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War of words must stop between New Delhi & Islamabad

War of words must stop between New Delhi & Islamabad


Mail From Dusseldorf, Germany: by Dr. Ghulam Nabi Fai 

“The history affirms that almost all international conflicts were resolved not in the battlefield but on the negotiating table. The people of Kashmir were heartened to know that foreign ministers of India & Pakistan have shown their willingness to meet in New York during the current session of the United Nations General Assembly. But their dreams were shattered when Government of India unexpectedly announced the cancellation of talks. The leadership of both India and Pakistan must show their statesmanship for the sake of peace and security of the region and beyond”, this was stated by Dr. Ghulam Nabi Fai, Secretary General, World Kashmir Awareness Forum at an international conference held in Hotel NH,  Dusseldorf, Germany.

It is time for the war of words between New Delhi and Islamabad to stop. The reckless statement of Indian Army Chief General Bipin Rawat, “We need to take stern action to avenge the barbarism that terrorists and the Pakistan Army have been carrying out. Yes, it is time to give it back to them in the same coin…But I think the other side must also feel the same pain”  was immature and will not pave the way for a better understanding between these two neighboring countries. Such rhetoric needs to stop from all sides, Fai added.

It is time for the United Nations to restore the faith of common people that it is a platform that can live up to its bold character and mission of bringing peace and security to the world. The people of Kashmir are thankful to Ms. Michelle Bachelet, former President of Chile and currently the United Nations High Commissioner of Human Rights for her principle stand that “The people of Kashmir have exactly the same rights to justice and dignity as people all over the world, and we urge the authorities to respect them.” Geneva, September 10, 2018.

We are mindful that the United Nations as well as the world powers urge both India and Pakistan to initiate talks to resolve their differences. But if there is no change in the mindset, outlook  and thought processes, then to expect breakthrough in talks is to ask for a miracle. The United Nations need to show to the people of Kashmir that they are serious to settle the Kashmir dispute. They need to know that any attempt to force the people of Kashmir to accept any solution against their will is bound to fail. They will not accept any erosion far less a negation, of the principle of self-determination. The cosmetic measures are not going to yield positive results. There needs to be a permanent and lasting solution to the problem. In this regard, all those who believe in an inclusive and pluralistic global village that recognizes spaces for individual expression must seize the moment and persuade both India and Pakistan to include the Kashmiri leadership in all future negotiations to explore all possibilities to settle the Kashmir dispute.

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History should not imprison the future of Kashmir

Human rights work in tandem with Kashmir peace initiatives. The two do not war with one another. The idea that suppression of human rights promotes peace is discredited by all history, including that of Kashmir. The denial of freedom of speech, association, religion, due process, equal justice, and self-determination in Kashmir has sabotaged peace, not boosted its chances. Ditto in the past for East Timor, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia, Macedonia, Kosovo, Southern Sudan and etc. The people of Kashmir no less demand dignity and respect than do other peoples. History should not imprison the future, but neither can it be ignored in assessing the justice and morality of aspirations. A brief chronicling of Kashmir’s history will enlighten understanding of its current plight and viable solutions.India’s so-called “democracy” in Kashmir resembles Myanmar’s patently bogus democracy. The recent nationwide Panchayat (local bodies) elections are emblematic. Let me review the stunning voter boycott statistics from Srinagar and its surroundings on October 15, 2018. The Economic Times reported on October 18, 2018 that when the time for voting had ended, the turnout for the final phase of elections, which was held only for two municipal bodies in Kashmir, remained low as usual at 4.2 per cent. These boycott figures are not aberrational but typical. They represent a stunning vote of no confidence by the Kashmiri people in their current illegal governance by India. The peace process and human rights in Kashmir cannot be separated. They will succeed or fail together. We hope we can count on the moral suasion and conscience of the world leaders to push success forward.

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