JKDFP seminar urged UN to constitute a fact finding mission on Kashmir

Nisar Ahmed Thakur

Jammu and Kashmir Democratic Freedom Party (JKDFP) organized a seminar to pay tribute to veteran All Parties Hurriyat conference (APHC) leader Shabir Ahmed Shah for his unwavering commitment, indomitable role and peerless contribution towards the ongoing struggle for right to self-determination here at Islamabad.

In the light of the first-ever report issued by the Office of United Nations Human Rights Commission and the All Parties Parliamentary Kashmir Group of the UK parliament, speakers unanimously urged upon the United Nation Secretary-General António Guterres to constitute a fact finding mission to visit Kashmir to investigate the grave situation in the disputed territory. The seminar termed these reports as eye-opener for International Community and an indictment of New Delhi’s destructive & dodgy role in Kashmir.

Urging New Delhi to fully respect the right of self-determination of the people of Kashmir as protected under international law the seminar demanded establishment of commission of inquiry (CoI) as recommended by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in his report dated June 14 2018. The speakers also urged the International community and Human rights groups to play their due role in resolving the long drawn conflict, which they said was the main cause and consequence of rights violations in the region.

The seminar titled “The Freedom Struggle of Kashmir and role of Shabir Ahmed Shah” was presided over by Moulana Fazl-ur-Rehman the former chairman Pakistan’s Parliamentary Committee on Kashmir and addressed by JI-PaK Chief Dr. Khalid Mehmood, JUI-AJK leader Moulana M Yousuf, MC leader Sardar Usman Attique Khan, senior vice president Democratic Freedom Party Mehmood Ahmed Saghar, Syed Faiz Naqashbandi convener APHC-Pak chapter, Muhammad Farooq Rehmani, Ghulam Muhammad Safi, Moulana Ghulam Nabi Nowshahri, Dr. Syed Nazir Gilani, Syed Abdullah Gilani convener APHC-Pak chapter, Altaf Hussain Wani, Rafique Ahmed Dar, Aslam Malik, Abdul Mateen and several others.

Speakers on the occasion termed the founder and President of Jammu and Kashmir Democratic Freedom Party (JKDFP) Shabir Ahmed Shah as symbol of courage and perseverance who has spent half of his life in Indian jails, detention and interrogation centers. The speakers termed the arrest of JKDFP chairman and other APHC leaders by the Indian Enforcement Directorate as ultra-vires saying that the ED had no legal authority to arrest Kashmiri leaders. They paid eulogizing tributes to the subjugated but determined masses of Jammu and Kashmir for their resilience, courage and determination in the face of “Indian brutality and state-repression”. They also paid homage to Kashmiri martyrs who have laid down their precious lives in pursuit of the noble cause of freedom from Indian subjugation.

The speakers denounced in strong terms what they called the stepped up Indian state terrorism, genocide of Kashmiri youth and use of excessive force against civilians by Indian forces, arrest of minors under notorious Public Safety Act (PSA) and the recent spate of violence that had resulted in widespread destruction and death of over 500 Kashmiris during year 2018. They also lambasted the government of India for using National Investigation Agency as a tool to harass and humiliate Hurriyat leaders and their families.

Voicing their serious concern over the Indian naked aggression, unprovoked shelling on civilian population by Indian forces on the line of control (LoC) the speakers observed that the Indian government’s policy of deceit and deception and its hegemonic designs was as a direct threat to peace and stability in South Asia.

The seminar further acknowledges the fact that the right of self-determination was an inalienable and non-negotiable right of the people of Jammu and Kashmir, guaranteed to them by no less an authority than the United Nations. They stated that a just settlement of the Kashmir dispute in accordance with relevant Security Council resolutions is imperative for a lasting peace and stability in the South Asian region. Decrying India’s muscular policy on Kashmir the speakers made it clear that Kashmiris’ ongoing legitimate and indigenous political struggle for right to self-determination could not be suppressed in the guise of so-called terrorism mantra being paddled by India saying that India’s policy of intransigence was the biggest hurdle in peaceful settlement of the lingering Kashmir dispute.

Highlighting the legitimacy of Kashmiris’ struggle they said that Kashmir dispute was fundamentally a political and legal issue that needs to be addressed in its true legal and historical perspective. They realized that for any positive change to take place in Kashmir, India needs to reverse its current course, allow an unhindered access to international human rights organizations to investigate ongoing human rights violations in the region.

Ruling out a military solution to the Kashmir issue they said that India must acknowledge the ground reality and sit across the table with Pakistan and genuine representatives of the Kashmiri people to work out modalities for a peaceful settlement of the festering dispute. Hailing Pakistan’s continued political, moral and diplomatic support to Kashmir cause and its commitment to peaceful settlement of Kashmir dispute they urged the incumbent democratic dispensation of Pakistan to launch a vigorous campaign at the international level to sensitize the world about the appalling situation of human rights in the Indian Occupied Kashmir.

The speakers observed that for an effective Kashmir awareness campaign at International level the government and foreign office of Pakistan must identify articulate voices with an in-depth knowledge on the subject. Voicing their serious concerns over the massive troops’ concentration in Kashmir the speakers maintained that the UN Secretary General must ensure that Indian security forces are brought under three restraints i.e. behaviour, number and location as envisaged in the UNSC resolution of 21 April 1948.

The participants of the seminar called on international community particularly the UN to pressurize India to put an immediate halt to continued bloodshed, systematic violence and flagrant human rights violations in Kashmir, stop the blatant use of chemical weapons and pellet-firing shotguns, which they said have been responsible for blinding, killing and traumatizing people in Kashmir. The declaration sought revocation of all black laws granting sweeping impunity to Indian forces, restrictions on media, internet and social network and restoration of fundamental freedoms i.e. freedom of expression, freedom of religion, freedom of thought, freedom of belief, freedom of peaceful assembly and freedom of association in Kashmir.

Through another resolution the seminar sought safety and early release of Kashmiri prisoners languishing in jails, detention and interrogation centers in and outside occupied Jammu and Kashmir.

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