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Thursday, September 20, 2018

Dr Ghulam Nabi Fai

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.

Since the current uprising in Kashmir began with the killing of Burhan Wani on July 8, the unjustifiable and violent attack with bullets, birdshot from pump-action shotguns and extreme cane beatings by Indian military forces upon many of some 200,000 mourners who attended his funeral, who were in technical violation of a rigid curfew that was established by the police and armed forces, has provoked numerous demonstrations and violent clashes between residents. Demonstrations have occurred across the globe by non-resident Kashmiris and other human rights activists. The curfews and clashes have now been sustained for over five weeks, with limited or no access to the basic necessities of life, including food, power and fuel, and the protests have continued almost unabated, with injuries reaching close to 10,000, deaths over 85, and some 570 at last count left blinded, and many more maimed from what have been euphemistically called “pellet” wounds. While Kashmir has been under siege for many decades by the largest military occupation in the world, the recent uptick in what is nothing less than an effort to terrorize the population into submission and silence has been particularly brutal.

Wednesday, 13 July 2016 13:07

Kashmir: Trouble in Paradise

So much for Ban Ki-moon’s heart and possibly even more so his soul. One can only recall the quote in Matthew and the betrayal of Jesus, “When Pilate saw that he was accomplishing nothing, but rather that a riot was starting, he took water and washed his hands in front of the crowd, saying, "I am innocent of this Man's blood; see to that yourselves."

The United Nations has walked away from the slaughter in Kashmir and washed its hands of it, and the world body has told India, “it’s your problem. See to that yourselves.” Even the U.S. State Department spokesman John Kirby has deferred all inquiries about the “killing fields” of Kashmir to the Indian government, the very source of all the bloodshed. That’s like referring the problem of foxes in the henhouse to Chief Minister Fox.

“Is it true Narendra Modi just boarded a flight to visit India?” Tweeted a critic of Indian Prime Minister’s globe-trotting jaunts. “Welcome home, Pradhan Mantriji! How long will you be staying this time?” Modi has already been to 33 countries just this year alone. The Donald Trump of South Asia, the man out to make India great again, a nationalist and sectarian, divisive at home but the man with the grand plan on the global stage, on June 7, 2016 marked his fourth visit to the U.S. since taking office in 2014.

The joint statement of Narendra Modi, the Prime Minister of India and President Obama on the occasion, noteworthy for its lack of any real substance, in part says, “…the leaders reviewed the deepening strategic partnership between the United States and India that is rooted in shared values of freedom, democracy, universal human rights, tolerance and pluralism, equal opportunities for all citizens, and rule of law.”

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