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Saturday, December 16, 2017

The idea that the dispute over the status of Jammu and Kashmir can be settled only in accordance with the will of the people, which can be ascertained through the democratic method of a free and impartial plebiscite, was the common ground taken by all the three parties to the dispute, viz., the people of Kashmir, Pakistan, and India. It was supported without any dissent by the United Nations Security Council and prominently championed by the United States, Great Britain, France and other democratic states.

It became a matter of controversy only after India realized that she could not win the people's vote. Due to the cold war, she found a firm ally for her obstructionist position in the Soviet Union. With the end of the cold war, the original perspective should have been recovered.

Sunday, 21 February 2016 00:00

The JNU Protest: The Right to Dissent

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In many respects the brouhaha over the Jawahar Lal Nehru (JNU) protest and the arrest of the student union president Kanhaiya Kumar can be counted as a good thing, in that it has brought the issue of Kashmir again into the national limelight, encouraging discussion and dialogue about self-determination.

Kashmir is one of the most beautiful countries in the world, but yet it is being treated like dirt under the rug. Responsibility for it must ultimately be faced, because, sooner or later, it will be exposed. The authorities will hope that the JNU protest and Afzal Guru can be swept under the rug of the Indian conscience too. But repression invariably brings about the very opposite.

Washington, D.C. February 6, 2106. “It is in the interest of world peace that India and Pakistan need to resolve the Kashmir dispute to the satisfaction of the people of Jammu and Kashmir. The final and durable settlement of the Kashmir dispute will undoubtedly guarantee peace and stability in the region of South Asia. It will also have a great impact on the international peace and security,” this was stated by Dr. Eija-Riitta Korhola who served as the member of the Foreign Relations Committee of the European Parliament and who was the key-note speaker at the Kashmir Solidarity Day event organized here by friends of Kashmir in Washington, DC metropolitan area and beyond. The event was attended by a large number of people interested in peace and stability in the region of South Asia.

Dr. Korhola added, “Kashmir is not forgotten. We are not going to let it happen. Why? Because as human beings we cannot afford ignoring basic right of self-determination. She emphasized, “The Kashmir problem was in many ways created by one of our members in the EU. When the British left India in 1947, they left without defining the future of Kashmir. Because of this historical background Europe has a special responsibility to make sure that the Kashmiri people will get the right to have the promised referendum to define their own future.”

Tuesday, 26 January 2016 10:00

While India Celebrates, Kashmir Mourns

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N.N. Vohra, Governor of Jammu and Kashmir and apparent ventriloquist dummy for some folks a little further south, according to Kashmir Today, “observed that it is the duty of all citizens to protect and preserve the unity and integrity of the nation, adding that towards the attainment of such an objective all of us must join hands to negate all divisive and communal forces and promote societal harmony and brotherhood.”

India is of course celebrating its 67th Republic Day to honor its Constitution that became enforceable on January 26 in 1950. But the world’s largest “democracy” had no such democratic intentions for Kashmir. It was just two years earlier that the United Nations Security Council had been adopted, creating the Ceasefire Line, which was to end the war, stave off further conflict between India and Pakistan and pave the way for conditions in which a plebiscite could be held in which the people of Jammu and Kashmir could decide for themselves whether they wished to be an integral part of India, join Pakistan, or be free to chart their own course as an independent state.

New York. December 11, 2015. Twelfth International Kashmir Peace Conference, entitled, “Beyond the Blame Game: Finding Common Grounds for Peace and Justice in Kashmir,” organized by International Educational Development (IED) at the Church Center of the United Nations, New York, attended among others by the academics, researchers, the delegates from various United Nations Missions, representatives of the United Nations NGO’s, social and civil rights activists, political analysts and prominent Americans of South Asian origin, began with the key-note speech delivered by Hon. Ramsey Clark, 66th Attorney General of the United States.

Sunday, 08 November 2015 11:36

Modi’s Elephant in the Room

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Modi's visit to Srinagar Saturday brings to mind an event where in September 2006 the British artist Banksy gave special meaning to the phrase "elephant in the room" in a Los Angeles exhibit called Photo credit: Gary Martin  www.phrases.org.ukBarely Legal. It's theme was global poverty. As writer Gary Martin says, "By painting the elephant in the same bold pattern as the room's wallpaper, Banksy emphasized the phrase's meaning, by both making the elephant even more obvious and by giving those who chose to ignore it (like the woman in the tableau) an opportunity to pretend that it had blended into the wallpaper background."

