San Francisco. March 29, 2014. Dr. Ghulam Nabi Fai, Secretary General of "World Kashmir Awareness" has announced a six point agenda to set a stage for the resolution of Kashmir issue. He was addressing a well represented seminar entitled “Kashmir: A reminder to the American policy makers,” here at Fremont, California. The event was sponsored by the American Muslim Alliance and Pakistani American Democratic Forum which are headed by a well-known political scientist, Dr. Agha Saeed. Mr. Mike Gravel, former member of the U.S Senate, Mr. Naeem Baig, President of Islamic Circle of North America and Dr. Hatem Bazian – a prominent Arab American leader spoke on the event.
Dr. Fai while expounding on his 6 points suggested that,
(1). The conflict over Kashmir cannot be resolved through military means. Kashmir issue is a political issue and has to be resolved through political means;
(2). There has to be a cease-fire from all sides during negotiations. Negotiations cannot be carried out at a time when parties are killing each other;
(3). Talks must be tripartite between India, Pakistan and genuine leadership of the people of Kashmir;
(4). There cannot be and should not be any condition from any party, other than commitment to non-violence and to negotiations;
(v). Negotiations should be initiated simultaneously at four different levels, including:
(a). an intra-Kashmir dialogue between the leadership of the Kashmiri political resistance, and the leadership of Azad Kashmir, Gilgat Baltistan and the leadership of minority groups in Kashmir;
(b). talks between the government of India and Pakistan;
(c). talks between the Governments of India, Pakistan and the Kashmiri leadership;
(d). talks between India, Pakistan, Kashmir, China and the United States.
(vi). There should be third party facilitation to make sure that the talks between India, Pakistan and Kashmiri leadership remain focused. Third party facilitator could be a person of an international standing, like Nobel Laureate, Bishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa or Dr. Kofi Annan of Ghana or Mr. Kjell Magne Bondevik, former Prime Minister of Norway or Ms. Mary Robinson, former President of Ireland and former UN High Commissioner on Human Rights.
Dr. Fai who was the key-note speaker added that there have been various round of talks between India and Pakistan, including the Summit between Dr. Manmohan Singh and Mian Nawaz Sharif in New York in September 2013. These talks, Fai emphasized, are taking place because there is a deeper engagement of the United States with both New Delhi and Islamabad. There is also a realization that the time has come both countries need to address all the issues including the issue of Kashmir.
Fai further elaborated that the people of Kashmir support the talks between India and Pakistan. Because these talks have opened the doors of understanding and mutual respect between these two neighboring countries. It has also created an atmosphere of reconciliation and normalization. But talks, Fai warned, without any defined parameters and the talks which are not time bond and result oriented are not going to lead us anywhere. If there is no break through in the thought processes, if there is no change in the mindset, then talks between India and Pakistan even if at the summit level will not guarantee peace in the region of South Asia.
Dr. Fai said that the sentiments of people of Kashmir are for Azadi. He quoted a survey which was conducted by monthly Outlook and was released by UNI on November 5, 2004 and the survey said that 78 per cent of the people of Kashmir want Azadi. Dr. Fai quoted another survey which was conducted by Hindustan Times and CNN-IBN and NDTV on August 12, 2008. According to this survey, 87% people of Kashmir preferred Azadi for Kashmir. He added that London-based Chattam House had another survey in Kashmir which was released by BBC on May 27, 2010. According to this survey 90 to 95 per cent of the people of the Valley want Azadi. Such a nation where the sentiments of Azadi are on the increase cannot remain subjugated for ever, Fai alerted.
Fai concluded by reminding President Obama to listen to Candidate Obama who said on October 30, 2008 that “We should probably try to facilitate a better understanding between Pakistan and India and try to resolve the Kashmir crisis.”
Former Senator Mike Gravel of the United States Senate said, I am an American and I love my country. There are many beautiful things about this country but I am terribly embraced by the miscarriage of justice in the case of Dr. Aafia Siddiqui, Dr. Sami Al-Arian and now Dr. Ghulam Nabi Fai. The only way to fix this problem is to fight back and help restore America’s original promise.
Dr. Hatem Bazian said, there is willful attack on Muslim leadership and institutions in the United States and Dr. Ghulam Nabi Fai‘s case is a latest example. This simply tells us that Dr. Fai was doing something great for the cause he loves the most and for his people. We appreciate the courage and leadership of our brother Dr. Fai.
Mr. Naeem Baig, President of Islamic Circle of North America said the victims should not feel weak. They will have to stand up but it is our responsibility to help them to materialize their dream. I have been witnessing the work of Dr. Ghulam Nabi Fai for the last twenty years The way he has projected the cause of Kashmir in this country is exemplary. We are here to work with him to bring peace and justice to the region of Kashmir.