In his key-note address, Ambassador Munir Akram said that this was to mark the fifth of January 1949, when the UNCIP adopted the resolution, promising the right of self-determination to the people of Jammu and Kashmir through the holding of an impartial plebiscite under auspices of the United Nations. This resolution and subsequent resolutions of the Security Council concerning the final disposition of Jammu and Kashmir and the provisions of the resolution were accepted by all parties to the conflict.
They are binding on both Pakistan and India. Unfortunately, over the course of the last 73 years, India has failed to implement these resolutions of the Security Council. First, by resorting to various forms of obfuscation, and deviousness and delay, and later, through a campaign of massive oppression which in the course of a 10-year period, from 1989 to 1999, killed over 100,000 Kashmiris martyred and brought untold suffering to Indian occupied Kashmir. The latest ploy by India is to impose its unilateral measures from 5 August 2019 when it sought to obliterate its statehood. These acts were aimed at destroying the state of Kashmiris’ distinct identity to induct 900,000 troops to oppress the freedom struggle of its people; to change the demography of Jammu and Kashmir; and transform it from a Muslim majority state to a minority territory of the Indian government.
Ambassador Akram further emphasized that Pakistan was of course, entirely, and fully committed to the freedom struggle of the Kashmiri people from the outset and since five August 2019. Pakistan has also put together a detailed dossier, which lists over 3400 specific crimes committed by Indian security forces in occupied Jammu and Kashmir and have called for these persons responsible for these crimes to be held accountable.
Ambassador Akram added that the Prime Minister of Pakistan, Mr. Khan, has set out the conditions for the resumption of dialogue with India. And the conditions are three: First, Halt in India’s human rights violations in occupied Jammu and Kashmir. Secondly, the immediate cancellation of all the unilateral measures taken by India post August 2019; and third, reverse the process of demographic change in Jammu and Kashmir
Dr. Ghulam Nabi Fai, Secretary General, World Kashmir Awareness Forum said that Kashmir was the oldest unresolved international conflict still pending on the agenda of the Security Council. And that Kashmir was the only international dispute where the solution of the conflict – right to self-determination — was suggested by the parties themselves, India and Pakistan.
Fai cited the example by quoting Mahatma Gandhi, the father of the nation of India who said on 29 July 1947 in Delhi, “I am not going to suggest to the Maharaja (Ruler of Kashmir) to accede to India and not to Pakistan. The real sovereign of the state are the people. The ruler is a servant of the people.” “Kashmir would belong to the Kashmiris.” Fai also quoted columnist Swaminathan Aiyar of New Delhi wrote in The Times of India “We promised Kashmiris a plebiscite six decades ago. Let us hold one now, and give them three choices: independence, union with Pakistan, and union with India. Let Kashmiris decide the outcome, not the politicians and armies of India and Pakistan.”
“Much is being made of the fact that seven decades have passed since the principled solution was formulated by the United Nations with almost universal support. Mere passage of time or the flight from realities cannot alter the fact that these resolutions remain unimplemented until today. The United Nations resolutions can never become obsolete or overtaken by events or changed circumstances. The passage of time cannot invalidate an enduring and irreplaceable principle – the right of self-determination of the people of Kashmir, Fai explained.
Fai made an appeal to the Secretary General of the UN to persuade India to take four steps. 1. Rescind Domicile Law which was designed to change the demography of Kashmir; 2. Release all political prisoners, including Yasin Malik, Khurram Parvez, Shabir Shah, Aasia Andrabi, Masarat Alam and others; 3. Repeal all special repressive laws; and 4. Restore the rights of peaceful association, assembly and demonstrations.
Ms. Victoria Schofield, British biographer and historian said that our aim as we know is to show solidarity on the occasion of the Kashmiris’ right to self-determination day – in the light of the UNCIP resolution of 5 January 1949. It goes without saying that I condemn all human rights abuses – the longer the issue remains unresolved the higher the statistics…the more dangerous globally the issue becomes and the more people suffer.
