"Kashmir Day" on 5th February 2005
AS SALAM U ALAYKUM,
THIS E-MAIL IS ABOUT KASHMIR
ON THE OCCASION OF
"Kashmir Day" on 5th February 2005
"The state of Jammu and Kashmir is an agglomeration of territories brought under the political power of one Maharaja" "Kashmir is a geographical monstrosity, a multi-ethnic, mutlti-cultural society"
Kashmir is located in the heart of south-central Asia amongst the most populace countries of the world. It shares its borders with China, Afghanistan, India and Pakistan.
84471 square miles, It is larger than 95 other independent countries in area. Nearly 63 % of its territory is held under Indian control, 37 % under Pakistani control which includes an area less than 5 % known as Azad Kashmir.
Area under Indian control: (50513 sq.miles)
a) Ladakh: 33740 sq.miles
b) Kashmir province: 6893 sq.miles
c) Jammu province: 9880 sq.miles
Area under Pakistan control: (33958 sq.miles)
a) Gilgit & Baltistan: 29814 sq.miles
b) Muzzafarabad & Poonch valley: 4144 sq.miles
In 1962 war with India, China occupied 1971 sq.miles from Indian held Kashmir at Aksai-chin and Demchok in Ladakh.
In December 1962, 1868 sq.miles were conditionally taken over by China at Shaksgam in Northern Areas of Kashmir under Pakistan control
13 million, including 1.5 million refugees in Pakistan and 0.5 million living in other parts of the world.The population of Kashmir in 1991 has reached 11.6 million- 7.3 million (63%) Indian controlled Kashmir and 4.3 million (37%) Pakistan controlled Kashmir. It is thus bigger in size than 109 sovereign countries of the world and larger than 114 UN member states.
Indian controlled Kashmir (7.3 million)
- Muslims 64 %
- Non Muslims:36 %
Kashmir valley: (3.80 million) Muslims: 95 % Non-Muslims: 5%
Poonch, Rajori & Doda: (1.18 million) Muslims: 65% Non-Muslims: 35%
Jammu, Kathua,Udhampur: (2.16 million) Muslims 10% Non-Muslims: 90%
Leh District: (0.08 million) Muslims 15% Non-Muslims: 85%
Kargil District: (0.08 million) Muslims 78% Non-Muslims: 12%
Pakistan controlled Kashmir (4.3 million)
- Muslims 100%
Azad Kashmir: (2.50 million) Muslims: 100%
Gilgit, Baltistan: (0.70 million) Muslims: 100%
Kashmiris in Pakistan: (0.80 million) Muslims: 100%
Kashmiris in outside world: 0.30 million Muslims: 100%
Urdu (official) Kashmiri (mostly), regional languages like Dogri,Hindi,Dardi and Pahari. English is widely spoken.
- Srinagar, (summer capital) Indian controlled part
- Jammu, (winter capital) Indian controlled part
- Muzaffarabad, Azad Kashmir (Pakistan controlled part)
History of KashmirThe State of Jammu and Kashmir has historically remained independent, except in the anarchical conditions of the late 18th and first half of the 19th century, or when incorporated in the vast empires set up by the Mauryas (3rd century BC), the Mughals (16th to 18th century) and the British (mid-19th to mid-20th century). All these empires included not only present-day India and Pakistan but some other countries of the region as well. Until 1846, Kashmir was part of the Sikh empire. In that year, the British defeated the Sikhs and sold Kashmir to Gulab Singh of Jammu for Rs. 7.5 million under the Treaty of Amritsar. Gulab Singh, the Mahraja, signed a separate treaty with the British which gave him the status of an independent princely ruler of Kashmir. Gulab Singh died in 1857 and was replaced by Rambir Singh (1857-1885). Two other Marajas, Partab Singh (1885-1925) and Hari Singh (1925-1949) ruled in succession.
Gulab Singh and his successors ruled Kashmir in a tyrannical and repressive way. The people of Kashmir, nearly 80 per cent of whom were Muslims, rose against Maharaja Hari Singh's rule. He ruthlessly crushed a mass uprising in 1931. In 1932, Sheikh Abdullah formed Kashmir's first political party-the All Jammu & Kashmir Muslim Conference (renamed as National Conference in 1939). In 1934, the Maharaja gave way and allowed limited democracy in the form of a Legislative Assembly. However, unease with the Maharaja's rule continued. According to the instruments of partition of India, the rulers of princely states were given the choice to freely accede to either India or Pakistan, or to remain independent. They were, however, advised to accede to the contiguous dominion, taking into consideration the geographical and ethnic issues.
