His Excellency Mr Antonio Guterres -Secretary General of the United Nations
UN HQ New York,
NY 10017 USA
UN HQ New York,
NY 10017 USA
Date: 28 February 2018
C/o United Nations office in Belgium, Rue Montoyer 14, 1000 Brussels
Plight of a nation: The forgotten People of Jammu Kashmir.
Dear Excellency, as you are the custodian of world’s collective conscience, we would like you to take urgent steps and extend practical support, to the plight of the forgotten people of Jammu Kashmir, both within the Indian held part of the state, and along the ceasefire-line CfL, known also as the Line of Control- LoC- that divides Jammu Kashmir and its 20 million people between India and Pakistan.
We would like your Excellency to take serious notice of the undeclared war that has escalated since 2016 between the armies of India and Pakistan, deployed eyeball to eyeball along the Cfl, with the result of causalities in hundreds, including many deaths of civilians on both sides of the divide. Since beginning of 2018 alone, dozens of civilians have been killed along the Pakistan controlled part of the Cfl. This daily carnage of innocent civilians is particularly galling, since the Indian army appears clearly to target civilian population along the thickly populated border villages.
Your excellency may be reminded that young children playing in their homes or going to school, people engaged in their daily activities are shot to be killed as was the case with an eight year old named Ayan Zahid in the village of Janjot Bahadur in Khuiratta sector, Zain Imtiaz of Nakyal sector Inzamam Amin of Tetrinote, and countless others in villages along the almost five hundred miles long Cfl. We hope that members of the UNMOGIP, who are operational on the Pakistani controlled parts of the CFL, will have kept your Excellency’s office informed of the deaths, and destruction along the forced divide in Jammu Kashmir. We expect and anticipate that your Excellency will demand, that the Indian government allows UNMOGIP personnel, to also operate along the Indian held side of the Cfl to ascertain, the full impact of cross Cfl/LoC firing on the civilian population.
Excellency, on this occasion we take the opportunity also to impress upon you, the utmost importance of safety of innocent civilians along the ceasefire line, and within the Indian held part of Jammu Kashmir. Indian army and paramilitary forces over the past two years, have killed around two hundred innocent civilians, and more than ten thousand have been wounded, many of them children with life changing injuries, including loss of sight and limbs due to indiscriminate, and unbridled use of force by the Indian military throughout the towns and villages, especially in the valley of Kashmir. The Indian military and paramilitary forces operate against peaceful dissent with impunity, and cause death of innocent civilians and destruction of their properties whenever they come into contact with the civil population.
Excellency, as the conscience of the oppressed, exploited and subjugated millions in the world, we urge you to take urgent steps over Jammu Kashmir, and to uphold the right of 20 million people to exercise their sovereign will on the future status of their country, and to ensure their safety and protection from the constant fear of death and destruction in their own country. India and Pakistan have abysmally failed to resolve the Kashmir issue. Even their bilateral Shimla Accord of 1972, is all but dead. India no longer recognises the incontrovertible fact that 20 million people have an inalienable right to freedom and independence. With its military might and economic power, India is acting as a colonial power that in reality, it is in Jammu Kashmir! We urge your Excellency to bring both India, Pakistan and the people of Jammu Kashmir to the dialogue table, and ensure a durable settlement of the issue for the sake of peace, justice and prosperity in Jammu Kashmir and the wider region. Excellency 20 million people of Jammu Kashmir are eagerly prepared to become a bridge of peace between India and Pakistan. However Excellency, lives of our people are blighted by the presence, and the entrenched positions, in Jammu Kashmir of both India and Pakistan. The democratic rights of our people are trampled upon, and the pro freedom Joint Resistance leadership-JRL- is confined to house arrests, and frequently incarcerated in jail, as is the case with Chairman of the Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front Mr Yasin Malik. Peaceful and democratic resistance, and expression is violently suppressed, and political space is deliberately denied to the people and the leadership by the Indian government, to engineer alienation with peaceful methods of political dissent and resistance within the masses. The political aggression and belligerence of Indian government in Jammu Kashmir reflects a fickle attitude, and sham democracy that smacks of an utter contempt, for the democratic right of the Kashmiris, who wish to chalk out their political destiny in accordance with their sovereign right, and sovereignty over their country’s political status.
Excellency in order to deliver the people of Jammu Kashmir from the seventy years of forced separation, and occupation we urge you to take the following immediate steps:
To ensure safety of civilians and protection of their property along the ceasefire line, we urge your Excellency that you engage with India and Pakistan, and demand an immediate demilitarisation of their forces from the Ceasefire Line- Cfl/LoC- by ten kilometres from their current positions.
To ensure safety of civilians and protection of their property within the Indian held Jammu Kashmir, we urge your Excellency that you demand an immediate removal from civilian areas, of Indian military and paramilitary forces, and that these forces remain billeted in their cantonments, and avoid contact with the civilian population including with those engaged in peaceful political protest and resistance; as these forces are responsible for causing death, lasting suffering, untold misery to civilians and destruction of their properties.
We urge your Excellency to, extend the powers, and enhance the capacity of UNMOGIP to ensure effective monitoring of the situation and widen its mandate to cover areas other than the ceasefire line Cfl/ LoC.
We urge your Excellency to actively engage with the government of India, and the government of Pakistan, to ensure that their armies vacate Jammu Kashmir, and that both countries ensure an orderly, and speedy transfer of power to 20 million people of Jammu Kashmir, as part of a permanent settlement of the conflict.
Excellency we desire peace and prosperity for Jammu Kashmir, and for a billion and half people of India and Pakistan. However we will not give up our inherent, inalienable and sovereign right to freedom, and refuse to become the forgotten people in South Asia!
Prof Zafar Khan- Head of Diplomatic Bureau- Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front-JKLF.
International Secretariat-119-123 Cannon Street Road London E1 2LX
Tanveer Chaudhry President JKLF Europe Zone