative of the efforts that Your Excellency in your capacity as the OIC Secretary General have made to effectively project international concern over the Jammu and Kashmir dispute.
The Kashmir question is one of the oldest unresolved international problems in the world. The experience of nearly six decades has shown that it will not go away and that an effort is urgently required to resolve it on a durable basis. It is imperative, whatever be the rights and wrongs in the equation as far as arguments go, real populations with a pronounced sense of identity of their own, with their suffering aspirations rather than just legal title and merit are involved.
Excellencies, today, I stand here to remind you that the human rights situation in Indian Occupied Kashmir has not changed despite the peace talks between India and Pakistan. Today, the people of Jammu & Kashmir are experiencing the horrors of state-sponsored terrorism on daily basis: extrajudicial killings that surpass 100,000 in the last two decades,108 within the past two months, including 18 civilian death on September 13, 2010, rape, torture, arbitrary detentions, and ruthless suppression of political expression. Pankaj Mishra, an Indian scholar wrote in the Daily Guardian on August 15, 2010 that "the killing fields of Kashmir dwarf those of Palestine and Tibet."
Today, Kashmir continues to bleed. This has caused a renewed outpouring of the revolt against occupation. Under unparalleled concentration of over 700,000 Indian military forces, there is a deliberate targeting of youth with the intent to crush the movement against military occupation.
Apart from magnitude of violence by the military forces, the most poignant aspect of the situation is the acute suffering of the whole population caused by the frequent curfews, disregard of normal life, arrests, detentions and sometimes disappearances of innocent civilians by the authority. This is a situation without precedent in the South Asian subcontinent and few parallels in the world today.
Far from seeking to rectify its atrocious human rights record, India has legalized its state-sponsored terrorism in Kashmir. It has given its occupation forces powers to shoot to kill and the license to abuse the people of Kashmir in whatever ways they like in order to suppress the popular movement for self-determination. These tactics have no military purpose whatsoever. Their only imaginable purpose is to terrorize a people into submission.
The phenomenon of unstopped and unpunished barbarities is being witnessed in Kashmir.
The irony is that the impunity that is thus being granted to the violator of human rights is not in the context of a new dispute. It is being allowed to arise and to persist in a territory which, under international law, is not part of any member state of the United Nations and whose status is yet to be determined through a free and impartial plebiscite under supervision and control of the United Nations.
Excellencies, as long as the international community allows India to hide its atrocities in Kashmir, there would be no end to the ever-increasing gross and consistent violations of human rights in that unfortunate land. As long as India is successful in isolating Kashmir from the rest of the world, they will not only continue to trample the Kashmiris’ basic rights and freedoms but will also block all peaceful processes for the restitution and restoration of these rights and freedoms.
The solution of Kashmir is both urgent and vital. It has a far more populous and strategic area than other trouble spots in the world. The pain felt by the people of Kashmir is no less devastating than that felt by the people of Haiti. The nuclear tinderbox in South Asia is no less threatening than in Korea. The mass rapes by the Indian occupation forces are no less humiliating in Kashmir than in Bosnia. The torture and imprisonment in Indian Occupied Kashmir is no less intense as it is in Myanmar. In fact the pain, suffering and humiliation in Kashmir s intensified because the people of Kashmir have been under Indian occupation for over 63 years.
Excellencies, the people of Kashmir urge this august gathering to persuade Government of India to initiate the Kashmir centric CBM’s, including:
i. Allowing the people of Kashmir to freely express their political views;
ii. Releasing all political prisoners, including Shabir Ahmed Shah & Mian Abdul Qayyum;
iii. Repealing draconian laws;
iv. Withdrawing the troops from urban areas and city centers;
v. Dismantling bunkers from the villages and towns;
vi. Allowing Kashmiri political leaders to travel abroad.To conclude, I would once again re-assure the international community that we stand for peaceful resolution of Kashmir dispute in accordance with the aspirations of the people in line with international agreements and commitments by both India and Pakistan at the United Nations.
Excellencies, I want to express my deep appreciation for your indulgence and patient hearing. I thank you.


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