Again – Ms. Schofield added, putting the resolution in its historical context – two prior resolutions – one passed by the Security Council in April 1948 and the other by the recently established UNCIP in August 1948 – had already endorsed this process. The 5 January 1949 resolution was meant to resolve aspects of disagreement which had already arisen and then move forward to resolution. What is the resolution’s significance today, she asked, in relation to the inhabitants’ right of self-determination? I would suggest, together with the other key resolutions, that it still establishes the necessary principle of consultation, of reference to the people, of self-determination.
So, considering where we are today – and appraising ‘the right of the Kashmiris to self-determination in the light of UNCIP resolution of 5 January 1949,’ – it is important that we learn the history, we understand why the resolution was passed, what the context was, and why it failed. We also have to move on. But that does not mean forgetting the Kashmir issue or setting it aside. We have a voice, we have a pen, we need to continue to highlight the situation so that the inhabitants of Jammu and Kashmir can enjoy, like us, in the privileged western world, the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, Victoria explained.
Dr. S. H. Shaheed Soharwardi, Professor of International Relations at Peshawar University said United Nations resolutions adopted by the Security Council, be it Palestine or Kashmir need to be implemented. Human rights standards should be the perquisite for any member country to maintain the status at the United Nations. Those who are violating the international agreements need to be banned from joining any session of the United Nations General Assembly or the Security Council.
India is involved in human rights violations, Dr. Soharwardi added, including extrajudicial killings in Kashmir. India is using all methods to change the demography of Kashmir, be it land grabbing, allowing non-Kashmiris to settle in Kashmir. Human Rights Council needs can be instrumental in handling the situation there.
Dr. Soharwardi explained that the United Nations has to play a role to persuade member countries to abide by its Charter and other relevant Security Council resolutions, whether in Palestine or Kashmir. In order to avoid more human tragedy, UN must initiate peace talks over Kashmir. United Nations has played a very important role, particularly in East Timor which gives us hope that if it can happen in East Timor, it can happen in Kashmir too. World powers need to settle the Kashmir issue for the sake of international peace and security.
Dr. Halil Thoker, Professor at Istanbul University, Turkey said that he felt embarrassed, as a human being, of the fact that after 75 years since the Occupation of Jammu and Kashmir by Indian Army and after 73 years since 5th January resolution of 1949 by the UNSC, we are here together again and discussing how a nation’s right of self-determination has been denied and how a nation is being subjugated to live under inhuman conditions created by an occupation force.
As a human being and a human right activist whenever I look at the Kashmir problem, naturally, I see a problem from the Human rights perspective. So I started going through the human right reports and other resources so that I may present more reliable information. However, when I went through and found the human right abuses in Kashmir and crimes against Kashmiri people, I thought it will be better to take a look at UN Charters and concerning papers about the human right abuses, Dr. Thoker emphasized.
Thoker explained that he was not a lawyer, nor an expert of international relations, nevertheless, when he read the Article 7 of Roma Statue concerning “crime against humanity” and Article 8 of Geneva Conventions and Additional Protocol II concerning “war crimes”, without any hesitation his logic had it connected the crimes committed by Indian Forces in Kashmir to those Articles 7 and 8 of UN regulations.
In short, the situation in Kashmir is alarming and the rest of world should act against the inhuman offenses committed against the people of Kashmir. As the members of human race, we should declare that human right violations in the Occupied Jammu and Kashmir are not acceptable, and the right of Self Determination of Kashmiri people must be respected and United Nation resolutions must be implemented as soon as possible.
Lars Rise, Norwegian parliamentarian said that the United Nations Security Council resolutions stemming back to 1948 and expressly endorsed by both India and Pakistan mandate a self‑determination referendum for Kashmir administered by the United Nations. Negotiations between India and Pakistan have failed to break the logjam for an equally long period. It is time to recognize the true Kashmiri leadership should be recognized as the principal party to the dispute. It was a glaring mistake from the outset in 1948 to exclude Kashmiris from discussions over their future destiny.
Lars Rise emphasized that he never considered the Kashmir conflict a territorial dispute between India and Pakistan. It is the issue of the right of self-determination that was promised to the people of Kashmir by both India and Pakistan and endorsed by the United Nations Security Council. Modi, Lars Rise added is violating all international conventions. We must call Modi what he is – a criminal – who even banned the Missionaries of Mother Teressa Charity.