In Kashmir, however, the Maharaja hesitated. The principally Muslim population, having seen the early and covert arrival of Indian troops, rebelled and things got out of the Maharaja's hands. The people of Kashmir were demanding to join Pakistan. The Maharaja, fearing tribal warfare, eventually gave way to the Indian pressure and agreed to join India by, as India claims, 'signing' the controversial Instrument of Accession on 26 October 1947. Kashmir was provisionally accepted into the Indian Union pending a free and impartial plebiscite. This was spelled out in a letter from the Governor General of India, Lord Mountbatten, to the Maharaja on 27 October 1947. In the letter, accepting the accession, Mountbatten made it clear that the State would only be incorporated into the Indian Union after a reference had been made to the people of Kashmir. Having accepted the principle of a plebiscite, India has since obstructed all attempts at holding a plebiscite.
In 1947, India and Pakistan went to war over Kashmir. During the war, it was India which first took the Kashmir dispute to the United Nations on 1 January 1948 The following year, on 1 January 1949, the UN helped enforce ceasefire between the two countries. The ceasefire line is called the Line of Control. It was an outcome of a mutual consent by India and Pakistan that the UN Security Council (UNSC) and UN Commission for India and Pakistan (UNCIP) passed several resolutions in years following the 1947-48 war. The UNSC Resolution of 21 April 1948--one of the principal UN resolutions on Kashmir-stated that "both India and Pakistan desire that the question of the accession of Jammu and Kashmir to India or Pakistan should be decided through the democratic method of a free and impartial plebiscite". Subsequent UNSC Resolutions reiterated the same stand. UNCIP Resolutions of 3 August 1948 and 5 January 1949 reinforced UNSC resolutions.
India's first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru made a pledge to resolve the Kashmir dispute in accordance with these resolutions. The sole criteria to settle the issue, he said, would be the "wishes of the Kashmir people". A pledge that Prime Minister Nehru started violating soon after the UN resolutions were passed. The Article 370, which gave 'special status' to 'Jammu and Kashmir', was inserted in the Indian constitution. The 'Jammu and Kashmir Constituent Assembly' was created on 5 November 1951. Prime minister Nehru also signed the Delhi Agreement with the then 'ruler' of the disputed State, Sheikh Adbullah, which incorporated Article 370. In 1957, the disputed State was incorporated into the Indian Union under a new Constitution. This was done in direct contravention of resolutions of the UNSC and UNCIP and the conditions of the controversial Instrument of Accession. The said constitutional provision was rushed through by the then puppet 'State' government of Bakshi Ghulam Mohammed. The people of Kashmir were not consulted.
In 1965, India and Pakistan once again went to war over Kashmir. A cease-fire was established in September 1965. Indian Prime Minister Lal Bhadur Shastri and Pakistani president Ayub Khan signed the Tashkent Declaration on 1 January 1966. They resolved to try to end the dispute by peaceful means. Although Kashmir was not the cause of 1971 war between the two countries, a limited war did occur on the Kashmir front in December 1971. The 1971 war was followed by the signing of the Simla Accord, under which India and Pakistan are obliged to resolve the dispute through bilateral talks. Until the early 1997, India never bothered to discuss Kashmir with Pakistan even bilaterally. The direct foreign-secretaries-level talks between the two countries did resume in the start of the 1990s; but, in 1994, they collapsed. This happened because India was not ready even to accept Kashmir a dispute as such, contrary to what the Tashkent Declaration and the Simla Accord had recommended and what the UNSC and UNCIP in their resolutions had stated.
