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Saturday, December 16, 2017
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When the Kashmir dispute erupted in 1947-1948, the world powers championed the stand that the future status of Kashmir must be ascertained in accordance with the wishes and aspirations of the people of the territory. The United States, Great Britain and France were principal sponsors of the resolution which was adopted by the Security Council on April 21, 1948 and which was based on that unchallenged principle. The basic formula for settlement was incorporated in the resolutions of the U.N. Commission adopted on August 13, 1948 and January 5, 1949.

The Security Council discussed the question exhaustively from January to April 1948. Since both India and Pakistan desired that the question of final settlement should be decided through an impartial plebiscite, the Council developed proposals based on the common ground between them. The Indian point of view was unambiguously clarified by its Prime Minister, Pandit Nehru when he said: "If, after a proper plebiscite, the people of Kashmir said, 'we do not want to be with India'; we are committed to accept it though it might pain us. We will not send an army against them. We will accept that however hurt we might feel about it. W e will change the constitution, if necessary."

These were not resolutions in the routine sense of the term. Their provisions were negotiated in detail by the Commission with India and Pakistan and it was only after the consent of both Governments was explicitly obtained that they were endorsed by the Security Council. They thus constitute a binding and solemn international agreement about the settlement of the Kashmir dispute.

Much is being made of the fact that six decades have passed since the principled solution was formulated by the United Nations with almost universal support. Mere passage of time or the flight from realities cannot alter the fact that these resolutions remain unimplemented until today. The United Nations resolutions can never become obsolete, or over taken by events or changed circumstances. The passage of time cannot invalidate an enduring and irreplaceable principle – the right of self-determination of the people of Kashmir. If passage of time were allowed to extinguish solemn international agreements, then the United Nations Charter should suffer the same fate as the resolutions on Kashmir. If non-implementation were to render an agreement defunct, then the Geneva Convention in twenty-first century in many countries is in no better state than these resolutions.

The right of self-determination, by definition, is an unrestricted right. By entering into the agreement, India and Pakistan excluded, and rendered inadmissible, each other's claim to the State until that claim was accepted by the people through a vote taken under an impartial authority. They did not, as they could not, decide what options the people would wish to consider. They could not tell the people of Kashmir that they can choose independently but they cannot choose independence. It would make a mockery of democratic norms. No agreement between two parties can affect the rights of a third: this is an elementary principle of law and justice which no international agreement, if legitimate, can possibly flout.

It is not the inherent difficulties of a solution, but the lack of the will to implement a solution, that has caused the prolonged deadlock over the Kashmir dispute. The deadlock has meant indescribable agony for the people of Kashmir and incalculable loss for both India and Pakistan. If the new world order is not to be an order of unreason, injustice and terror and thus a permitted anarchy, that agony should be brought to an end and that loss repaired. The peace that has eluded the South Asian subcontinent, should be made secure.

The persistence of this problem has been a source of weakness for both India and Pakistan. It has diminished both these neighboring countries. The world powers draw great satisfaction from India's striking economic progress which will enable India to play its rightful role as a great power. That kind of role can only be hobbled by a festering problem. India's adversaries -- if there are none, whoever does not wish India to play the role of a major power in one context or another – will try their utmost to take advantage of it. A great power cannot afford disputed boundaries if it wishes to maintain or enhance its prestige and influence; a small or even a medium power can live with them indefinitely.

One of the indications of the passivity of the people of Kashmir is that the world powers remain content with urging India and Pakistan to enter into a dialogue. Nobody would suggest that they should not do so but when a basis for talks is not defined and the two parties remain entrenched in their respective positions, to call upon them to enter into dialogue is as good as asking them to square the circle. In effect, it has proved to be a formula for endless stalemate.

The contention that Kashmir is a bilateral matter between India and Pakistan is designed to negate the jurisdiction of the Untied Nations over the dispute, on the one hand, and, on the other, to eliminate the party most concerned and most deeply affected, i.e., the people of Kashmir.

There is no way Kashmir dispute can be settled once and for all except in harmony with the people's will, and there is no way the people's will can be ascertained except through an impartial vote. Secondly, there are no insuperable obstacles to the setting up of a plebiscite administration in Kashmir under the aegis of the United Nations. The world organization has proved its ability, even in the most forbidding circumstances, to institute an electoral process under its supervision and control and with the help of a neutral peace‑keeping force. The striking example of this is Namibia and East Timor, which were peacefully brought to independence after decades of occupation and control by South Africa and Indonesia respectively. Thirdly, as Sir Owen Dixon, the United Nations Representative, envisaged six decades ago, the plebiscite can be so regionalized that none of the different zones of the state will be forced to accept an outcome contrary to its wishes.

It is high time that we try to make a constructive departure. The best point for doing so is to restore the focus where it originally belonged and where it still rests logically viz: the rights and interests of the people of Kashmir itself.

What should be the procedure for putting the dispute on the road to a settlement? The better way would be to ask the Secretary General of the United Nations, with the concurrence of the Security Council, to engage himself, directly or through a representative of high international standing, in a sustained effort of facilitation which should (a) ensure that the position of the people of Kashmir is fully taken into account and (b) aim at a settlement within a reasonable time-frame, providing for a transitional period, if necessary, for a calming effect.

No sleight of hand is required, no subtle concepts are to be deployed, and no ingenious deal needs to be struck between an Indian and a Pakistani leader with the endorsement of the more pliable Kashmiri figure. All that is needed is going back --- yes, going back --- to the point of agreement which historically existed beyond doubt between India and Pakistan and jointly resolving to retrieve it with such modifications as proposed by the Kashmir leadership – the tripartite negotiations between India & Pakistan and the genuine leadership of the people of Kashmir.

