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Sunday, June 25, 2017

Dr Ghulam Nabi Fai

Washington, D.C. May 22, 2017. Hundreds of Kashmiri Americans – men, women and children - from various states in the United States staged their huge rally in front of the White House. They were demanding United Nations - assured right of self-determination.

Raising slogans of: “Kashmiri Lives Matter Too” “Kashmir in Pain: India in Shame” "Indian Forces: Out of Kashmir" “Demilitarize Kashmir” “U.N. Implement Resolutions on Kashmir” “Stop Forced Disappearances and Torture in Kashmir,” the marchers held candle light vigil on the sidewalk of the White House.

Syed Ali Geelani, ‘the Keynote Speaker’ called on the world leaders to persuade India and Pakistan to initiate a meaningful dialogue with the Kashmiri leadership to settle the Kashmir dispute once and for all. He suggested that it is better for Indian authorities to shun its stubborn approach and resolve this long pending issue. “The Indian army is unleashing a new wave of terror, killing dozens and maiming hundreds of unarmed protesters, utilizing bullets and lethal pellet-guns aimed to kill and maim” emphasized Mr. Geelani. He hoped that a new dawn of prosperity, peace and stability will be guaranteed when the Kashmir dispute is resolved to the satisfaction of the people of Kashmir.

Baltimore, Maryland. April 17, 2017. Dr. Ghulam Nabi Fai, Secretary General of ‘World Kashmir Awareness Forum’ voiced his continuing belief that the conflict over Kashmir cannot be resolved through military means. Kashmir is a political issue and has to be resolved through political means by involving all parties to the conflict – the Governments of India & Pakistan and the legitimate leadership of the Kashmiri resistance. He was speaking on the subject of Kashmir at the 42nd Annual Convention of ‘Islamic Circle of North America’ at Baltimore Convention Center. More than 20,000 people participated in this year’s convention. Other panelists included: Mr. Adem Carroll, Dr. M. A. Dhar, Dr. Nakibur Rahman and Bro. Tariq Rehman.

The issue of ‘universal development agenda’ is the issue of the twenty-first century. Never before have so many suffered amidst liberty and luxury for the few. The wealth of single individuals exceeds the wealth of many nations. In highly developed countries, the number of persons living past 80 years is soaring. In deprived and convulsed countries, the average longevity is but half that age. While citizens of some African and Asian countries are starving, the rich countries are beset with obesity. Discrepancies of these types are morally disturbing. The United Nations is ideally suited to ending these shocking inequalities because it hosts all the nations of the world and endows each with identical voting power in the General Assembly. The poorest and the weakest are equal to the richest and the strongest.

Saturday, 04 February 2017 00:00

The UN and Kashmir: Where Do We Go From Here?

If we were to judge the UN based upon its history of involvement in efforts to resolve international conflicts, the simplest answer is that it has been an enormous failure. The UN of course is a far more complex organization whose work covers such a wide range of activities that conflict resolution is really only a small aspect of its work. Nevertheless, if we consider the fact that its fundamental mission in being created was to be a means of preventing global catastrophes like the Second World War, then conflict resolution would have to be considered Job One. In addition, the word "conflict" in the phrase "conflict resolution" was defined as conflict among or between sovereign nations. As Chapter I, Article 2, stipulates, " Nothing contained in the present Charter shall authorize the United Nations to intervene in matters which are essentially within the domestic jurisdiction of any state or shall require the Members to submit such matters to settlement under the present Charter;"

Friday, 23 December 2016 00:00

Preventive Diplomacy: Successes & Failures

“It is also true that there is no peace and sustainable development without respect for human rights.” Antonio Guterres, Secretary General- elect of the United Nations

Mankind must put an end to war or war will put an end to mankind.” President John F. Kennedy

It has always been a challenge to exchange views on conflict prevention and the summoning into being a peaceful and prosperous world. The intellectual debate is great, but the stakes are even greater. Men and women have yearned for peace and prosperity for ages. President Abraham Lincoln in his second inaugural address declared, “Fondly do we hope, fervently do we pray, that this mighty scourge of war may speedily pass away.” Winston Churchill brilliantly recognized that it is invariably better to jaw-jaw than to war-war.