Norway, he added, being the member of the Security Council in 2022 can play a role in the right direction. He still believed that appointment of a special envoy on Kashmir could bring the parties together and that it was time that both India and Pakistan realize that until the people of Kashmir are included in the peace process, any negotiations between these two neighbours may not lead them to any logical conclusion.
Muzzammil Ayub Thakur, Director, Justice Foundation said as we remember this day as the Right to Self Determination Day, I’d like to remind everyone the urgency of achieving self-determination for the people of Indian occupied Kashmir. Right to self-determination will always remain relevant but the precondition to that is not just the end, but the reversal of India’s settler colonial project to force demographic change. Since 5th August 2019, India have taken many steps towards fulfilling their promise of an Akhand Bharat, a pan Hindu nation.
Muzzammil warned that Genocide watch issued an alert 2 years ago, warning genocide is imminent. Bear in mind modern genocides and ethnic cleanings don’t necessarily happen by bullets and tanks and missiles. Modern Indian fascism has paved the path to accomplishing their agenda of a pan Hindutva nation.
The youth of Kashmir, Muzzammil added, have announced that no compromise on principles and ideology. The intellectual and ideological lines of demarcations have been drawn. They have sacrificed far too much to sit on a fence and appease everyone.
We must devise a plan for sustainability of this resistance, fostering a new generation of leaders, thinkers, writers, activists, strategists etc, willing to give up everything as I have. Space needs to be filled by the new generation, well equipped and adept in the modern world. Our enemies are organised, and they evolve and adapt quickly. We must too, Muzzammil observed.
Muzdalfa, British Kashmiri youth representative said yet again, we are witnessing another anniversary of the non‑implementation of the Security Council resolution on Kashmir. It’s been 73 years since self‑determination plebiscite in the disputed territory of Jammu & Kashmir remains unfulfilled. Self-determination is one of the fundamental rights codified in all major human rights instruments as well as the United Nations Charter. The denial of this right and subjugation of Kashmiris is the very negation of human dignity.
Muzdalfa emphasized that in these seven decades, we have seen Kashmir becoming one of the most militarized zones in the world, where Indian occupation forces have committed massive human rights violations, that have been documented in two reports of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in 2018 and 2019. India’s continuous aggression against the Kashmiri people shows that peace could only be restored by a free and fair self‑determination plebiscite. Therefore, Secretary General of the United Nations should call India out for its inhuman actions taken in IIOJK and fulfill its obligation of holding a free and impartial plebiscite, to let the Kashmiris exercise their right to self-determination.
Towards the end, Mr. Raees Warsi read an emotional poem specifically for the occasion.
One more promise given to Kashmiris at the United Nations
Washington, DC. November 19, 2023
The United Nations Third Committee (Social, Humanitarian and Cultural) during its 55th meeting on November 17, 2023, approved a draft resolution on the universal realization of the right of peoples to self-determination. According to the text, the Assembly would call on those States responsible to cease military interventions in and occupation of foreign countries and territories, as well as the brutal methods employed against the populations. Under the terms of the draft resolution, the General Assembly would reaffirm the universal realization of the rights of all peoples, including those under colonial, foreign and alien domination, to self-determination as a fundamental condition for the effective guarantee and observance of human rights.
Dr Ghulam Nabi Fai, Chairman,‘World Forum for Peace and Justice’ said “This is one more promise given to the people of occupied lands, including Kashmir that cannot be kept. If promises are made to be broken, then Kashmir may be summoned to prove the treacherous proposition. Broken promises haunt Kashmir’s history and explain its tragedy.
And, if we were to judge the United Nations based on its history of involvement in efforts to resolve international conflicts, Dr Fai added, the simplest answer is that it has been an enormous failure. Counted among the greatest failures of the UN are dozens, in particular, Srebrenica, a town in eastern Bosnia; Rwanda; Palestine and Kashmir. In context, Kashmir cannot be ignored, perhaps for no other reason than the conflict there has gone on for 76 years and seems destined to continue as long as the 900,000 Indian military and paramilitary forces continue to occupy the region. The potential for genocide remains a very real threat as warned by Dr. Gregory Stanton, Chairman, Genocide Watch.
