Shah Not Allowed To Present Memorandum to UN

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SRINAGAR: Jammu Kashmir Democratic Freedom Party chairman Shabir Ahmad Shah, was today detained before submitting his party’s memorandum to United Nations Office here at Sonawar, Srinagar.

The memorandum had urged Ban Ki Moon, secretary general United Nations to exert pressure on India to restore civil liberties, revoke draconian laws prevalent in Kashmir and lift undue restrictions on political activities, stop human rights violations and provide a political space to Kashmiri leaders representing Kashmiris aspirations.

In his memorandum Shah has appreciated Moon’s statement that the will of the people of Jammu and Kashmir must be respected while finding any solution to the long-pending dispute. “The statement generated a new wave of optimism within the Kashmiris who have witnessed death and destruction at an unprecedented scale over the last several years,” Shah’s memorandum reads.

Below is the text of Shah’s Memorandum:

Excellency,

Today, as the entire Kashmiri nation is observing 27 October as a Black Day in protest against India’s illegal occupation, I would like to recall your Excellency that on this fateful day in 1947, India invaded Jammu and Kashmir in total disregard to the international norms of justice and the principles of the partition of British India.

Usurping the democratic rights of the people, India, under a well thought out plan, sent its military and paramilitary troops to Kashmir. After taking control over 2/3 of the erstwhile State of Jammu and Kashmir the government of India then took the issue to the United Nations.

Excellency, it was on 21 April 1948, exactly 65 years ago, when the United Nations Security Council adopted a resolution that granted Kashmiri people the right to self-determination.

On 5th January 1949, the United Nations Commission for India and Pakistan (UNCIP) in its resolution made it clear that the question of the accession of the State of Jammu and Kashmir to either of the dominions (India or Pakistan) will be decided through a free, fair and impartial plebiscite. Ratifying the historic resolutions the leadership of both India and Pakistan in principle agreed to implement the UNSC resolutions.

While addressing a public gathering at Lal Chowk in Srinagar in 1948 Indian Prime Minister late Pundit Jawaharlal Nehru promised Kashmiris a referendum to choose their political future making it absolutely clear that the fate of Kashmir will ultimately be decided by the people of Kashmir.

The governments of both the countries (India and Pakistan) agreed to appoint a Plebiscite Administrator by the end of April 1954. However, it was quite astonishing to note that within a decade of the plebiscite resolution having been adopted by the UNO there was a volte-face on India’s Kashmir policy.

Instead of paving a way for the implementation of the UN proposed solution to Kashmir issue India embarked on a new scheme whereby it began to micromanage things in the disputed territory. The political maneuvering and Machiavellian machinations by India came to fore on 30 October 1956 when Jammu Kashmir Constituent Assembly, a mouthpiece of India, adopted a resolution declaring disputed territory as an integral part of the Indian Union.

Not only the people of the disputed territory but the world body (UN) through a resolution on 24 January 1957 rejected the puppet legislature’s contention and made it clear that elections could not be substitute to Kashmiris’ inalienable right to self-determination.

Ironically, Indian rulers contemptuously threw these relevant UN resolutions on Kashmir into the dustbin of history and resorted to Chankian philosophy of deceit, dilly-dallying tactics and political maneuvering to wrest Kashmir by hook or by crook.

On 8th of August 1953 India dislodged Shiekh Muhammad Abdullah from the position of Prime Ministership and appointed Bakshi Ghulam Mohammad as the new Prime Minister of Kashmir. And simultaneously India stage-managed a drama whereby the status of prime minister and president were reduced to the ranks of Chief Minister and Governor respectively. On 22 February 1994, the Parliament of India declared Jammu and Kashmir as integral part of Indian union. The official denial to hold plebiscite in Kashmir came at a time when the mass uprising in the disputed territory was at its climax.

Excellency, Indians over the years treated Kashmiris as abject slaves and rather than respecting their wishes and aspirations the successive regimes of India tried to rule Kashmiris by the dint of force. Destroying democratic institutions in the troubled region India, by imposing handpicked political hacks, opened floodgates of corruption, favoritism and nepotism in the region. The cunning treatment meted out to Kashmiris by Indian rulers and their continued denial to grant Kashmiri people their inalienable right further deepened the wide-ranging discontent against India that ultimately led to a widespread and statewide mass uprising, which by all means is peaceful, indigenous, spontaneous and a legitimate one.

Rather than reflecting a genuine desire to address the root-cause Indian rulers tried to stifle the Kashmiris’ struggle for right to self-determination by using its military might. India used extra-judicial killings, detentions, massacres, targeted killings; sieges, torture, enforced-disappearances, rape and molestation of women as a weapon of war against Kashmiris.

The trigger-happy forces deployed in the length and breadth of the disputed state, whose number have now swollen to half a million, have turned Kashmir into a virtual hell by killing hundreds and thousands of innocent people.

It is worth to note that in 2008, over three thousand unmarked mass graves were discovered in and outside the valley of Kashmir.  In its report in 2011, the State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) officially acknowledged that innocent civilians killed during the ongoing freedom struggle have been clandestinely buried in these unmarked graves. According to figures given by Association of Parents of Disappeared Persons (APDP) more than 10,000 people have been subjected to enforced disappearance.

Excellency, at present, the disputed territory of Kashmir stands at the top of the areas where there is highest military concentration and the hapless people of this troubled region continue to real under the yoke of oppression and suppression.

Excellency, the history of the subcontinent bears testimony to the fact that India’s traditional intransigence and obduracy remained a major hurdle in way of peaceful settlement of Kashmir issue, which as a matter of the fact pushed the whole region into the quagmire of uncertainty besides escalating nuclear arms race between India and Pakistan.

Excellency, the height of Indian arrogance could be gauged by Indian premier Dr. Manmohan Sing’s recent speech at the UN General Assembly wherein he brazenly distorted the historical realities by terming Kashmir as an integral part of India that happens to be the oldest dispute on the UN agenda.  

Excellency, I deeply appreciate your statement on Kashmir that the will of the people of Jammu and Kashmir must be respected while finding any solution to the long-pending dispute. The statement generated a new wave of optimism within the Kashmiris who have witnessed death and destruction at an unprecedented scale over the last several years.

To seek an equitable, honorable and amicable solution to this lingering dispute, we urge your Excellency to exert pressure on India to restore civil liberties, revoke draconian laws prevalent in Kashmir and lift undue restrictions on political activities, stop human rights violations and provide a political space to Kashmiri leaders representing Kashmiris aspirations.

With profound regards

Shabir Ahmed Shah

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