London-17 July 2017: Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front-JKLF- has called on the world community to play its role and, intercede for an equitable and peaceful solution of the Kashmir issue. In a letter to UN member states, JKLF’s head of Diplomatic Bureau Prof Zafar Khan, urged the governments of these states to engage constructively with India, Pakistan, and the pro freedom leadership in Kashmir, for a peaceful resolution of the conflict over Kashmir’s future status.
The letter addressed to respective governments through their diplomatic missions in London, stated that Kashmir issue is quite erroneously perceived by vested interests, as a territorial dispute between India and Pakistan. Jammu Kashmir’s future status is fundamentally, linked with the unfettered right to self-determination of 20 million people across both sides of the cease-fire line (or the Line of Control-LoC) that forcibly divides the region, and its people between India and Pakistan.
The letter called upon the UN member states to exert, and assert their powerful voice for a just resolution of the conflict, based on the legitimate and internationally recognised rights of the Kashmiris. And exhorted these countries to engage within the international fora, such as the United Nations General assembly, the United Nations Human Rights Council-UNHRC, with both India and Pakistan as well as multilateral organisations, for the noble objective of a peaceful and equitable solution of the issue.
In the letter the JKLF strongly reiterated its basic position that the issue of Kashmir’s future status must not be seen within the context of a dispute between India and Pakistan, as Indo-Pak dimensions over the issue since 1947, have rendered the most affected and aggrieved party- the people of Jammu Kashmir- politically and diplomatically invisible within the conflict. The letter added that Kashmiris’ quest for freedom in their own country, has also been inflicted a grievous harm through aggressive diplomacy and economic influence of India, and double standards of powers with vested interests.
In the letter the JKLF went on to add that irrespective of entrenched Indo-Pak positions on the status and reunification of Kashmir, the solution of the issue remains vested in the democratic will of Jammu Kashmir’s 20 million people. And further added that the locus- standai of the people, as the central party in the issue, is not only recognised by the United Nations, but has also been accepted by both India and Pakistan.
The JKLF in its letter included one such example of India’s recognition on the status of Kashmir and, the rights of its people, when on 1st January 1948 at the UNSC… India’s representative declared: “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 United Nations, 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.
The JKLF reminded these governments that successive Indian leaders, have reneged on their country’s solemn pledges on Kashmir. The current government in Delhi refuses even to recognise that a popular struggle for justice, democracy and freedom exists, in Jammu Kashmir. Modi government, stated the letter, has spared no effort to malign a peaceful and popular political struggle for freedom. The letter added that in reality, Kashmiris on both sides of the Cease-fire line seek a peaceful solution and wish to see their country become a bridge of peace between India and Pakistan rather than remain a perpetual bone of contention. Kashmiris however, do not have partners in their quest for a negotiated solution on the status of their country.
In its letter the JKLF reminded these countries that Kashmir is one of the most militarised regions of the world. India alone has around 700,000 troops deployed in the territory that it occupies. More than 100,000- civilians have perished at the hands of Indian forces. Indian military operates under an umbrella of laws that provide it with complete impunity. Over the past year alone, Indian army has killed over a hundred civilians, while thousands have been wounded. Use of pellet guns has either totally or partially blinded many hundreds. Innocent and peaceful civilians are used as human shields.
The letter added that the BJP government of Prime Minister Modi has given the Indian army and the Home Minister full authority to crush political dissent in Kashmir within two months.
The letter informed these governments that India and Pakistan have heavy deployment of their forces across the cease-fire line since 1947. As a consequence civilians cannot lead a normal life along the ceasefire line because of danger to their life and livelihood from the opposing forces. Both countries are nuclear powers, and have fought three full scale wars since 1947. Their aggressive deployment creates an environment full of incalculable and catastrophic consequences. A nuclear flare up in the sub-continent could kill as many as two billion people, and devastate the entire region with a nuclear winter that could last for many generations to come.
The letter reminded these countries about the agony endured by separated families who are unable to share joy and grief with loved ones since 1947. Those lucky enough to obtain visas in an intolerable situation, navigate an unbearable bureaucratic security environment that militates against these families. The JKLF letter added that such a situation would not be tolerated in a civilised society. This is exactly why the ‘Iron Curtain’ collapsed in the west. The JKLF in its letter added that Kashmiris seek the same through peaceful means, and want the forcibly imposed border in Jammu Kashmir to end.
The letter reminded governments of these countries that the JKLF leadership is committed to turning Kashmir from a bone of contention to a bridge of peace in South Asia as a considered policy, and a long standing national objective, and stated that a free, sovereign and reunified Jammu Kashmir will truly become a bridge that is vital for peace in the region.
Acting Secretary to the Diplomatic Bureau
Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front-JKLF
119-123 Cannon Street Road
London E1 2LX