If sincerity is brought to the process in place of cheap trickery, the dawn of peace will glow as never before over the subcontinent – the home to one-fifth of total human race.

Dr. Fai can be reached at: Tel: 1-202-607-6435
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Washington, January 5, 2104. Dr. Ghulam Nabi Fai, lamented today's 65th anniversary of the non‑implementation of the January 5, 1949, United Nations resolution which says that the future of Jammu and Kashmir shall be decided through the democratic method of a free and impartial plebiscite; there shall be no threat, coercion or intimidation, bribery or other undue influence on the voters in the plebiscite; no restrictions should be placed on legitimate political activity throughout the State; all subjects of the State, regardless of creed, caste or party, shall be safe and free in expressing their views; and there shall be freedom of the Press, speech and assembly.

Monday, 30 December 2013 03:00

Kashmir Event Held in Brooklyn, New York

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New York, December 29, 2013. "The period of incarceration provided me an opportunity for introspection. It was also an opportunity to reflect and to learn from the past and re-focus on the future. This process of self-examination undoubtedly strengthened my inner self and beliefs. It also opened the doors of understanding and growth" said Dr. Ghulam Nabi Fai at a reception organized in his honor by Sardar Sawar Khan, former Advisor to the Prime Minister of Azad Kashmir. The reception was held at Pakeeza restaurant, Brooklyn, New York and was jointly sponsored by Jammu Kashmir Muslim Conferences; Peoples Party of Pakistan, Azad Kashmir; Jammu Kashmir Muslim League; Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front, Jamaat-e-Islamic Azad Kashmir; Jammu Kashmir Liberation League; Jamait-e-Ulama-e-Islam, Azad Kashmir.

Washington, D.C. December 10, 2013. 

 

“We need to applaud the 1948 ‘Universal Declaration of Human Rights’, which stands as a moral reproach to wrongdoing nations that may facilitate reforms, even though its lofty provisions safeguarding fundamental human rights remain dishonored in many parts of the world,” said Dr. Ghulam Nabi Fai on the occasion of the 65th anniversary of the United Nations Human Rights Day.

September 24, 2012
 
Dr. Ghulam Nabi Fai has expressed his gratitude to all those friends and well-wishers who kept him in their thought and prayers. 
Saturday, 14 July 2012 12:31

Message from Dr. Ghulam Nabi Fai

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Dear all,

Words cannot express the feelings of the absence of my friends and family who have given me their love and sympathy during the past so many years. They have kept me in their prayers during these tough times. I am hopeful that their warmth and generosity will continue in days to come.

Monday, 09 July 2012 12:39

Be Back Soon

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Be Back Soon

Dr. Ghulam Nabi Fai

Washington, D.C.
Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Saying goodbye is sometimes easy but sometimes a very difficult thing to do, particularly when I am saying goodbye, though temporarily, to freedom and to a mission that I have given my life to. But the real goodbye is not the words that I have formed in my head because there are none that express how I really feel. The goodbye is in a slowly swelling sense of absence of all the people and places and efforts I have put my heart into that has become like a flower near a pond that may dry up for lack of rain. Its sustenance is going away. The absence is the letting go of all the things that I embrace. How does one let go of love? How does one let go of one's heart, one's very life? A life is not merely held within one's blood circulating in the body or in the breath that one takes. It is so much more in all the people that I have lived for and my beloved country of origin, Kashmir – the paradise on earth.

Washington, D.C. July 8, 2012. "No human rights are self-executing. Thus, everyone who participates in raising the issues of civil and political rights does yeoman's service on behalf of the oppressed. What is even more impressive is the willingness to invite risks to life, liberty, and property by those who would speak in the name of civil and political rights against autocratic or cruel regimes. How many unknown champions lie unremembered and unheralded in graves?" said Dr. Ghulam Nabi Fai on the eve of the 105th session of the United Nations, Human Rights Committee which will be meeting in Geneva between July 9 – 27, 2012. The Human Rights Committee is the body of internationally known 18 independent experts who are elected for a term of four years. Currently, Dr. Zonke Zanele Majodina of South Africa is the Chairman of the Committee. The Committee monitors implementation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights all over the world.

Washington, D.C. July 6, 2012. Dr. Ghulam Nabi Fai has welcomed the foreign secretaries' talks between New Delhi & Islamabad on July 4 – 5, 2012 where they exchanged views on the issue of Jammu & Kashmir and agreed 'to continue discussions in a purposeful and forward looking manner with the view to finding a peaceful solution by narrowing divergences and building convergences.' "These talks offer hope for peace in South Asia if the course of justice is followed and both parties undertake to abide by their commitments. The continuance of talks can only be useful if they reflect a sense of urgency and prepare the ground for an earnest effort at the highest level to frame a step-by-step plan of settlement of the Kashmir dispute. Mere persistence of talks at a level lower than political leadership of the two countries – and that too at a leisurely pace – will in no way defuse the situation. Unintentionally though, it will mock the agony of the people of Kashmir rather than assuage it," Fai added.

By: Dr Ghulam Nabi Fai

Over 100,000 Kashmiris have lost their lives in the past 23 years. 8,000 to 10,000 people have disappeared.  2,700 mass graves have been discovered in the town of Kupwara alone.  It is well documented that hundreds of thousands of Indian armed forces have made Kashmir the largest occupation on earth.  The conditions in our homeland have become so ugly with rapes, beatings, shootings and other crimes inflicted by the occupation that we are condemned as a lot in the eyes of the world to be ignored and forgotten because, aside from any intentional bias in the press, no one wants to think about it. Kashmir has almost become a forgotten land, a forgotten people.   

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