The government of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, after coming to power in February 1997, took the initiative of resuming the foreign secretaries-level talks with India. The process resumed in March 1997 in New Delhi. At the second round of these talks in June 1997 in Islamabad, India and Pakistan agreed to constitute a Joint Working Group on Kashmir. But soon after the talks, India backtracked from the agreement, the same way as Prime Minister Nehru had done back in the 1950s by violating his own pledge regarding the implementation of UN resolutions seeking Kashmir settlement according to, as Mr Nehru himself described, "the wishes of the Kashmiri people." The third round of India-Pakistan foreign secretaries-level talks was held in New Delhi in September 1997, but no progress was achieved as India continued dithering on the question of forming a Joint Working Group on Kashmir. The Hindu nationalist government of prime minister Atal Behari Vajpaee is neither ready to accept any international mediation on Kashmir, nor is it prepared to seriously negotiate the issue bilaterally with Pakistan.
The Indigenous Uprising
Since 1989, the situation in Occupied Kashmir has undergone a qualitative change. In that year, disappointed by decades-old indifference of the world community towards their just cause and threatened by growing Indian state suppression, the Kashmiri Muslim people rose in revolt against India. A popular uprising that has gained momentum with every passing day-unlike the previous two popular uprisings by Kashmiris (1947-48, first against Dogra rule and then against Indian occupation; and 1963, against Indian rule, triggered by the disappearance of Holy relic), which were of a limited scale.
The initial Indian response to the 1989 Kashmiri uprising was the imposition of Governor's Rule in the disputed State in 1990, which was done after dissolving the government of Farooq Abdullah, the son of Sheikh Abdullah. From July 1990 to October 1996, the occupied State remained under direct Indian presidential rule. In September 1996, India stage-managed 'State Assembly' elections in Occupied Kashmir, and Farooq Abdullah assumed power in October 1996. Since then, the situation in the occupied territories has further deteriorated. Not only has the Indian military presence in the disputed land increased fundamentally, the reported incidents of killing, rape, loot and plunder of its people by Indian security forces have also quadrupled.
To crush the Kashmiri freedom movement, India has employed various means of state terrorism, including a number of draconian laws, massive counter-insurgency operations, and other oppressive measures. The draconian laws, besides several others, include the Armed Forces (Jammu and Kashmir) Special Powers Act, 1990; Terrorist and Disruptive Activities Act (TADA), 1990; the Jammu & Kashmir Public Safety Act, 1978 (amended in 1990); and the Jammu & Kashmir Disturbed Areas Act, 1990.
The Indian troops-to-Kashmiri people ratio in the occupied Kashmir is the largest ever deployment soldiers-to-civilians ratio in the world. There are approximately 600,000 Indian military forces-including regular army, para-military troops, border security force and police-currently deployed in the occupied Kashmir. This is in addition to thousands of "counter-militants"-the civilians hired by the Indian forces to crush the uprising.
Since the start of popular uprising, thousands of innocent Kashmir people have been killed by the Indian occupation forces. There are various estimates of these killings. According to government of India estimates, the number of persons killed in Occupied Kashmir between 1989 and 1996 was 15,002. Other Indian leaders have stated a much higher figure. For instance, former Home Minister Mohammad Maqbool Dar said nearly 40,000 people were killed in the Valley "over the past seven years." Farooq Abdullah's 1996 statement estimated 50,000 killings "since the beginning of the uprising." The All-Parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC)--which is a representative body of over a dozen Kashmiri freedom fighters' organisations-also cites the same number. Estimates of world news agencies and international human rights organisations are over 20,000 killed.
Indian human rights violations in Occupied Kashmir include indiscriminate killings and mass murders, torturing and extra-judicial executions, and destruction of business and residential properties, molesting and raping women. These have been extensively documented by Amnesty International, US Human Rights Watch-Asia, and Physicians for Human Rights, International Commission of Jurists (Geneva), Contact Group on Kashmir of the Organization of Islamic Countries-and, in India, by Peoples Union for Civil Liberties, the Coordination Committee on Kashmir, and the Jammu and Kashmir Peoples' Basic Rights Protection Committee. Despite repeated requests over the years by world human rights organisations such as the Amnesty International, the Indian government has not permitted them any access to occupied territories. In 1997, it even refused the United Nations representatives permission to visit there.
