Ambassador Yusuf Buch is home now after spending almost a month, first at New York University Hospital, then at New York Rehabilitation Center. A delegation of Kashmiri Americans, including myself & Sardar Sawar Khan visited him this weekend at his residence in New York City. Buch Sahib was resting comfortably and felt much better today than what we experienced during our visit to him both at the Hospital and the Rehabilitation Center.
Buch Sahib told the delegation that he remembers having a conversation with them about the damage being done to the Kashmir cause. He wanted to put his views in writing. Unfortunately, he suffered a reverse in his health. Buch Sahib, however, said, that an unresolved Kashmir issue, the occupation of Kashmir in defiance of the peoples wishes, has damaged Indias democratic credentials and hence her standing and aspiration for an enhanced status in the UN is a point of emphasis in the pleadings of a number of articles written by Indian intellectuals which appeared in the main stream India press. Only shallow thinking will regard this current of Indian opinion as inconsequential.
World powers do not have the right, nor the slightest moral authority, to pronounce what should be the solution of the Kashmir dispute in the sense of the final disposition of the territories involved. They have a compelling duty to deliberate upon and recommend how a just solution can be achieved, Buch Sahib added.
Buch Sahib was born in Srinagar in1922 when Kashmir was still ruled by a feudal prince under the suzerainty of British colonial power. At the end of his scholastic career, passed a competitive examination to win a place in what was called the governments superior service. Soon he became a political prisoner as he was vocally among the opponents of the feudal rulers decision to accede to India and to obtain Indias military intervention against the peoples rebellion. This led to his being exiled to Pakistan through an exchange of political prisoners in 1949.
Buch Sahib came to the United States in 1953 as a winner of an International Essay Contest sponsored by the United Nations. Later ran a Free Kashmir Centre in New York from 1957 to 1972. He was the member of the Cabinet of the Prime Minister of Pakistan from 1972 to 1977. He was also appointed as Pakistans Ambassador to Switzerland in 1977.
Because of the long years of close acquaintance with the United Nations became the background to Buch Sahibs appointment to the cabinet of the Secretary General of the United Nations from 1978 to 1991.
We honor his illustrious life of courage and pay homage to his life in exile where he dedicated his energies for the freedom of his homeland, Kashmir.
Dr. Ghulam Nabi Fai
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