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Saturday, December 16, 2017

Dr Ghulam Nabi Fai

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.”

Baltimore, Maryland. May 31, 2016. “The world powers have voiced not a syllable of reproach to India for its human rights violations in Kashmir. Their tacit message to India's leaders: your economic attractiveness and hegemony in South Asia exculpate your human rights atrocities in Kashmir. Does that reflect a profile in courage?” this was stated by Dr. Ghulam Nabi Fai, Secretary General of World Kashmir Awareness during the 41st Annual Convention of Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA).

Dr. Fai was speaking in the panel, entitled, “Muslims Around The World Series” on the subject of Kashmir. Other speakers included Dr. Nikibur Rahman, son of Motiur Rahman Nizami who was executed in Bangladesh on May 11, 2016 through a trial procedure that international human rights groups, including ‘Amnesty International’ have condemned as deeply flawed. ‘The Arab Spring: 6 Years later’ was presented by Dr. Abdul Mawgoud Dardery, former Member of Parliament of Egypt.

There are some disputes in modern history that one might take lessons from in understanding the wisest course to take in resolving the Kashmiri dispute.

The Aaland Islands is a case in point. The Aaland Islands are joined at the hip -- well, should I say, the toe of Finland -- and has been considered of strategic importance from the standpoint of defense for Sweden, because of its role as a kind of sentinel to the entrances to the port of Stockholm, as well as the approaches to the Gulf of Bothnia, in addition to being situated near the Gulf of Finland.

Washington, D.C. March 31, 2016. An impressive peaceful demonstration was held during Nuclear Security Summit in front of the Washington D.C. Convention Center wherein hundreds of participants, who came from New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia and Washington itself were carrying the placards with the message, “ Kashmir: Nuclear flashpoint”; “Time to resolve the Kashmir dispute is now”; “Freedom for all: Freedom for Kashmir”; “Kashmiris demand right of self-determination”; “India: Stop human rights violations in Kashmir.” “Road to Kabul Runs Through Kashmir.”

The participants highlighted that Kashmir was at the brink of a potential nuclear holocaust, and this holocaust was occurring because the root cause of independence and freedom for Kashmir had not been adequately addressed. Kashmir has ignited two wars between the estranged South Asian rivals in 1948 and 1965, and a third could trigger nuclear volleys and a nuclear winter threatening the entire globe. The United States would enjoy no sanctuary. Both India and Pakistan are racing like thoroughbreds to bolster their nuclear arsenals and advanced delivery vehicles. Their defense budgets are climbing despite widespread misery amongst their populations.

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