The Only Settlement
For decades, India has defied with impunity all the UN resolutions on Kashmir, which call for the holding of a "free and fair" plebiscite under UN supervision to determine the wishes of the Kashmiri people. Not just this. A massive Indian military campaign has been on, especially since the start of the popular Kashmiri uprising in 1989, to usurp the basic rights of the Kashmiri people. Killing, torture, rape and other inhuman practices by nearly 600,000 Indian soldiers are a norm of the day in Occupied Kashmir.
The Kashmir problem will be solved the moment international community decides to intervene in the matter-to put an end to Indian state terrorism in Occupied Kashmir and to implement UN resolutions. These resolutions recommend demilitarization of held Kashmir (through withdrawal of all outside forces), followed immediately by a plebiscite under UN supervision to determine the future status of Kashmir. The intervention of the international community is all the more necessary, given the consistent Indian opposition to both bilateral and multilateral options to settle the Kashmir issue. Such an intervention is also urgently required to stop the ever-growing Indian brutalities against the innocent Muslim people of Kashmir, who have been long denied their just right to self-determination.
A Nuclear Flashpoint
If the world community failed to realize the gravity of the Kashmir problem now, there is every likelihood of Kashmir once again becoming the cause of another war between India and Pakistan. And, since both the countries have acquired overt nuclear weapons potential, and since India led by Hindu nationalists has clearly shown its aggressive intentions towards Kashmir after declaring itself a nuclear state, a third India-Pakistan war over Kashmir is a possibility, a war that may result in a South Asian nuclear catastrophe. The world community, therefore, has all the reasons for settling Kashmir, the core unresolved political dispute between Islamabad and New Delhi.
Like many other international disputes, the Kashmir issue remained a victim of world power politics during the Cold War period. When the dispute was first brought to the UN, the Security Council, with a firm backing of the United Sates, stressed the settlement of the issue through plebiscite. Initially, the Soviet Union did not dissent from it. Later, however, because of its ideological rivalry with the United States, it blocked every Resolution of the UN Security Council calling for implementation of the settlement plan.
In the post-Cold War period-when cooperation not conflict is the fast emerging norm of international politics, a factor which has helped resolve some other regional disputes-the absence of any credible international mediation on Kashmir contradicts the very spirit of the times. An India-Pakistan nuclear war over Kashmir? Or, settlement of the Kashmir issue, which may eventually pave the way for setting up a credible global nuclear arms control and non-proliferation regime? The choice is with the world community, especially the principal players of the international system
Atrocities of Indian Occupational Forces in Kashmir from "The Army of Madinah in Kashmir" by 'Eesa al-Hindi
Since 1990 - Oct.1996
* 59 750 Murdered
* 49 000 Murdered by indiscriminate firing
* 550 Burnt alive
* 3 200 Bound and drowned in the River Jhelum
* 4 500 Murdered crossing the cease-fire line
Early 1990's estimate:
* 15 873 Rape cases (reported)
* 934 Women murdered in gang rapes
* 756 Rendered disabled
* 43 390 Men and women held in prison without trial
* 11 600 Youth in torture cells
* 97 654 Burnt houses and shops
* 250 678 Refugees (successfully crossed) in Pakistan (1)
* 30 Schools destroyed
* 189 Schools and hospitals bomb blasted
* 200 Primary school children burnt alive on October 1, 1990
* 358 Hospital Clinics destroyed
* 346 Mosques destroyed
* 358 Children died without treatment
* 66 094 Houses and shops burnt
* 1 480 Cattle burnt
* 1 225 Food burnt (worth in dollars)
* 1 123 Forest burnt (worth in millions of dollars)
* 848 Hospitals and schools burnt
* + Thousands of people dismissed from jobs
And the persecution is still continuing at an ever-increasing rate. In a land where even gatherings of more than four persons is prohibited, everyday is a nightmare; every place is a holocaust. Every family has suffered in one way or another.
How tormented could life become? Ask the MUSLIMS of KASHMIR...