“With the lapse of British paramountcy on Aug. 15, 1947, broken promises over Kashmir came not like single spies but in battalions, to borrow from Hamlet. Princely states enjoyed three options: accession to India, accession to Pakistan or independence. But the choice, according to Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and tacitly endorsed by the Mountbatten British Viceroy was to be made by popular referendum in cases where the creed of the ruler varied from the religion of the majority. That promise was never kept,” Fai explained.
India then raced to the United Nations Security Council on Jan.1, 1948, and championed a pair of resolutions on Aug. 13, 1948, and Jan. 5, 1949, that prescribed a self-determination vote for Kashmiris on the heels of U.N. supervised demilitarization. That promise was also broken.
Promises were made by India in 1966, (Tashkent Declaration), and 1972, (Shimla Agreement) to negotiate seriously over Kashmiri’ssovereignty. But nothing was done. One more broken promise can be laid at the feet of the UN Security Council which has never exerted any moral or other clout to even nudge India toward compliance with its resolutions. The train of broken promises over Kashmir might be forgiven if the consequences were innocuous or inconsequential. But I submit the opposite is the case. India exerts an iron-fisted rule over Kashmir that would stir the heart of Genghis Khan.
Fai expressed frustration at the lack of initiative at the United Nations. It seems that the UN Security Council has honoured India’s indefensible defence of its Kashmir broken promises because of its muscular military, nuclear and economic profile and hegemony in South Asia.
Now, listen to Ambassador A. Gopinathan, Deputy Permanent Representative of India to the United Nations who said at the Third Committee that,” India is fully committed to the universal realisation of the right of peoples to self-determination as enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations and the international Covenants on human rights, as well as in the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples contained in General Assembly resolution 1514 of 14 December 1960.”
All was going well so far. Then suddenly, Ambassador Gopinathan realised that he could not win the hearts and minds of the people of Kashmir if they were given the right to self-determination. Recognizing that the people of Kashmir would never freely vote for accession to India, he contrived an excuse, and said, “In today’s world self-determination implies the right of participation in freely-held elections by all sections of society.”
Finally, Dr. Fai suggested that it is high time that the United Nations try to make a constructive departure. The best point for doing so is to restore the focus where it originally belonged and where it still rests logically viz: the rights and interests of the people of all zones of the State of Jammu & Kashmir itself. No sleight of hand is required, no subtle concepts are to be deployed, and no ingenious deal needs to be struck between India and Pakistan. What is needed is going back — yes, going back — to the point of agreement which historically existed beyond doubt between India and Pakistan and jointly resolving to retrieve it with such modifications as proposed by the Kashmir leadership – the tripartite negotiations between India, Pakistan and the genuine leadership of the people of the State of Jammu & Kashmir.
Torture is a Universal Sin and a Crime against Humanity
The Committee against Torture opened its seventy-eighth session in Geneva on October 30 and will continue until November 24, 2023. The body of 10 independent experts is headed by Dr. Claude Heller of Mexico. The Committee will examine the implementation of the ‘Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment’ by its States parties.
It is worth mentioning here that the Convention against ‘Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment’ was adopted on December 10, 1984. It entered into force on June 26, 1987. Article 1, of the Convention, reads, “For the purposes of this Convention, the term “torture” means any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining from him or a third person information or a confession, punishing him for an act he or a third person has committed or is suspected of having committed, or intimidating or coercing him or a third person, or for any reason based on discrimination of any kind when such pain or suffering is inflicted by or at the instigation of or with the consent or acquiescence of a public official or other person acting in an official capacity.”
Dr Alice Jill Edwards (Australia), United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture told the United Nations Third Committee, “There is a persistent accountability gap for torture and ill-treatment worldwide, caused in part by the systemic denial, deliberate obstruction and purposeful evasion of responsibility by public authorities.” She added, “when a State fails to defend truth and justice, it becomes an accomplice in torture. Some States wrongly perceive criminal investigations into torture as a direct attack on their legitimacy. On the contrary, what threatens governmental legitimacy is impunity.”
