New York, October 2, 2016.
Dr. Ghulam Nabi Fai, Secretary General, World Kashmir Awareness said that Ms. Sushma Suraj’s assertion at the United Nations that Kashmir was an integral part of India was factually and legally wrong statement. Because under all international agreements, accepted by both India & Pakistan, negotiated by the United Nations and endorsed by the Security Council, Kashmir does not belong to any member state of the United Nations. If Kashmir does not belong to any member state of the United Nations, then the claim of Ms. Sushma Suraj that Kashmir was an integral part of India does not stand. Again, if Kashmir was not the integral part of India, then Kashmiris cannot be and should not be called secessionist or separatist, because Kashmiris cannot secede from a country – like India to which they have never acceded to in the first place.
Barrister Sultan Mehmood Chaudhry, former Prime Minister of Azad Kashmir said “We believe that for the peace process to achieve an equitable and lasting settlement of the dispute, it must fully associate the representatives of the people of Jammu & Kashmir; and provided for each successive step towards settlement being supervised by the United Nations or any impartial agreed body set up for the purpose.” Barrister added that no solution to the Kashmir problem will be credible if it involves coercion on the people of the State by any external party.
Mr. Ishtiyaq Hameed, Representative of All Parties Hurriyet Conference said , “The dialogue process must not be only between India and Pakistan rather India and Pakistan must initiate the dialogue process with the genuine leadership of the people of Kashmir – the leadership that represents the broader spectrum of the opinion of the people of Kashmir from both sides of the Cease-fire Line.
Dr. Imtiaz Khan, President, Kashmiri American Council said, “The world powers must remind both India and Pakistan that the final status of Jammu & Kashmir is yet to be determined and it has to be decided by the people of Jammu & Kashmir.” Dr. Khan added that the world powers must stress to the Government of India to allow humanitarian organizations to Kashmir.
Sardar Sawar Khan, former Advisor to the Prime Minister of Azad Kashmir said, “The United Nations has unfinished business in Kashmir. There exist several United Nations resolutions that clearly state the people of Jammu & Kashmir have the right to determine their own future through a free, fair and impartial vote. We are asking the United Nations to follow on its commitment to the people of Kashmir.
Captain Shaheen Bhat, leader of Kashmir American community said, “The Government of India must accept that the United Nations resolutions are binding on both India and Pakistan. It must also accept the fact that Kashmir is a disputed territory and not the internal matter of India.”
Dr. Asif Rehman, former President of AAPNA said, “We advocate a solution to the Kashmir dispute through peaceful negotiations. The Kashmir issue threatens to ignite another war between India and Pakistan both of which are nuclear powers. The United States has the leverage to persuade both India and Pakistan to settle the Kashmir dispute to the satisfaction of the people of Kashmir.
Sardar Imitaz Khan, New Jersey said, “The world powers must endorse the recommendation of the United Nations High Commissioner that an impartial investigation needs to be made about the latest situation in Occupied Kashmir. The United Nations must send a fact finding mission to asses the situation there.”
Mr. Rohail Dar, leader of Pakistani American community said that the Government of India has refused the dialogue with both Pakistani and the Kashmiri leadership. It has chosen instead the brutal path of violent crackdown on all political dissent in Occupied Kashmir. In doing so, India is committing brutal acts of rape, torture and murder against thousands of innocent civilians.
Mr. Javaid Rathore, Chicago said, “The issue of Kashmir cannot be resolved bilaterally between India and Pakistan. 70 years of failed diplomacy has proven this. It needs the understanding of the world powers, particular the United States to persuade both India and Pakistan that it is in their long term national interest to achieve the settlement of the Kashmir dispute.”
Sardar Amerjit Singh Ji of Khalistan center, Washington said, “Each day that India injures more Kashmir’s and kills countless civilians, it strengthens the sentiments of Aazadi amongst the general populace and weakens those who still believe that a peaceful settlement should be and can be achieved.” The right of self-determination is the birth right of every single individual, be s/he a Hindu or a Muslim or Sikh.
Mr. Raja Muhammad Yaqub from Chicago said, “Indian army is engaged in serious human rights abuses in Kashmir and we believe that world powers need to know that the so-called ‘world’s most populous democracy’ is a grave offender of the most basic of human rights.’
Sardar Yasin Chohan, Chicago said, “The United Nations has an obligation and a responsibility to facilitate a dialogue amongst all parties to the conflict to secure peace and stability on the South Asian continent.”
Sardar Zarif Khan, Washington, D.C. said, “An impartial mediator needs to help initiate a process of negotiations without pre-conditions from any party. Without an international mediatory, the differences will forever keep the parties divided.”
Others who spoke include: Sardar Imtiaz Garalavi, Sardar Taj Khan, Choudhary Zahoor Akhtar, Qazi Mushtaq Ali, Choudhary Muhammad Ishaq, Mr. Aftab Shah, Sardar Zulfiqar Roshan Khan, Sardar Zubair Khan, Raja Liaqat Kiyani, Mr. Hamid Malik.