(1) It is illegal for Kashmiri Muslims to emigrate anywhere other than India
Indian Human Rights Violations in IHK 27 March 1996The dead body of human rights lawyer Jalil Andrabi was found in the river Jhelum, 19 days after he had been seen taken away by military personnel. His killers remain free. 30 March 199623 members of the faction of the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front led by Amanullah Khan were killed when police fired mortar shells at their office in Srinagar. Their killers remain free. 18 September 199711 people, including women and children, were killed by mortar shelling at Arin Bandipora. The killers remain free. January 1998Nine people, including a woman and child, were killed in Kadrana village, Doda district, when army soldiers opened fire on people protesting an earlier arrest. The killers are free. July 199840 people, including women and children were killed in and near Surankote. The killers remain free. 28 June 1999Fifteen members of two Muslim families, including women and children, were shot dead at Surankote, Poonch district, by unidentified gunmen wearing army uniforms who shot two more women as they fled. The killers remain free. 20 March 200036 Sikhs were shot dead in Chittisinghporai, on 25 March 2000, five men were unlawfully killed who were implicated in the earlier killings. On 3 April 2000, seven people demonstrating against the earlier two incidents were shot dead by police. The killers of these 48 people remain free. 1 August 2000On the night of 1 August 2000at least 105 people were shot dead in several different incidents. The killers remain free. 15 February 2001six people were shot dead in Haigam during protests at an earlier death in custody when security forces and/or police opened fire on them. The killers remain free.This list is by no means exhaustive. Many more such incidents have come to Amnesty International's attention and others must be assumed to go unnoticed and unreported. The unlawful killings described above all involve a large number of victims. Almost daily, unlawful killings of one or two individuals are reported in Jammu and Kashmir as well. Amnesty International recorded 70 deaths in custody and extrajudicial killings in the period January to August 2000 alone. The cease-fire in force since 28 November 2000 has not improved the human rights situation in the state as deaths in custody, extrajudicial executions by state agents and unlawful killings by armed groups continue unabated. Between the beginning of the cease-fire and mid-February 2001, some 23 extrajudicial executions have been reported in the media, in 15 of which the Special Operations Group has been implicated. Unlawful killings have been carried out by agents of the state, including state police, central police force and miliary or paramilitary forces. Many reports of unlawful killings in Jammu and Kashmir make it impossible for observers to decide who the perpetrators were. For instance, in the case of the killing of 36 Sikhs in Chittisinghpora in March 2000, observers and investigators have provided widely varying interpretations, alleging that government agents carried out or instigated the killings. Amnesty International calls on the government of India to take seriously its obligations under international human rights law to stop the unlawful killings in occupied Jammu & Kashmir. Impunity is one of the main contributing factors for the continuing patterns of human rights violations the world over. By bringing perpetrators to justice, governments send a clear signal that such violations will not be tolerated and that those found responsible will be held fully accountable. When there is failure to investigate human rights violations and those responsible are not punished, a self-perpetuating cycle of violence is set in motion resulting in continuing violations of human rights
Following the fifth anniversary of the killing of Jalil Andrabi and the first anniversary of the killings at Chittisinghpora, and indeed the daily deaths and suffering, Amnesty International urgently calls on the government of Jammu and Kashmir to break the cycle of impunity and further human rights violations by undertaking the following measures in accordance with the United Nations (UN) Principles on the Prevention and Investigation of Extra-legal, Summary and Arbitrary Executions:
Take all appropriate measures to prevent unlawful killings; Set up prompt, independent and impartial inquiries into every incident of unlawful killing to ensure that the truth about the killings is revealed without further delay; Ensure that these inquiries fully conform to the requirements of the Principles of the Effective Prevention and Investigation of Extra-legal, Arbitrary and Summary Executions; Ensure that the results of inquiries are promptly made publicly accessible; Provide commitments that perpetrators will be held to account and that sanction for prosecution will not be withheld; Ensure transparency and openness by permitting international human rights groups like Amnesty International and human rights mechanisms of the United Nations regular access to the state.
Jammu & Kashmir Dispute
This dispute dates back to the partition of the British Indian Empire, in August 1947, into two independent states, Pakistan and India. At that time there were also around 565 princely states, large and small, which were under British suzerainty but were not directly ruled by the British Government. Most of these states joined either India or Pakistan taking into account their contiguity to one or the other country and the wishes of their people.