Human Rights Watch (HRW) talks about torture in these words, “The prohibition against torture is a bedrock principle of international law. Torture, as well as cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment, is banned at all times, in all places, including in times of war. No national emergency, however dire, ever justifies its use.”
So, Torture is a universal sin and a crime against humanity. Torture with impunity, nonetheless, is widespread in the disputed territory of Kashmir. The abuses are so extensive as to extend beyond those directly affected, reaching every man, woman, and child in the Valley of Kashmir. The civilians live under the constant threat of abuse. The overwhelming presence of 900,000 Indian military and paramilitary forces serves as a constant reminder to Kashmiris that they are not free people, but a people subjugated and enslaved against their will.
India has authorized a police state reminiscent of the Gestapo in Kashmir. The Jammu and Kashmir Public Safety Act, The Armed Forces Special Powers Act, The Disturbed Areas Act, The Unlawful Activities Prevention Act are illustrative. Generally speaking, these laws empower the Indian military and paramilitary forces in Kashmir to arrest, detain, torture, search, wiretap, tr, and punish without material restraints.”
Tens of thousands of Indian officials are guilty of war crimes in Kashmir. These crimes include willful killing, torture, rape, wanton destruction of civilian properties and maiming of innocent civilians. These brutalities are commonplace in Kashmir and have been verified by numerous impartial human rights NGOs.
Ms. Arundhati Roy, an internationally acclaimed novelist of India wrote, “The documentation of instances of torture, disappearances, custodial deaths, rape and gang-rape (by security forces in Kashmir) is enough to make your blood run cold. The fact that despite all this India retains its reputation as a legitimate democracy in the international community and amongst its own middle class is a triumph.”
Dr. Juan E. Mendez, Former United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture and Professor of Human rights Law in Residence at American University, Washington, Dc wrote about the ‘Torture Report on Kashmir’, “Hopefully, a serious debate among the Indian public about this report will prompt the national authorities to take the matter of torture seriously and establish effective control and to act as a more responsible global citizen and cooperate with the human rights machinery at the United Nations.”
Aljazeera reported that “Human Rights bodies say India uses torture as ‘instrument of control’ to quash rebellion in Indian-administered Kashmir.”
Amnesty International reported, “The Indian government must take urgent steps for the protection of the people of Kashmir…Indian government’s historical failure to protect the people of Kashmir will keep feeding into this never-ending cycle of abuses and impunity.”
The United States, Department of States, 2022 Country Report on Human Rights Practices in India says, “According to human rights NGOs, police used torture, other mistreatment, and arbitrary detention to obtain forced or false confessions.”
Edmund Burke wrote that all that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men and women to do nothing. Bishop Desmond Tutu lectured that “Apathy in the face of systematic human rights violations is immoral. One neither supports justice and freedom or one supports injustice and bondage.”
Let me also tell you that even in today’s violent world, the behaviour of the Indian occupation regime in Kashmir is singular in so far as it has enjoyed total impunity from the restraint imposed through international action or persuasions. No word of disapproval, much less condemnation, has been uttered by the international community. There has not been a call on India to cease and desist from the murderous course it has chosen for itself in Kashmir. Such passivity, such unfeeling and indifference, let no one blame the Kashmiris for concluding, amounts to encouragement of tyranny.
Does anyone seriously believe that if the ICC statue were ratified by India, a single Indian soldier or civilian official would ever be prosecuted before the ICC? Of course, NOT. India has sneered at international law for decades, and the international community has yawned, whether the violations were in Kashmir or with minorities within India. Although not contrary to international law, India showed itself utterly contemptuous of international moral sentiments. It stands proudly outside the mainstream of international conventions.
And the Biden Administration would do nothing to call India to account. The United Nations Security Council has sat on its hands for over 76 years over Kashmir. President Biden stood mute when he met Prime Minister Modi at the White House on June 22, 2023, and then at G20 meeting on September 9, 2023, in New Delhi, India.
