Washington, D.C. August 8, 2017. “We talk about plebiscite in Kashmir which was agreed by the world body and that’s only way forward to settle the Kashmir dispute. The UN and other peace loving countries must play their role to persuade both India and Pakistan to fulfill these internationally accepted pledges and promises,” this was stated by Abid Khurshid, President Kashmir Journalists Forum, Islamabad during an event hosted by Raja Liaqat Kiyani, Chairman, Kashmir House, Washington. Khurshid while appreciating the selfless efforts of Kiyani Sahib said that Raja has organized receptions for all Kashmiri political parties and intellectuals irrespective of their political affiliations.
Khurshid elaborated that the peace process and human rights in Kashmir cannot be separated. They will succeed or fail together. He hopes to count on moral suasion and pricked conscience of American leadership to push success forward. He pointed out that it was a difficult situation that we are facing with constant firing across the Line Of Control. These relentless firings of Indian army across LoC have rendered countless people disabled in Azad Kashmir.
Khurshid warned that the government of India has to stop viewing Kashmir conflict from the prism of Pakistan. It was time India realizes that the Kashmiri resistance movement that was initiated in 1990, is a popular peaceful peoples struggle.
Dr. Ghulam Nabi Fai, Secretary General, World Kashmir Awareness Forum while saluting the goodwill and intent of Kiyani Sahib said that Kashmir represents a Government’s repression not of a secessionist or separatist movement but of an uprising against foreign occupation, an occupation that was expected to end under determinations made by the United Nations. The situation has been met with studied unconcern by the United Nations that has given a sense of total impunity to India. All the peculiarities of the Kashmir situation become more baffling in view of the fact that the mediatory initiative which would halt the violations of human rights and set the stage for a solution would entail no deployment of the troops of the United States, no financial outlays and no adversarial relations between United States and India, Fai said.
Professor Imtiaz Khan, President, Kashmiri American Council said Kashmir being a nuclear flash point should be a major interest of the world powers to prevent this dispute from exploding into a conflict which can be catastrophic for a large proportion of the human race. Yet, ever since the start of the popular uprising in 1990 against alien military occupation, United States has remained unmoved by the killings of tens of thousands of innocent civilians in Kashmir. We are not asking military intervention. Neither are we asking for rugged economic sanctions. We are asking only that the United States exercise its high international bully pulpit to reproach or condemn India for its chilling human rights record in Kashmir as part of a campaign of moral suasion and transparency in the disputed territory.
Sardar Zarif Khan condemned India’s detention of many political leaders of Hurriyet Conference to punish their successful and peaceful campaign against Indian occupation. Such peaceful political protest is a time-honored and celebrated form of freedom of speech and association recognized by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Hamid Malik said that India makes no apologies for its human rights transgressions in Occupied Kashmir. An ostrich like methodology will not resolve the oldest conflict of Kashmir which is pending for the last 70 years in the United Nations Security Council.
Sardar Zubair Khan said that if international agreements mean anything, then Indian Government must release unconditionally all political prisoners and terminate house arrest of Syed Ali Geelani, Mohammad Yasin Malik, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, Musarat Alam and many others.
Raja Liaqat Kiyani while thanking the audience for their participation pointed out that the continued occupation has turned Kashmir into a prison. Today the situation in Kashmir presents a grave danger not only to the regional stability but also to international peace and security.
Sardar Zulfiqar Roshan Khan moderated the event.
Others who spoke included: Sardar Asghar Khan, Sardar Zahid Khan, Sardar Zahoor Khan, Irfan Khan, Ishaq Sharif, Khalid Mehmood, Shafiq Shah and others.