There were, however, some states over which problems arose, primarily because of India's insatiable desire to grab territory. For example, the Muslim ruler of Junagarh, a state with a Hindu majority population, announced his decision to join Pakistan. India responded by aiding and abetting the establishment of a so-called "Provisional Government" of Junagarh on Indian territory, which attacked Junagarh with Indian connivance and support. Subsequently Indian forces also invaded Junagarh, despite protests from Pakistan, in order to "restore law and order". A farcical plebiscite was organized under Indian auspices, and India annexed Junagarh. Similarly, in Hyderabad, a Hindu majority state, the Muslim ruler of the state wanted to retain an independent status. India responded by attacking Hyderabad and annexed the state by force. India sought to justify its aggression against Hyderabad and Junagarh on the plea that the rulers of Junagarh and Hyderabad were acting against the wishes of their people.
In Jammu and Kashmir state, the situation was the reverse. The ruler of the State was a Hindu, while the population was overwhelmingly Muslim and wanted to join Pakistan. In this case, India consistently pressurized the Hindu Ruler to accede to India. Apprehending that the Hindu ruler was likely to succumb to Indian pressure, the people of Jammu and Kashmir rose against him, forcing him to flee from Srinagar, the capital of the State. They formed their own government on 24th October, 1947. On 27th of October, 1947, the Government of India alleged that the ruler had acceded to India on the basis of a fraudulent instrument of accession, sent its forces into the State and occupied a large part of Jammu and Kashmir.
But Indian leaders, including Jawahar lal Nehru, the Prime Minister and Lord Mountbatten, the then Governor General of India, solemnly declared that the final status of Jammu and Kashmir would be decided by the people of the State. This declaration was reiterated by India at the UN Security Council when the dispute was referred to that august body, under chapter 6 of the U.N Charter relating to peaceful settlement of disputes. The Security Council adopted a number of resolutions on the issue, providing for the holding of a fair and impartial plebiscite in Jammu and Kashmir under UN auspices to enable the Kashmiri people to exercise their right of self-determination and join either Pakistan or India. The UN also deployed the United Nations Military Observer Group (UNMOGIP) to monitor the cease-fire line between the Liberated or Azad Kashmir area and the Indian Held Kashmir (IHK). These resolutions were accepted by India and Pakistan and constitute an agreed legal basis for settlement of the dispute.
India, however, thwarted all attempts by the United Nations to organize a plebiscite in the State of Jammu and Kashmir. Eventually, India openly resiled from its commitments and declared that Jammu and Kashmir was an integral part of India.
The Indian armed intervention in the State of Jammu and Kashmir was illegal and took place against the wishes of the Kashmiri people. Despite the decision of the UN Security Council for the holding of a plebiscite to allow the people of Jammu and Kashmir to determine their own future, India's own pledges to that effect, and reiteration of their commitment of resolving the Kashmir issue in the Simla Agreement of 1972 signed between Pakistan and India after the 1971 war, India continues to remain in illegal occupation of a large part of Jammu and Kashmir, refuses to allow the Kashmiris to decide their own future and continues its brutal suppression in the territory.
Moreover, India went on to violate other aspects of the Simla agreement, specifically the undertaking that neither side shall change the ground situation, by occupying the Chorbat La, Siachen & Qamar sectors, an area over 2500 sq. kilometres between 1972 to 1988.
After more than four decades of a peaceful struggle against Indian repression, manipulation and exploitation, the Kashmiri people, convinced that India would never honour its commitments, and inspired by similar movements for freedom in other parts of the world, rose against the Indian occupation towards the later part of 1989. Their struggle was, and remains, largely peaceful. India sought to suppress their movement with massive use of force, killing hundreds of innocent men, women and children. This led some of the Kashmiri youth to take up arms in self defence. Since 1989, more than 60,000 Kashmiri people have been killed in a reign of terror and repression unleashed by over 600,000 Indian troops. Many more languish in Indian jails where they are subjected to torture and custodial deaths. There have been numerous cases of gang rapes of Kashmiri women by the Indian forces and the deliberate burning down of entire localities and villages.
These brutalities have been documented by International and even Indian Human Rights Organizations. Organizations such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch as well as Indian human rights NGOs have extensively documented the gross and systematic violation of human rights of the Kashmiri people by Indian military and para-military forces. Extra judicial killings, involuntary disappearances, arbitrary detentions, rapes and torture continue to be reported on a large scale. The Kashmiri leaders have been repeatedly harassed and physically intimidated. They have also been denied travel permission to prevent them from exposing Indian human rights abuses in Occupied Jammu and Kashmir. The massive suppression by India is clearly designed to silence the people of Jammu and Kashmir through sheer brutality bordering on genocide and ethnic cleansing.