He never paid any attention to the warning of Dr. Gregory Stanton, Chairman, Genocide watch who said that Kashmir was at the brink of genocide and New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists that the news media in Kashmir was at the brink of extinction. I still believe that President Biden will tell Prime Minister Modi to lead with the power of example and NOT the example of power to resolve the Kashmir conflict for the sake of international peace and security.
Dr Ghulam Nabi Fai is the Chairman World Forum for Peace and Justice
OIC Contact Group on Jammu and Kashmir on the sidelines of the 78th session of the UN General Assembly
The OIC Ministerial Meeting of the Contact Group on Jammu and Kashmir was held on September 20, 2023, at the United Nations headquarters, in New York on the sidelines of the 78th session of the United Nations General Assembly. The meeting was chaired by Mr Hissein Brahim Taha, the Secretary General of the OIC. It was attended by the foreign ministers and senior officials of Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Azerbaijan, Niger and representative of the people of Jammu and Kashmir.
The ministers reaffirmed their support to the people of Jammu and Kashmir in their struggle to achieve the right of self-determination that was promised to them by the United Nations. The ministers also expressed their fervent desire to see an immediate end to the sufferings of the people of Kashmir so that conditions are created for a sustained and meaningful dialogue between Pakistan, India and the leadership of the people of Kashmir.
Ambassador Jalil Abbas Jilani, the foreign minister of Pakistan apprised the members of the Contact Group about the deteriorating and serious situation in Indian-occupied Kashmir, saying that “The current Indian leadership is bent upon perpetuating India’s occupation of Jammu & Kashmir.” He warned the members of the Contact Group that newly enacted laws are designed to change the demography of Kashmir. Otherwise, why India has issued millions of domicile certificates to Indian citizens to settle in Kashmir, he asked?
The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Prince Faisal bin Farhan bin Abdullah, participated today in the meeting of the Contact Group on Jammu and Kashmir organized by the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), on the sidelines of the 78th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA 78). Addressing the meeting, Prince Faisal bin Farhan said the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia stands by the Muslim people in maintaining their Islamic identity and preserving their dignity. The foreign minister also reiterated the Kingdom’s support to the afflicted people in areas witnessing conflicts and unrest, including the people of the Jammu and Kashmir region.
Saudi Foreign Minister added that the Jammu and Kashmir issue constitutes one of the pressing challenges facing the security and stability of the region, the foreign minister said, warning that leaving the issue unresolved will contribute to regional instability. The Kingdom is exerting unremitting effort to mediate between the parties of the conflict in order to reduce escalation and achieve calm and a peaceful settlement to the issue in accordance with the relevant international resolutions, the foreign minister said. Such efforts emanate from the Kingdom’s unwavering stance in support of Islamic peoples. Deputy Minister for International Multilateral Affairs Dr. Abdulrahman Al-Rassi and Director-General of the Office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs Abdulrahman Al-Dawood attended the meeting.
Dr. Ghulam Nabi Fai, representing the people of Jammu and Kashmir conveyed the gratitude of the people to brotherly member states of the OIC Contact Group for their steadfast and unwavering support extended to them in their struggle for the right of self-determination.
Dr. Fai added that the issue of Indian-occupied Kashmir continues to be unresolved and the international community has almost relinquished and retracted from the promise that was made to them in 1948. – the promise of the right of self-determination under the auspices of the United Nations. To break the will of the people of Kashmir, India has deployed over 900,000 soldiers fully armed and with unlimited powers under the draconian Kashmir-specific laws which have wreaked havoc in the region. The atrocities inflicted on the hapless Kashmiris have been documented by Indian and international human rights organizations, like Amnesty International, and Human Rights Watch, including a 47-page report issued by the United Nations High Commissioner on Human Rights.
The following nine recommendations were made by Dr. Fai to the OIC Contact Group in Jammu and Kashmir for immediate action.
2. OIC must persuade the United Nations to convey to the Government of India to rescind the Domicile Law which is designed to change the demography of Kashmir and change the majority Muslim character into a minority community
3. OIC should also convince the United Nations to prevail upon India to repeal all draconian laws, including the Unlawful Activity Prevention Act (UAPA), the Public Safety Act (PSA) which are being used to forcibly silence the people into submission.
