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Monday, 26 February 2018

JKLF’s Diplomatic Bureau met with British Foreign and Commonwealth Office,-FCO- in London

Statement for Press & Media on the meeting with the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office-FCO- officials  by a delegation of  Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front’s diplomatic Bureau:
 London - 26 February 2018:

A delegation of the Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front-JKLF’s- Diplomatic Bureau, led by its head Prof Zafar Khan, met with British Foreign and Commonwealth Office,-FCO- officials on 22 February, and discussed at length  the current situation in Jammu Kashmir.
The delegation conveyed to the FCO a message from JKLF’s Chairman Mr Yasin Malik, as well as the need for British Government’s role in support of setting up of a Mediation Panel on Jammu Kashmir by the Commonwealth family of  nations, on the ongoing serious situation on the ceasefire-line in Jammu Kashmir, and the oppression within Indian Held Jammu Kashmir by  Indian military and paramilitary forces; and the need for demilitarisation of Indian and Pakistani forces in Jammu Kashmir including along the ceasefire line-CFL- or the Line of Control-LoC.
While conveying Mr Yasin Malik’s message, the delegation reminded the British government that the JKLF and the people of Jammu Kashmir gave up militancy in 1994, and adopted a political and diplomatic path towards resolving the issue of Kashmir’s future status at the behest of Britain, and other western countries including the USA. However increasingly the Indian government has become more belligerent and aggressively violent in its suppression of Kashmiris’ individual and collective political, and human rights over the years with a complete denial and deprivation of political space. The JKLF delegation conveyed to the FCO officials that the Joint resistance leadership-JRL- is restricted in its movements and political engagement by the Indian authorities, and Mr Yasin Malik in particular, is consistently subjected to incarceration through a revolving door policy by the Indian government since 2016. The delegation pointed out that the leadership is deliberately denied contact and engagement with the people in Jammu Kashmir by the Indian authorities in order to create mistrust and socio-political cleavages within the diverse society of Jammu Kashmir.
The delegation called on the British government to take a serious note of the growing frustration of the youth in Jammu Kashmir at the systematic process of intimidation, arbitrary arrests, and harsh treatment meted out to families of individuals, in particular the young, who take part in peaceful resistance. Through deliberate harassment, intimidation and suppression of peaceful political expression, the Indian authorities are forcing the youth to shun the political path. The delegation reminded the British Foreign Office that, despite being confronted by an extremely difficult, and stifling political climate created by the communalism of the BJP/RSS nexus in Jammu Kashmir, the JRL is resisting India’s sinister machinations against the popular struggle for freedom by sticking to peaceful political methods of resistance.
 The delegation called on the British government to support the proposal by the JKLF for setting up of a panel of Mediators at the forthcoming Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting,-CHOGM- being hosted by Britain in April 2018. The head of the delegation Prof Zafar Khan referred to the letters written in this regard by the Diplomatic Bureau of the JKLF to Baroness Scotland, the Secretary General of the Commonwealth, and Mrs Theresa May the UK Prime Minister, respectively on the importance of the Commonwealth family of 52 nations, to play an active role on Jammu Kashmir issue by setting up a panel of mediators, to engage with India, Pakistan and the Kashmiri leadership towards an equitable solution of the Jammu Kashmir issue.
The delegation reminded the FCO that the current situation on the CFL or the LoC was extremely serious due to daily exchanges of fire by Indian and Pakistani armies with heavy weapons that cause deaths of innocent Kashmiri civilians on both sides of the divide. Scores of innocent men, women and children are being killed daily, particularly along the Pakistan controlled side of the line where by and large, the CFL is heavily populated with civilian settlements. It seems quite clear that the Indian army deliberately targets the villagers in their homes and during their daily activities. The delegation called on the British Government to support JKLF’s demand for an immediate demilitarisation of the CFL with the withdrawal of Indian and Pakistani forces by ten kilometres from their current positions, to ensure safety of civilians, and protection of their livelihood. The delegation also called upon the British government to support JKLF’s demand that the Indian military and paramilitary forces return to their cantonments, and avoid contact with civilian population, as these forces are responsible for deaths of innocent civilians and destruction of their property on daily basis. The delegation strongly reiterated the stance of the JKLF that armies of both India and Pakistan must vacate Jammu Kashmir with active involvement of the international community, and both countries must ensure an early transfer of power to 20 million people of Jammu Kashmir as part of a permanent resolution of the Jammu Kashmir conflict.
The head of the delegation Prof Zafar Khan, accompanied by JKLF’senior leaders, including Mr Mahmoud Hussain, Syed Tehsin Gilani and Mr Tariq Sharif, reminded the FCO officials, that British policy on Jammu Kashmir was not appropriately consistent with Britain’s international status and historic responsibilities.  As permanent member of the United Nations Security Council-UNSC-, and head of British Commonwealth, Britain could not justifiably hide behind Indo- Pakistan bilateralism on Jammu Kashmir, as this position amounted to support of Jammu Kashmir’s occupation and denial of the right of Kashmiris to decide on their future status and political destiny.
The officials were reminded that Britain enjoyed friendly relations with India and Pakistan, and has an important stake in a peaceful South Asia. As nuclear powers Indo- Pak confrontation over Jammu Kashmir is a serious threat to regional and international stability and human progress. India and Pakistan have fought a number of wars against each other, and have entrenched claims on Jammu Kashmir, and cannot be trusted to resolve the conflict over Kashmir. And that the Kashmir issue can only be resolved within the people centric context, and active involvement of influential nations like the United Kingdom within the international community.
Thus, Britain has a duty to engage with leaders of both India and Pakistan the delegation urged the British government to do so   for the sake of peace and prosperity of the sub-continent and justice for twenty million people of Jammu Kashmir, during the forthcoming CHOGM in April. The delegation reminded the FCO that up to a million strong British Kashmiri diaspora was also unhappy with the indifferent attitude of the UK government on Kashmir issue. The delegation reminded the FCO that Kashmiris want Jammu Kashmir to become a bridge of peace and stability in the region but will not accede to enforced division and oppression represented by the  status quo.  

Mahmoud Hussain
 Diplomatic Bureau of Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front
International Secretariat
119-123 Cannon Street Road, Basement North
London E1 2LX



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