Dr. Ghulam Nabi Fai 25 Oct 2018
We are saddened to know the demise of Professor (Dr.) Oya Akgonenc, an intellectual, scholar and Turkish parliamentarian. She was a symbol of modesty and uprightness and a person of vision, a prolific writer, and above all, a kind person. She was a captivating personality for the people of Kashmir because of her long involvement with the cause.
In December 2017, I had a meeting with Ustaaz Recai Kutan, former Federal Minister of Energy and Natural Resources and the leader of Felicity Party. Ustaaz Kutan was the keynote speaker at First International Kashmir Conference that was held in Washington DC on July 13-14, 1991. During the meeting, Ustaaz Kutan told me that I must meet with Professor Akgonenc who is deeply involved in organizing seminars, meetings and conferences on the Kashmir dispute. He immediately asked his office to make an appointment so that I can meet her before my departure from Ankara. She was so kind to invite me to her home right away.
Upon my arrival, she along with her Husband, Dr. Mughisuddin stood up and welcomed me with fullest warmth. Would you like Turkish tea? She asked me. No, thank you. I came here just to meet with you. She did not take my ‘no’ as an answar. Within minutes, there was tea and coffee along with Turkish delights on the table.
During our meeting, which lasted for few hours, I found her very knowledgeable on the subject of Kashmir. I was very impressed to see the level of intellectual growth, reflecting her understanding of the approaches of the international diplomacy. She understood the long road ahead of laboring for the minds and hearts of people. She told me that Kashmir could move the world only by moral argument and peaceful advocacy to awaken the conscience of leaders and citizens everywhere.
I was pleasantly surprised when she defined the parameters about the talks. One, that the issue of Kashmir was about the right of self-determination; and second that the leadership of the people of Kashmir can never be sidelined in any final settlement. They should be the part of the negotiations with India and Pakistan, she emphasized.
We will never forget the contribution and the tireless efforts of Professor Akgonenc for the cause of Kashmir. And we are confident that the selfless, steady and conscientious efforts of her will never go in vain.
We miss her a lot. May Allah (s.w.t.) elevate her status as the guided person, comfort her in her grave, make her grave part of Jannatul Firdous and give Sabr to the family! Ameen.