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Published:February 1st, 2011 10:19 EST
Status Quo is Not Acceptable to the People of Jammu & Kashmir

Status Quo is Not Acceptable to the People of Jammu & Kashmir

By SOP newswire2

The people of·Jammu and Kashmir, who are larger in number than 123 currently independent nations and who have a defined historical identity, are at present engaged in a massive, indigenous and non violent struggle to win their freedom from the foreign occupation of their land. "This struggle is not motivated by bigotry or ethnic prejudice, for its sole aim is the right of self-determination explicitly recognized in relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions," said Dr. Ghulam Nabi Fai, Executive Director, Kashmiri American Council/Kashmir Center while speaking on the topic, The Post-Simla Agreement Environment and India-Pakistani Dialogue " which was organized by "ROYAL UNITED SERVICE INSTITUTE FOR DEFENCE & SECURITY (RUSI), LONDON, U.K." The speakers include: Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, Maj. General Ashok Mehta, Professor Richard Bonney, Mr. Alexander Neil, Dr. Robert Bardnock, Professor Angana Chatterji, Ms. Victoria Schofiled, Liz. Philipson, Barrister Majid Tramboo, Mr. Zahid G. Mohammad, Professor Ishtiq Hussain, Dr. Zulfiqar Ali, Professor Nazir Shawl, Advocate Ahmer Bilal Soofi and Mr. Jonatahn Paris, esq.

Fai said that to the horrors of repression for which the people of Kashmir suffer are added two other circumstances, each cruelly adverse. One is the apathy of the world at large, including governments and organizations that otherwise are justly proud of their championship of democracy and human rights. The second is the fog of myths and evasive arguments currently surroundingIndia`s wrongful occupation of·Kashmir.

Fai emphasized that there is no sign of even a beginning being made towards a meaningful peace process between India and Pakistan, eliminating the danger of war. The current mass movement has made it abundantly clear that the status quo in Kashmir is both unjust and untenable and is not acceptable to the people of the State of·Jammu·& Kashmir. It has thus thrown into sharp relief the urgent need for India and Pakistan to settle the 63-year old Kashmir dispute on a just and lasting basis.

Fai warned that it is incorrect to assume that the·Simla Agreement·has in any way superseded the relevant resolutions of the United Nations Commission for India and Pakistan, which have been accepted by both parties. Nor can it be perceived to have narrowed the gulf between them and, to that extent, simplified the task of reaching a settlement. Even if it had done so, its impact on the Kashmir situation would be open to question. Nothing in international law confers on two parties the authority to make decisions or conclude agreements which adversely affect the rights of a third. The third party " indeed the central one -- here is the people of Jammu and Kashmir.

If non-implementation were to render an agreement defunct, then the Simla Agreement is in no better state than the earlier, far more concrete and comprehensive agreement painstakingly worked out by the United Nations and concluded under its auspices in 1948-49. If passage of time were allowed to extinguish solemn international agreements, then the Simla Agreement has already suffered the same fate as the UNCIP resolutions. If, however, agreements are to be revived, then why revive one (Simla Agreement) and not the other (UNCIP)?

Fai reiterated that Kashmiris are not necessarily against the bilateral talks between India and Pakistan. But they want these talks to be meaningful and purposeful. The history of past sixty-three years testifies to the fact that the bilateral talks between India and Pakistan have been always fruitless. In fact any attempt to strike a deal between any two parties without the association of the third party, will fail to yield a credible settlement. India and Pakistan tried at Tashqant in 1966, at Simla in 1972, at Lahore 1998 and at Agra in 2001. These agreements failed because they sought to bypass the primary party " the people of Jammu and Kashmir. Similarly, agreement between·Sheikh Abdullah·and·Nehru·in 1952; and the pact between Sheikh Abdullah and·Indira Gandhi·in 1975; and an agreement between·Farooq Abdullah·and·Rajiv Gandhi·in 1980`s sought to bypass·Pakistan, leaving the basic issue of Kashmir unsettled. So the time has come that talks must be tripartite. The reason that talks must be tripartite is that the dispute primarily involves three parties- India, Pakistan, and the people of Kashmir. But the primary party is the people of Kashmir, because it is ultimately their future, the future of 16 million people of Jammu and Kashmir that is at stake.

The Irish Good Friday Agreement would not have been possible without the participation of the·Sinn Fein. Indonesia could not have resolved East Timor dispute without including East Timorese into discussion. The Kosovo peace process would have been only a dream had there not been the participation of the KLA. Therefore, I believe that India and Pakistan cannot by themselves reach a settlement over Jammu and Kashmir without associating the genuine Kashmiri leadership, with the negotiations. Kashmiri leadership means All Parties Hurriyet Conference, and the leadership of Kashmiri Pandits, Dogras, Buddhists and·Sikhs. If India and Pakistan will try to reach a settlement without the participation of Kashmiri leadership, they would be performing Hamlet without the Prince of Denmark.