Time to invoke 4th Geneva Convention in Kashmir: Dr. Fai
February 18, 2023, Mirpur, Azad Kashmir.“I would like to remind everybody that we are mindful that hundreds of webinars have not brought any visible change in the situation on the ground in Kashmir, so, what justifies holding another? Yes, it is true that the holding of webinars have had little impact but non holding of webinars will have the most damaging, destructive, and painful consequences on the situation in Kashmir. If we fail to organize any webinar, it will strengthen the impression being created by Narendra Modi that the Kashmir dispute has no life left in it; that the exertion of Indian military might has settled the matter; and that the shocking atrocities committed by Indian army on the people of Kashmir have finally compelled them to resign to military occupation of India. That impression is absolutely false. Yet, it is the kind of impression which needs to be erased, thereby organizing more webinars,” this was stated by Dr. Ghulam Nabi Fai, Chairman, World Forum for Peace & Justice during a webinar organized by Mirpur University of Science and Technology (MUST).
Other panelists included: Mr. Mahmood Ahmad Saghar, Convener, All Parties Hurriyat Conference; Mr. Ghulam Muhammad Safi, Convener, Tehreek-e-Hurriyat, Jammu & Kashmir; Dr. Mubeen Shah, President, Kashmir House, Istanbul & Vice Chairman, Kashmir Diaspora Coalition; Ali Raza Syed, Chairman, Kashmir Council, EU; and Professor Taimoor Akbar Choudhury. Mr. Muhammad Shakeel, a seasoned journalist, former Station Director AJK Radio & former Editor, The Voice of Germany was the Emcee.
Dr. Fai added that we are told that the global powers can only follow their national interest and cannot frame their polices in accordance with moral values and universal principles. So, they cannot help us in Kashmir and elsewhere. Yes, it is true Fai agreed that the world powers do have national interest. However, when the world powers themselves do face the issue of international peace and security, or confronting an extremity, like the situation in Ukraine, what do they do except speak a moral language? Words come from their mouth dripping with morality. That is exactly what happened when the United States got involved in Ukraine crisis, President Biden said on October 12, 2022, “We will not tolerate illegal attempts at annexation or the theft of a neighbor’s land by force. We will stand up for international law, the UN Charter.”
Isn’t is our responsibility, Fai asked to knock the doors of American foreign policy agencies and tell them what Antonio Guterres, the Secretary General of the United Nations has said multiple times that Kashmir issue has to be resolved under UN Charter and applicable UN Security Council resolutions.
Fai endorsed the move of NATO which invoked 4th Geneva Convention because the crimes against humanity are being committed in Ukraine. It is past due that world powers need to invoke 4th Geneva Convention in Kashmir where again the crimes against humanity are being committed with impunity. Dr. Gregory Stanton, Chairman, Genocide Watch has said, “Kashmir is at the brink of genocide; New York Times, Kashmir has become the hell for the people of Kashmir; and Committee to Protect Journalists have said that the news media in Kashmir is at the brink of extinction.
Fai warned that some friendly countries to both India and Pakistan are pursing the Four-point formula of President Musharraf which is an absolute fallacy. Musharraf formula is a camouflage of the idea that ‘Line of Control’ should be converted into an international border. Such an option is an insult to the intelligence of the people of Kashmir. Line of Control, Fai added is the line of conflict which divided the families, culture and border of Jammu & Kashmir. The people of Kashmir revolted against status quo and status quo cannot be an answer.
Kashmiri global diaspora needs to join hands and persuade the members of the Human Rights Council to pay heed to the recommendation made by UN High Commissioner of Human Rights (UNHCHR) and establish ‘Commission of Enquiry’ to assess the situation in Kashmir.
The webinar concluded with ‘Question a& Answer’ session.