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Friday, 6 January 2017

20 Million people of Jammu Kashmir wish their country to become a Bridge of Peace, between India and Pakistan.

His Excellency Mr Antonio Guterres                  
United Nations Secretary General  
UN HQ 1st Avenue at 46th Street
New York, NY 10017 USA.
Date: 6 January 2017

Sub:  20 Million people of Jammu Kashmir wish their country to become a Bridge of Peace, between India and Pakistan.

Dear Excellency before we apprise you of the urgency around the longstanding issue of Jammu Kashmir, we would like to extend our congratulations to you, on becoming Secretary General of the United Nations. We extend our sincere good will, and wish your tenure as Secretary General with full of successes in alleviating, suffering and exploitation of underprivileged, and like 20 million Kashmiris, the subjugated people of the world!

As the conscience of the oppressed, exploited and subjugated millions throughout the world, we anticipate that your Excellency will make an early intervention on status of 20 million inhabitants of Jammu Kashmir- 13 million of whom live under Indian occupation- consistent with their fundamental human and democratic rights, and in accordance with the principles of the UN Charter.

Excellency as you are aware, political status of Jammu Kashmir is yet to be determined within the internationally recognised principles and rights of peoples to self-determination. Since 1947 however, this cherished objective of freedom has been denied to the Kashmiris.

 Despite an existence under oppression and suffering for almost 70 years, Kashmiris have nevertheless, remained steadfast in the struggle to achieve their inherent and inalienable right to self-determination.

 Excellency instead of engaging with the people of Jammu Kashmir, and the world community to find an equitable solution to the issue, Indo- Pakistan confrontation and their contention over Kashmir, has become a danger to peace and prosperity for South Asian region and rest of the world. Both countries are perilously close to a full scale war on daily basis.

Since August of 2016 their military actions across the Line of Control-LoC- in Jammu Kashmir, have resulted in deaths and injuries to hundreds of civilians. Armies of both countries are deployed eye-ball to eyeball in Jammu Kashmir which is inimical to the well-being of civilian population on either side of the forced divide.

 Excellency both countries are nuclear powers and as a consequence of their contention over Kashmir, are engaged in an arms race that has catastrophic implications for all concerned.

Excellency India has around 700,000 military and para military forces deployed in the Indian held Jammu Kashmir. Indian forces enjoy total impunity of action against the population under an umbrella of draconian and anti-people laws.

Since June of 2016 these forces have unleashed some of the most inhuman methods of oppression against peaceful demonstrators.  Over a hundred people, mostly young, have been killed and thousands have been injured, including around a hundred, mainly children losing their eye sight due to the use of pellet guns by the occupation forces. India to all intents and purposes imposed martial law in the valley of Kashmir with the longest curfew in the history of the territory.

Pro- self-determination leadership is denied its democratic and peaceful right to engage with the public. The right to assembly and speech is all but non-existent in the Indian held part of the territory. Since the summer of 2016 collective leaders of the freedom movement and their party workers have been incarcerated or put under house arrest. Mr Yasin Malik for example has been incarcerated in Srinagar central jail, while Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Syed Ali Shah Gilani have been under house arrest for almost all of the period since June of last year.

Excellency the struggle of Kashmiri people is to decide the future status of their country. And the denial of their right to do so is a greatest injustice meted out to a people whose most cherished desire is to have peace and prosperity in their country.
India and Pakistan have abysmally failed to resolve the Kashmir issue. Even their bilateral Shimla Accord of 1972, under which they committed themselves to resolve the issue along with their other disputes, is all but dead. India does no longer recognise, contrary to the historic facts, the rights of 20 million Kashmiris to self-determination. With its military might and economic power, India is acting like a colonial power that it, in reality, is in Jammu Kashmir!

We therefore urge your Excellency to take urgent steps and measures as the custodian of world conscience, to bring India, Pakistan and the people of Jammu Kashmir to the dialogue table, and ensure that a settlement of the issue is achieved for  sake of peace, justice and prosperity in the region and the world. Excellency 20 million people of Jammu Kashmir are eagerly prepared to become a bridge of peace between India and Pakistan in such process.

We further urge your Excellency to take following immediate steps:
To impress upon the Indian government, to allow  pro freedom leadership its democratic right to free speech and assembly in all parts of  Indian held  Jammu Kashmir.

We urge your Excellency to impress upon the Indian government to remove all its military and paramilitary forces from the urban and rural areas of Indian held Jammu Kashmir, and to stop forth-with the intimidation and oppression of the civilian population.

In view of all too frequent military flare-ups across the LoC that result in loss of life and destruction of property, and immense hardship to the civilian population on both sides, we urge your Excellency to, extend the powers of the UN Military Observer Group on India and Pakistan, UNMOGIP, to monitor cease-fire violations on the Indian side of the LoC as its personnel are allowed to do so on the Pakistani side of the LoC.

Excellency we are fully aware of the difficulties that a peace process over Kashmir may entail. However, as you will agree with us, there is no alternative to peace. Kashmiris desire nothing less than a peaceful and prosperous future for themselves and the billion and half people of India and Pakistan. We anticipate that along with major issues that blight our world, the plight of 20 million Kashmiris and their inherent, inalienable and internationally recognised right to freedom and democracy, will be an urgent focus of your attention for the year 2017- a year that you yourself, have dedicated to peace and justice in the world.

Excellency resolution of the Kashmir issue is a key to peace, justice and prosperity not only in South Asia but in the world.

With Regards

Prof Zafar Khan
Head of Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front-JKLF

Diplomatic Bureau-London International Secretariat
119-123 Cannon Street Road London E1 2LX


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