Tuesday, 06 December 2016 00:00

Universality of Human Rights: Myth or Reality

No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.” Article 5, Universal Declaration of Human Rights

The statement of Mr. Ban Ki-moon - UN Secretary General deserves an appreciation who wants to console people by saying: “On Human Rights Day, let us recommit to guaranteeing the fundamental freedoms and protecting the human rights of all."

The 1948 United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) on its 68th anniversary needs to be applauded.  Everyone knows that fundamental human rights are universal. That is the tacit assumption of the Declaration.

While the hullabaloo over Modi’s rise on the international stage has been on the verge of being a circus, with all the elephants of trade on parade, it is a distraction from the recent collective beating of chests being put on by joint Naval forces of India, the United States and Japan in the South China Sea, called Exercise Malabar, an annual event since 1992 bilaterally between India and the U.S.  Japan joined just last year.  It has been held in previous years in the Indian Ocean and other areas closer to home for India.  But the hegemonic ambitions of this odd couple now reflects the deepening commitment the two countries have made to sharing a strategic military alignment against China for dominance in South and Southeast Asia.

“Kashmir is an integral part of India, constitutionally, legally and morally something that is non-negotiable.” Ram Jethmalani, Outlook Magazine, October 8, 2016.

“Let me state unequivocally that Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India and will always remain so.’ Sushma Swaraj September 26, 2016

The fallacy advocated by the most celebrated Indian jurist and the Indian foreign minister deserves some clarification.

The people of Jammu & Kashmir who number more than 129 other existing independent nations individually and have a defined historical identity, are at present engaged in a mass struggle to win freedom and release from the foreign occupation of their land. This struggle is motivated by no bigotry or ethnic prejudice; its aim is nothing but the exercise of the right of self-determination explicitly agreed by both India and Pakistan.

To the horrors of the repression from which they suffer are added two other circumstances, each cruelly adverse. One is the apathy of the world outside, including the United States that otherwise are justly proud of their championship of democracy and human rights. The second is the fog of myths and evasive arguments, like Kashmir being an integral part of India. It is my modest attempt to help mitigate these two circumstances. My appeal is directed neither to the religious or ideological sympathies of Indian Public Square nor to their leanings towards any particular political party but solely to their conscience and human concern.

Dr. Ghulam Nabi Fai, Secretary General, World Kashmir Awareness said that Ms. Sushma Suraj’s assertion at the United Nations that Kashmir was an integral part of India was factually and legally wrong statement. Because under all international agreements, accepted by both India & Pakistan, negotiated by the United Nations and endorsed by the Security Council, Kashmir does not belong to any member state of the United Nations. If Kashmir does not belong to any member state of the United Nations, then the claim of Ms. Sushma Suraj that Kashmir was an integral part of India does not stand. Again, if Kashmir was not the integral part of India, then Kashmiris cannot be and should not be called secessionist or separatist, because Kashmiris cannot secede from a country – like India to which they have never acceded to in the first place.

Friday, 23 September 2016 23:02

Kashmir: Where the Truth Doesn’t Matter

NPR’s Julie McCarthy was in Kashmir earlier in September and reported on how different the unrest seems now compared to previous years. “First of all, there's this unprecedented kind of force being used. There's these high-velocity pellet shotguns for crowd control. And it's left thousands of people riddled with pellet injuries. And a lot of them have damaged eyesight. And some demonstrators have thrown stones, attacked police stations and government buildings. And, unusually, this started in rural areas. And it has spread throughout the Kashmir Valley. And it's lasted over 60 days. That's also unusual.”

Perhaps it’s not enough to point out that the champion of this latest uprising, a person who was slain in a fashion frequently called “extrajudicial” by others in the press, and whose killing was the primary provocation for the current uprising, was a self-declared militant who had used social media to resist the Indian occupation. He was someone who had become a symbol of the true spirit of resistance in the hearts of all Kashmiris.

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