Kashmiri delegation Met with the Senior Officials at the State Department

KAC delegation Met with the Senior Officials at the State Department
Washington, D.C. September 16, 2008. A delegation of the Kashmiri American Council met with Ambassador Richard Boucher, Assistant Secretary of State for South Asian Affairs to apprise him about the latest situation in Kashmir.  The members of the delegation were, Dr. Ghulam Nabi Fai, Dr. Khalid J. Qazi, Mr. Sareer Fazili, Esq, Dr. Imtiaz Khan, Dr. M. Ishaaq, and Ms. Safia Qadri.

Ambassador Boucher displayed full awareness of the current crisis in

Kashmir having visited New Delhi during his recent visit to India,” said Dr. Ghulam Nabi Fai, Executive Director, Kashmiri American Council.  With demonsratable knowledge of the complexities of the Kashmir issue, he showed willingness to further engage the leadership of both India and Pakistan to work toward Confidence Building Measures (CBMs) that will lead to the settlement of the Kashmir dispute.The delegation reminded Ambassador Boucher that when the

Kashmir dispute erupted in 1947-48, the United States 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 was the principal sponsor of the resolution which was adopted by the Security Council on 21 April 1948 and which was based on that unchallenged principle.The delegation emphasized that  the current uprising in the

Kashmir is absolutely peaceful and indigenous and offers a unique opportunity for world powers, particularly the United States, to help push a fair settlement of the lingering Kashmir dispute. Now is the time to listen to the voice of Kashmiris, who have suffered for far too long for their universally accepted rights, and help India, Pakistan to resolve the longstanding political dispute through Kashmiris’ participation in peace talks.The delegation suggested in order to quicken and strengthen the peace process,

United States should definitely recommend improving the atmosphere in the Kashmir Valley and its adjacent areas by a full restoration of civil liberties, including the liberty to express themselves peacefully on the question of their own future.The delegation highlighted the gross human rights violations perpetrated by the Indian military and paramilitary forces on peaceful demonstrators; and the detention of political leaders including Shabir Ahmed Shah and Ashraf Sehrayee under Public Safety Act.

The delegation also highlighted the utter lack of essential commodities in the Valley due to recent economic blockade by hoologonists which was further perpetuated by the inaction and passivity of the government authorities.

The delegation expressed satisfaction about the growing awareness in the Indian middle class that the persistence of the

Kashmir problem weakens India by diminishing its stature among the great powers.  These intellectuals and scholars include, Ms. Anuradha Roy, Mr. Vir Sanghvi, Mr. Gauttam Navlakha, Mr. Pankaj Mihsra, Professor Rajmohan Gandhi, Professor Samantra Bose, Mr. Swaminathan Aiyer and many others.Dr. Fai reiterated that it should not be futile now to ask that

Kashmir be looked at not as dispute between India and Pakistan but as a problem of India and Pakistan together.

Received via email: kacouncil@kashmiri.com

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