The People of Kashmir Never Reconciled With Indian Rule

Washington, D.C. April 24, 2011. Lieutenant General Agha Muhammad Umer Farooq, President National Defence University (NDU), Islamabad was the chief guest at an event organized by Kashmiri American Council/Kashmir Center in Springfield, Virginia.

The NDU's mission is "to impart higher education in policy and strategy formulation at various tiers with emphasis on national security and defence23Apr11_01. It wants to achieve the excellence in academic and research pursuits in diversified disciplines to provide well thought out inputs on national security at strategic level, promoting the cause of a free, open and critical inquiry and scholarly debate in the service of society.”

In his address, Lt. Gen. Umer Farooq praised the people of Indian Occupied Kashmir for keeping the freedom movement alive despite the heavy odds and subjugation by hundreds of thousands ofIndian armed forces. The Indian army is responsible for many untold atrocities but one thing is quite clear that she could not break the will of the people for their right of self-determination. Yes, thefreedom struggle has gone through various phases, he added but the people of Kashmir never reconciled with Indian rule.

He reminded that the people of Kashmir had hoped that President Obama would make concerted effort to help settle the Kashmir dispute after President Obama mentioned that he would continue support of ongoing Indian Pakistani efforts to resolve Kashmir problem. But that promise was never fulfilled due to the influence of the resourceful Indian lobby in Washington, D.C.

He expressed his admiration to the Pakistani American and Kashmiri American community for being the ambassadors of peace in the United States for the cause of Kashmir. He said their participation in highlighting the issue of Kashmir at the international level couldn’t be forgotten by the people of Kashmir. And Pakistani Americans deserve the gratitude and appreciation of the people of Pakistan, he said.

23Apr11_03Lt. General Farooq also emphasized that issues of water scarcity and management continue to overwhelm the contemporary international scene, serving as a critical reminder in the evolving concept of national security. He said that it is widely debated that the future wars will be ‘water wars’. So is the critical need for evolving strategies for conflict management and exploring newer avenues for cooperation.

He suggested that in the South Asian context, the scholars ought to keep in view climatic change and unresolved political issues that impact on our habitat and provide us an impulse for strategic thought.

Dr. Pervaiz Iqbal Cheema, Dean, Faculty of Arts, NDU and a scholar of international repute said that Kashmir is one of the oldest disputes on the records of the United Nations. It was expected by many that it would loose its intensity over the years. This indeed has been proven wrong. On the contrary the recent developments inside Kashmir once again reinforced the notions that the Kashmiri peoples’ devotion towards the realization of their right to self-determination is as strong as it was in the beginning of the struggle. Indeed New Delhi has miserably failed to suppress the sentiments of the Kashmiri people.

Even after the passage of 64 years, one thing is becoming absolutely clear that the people of Indian Held Kashmir (IHK) are not reconciled with the Indian rule. They are as enthusiastic today to get rid of Indian yoke as they were in 1947. This is something which most nations of the world have gradually realized and have expressed their opinions in one form or the other.

It is a foregone conclusion that Kashmir dispute cannot be resolved unless India changes its attitude and policies. Undoubtedly the key to the dispute lies with the Indian authorities. Throughout the history of dispute the India has been engaged to de-link the dispute with UN and other international organizations. The underneath idea is to avoid the UN involvement and treat it as a bilateral issue which should only be resolved through bilateral efforts. This also implies that the accepted UN resolutions should be avoided.

It needs to be highlighted here that while the Indian authorities avoid mentioning of the already accepted UN resolutions, the other parties such as Pakistan and the Kashmiri leadership almost regularly refer to them as panacea for the desired resolution of the dispute.

Not only the cry of complete independence is clearly gaining momentum in the Indian Held Kashmir but even the United Nations and the United States also took notice of the deteriorating situation. Many Indians also recognize the gravity of the situation. Time has come that not only the great powers should intensify their efforts towards the resolution of this lingering dispute.

Dr. Ghulam Nabi Fai, Executive Director, Kashmiri American Council/Kashmir Center said that President Obama, President Sarkozy and Prime Minister Cameron wrote an Op-Ed in International Herald Tribune on April 15, 2011 where they mentioned that the contact group will support a solution to the crisis (in Libya) that respects the will of the Libyan people. Dr. Fai said that the Will of the People must prevail in all international situations. Fai said that when United Nations Security Council passed the resolution # 47 on April 21, 1948, it was supported by the United States, United Kingdom and France. That resolution says that the future of Kashmir must be ascertained in accordance with the wishes and the will of the people of the land.

Dr. Fai said that the attitude of the Libyan army on the streets of Benghazi and Misratha is no different than what is happening on the streets of Srinagar (Capitol City of Kashmir).23Apr11_07 The Indian military and paramilitary forces in Kashmir is using the brute force to crush the genuine and legitimate aspirations of the people of Kashmir for freedom and self-determination. Fai emphasized that even the State Department’s Country Report on Human Rights that was issued on April 8, 2011 says that “Estimates of the number of missing persons varied. Human rights organizations stated there were 8,000 to 10,000 people missing in custody in Jammu and Kashmir.”

We hope that the world powers will bring its influence to bear on both India and Pakistan to initiate a peace process with which the United Nations as well as the people of Jammu & Kashmir will be associated so as to ensure that settlement arrived at will be based on the principles of justice, Fai added.


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