Washington, D.C. April 29, 2012. Dr. Ghulam Nabi Fai today applauded United Nations Secretary-General, Ban Ki-Moon’s spotlight on Kashmir. Fai said that we would like to express our profound gratitude to the Secretary General by proposing support for peaceful method to resolve the dispute over Jammu and Kashmir. In doing so, the Secretary General as the custodian of human rights is undoubtedly championing the cause of right and justice.
We deeply appreciate the statement of the Secretary General that the “will” of the people there must be respected while finding any solution.” “The people of Kashmir are, therefore profoundly grateful to the Secretary General for upholding the position of principle which the United Nations has sustained throughout the existence of the contentious issue relating to the status of Kashmir,” Fai said.
Secretary General was right by saying that he was pleased with the continued efforts to improve the relations between India and Pakistan. This has a broader significance for the region and for global peace. He also said that there are many outstanding issues but he encourages leaders of both the countries to persist with these efforts.
Fai, however, explained that it was a healthy sign that India and Pakistan have started talking to each other. But this should not give the wrong impression that the problem is on the way to being solved. Of course, no body would suggest that India and Pakistan should not talk to each other. But talks without any defined parameters can only serve as a camouflage. If there is no breakthrough in the thought process and mindset of both India and Pakistan, then there is absolutely no possibility that any dialogue will succeed.
Dr. Fai reiterated that this urgent goal couldn’t be left to the two governments of India and Pakistan to achieve. It requires the engagement of a multilateral effort on the initiative of the United Nations. Fai said that to avert drift and deterioration in the present situation, it is necessary to induct a suitable P-5 presence in the area of conflict. A person of high international standing, like Bishop Desmond Tutu, needs to be appointed as the representative of either the P-5 or the Security Council or the Secretary General of the UN.
Fai suggested that in order to quicken and strengthen the peace process, the United Nations would definitely recommend improving the atmosphere in Kashmir by a full restoration of civil liberties, including the liberty to express themselves peacefully on the question of their own future. A suppression of this freedom means empowering terroristic elements. This in turn paves the way for destabilizing Pakistan – something that is certainly not in India’s own interest, nor in the interest of the UN.
For associating the people of Kashmir in a credible peace process, it will be imperative to secure their representation on a principled basis by election in Kashmir under the control and supervision of the United Nations. This would enable all the different ethnic communities and zones in Kashmir to elect representatives who in turn would appoint a team or teams with the mandate to negotiate a settlement with both India and Pakistan.
Fai reaffirmed that to hold meaningful dialogue requires the only pre-condition, i.e. that there should be none.