India refuses to acknowledge that the people of Indian Held Kashmir (IHK) have become totally alienated and there is complete rejection of Indian occupation. Several Kashmiri political parties have formed the All Parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC) to continue the political struggle for self-determination. The APHC, therefore, constitutes the true representative of the Kashmiri people.
Instead of accepting the existing reality, India has sought to blame Pakistan for allegedly promoting the Kashmiri uprising. The fact is that this movement is completely indigenous and enjoys mass support. The Indian allegations against Pakistan are a ploy to mislead the International Community and to create a smokescreen behind which they can continue repression in IHK. Pakistan has offered to enable the UNMOGIP or any other neutral force to monitor the LoC, along which India has deployed several thousands of its troops and has mined the entire area. Indian refusal to accept these proposals, exposes their false allegations.
A peaceful, negotiated settlement of the Kashmir dispute in accordance with UN resolutions remains on top of Pakistan?s foreign policy agenda. To demonstrate its sincerity in finding a peaceful solution to this core issue, Pakistan has always sought a meaningful and substantive dialogue with India. However, the Indians have refused to engage in meaningful talks on Kashmir, claiming the territory as an integral part of India. Only when compelled by extraneous factors or international pressure, such as in 1962-63, 1990-94 and again after May 1998, have the Indians agreed to talks on Kashmir. But this dialogue has been sterile because the Indian objective has never been to find a settlement but to deflect international pressure by creating the facade of talks.
During 1962-63, the Indians agreed to talks on Kashmir under U.S. persuasion at a time when their relations with China had deteriorated and the Sino-Indian war took place and it was necessary for India to protect its western flank with Pakistan. Between 1990-94, India was hard pressed for a dialogue, again due to international pressure following the indigenous Kashmiri uprising which began in the end of 1989. Under pressure from the US, following the mission of the American President's Special envoy, Robert Gates to the region, India engaged in seven rounds of talks at the Foreign Secretary level. Due to continued Indian intransigence, however, this process broke down in January 1994. After a hiatus of three years, talks were resumed at the initiative of Pakistan?s former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, after he assumed office in March 1997. Following Foreign Secretary level talks in June 1997, an agreed agenda was adopted which includes the specific issue of Kashmir. More importantly, in the meeting between Prime Ministers of Pakistan and India in September 1998, the two leaders agreed that resolution of the Kashmir dispute is essential for peace and security in the region. During Indian Prime Minister Vajpayee?s visit to Lahore in February 1999, the Lahore Declaration was adopted committing both sides to intensify efforts to resolve the Kashmir issue.
Indian willingness to hold specific talks on Kashmir has been compelled by growing international concern over the Kashmir issue following the nuclear tests by India and in response by Pakistan in May 1998. This nuclearization of South Asia has converted Kashmir into a nuclear flash point and the U.N. Security Council through resolution 1172 as well as the G-8 and P.5 countries, apart from a number of world leaders, have expressed the urgent need for a dialogue to resolve this root cause of tensions between Pakistan and India.
While the first round of talks on Kashmir was held in October 1998 between the Foreign Secretaries, as per the agreed agenda of June 1997, there was no change in the Indian position. India rejected Pakistan?s frame work proposal for a structured and substantive dialogue on Kashmir, maintaining its intransigent position that the status of Kashmir was not open for discussion.
Even though India agreed in the Lahore Declaration to intensify efforts to resolve the Kashmir issue, in February 1999, it resorted to delaying tactics for holding the next round of talks. In May 1999, India dealt a severe blow to the dialogue process by launching massive military operations, involving air and ground forces, on the Kashmiri Mujahideen in the Kargil Sector and across the Line of Control on Pakistani controlled areas. The Indians also rejected our efforts to defuse the situation, including the proposal for immediate cessation of hostilities, mutual respect for the LoC and resumption of the dialogue process in accordance with the Lahore Declaration.
