Pakistan Should Realize Its Responsibilities Regarding Kashmir: ISSI Seminar

Arif Qureshi

Islamabad: Institute of Strategic Studies Islamabad (ISSI) organized a seminar to take stock the prevailing situation of Human Rights violations in Indian controlled Kashmir here in Islamabad on Wednesday. There was consensus among the speakers that dialogue between India and Pakistan as imperative but at the same time was a dire need to raise the voice of peaceful struggle of people of Jammu Kashmir at the international forums besides lobbying within the Indian civil society. All the speakers were of the opinion that that Pakistan should not withdraw from its principle stance of the right of Kashmiris for self-determination.

The seminar having title “Human Rights, Youth and the Issue of Jammu and Kashmir” addressed by Cahirman Kashmir Committee, Moulana Fazl-ur-Rehman, Masood Khan the Director General ISSI, Senator Raja Zafarul Haq, Senator Lt. Gen. (Retd.) Abdul Qayyum, Ghulam Muhammad Safi Convenor All Parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC), Sheikh Tajamullul Islam, Chief Editor KMS, Muhammad Farooq Rehmani, Chairman Jammu Kashmir people League, Muhmmad Rafiq Dar spokesman JKLF, Dr. Seemia Raheel Qazi, Altaf Hussain Wani, Abdullah Gilani, Dr. Nazir Ahmed Gilani, Ershad Mehmood.

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In his inaugural address Director General Institute of Strategic Studies Islamabad (ISSI) Masood Khan said that Kashmiris have been subjected to atrocities since 1948 but human rights violations in the restive region stepped up alarmingly after 1990s. Commenting on the present movement started by the youth against the Indian aggression since Afzal Guru’s anniversary at Delhi University in early 2016, has generated a new enthusiasm for the right of self-determination in Kashmir, Masood Khan added.

Maulana Fazal-ur-Rehaman, chairman Kashmir committee said that the political application of the argument has lost its efficacy in world opinion since it is invariably associated with Pakistan’s security and economic interests. This dilemma must be understood and the issue must be talked about exclusively for Kashmiris.

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Senator Raja Zafarul Haq responding the suggestions of Masod Khan said Kashmiris’ struggle for right to self-determination was a just and legitimate struggle. He said the OIC had recently passed a comprehensive resolution on Kashmir Pakistan needs to highlight the dispute more proactively.

Sardar Mohammad Yaqoob Khan, the president of Pakistani administered Kashmir said that Kashmir movement cannot ever be compromised. He said that Kashmiris’ struggle was a just struggle and it should not be associated with terrorism. “Kashmiris’ demand is based on principles and the political parties of Pakistan must realize that they cannot ignore the Kashmir dispute.

APHC Azad Kashmir Chapter convener Ghulam Muhammad Safi said that during past several years may out of the box solutions were proposed to resolve the Kashmir tangle. He, however, said that Kashmiris have time and again rejected these imposed and ready-made solutions. “Kashmiris want nothing short of right to self-determination”, he said “Kashmiris will continue their struggle to materialize their cherished dream as it is now a matter of life and death but Pakistan has to decide how much importance it gives to Kashmir”, he concluded.

Sheikh Tajamulul Islam the director of Kashmir Media Service (KMS) suggested that UN can take a suo moto action on Kashmir provided the dispute was made a subject of chapter 7 of the UN. “As long as the issue is debated and discussed under chapter IV of the UN it will continue to remain a bilateral issue between the two countries.

Dr. Syed Nazir Ahmed Gilani said kashmiris have serious concern over the settlements of Indian citizen in Kashmir because Indians who are not allowed to enter without a formal permit is now being settled in the valley.

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Federal Minister Abdul Qadir Baloch suggested that a balance has to be created in the country between the opinions of those who want to have friendly relations with India, and those who want to keep Kashmir as their first priority. Regarding the HR situation in Kashmir Baloch said, “Every home in Kashmir and every individual have been affected”.

Senator Lt. Gen Abdul Qayyum emphasized that Kashmir remains to be one of the Pakistan’s core vital national interests. As a party to the dispute he said it is Pakistan’s responsibility to promote and project the Kashmir cause in the letter of the spirit of the UN charter which acknowledges peoples’ right to self-determination.

Dr. Samia Raheel Qazi while regretting the pathetic human rights condition in Kashmir said that the new connotations like ‘half widows’ and ‘half wives’ have surfaced in Kashmir that were agonizing and painful. Highlighting the importance of early resolution of K-dispute she said world can not run the risk nuclear confrontation in the region.

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