4. Given the report, issued by the United Nations High Commissioner on Human Rights on June 14, 2018 & July 8, 2019, regarding the ‘Situation in Kashmir’, we request the OIC members of the Human Rights Council to endorse this report and initiate a joint OIC resolution to set up an enquiry commission on human rights violations in Kashmir during the forthcoming session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva to be held in February 2024.
5. Widely use and disseminate testimony of Dr Gregory Stanton, Chairman, ‘Genocide Watch’, which he gave to the United States Congress on January 12, 2022, and repeated that Kashmir was on the brink of genocide.
6. The OIC must provide ‘safe havens’ for the Kashmiri Diaspora, especially those fleeing oppression in Occupied Kashmir – scholars, activists, journalists, and businessmen – in OIC member states, in an institutional manner, like opening up visas/jobs / relocation facilitation for such skilled and professional Kashmiris, for whom living in Modi’s India has become unbearable.
7. In the ‘battle of ideas for Azadi (Freedom) of Kashmiri people, OIC must promote the 3 core causes together: PKR (Palestine, Kashmir, Rohingya); and establish a special website, combining genocide with resistance.
8. OIC should allocate emergency scholarship funds to the meritorious students of Kashmir who are the victims of Indian state terrorism.
9. OIC must persuade the Government of India to release all political prisoners unconditionally, including Mohammad Yasin Malik, Shabir Ahmed Shah, Masarat Alalm, Aasia Andrabi, Khurram Parvez, and others.
A Joint Communique was adopted unanimously during the Contact Group meeting which condemns the protracted detention of the entire Hurriyat leadership, the genuine voice of the Kashmiri political aspirations, and thousands of political activists, journalists and human rights defenders.
The Communique also reads:
Reaffirming the inalienable right to self-determination of the people of Jammu and Kashmir in accordance with the relevant UN Security Council resolutions.
Rejecting the conduct of the G-20 Tourism Working Group Meeting, held in Srinagar on 22-24 May 2023, which aimed to legitimize India’s illegal occupation of the IIOJK and sought to project a facade of normalcy in the occupied territory.
Denouncing India’s continued refusal to allow the OIC Special Envoy, the OIC- Independent Permanent Human Rights Commission (IPHRC), the UN Special Mandate Holders and international civil society organizations to visit IIOJK.
Welcoming the role played by the relevant UN Special Rapporteurs, world leaders, parliamentarians, human rights organizations, and international media, in raising their voice against illegal Indian occupation and then ongoing egregious human rights violations in IIOJK.
The Joint Communique also:
Denounced the Indian authorities’ fresh plea seeking the death penalty for one of the renowned Kashmiri leaders, Yaseen Malik, who is incarcerated and has already been awarded life imprisonment; and mandated the Special Envoy on Jammu and Kashmir to take appropriate steps to raise voice against the possible award of the death penalty to Malik.
Rejected the illegal and unilateral actions taken by India on August 5, 2019, as well as subsequent steps to undermine the internationally- recognized disputed status of the IIOJK and to alter its demographic structure and political landscape.
Appreciated the countries, which decided to dissociate themselves from the G-20 Tourism Working Group Meeting in Srinagar, and,
Barrister Sultan Mehmood Choudhary, President Azad Kashmir & Mr Ghulam Mohmmad Safi, representative of All Parties Hurriyat Conference addressed the Contact Group via Zoom.
Barrister Sultan Mehmood Choudhary, President, of Azad Jammu Kashmir said that Kashmir is one of the oldest issues, pending on the agenda of the United Nations Security Council. The urgency dictates the United Nations and the OIC must come forward to support the people of Kashmir in their struggle to achieve the right to self-determination.
Mr. Safi highlighted the grave situation in Kashmir and emphasized that the Kashmir dispute needs to be resolved for the sake of international peace and security. The inaction and passivity of the world powers have given the sense of total impunity to 900,000 Indian soldiers in occupied Kashmir, Mr Safi told the group.
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