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Trump-Kim summit: beginning of another fiasco?

North Korea will have to wait for a while to see what is more hurting: American sanctions or trusting America? It is interesting that after stampeding Iran nuclear deal only weeks ago President Trump found a willing state to ink a fresh but highly vague nuclear framework. True to his usual Madman approach towards diplomacy, Trump has declared that the North Korea is no longer a nuclear threat. North Korean media has since switched over to a jubilant mode, calling it a great victory, claiming that North Korea had won major concessions as the US president said: “the World has taken a big step back from potential Nuclear catastrophe!” “No more rocket launches, nuclear testing or research! The hostages are back home with their families. Thank you to Chairman Kim, our day together was historic!” Trump had twittered.

Kim had made great gestures prior to summit, dismantling of nuclear testing site, removal of three top military generals and letting go American hostages alongside a promise of a moratorium on missile testing as well.  On the other hand, Trump played hard, he even walked away from the summit; he reverse paddled after receiving a big letter from Kim.

Retired Admiral Harry Harris, the US ambassador designate to South Korea has challenged Trump’s claim that North Korea no longer poses a nuclear threat to the world, saying that “we have to continue to worry about that.” North Korea’s media said that President Trump had not only promised to end joint military drills with South Korea, but also to lift sanctions and allow a “step-by-step” denuclearization process, rather than the immediate dismantling of its nuclear program.

Independent analysts have pointed to the lack of substance in the agreement that has committed the US to unspecified security guarantees for North Korea in exchange for denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. Many have said that though Pyongyang had vowed in the past to denuclearize but had repeatedly broken such promises.On paper, there is nothing President Trump could extract from North Korean leader, that Kim’s father and grandfather had not already given to past American presidents. In fact, he got less, at least for now.

Did Kim play blind or he has had credible assurances through back channels. While analysts were hoping that after Iran nuclear deal fiasco, it would be Kim, walking away from the summit citing credibility issue with Trump, he was seen as dying for the summit, this eagerness surprised many. Have long biting sanctions sapped Kim’s will to resist, or there is an undercover understanding on the issue between China and the US on the final outcome of settlement? One has to only wait and see. A long march toward uncertainty has just begun!

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Kashmir Martyrs’ Day – July 13th

Post from Washington: Statement by World Kashmir Awareness Forum Washington, D.C. July 13h, 2018. “It was on July 13, 1931, that the foreign occupying Dogra troops shot dead 22 Kashmiris, in cold blood, in front of Srinagar Central Jail. Since that ominous day, Kashmiris have organized peaceful protests, seminars and conferences throughout the world. The people of Kashmir observe the Martyrs Day to reaffirm their resolve to continue their struggle for self-determination and pay homage to the 100,000 innocent men, women and children killed brutally within the past 29 years. In Srinagar, a massive march will take place towards the martyrs’ graveyard at Naqashband Sahib. This march has been approved by Joint Resistance Leadership – Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Mohammad Yasin Malik. We clearly and unequivocally call for all Kashmiris to continue to increase their solidarity at this critical juncture. As we know that Indian impotence, willful ignorance and desperation to avoid a meaningful peace process and initiate wimpy attempts to pacify Kashmiri passion will fail miserably,” stated Dr. Ghulam Nabi Fai, Secretary General, Washington-based World Kashmir Awareness Forum (WKAF). Fai emphasized that the Kashmiri people’s resolve and continued commitment to peaceful protest is principled on the ongoing massive violations of their human rights, and the Indian Government’s atrocious dismissal of their aspirations for self-determination. Amnesty International (AI) report, for India (2017-2018) says, “Impunity for human rights abuses (in Jammu and Kashmir) persisted. ..Security forces continued to use inherently inaccurate pellet-firing shotguns during protests, blinding and injuring several people. Authorities frequently shut down internet services, citing public order concerns.” In that regard, the recent report issued by the United Nations on June 14, 2018 on the situation in Kashmir, is congratulatory. The report underscored that “Impunity for human rights violations and lack of access to justice are key human rights challenges in the state of Jammu and Kashmir.” And that “Impunity for enforced or involuntary disappearances in Kashmir continues as there has been little movement towards credibly investigating complaints including into alleged sites of mass graves in the Kashmir Valley and Jammu region.” The people of Kashmir clearly have little faith in or respect for the so-called Indian democracy, and India hasn’t the slightest idea how to earn it. It’s solution to the anger of people crying for freedom and a respite, at the very least, from the terror of 700,000 troops, is to clamp down even harder, adding to the death toll of such a policy that now approaches the six-figure range. The desire for self-determination is the one very big “element” India should be concerned about, yet continues to pretend to the world that it does not exist. However long India refuses to acknowledge it, the decades-old movement in Kashmir will not simply die out. Even the latest United Nations report recommends to the Government of India to, “ “Fully respect the right of self-determination of the people of Kashmir as protected under international law.” Fai discounted the United Nations hopes that the Kashmir dispute could be settled through bilateral talks between India and Pakistan. He recounted the litany of failed bilateral efforts and said that the people of Kashmir have steadfastly maintained that tripartite talks between the Governments of India & Pakistan and the legitimate leadership of the people of Kashmir, are the only way to resolve the Kashmir issue. We appeal to the world powers to recognize the long-standing wishes and aspirations of the Kashmiri people as they observe Martyrs Day, July 13th. And we hope that the world powers will realize that what is at stake in the dispute is not only the survival of the people of Kashmir but also the peace and stability in the region of South Asia.

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