At the invitation of President Clinton, former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif visited the US on 4-5 July 1999 and held indepth discussions with the US President on all aspects of the Kashmir situation. A Joint Statement issued as a result of these talks reflects identity of views on the need to resolve the current situation as well as the larger issue of Kashmir which is central to durable peace and stability in South Asia. It recognizes and underscores the need for both India and Pakistan to respect the LOC in accordance with the 1972 Simla Agreement. It also speaks about concrete steps to be taken for restoration of the LOC. As Pakistan has no presence across the LOC the only concrete step on our part can be to appeal to the Mujahideen who have already achieved their objective of bringing the Kashmir issue back to the international focus of attention.
The two leaders agreed that the Lahore process provides the best forum for resolving all outstanding issues between Pakistan and India including Kashmir. According to the Joint Statement the President of the United States stands committed to his personal involvement to expedite and intensify the process for resolving the Kashmir dispute. This is for the first time that the US has agreed to play a direct role in the search for a final settlement of the Kashmir dispute. India continues to rely on brute force to silence the Kashmiri people. Not only has the campaign of repression been intensified in Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir, but additional forces were inducted in November 1998 as part of the new ?pro-active? policy and later in the Kargil operation, Indian forces have now been increased to over 730,000. This clearly points to the failure of the current Indian policy to hold the Kashmiri people against their wishes by force.
Pakistani public opinion remains deeply incensed with the wide-spread atrocities committed against the innocent Kashmiri people by Indian military and para-military forces.
The government's policy on the Jammu and Kashmir issue enjoys national consensus. Pakistan maintains its principled stand in accordance with the relevant
UN Security Council resolutions that call for a plebiscite under UN auspices. It is in keeping with the solemn pledge made to the Kashmiri people by Pakistan, India and the international community.
In order to find an early and just solution to the 50-year old Jammu and Kashmir dispute, Pakistan has welcomed offers of good offices and third-party mediation. It has encouraged the international community to play an active role and facilitate the peaceful settlement of disputes between Pakistan and India.
While Pakistan is committed to a peaceful settlement of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute, adequate measures have been taken to safeguard the country's territorial integrity and national sovereignty.
Pakistan will continue to extend full political, diplomatic and moral support to the legitimate Kashmiri struggle for their right to self-determination as enshrined in the relevant United Nations resolutions. In the context of the bilateral dialogue, it calls on India to translate its commitments into reality. At the same time, it will encourage the international community to support and supplement our efforts to establish lasting peace and stability in South Asia on the basis of equitable resolution of all disputes between the two countries, in particular the core issue of Jammu and Kashmir.
We hope that India will join us in our efforts to bring durable peace to the region for the common benefit of all our peoples. For half a century our region has remained mired in tensions and conflicts. It is our sincere desire to see South Asia enter the next millennium at peace with itself.
Who is Aggressor in Kashmir
Let us examine the Indian claim, that:
(1) Contrary to the partition settlement and the general practice in respect of the Princely States and their rulers, Pakistan exerted economic and other pressures and while Kashmir had still not acceded and remained free to make its own choice invaded its territory. This was not accession but an attempt at annexation by force of arms. This is the crux of the Kashmir issue in its international aspect.�
(The Kashmir Question, 1947-1956, Information Service of India, New Delhi,
(2) India made, no attempt to coerce Kashmir or its ruler. At one stage, the Governor General of India informed the Maharaja that if he chose, in accordance with the established procedure, to accede to Pakistan, India would not object.�
(3) Pakistan, on the other hand, was determined to coerce the State into accession to her despite a Stand-still Agreement which she had signed with the Ruler and which she broke and began an economic blockade of the State in violation of the Stand-still Agreement.�
(4) Pakistan thus forced upon the people of Kashmir a war which brought death and devastation.�
(5) The legally constituted Government of Jammu and Kashmir, of which the Maharaja was the Head and with whom Pakistan had entered into the Stand-still Agreement, sent on October 24, 1947, an urgent appeal to the Government of India for help, requesting that the State be allowed to accede to India. In response to this appeal, India decided to accept the Instrument of Accession signed by the Maharaja and supported by the Kashmir National Conference. These acts of accession, and the acceptance of accession by India, made Kashmir as much as a part of India as any other former princely State. India thus became legally, constitutionally and morally bound to protect Kashmir. On the morning of October 27, Indian forces were flown to Kashmir.�
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