Modi's elephant in the room was depicted in the same way in Srinagar, the Capitol City of Kashmir this past weekend, where we had the same artificial set re-enacted. The attempt to disguise the true problem of Kashmir by locking up the voices and spirit of resistance to Indian oppression did not make it go away nor did it recede into the wallpaper. The dispute over the sovereignty of the land and people of Kashmir cannot be hidden by all the cosmetics that $12 billion can purchase.

New York, October 26, 2015. A huge peace march took place in New York in which thousands of friends of Kashmir participated. The march was jointly sponsored by all groups who believe in the right of self-determination of the people of Kashmir.

The very inspiring March began at the Indian Mission to the UN on 43rd Street and led up 3rd Avenue to 47th, terminating in front of the United Nations. The cooperation of NY state and city police was exemplary, and there were no incidents which marred the event.

Hundreds also participated in London, Brussels, Islamabad and Muzaffarabad with their own marches. In Srinagar, Kashmir, however, the leadership was put under house arrest in Srinagar so they could not go the office of the UN and present the memorandum.

Keansburg, New Jersey, October 19, 2015. Barrister Sultan Mehmood Chaudhry, former prime minister of Azad Kashmir and 'the Guest of Honor' saidBarrister Mehmood "Kashmir Million-Man-March is being organized on October 25 in New York to pave a way for a just and durable resolution of longstanding Kashmir dispute." Addressing a huge gathering of friends of Kashmir in Keansburg, New Jersey, he said the world community was concerned about the latest situation in Kashmir which can lead the whole region of South Asia to the nuclear disaster. The world powers including the United States are trying to persuade both India and Pakistan to resume the peaceful negotiation to settle all disputes including the dispute over Kashmir.

Barrister Sultan urged the Pakistani and Kashmiri Americans as well as those who believe in human rights and human dignity to participate in the "Million-Man-March" to make it a great success.

Mohammad Yasin Malik, Chairman, Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front and 'the Key-note Speaker' while speaking via Skype, expressed full support to the 'Million-Man-March. He thanked the people in the audience for their solidarity with the people of Jammu and Kashmir and their willingness to help the people of Kashmir to achieve their right to self-determination.

Friday, 09 October 2015 13:48

Kashmir: The Pursuit of the Possible

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Benjamin Franklin, a signer of the U.S. Declaration of Independence from Britain, and a man responsible for negotiating a treaty between the colonies and France, asked, "When will mankind be convinced and agree to settle their difficulties by arbitration?"

Perhaps the simple answer to that is that it will occur when power is distributed among men in such a way that it cannot be abused by any individual or nation, and that both personal and national sovereignty is once and for all respected.

Benjamin Franklin was a very wise man. He wrote, in respect to the American Revolution, "We have been assured, sir, in the sacred writings, that 'except the Lord build the house they labor in vain that build it.' I firmly believe this; and I also believe that without His concurring aid we shall succeed in this political building no better than the builders of Babel; we shall be divided by our little partial, local interests, our projects will be confounded and we ourselves shall become a reproach and a byword down to future ages. And, what is worse, mankind may hereafter, from this unfortunate instance, despair of establishing government by human wisdom and leave it to chance, war, or conquest."

Chicago, September 8, 2015. "Tripartite negotiations between Governments of India, Pakistan and Kashmiri leadership is the only way to resolve the outstanding dispute of Jammu & Kashmir," said Lord Nazir Ahmed, Member, British House of Lords during the 52nd Annual Convention of Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) on the subject of, 'Kashmir: A Case of Steadfastness.'

September 1, 2015. We are proud of the achievements of the Pakistani Americans not only in Virginia but also in the United States. Pakistani culture is a beautiful culture, said Hon. Terri McAuliffe, Governor of the State of Virginia who was the Chief Guest to kick off Pakistani Independence day Festival at Fairfax, Virginia which was attended by several thousand people.

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