Kashmiris want to determine their status by the unconstrained will: Ambassador Buch
New York. February 27, 2019. Ambassador Yusuf Buch, former senior advisor to the Secretary General of the United Nations said, India’s aim to use the label ‘terrorists’ or ‘fundamentalist’ is to divert the attention of the world powers from the ground realities in Indian Occupied Kashmir.
“We are told that the big powers can only follow calculations of their interests against competing ones and cannot frame their policies in accordance with a moral view of situations arising in the world. If this is a doctrine of some kind of compulsion or inevitability bearing on them, it rests on a bogus contention. When the big powers themselves feel endangered or confronting an extremely serious situation, what do they do except speak a moral language? Words come from their mouths dripping with morality. Let us not, therefore, be deluded by the kind of talk that would make us renounce an appeal to moral sentiments in explaining our struggle in Kashmir,” Ambassador Buch said in a meeting at his residence in New York with Dr. Ghulam Nabi Fai, Secretary-General of the Washington-based World Kashmir Awareness Forum.
Responding to a question, Buch said, “The settlement of Kashmir to be based on a rational framework is intrinsic to the India – Pakistan situation. But it gains force from the present global imperative of pulling out the roots of extremism, quenching the fire of the rage behind it and giving psychological strength to the forces of moderation and rationality. No better present could be handed to extremists than an unprincipled deal between India and Pakistan which mocks the suffering and sacrifices of Kashmiris and nullifies the sustained effort, historically launched under western leadership at the United Nations, to enable Kashmiris to determine their status and future by their unconstrained will.”
Referring to the Indian claims that Kashmir was an integral part of India, Buch explained, “The question needs to be faced: at what point of time and by what justifiable means did Kashmir become a part of India? By the Maharaja’s accession? But India itself acknowledges that the accession was subject to plebiscite under international auspices. By the decision of the Jammu & Kashmir Constituent Assembly? But India assured the United Nations Security Council that the decision of the Assembly would not prejudice the plebiscite and come in its way. By the sheer passage of time? But, despite the lapse of decades, Kashmiris have shown themselves as unreconciled to Indian occupation and rule. By the elections held periodically in the Indian-occupied area? But these elections are known to have been rigged and their outcome is totally disowned by the people of Kashmir, as the mass uprising amply bears out.”
He pointed out that the notion that the present Indian policy is unshakeable, and will remain so, betrays a very shallow and, indeed an unrealistic and unfair view of India itself. Is it imaginable that a society as large and resourceful in thought and intelligence as India’s would remain locked forever in a destructive and at best a sterile course? Were the world powers to summon a little moral courage and beckon India to a rational settlement of the Kashmir dispute, they would be surprised to see the volume of support that would well up from patriotic and thoughtful sources within India itself.
Ambassador Buch cautioned that gimmickry and maneuvers, no matter by whom encouraged and approved, cannot be a response to a demand for which tens of thousands have shed their blood in Kashmir. To ignore this principle is to plan for failure, he added.
Dr. Fai can be reached at: 1-202-607-6435 or firstname.lastname@example.org