H.E Madame Frederica Mogherini
High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy
European Commission, Rue de la Loi/ Wetstraat 200
1049 Brussels Belgium
28 March 2016
Dear Madame Mogherini,
Sub: Is Mr Modi’s India Ready to engage for a peaceful Solution over Kashmir?
We first wrote to you in November 2014 reminding you of EU’s vital role for a just and peaceful resolution of the Kashmir issue, as well as welcoming you on succeeding Madame Ashton as the High Representative of the EU.
Today we take this opportunity and write to you again as the European Union-EU- welcomes Indian Prime Minister, Mr
Narendra Modi on 30 March 2016 in what is claimed by some MEPs with ‘open arms’.
As we seek a just and peaceful solution of the Kashmir issue we therefore ask the EU through your esteemed person: Is Mr Modi’s India ready to engage for a peaceful and lasting solution of the Kashmir issue based on the fundamental, inherent and inalienable rights of 20 million people on both sides of the Line of Control-LoC?
However Madame Mogherini, before we take the liberty to ask some further questions regarding Mr Modi’s visit, we must put on record our profound sadness in connection with the recent terrorist attacks in Brussels and the loss of precious lives. We unequivocally condemn these heinous outrages and extend our sincere and heartfelt condolences to families of the deceased and the injured. Our prayers are with them and with the people of Belgium and hope that Brussels will soon return to normality with its customary welcoming and friendly atmosphere.
With reference to Mr Modi’s visit to the EU on 30 March 2016 we strongly hope that despite economic considerations with India, the EU will not overlook human rights violations being committed on daily basis in Kashmir by Indian military and para military forces. Madame innocent people-especially youngsters- are shot dead by the occupation forces under the cover of anti-people draconian laws.
The 700,000 Indian forces of occupation are responsible for the killing of 100,000 Kashmiris during the past 28 years. There are 8000 missing people vanished without a trace. If Mr Modi is not responsible for these one wonders who is? There are over 7000 unmarked graves throughout the Indian occupied part of Jammu Kashmir. Some of the most heinous acts of depravity have been committed against Kashmiri women by the Indian regular army. The occupation forces act with impunity under the cover of draconian laws such as Armed Forces Special Powers Act-AFSPA.
The populace of Indian occupied Jammu Kashmir is not only subjected to the militarised oppression but is also experiencing the communal fury that has been unleashed by the BJP and its extreme right wing allies in Indian occupied Jammu Kashmir with dire consequences.
Madame Mogherini it is not for us to remind you of what has happened under Mr Modi’s watch in India itself, as we always confine ourselves to the conduct of Indian occupation of Jammu Kashmir; but massacre of as many as two thousand innocent Indian citizens in Gujarat did take place when Mr Modi was Chief Minister there. Since Mr Modi and his Bharatiya Janata Party-BJP- came into power, India has become more intolerant and chauvinistic due to BJP’s nexus with the ultra-extremist Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sang-RSS, Shiv Sena and Vishwa Hindu Prashad-VHP. The Indian Prime Minister therefore does not come to the EU with clean hands.
We look to you therefore, to take the Indian Prime Minister to task on the substantial issue of Kashmir’s future status, in accordance with India’s commitments on the matter at the United Nations. We hope and anticipate that you will remind Mr Modi of India’s responsibility to facilitate a plebiscite to ascertain the status of the territory in accordance with the unfettered democratic decision and expression of 20 million Kashmiris.
We would like to remind you Madame that the Kashmir issue is wrongly seen as a territorial dispute between India and Pakistan. And that India and Pakistan should not be considered the arbiters of Kashmir’s future status. This right Madame Mogherini is vested in the democratic expression of 20 million people of Jammu Kashmir, who along with their country are forcibly divided between India and Pakistan.
Madame Mogherini, the Indian Prime Minister must be reminded that on 1 January 1948 it was an Indian government which took the Kashmir issue to the United Nations. And the following is an example of an earliest Indian commitment on Kashmir: “ that the question of Kashmir’s future status vis-a vis its neighbours and the world at large and the question on whether Kashmir should withdraw from her accession to India, and either accede to Pakistan or remain independent with a right to claim admission as a member of the UN all this we have recognised to be a matter for unfettered decision by the people of Kashmir after normal life is restored to them” UNSC document Agenda 227.
Over the years successive Indian governments have hidden behind bilateral 1972 agreement- known as the Shimla Accord- between India and Pakistan to resolve the question of Kashmir’s future status. Thus far the entrenched positions of both countries and in particular, India’s intransigence, have yielded nothing by way of progress over the past 44 years. Since the bilateral agreement between India and Pakistan excludes the Kashmiris in the process, we Kashmiris do not recognise the Shimla Agreement.
India unfortunately has reneged on all its commitments in respect of Kashmir, it is our sincere hope that you will take to task the Prime Minister of ‘largest democracy’ for reneging on his country’s international commitments, solemn pledges and obligations on the inherent and inalienable rights and aspirations of Kashmiris, to determine the political destiny of their choice. This is nothing short of the betrayal of the United Nations’ trust and that of the international community which was reposed in India over the status of Kashmir.
Mr Modi’s government denies pro freedom leadership the right of speech and assembly. The stifling of political and democratic expression is carried out through a combination of militarised oppression, police action, violent extremism and communal and chauvinist acts of the BJP and the RSS. For example over the past year alone, Chairman of the JKLF Mr Muhammed Yasin Malik has been denied his basic democratic right of assembly and free speech hundreds of times. This is hardly a reflection of a democratic society let alone the ‘largest democracy’!
Economic considerations, India’s very large population and its power of consumption apart- the EU with its fundamental principles of democracy, justice, equality and fairness, must not forsake the 20 million people of Jammu Kashmir. The EU more than others as a democratic economic and political block, must uphold the wishes, aspirations and rights of Kashmiri people.
Doing so is consistent with the basic principles and values of the EU. No one else will uphold the right of Kashmiris to justice and fairness. India and to a lesser extend Pakistan have both utterly failed to do so since 1947.
Madame Mogherini we urge you to make a start by taking the leader of the ‘largest democracy’- a democracy that incidentally has never extended beyond Indian border and into Indian occupied Jammu Kashmir- to task by asking him to meet India’s commitment over the future status of Kashmir.
We firmly believe that it would be an injustice to Kashmiris if the EU receives an Indian Prime Minister unconditionally with open arms as some Members of European Parliament –MEPs have suggested according to press reports.
Prof Zafar Khan
Chairman Diplomatic Bureau
Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front-JKLF
London Secretariat: 119-123 Cannon Street Road
North Basement London E1 2LX