Kashmiri American Council Reiterates Its Basic Objectives: Dr. Fai

Washington, D.C. February 11, 2010. Dr. Ghulam Nabi Fai, Executive Director, Kashmiri American Council (KAC) said that the Board of Directors of the KAC in its 4-days meeting agreed to the following 12-points “Policy Statement.”

1. The Board reaffirmed that the Kashmir dispute is simply this: the people of a large territory which is not part of any existing sovereign state were assured by the entire international community represented by the United States that they would be given the right of self-determination to decide their future by a free vote;

2. The Board noted with satisfaction that the United States Administration confirms that the resolution of Kashmir conflict must take into account the wishes and will of the people;

3. The Board emphasized that the sole fruitful approach to permanent peace and stability in Kashmir is through tripartite peaceful negotiations between all parties concerned: i.e., the Governments of India & Pakistan and the legitimate leadership of the people of Jammu and Kashmir;

4. The Board voiced its continuing belief that India and Pakistan alone cannot solve the 63-year-old Kashmir conflict, it requires the deeper engagement of the United States with both these neighboring countries;

5. The Board stressed that durable peace and development of harmonious relations and friendly cooperation between India and Pakistan would serve the vital interests of the peoples, enabling them to devote their energies for a better future;

6. The Board reiterated that more trade between India and Pakistan, will do nothing to end the indigenous Kashmiri resistance against occupation, which is fueled by shocking human rights violations and the denial of self-determination for more than 63 years;

7. The Board decided to continue to draw the attention of the international community toward the gross human rights atrocities committed by 700,000 Indian military and paramilitary forces in Kashmir. These atrocities including the discovery of more than 3,000 mass graves have been documented by international human rights organizations; like Amnesty International, Human rights Watch, International Educational Development, International Tribunal on Kashmir and many others;

8. The Board condemned India’s detention of Kashmiri leaders, Shabir Ahmed Shah, Naeem Khan, Ashraf Sehrayee, Musarat Alam, to punish them for their successful campaign during the unprecedented peaceful processions. Such peaceful political protest is a time-honored and celebrated form of freedom of speech and association recognized by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights;

9. The Board believed that moral suasion, not military force or violence, should be employed to resolve the Kashmir conflict;

10. The Board recommended that following steps need to be taken by the Government of India to make the peace process meaningful, i.e., Immediate and complete cessation of military and paramilitary actions; gradual withdrawal of the military presence from the towns and villages; dismantling of bunkers, watch towers and barricades; release of political prisoners; annulling of various special repressive laws; restoring the right of peaceful association, assembly and demonstrations;

11. The Board made it clear that the Kashmir conflict is not about autonomy, nor is it about converting the ‘Ceasefire Line’ into an international border. It is about honoring the political and human rights of the Kashmiri people in accord with international law, international treaties, international covenants, justice and morality;

12. The board proposed that an appointment of a special envoy on Kashmir by President Obama will hasten the process of peace and stability in the region of South Asia.

Dr. Fai can be reached on gnfai2003@yahoo.com

February 10, 2010

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