Intl HR Day: Speakers Decipher ‘Their Solution to K-Issue’ in Bar Seminar



Mirwaiz Umar Farooq speaking in the Bar Seminar on Thursday on the eve of International Human Rights Day in Srinagar.
Mirwaiz Umar Farooq speaking in the Bar Seminar on Thursday on the eve of International Human Rights Day in Srinagar.

Jammu and Kashmir Bar Association Thursday held a seminar to mark International Human Rights Day.

Bashir Sidiq, General Secretary of the Bar Association gave a brief account of ‘Declaration on Human Rights’. He focused on Juvenile Justice in Kashmir, a bar statement said this evening.

“Recently a group of Juveniles were brought to the court who had been kept in wrongful confinement for 13 days. A Juvenile had during this period complained of pain, in his stomach. He was taken to hospital on the condition that he will not disclose his identity but will get his name recorded as an SPO,” Sidiq said. “Court has taken a strong notice of this fact and has directed an enquiry.”

He said, “in a like manner five Juveniles were brought down from a vehicle and detained in police station Awantipora, wherefrom they were shifted to P/S Nowhatta. One Juvenile, Muteen, had to appear in 10th class examination but despite SP’s direction, he was not taken to the examination centre. All these minors had been arrested on 4th but they were shown arrested on 7th of December, 2015. They were brought in handcuffs to the court, which is contrary to the directions of Supreme Court. Their remand was opposed/resisted by the lawyers and the court directed that they be taken to Juvenile/ home and next day surprisingly, they were remanded by the court to the police custody.” “We should highlight the miseries and sufferings of these minors on this day. All the Human Rights Organizations have failed to project these Human Rights violations, as such, we should raise it, wherever possible,” he said.

Advocate Mohammad Amin Bhat said, “on 12th of April, 2006, it was stated that someone having any solution to Kashmir problem. I pondered over the matter and put my thoughts in writing. I have said that if you solve the Kashmir problem, there will be no Human Rights Violations in Kashmir. There have been some developments in the past few days which are appreciable. The World Powers should put their weight with Pakistan and people of Kashmir because they are the worst sufferers. The bonafide freedom fighters are being termed as terrorists which is very sad. It is so said only because it is aimed at to deny them the right of self-determination. Indian Political parties are also projecting the cause of Kashmiri people in an altogether different perspective, which is highly deplorable. India and Pakistan should come out with a solution which will bring peace in the sub-continent.”

He referred to the statement of the then Prime Minister of India, Manmohan Singh, who had way back in 2006 stated that India is not averse to talk to anyone on Kashmir. “India is, therefore, bound to talk to the people of Kashmir and Pakistan, so that an honourable solution is found to the Kashmir problem.”

“There is solution which can be demilitarization, by both India and Pakistan’s restoration of civil administration by local people; free trade links with rest of the world; Joint Military defence by some nominated countries to man the borders of J&K by UN till such time, the people of J&K raise their armies; to seek educational, scientific, economic and trade benefits by way of making use of both currencies of India and Pakistan, till alternate resources are created; to make use of travel documents so as to undertake journeys by the people of J&K, to be issued by both India and Pakistan; to raise and acquire financial strength from all the members of UNO; to upgrade the living standard and to facilitate the people of J&K in their movements beyond J&K via India and Pakistan routes.” “Our primary objective should be to consolidate first and the last Kashmiri.”

Advocate Bashir Ahmad Bhat, Vice Chairman JKLF, stated that right from the day, Declaration on Human Rights was adopted, there have been human rights violations all over the world. “1400 years before Islam has taught us as to what are the Human Rights Violations and how these violations can be stopped,” he said.

He said, “human rights volitions are taking place in Kashmir only because people ask for their right of self-determination. When I was arrested in 1989, I was taken to Jodhpur and when I asked the jail Superintendent for the return of my clothes, which had been seized by the police, he said that you will get it once you will come out of jail alive. We can’t forget the killings of about a million of people; we should not forget Kunan Poshpora and other incidents where the honour and chastity of our women folk was ruthlessly invaded. Kashmir issue is very simple on which years have not to be spent for finding out a solution. We want freedom, which is guaranteed to us. We know what UNO is doing in the world. We want UNO to play its role effectively. Ban Ki-Moon has said that India and Pakistan should talk, forgetting that the issue of Kashmir is alive in Security Council which has passed more than 18 resolutions on Kashmir and it is, therefore, the duty of UN to implement UNO resolutions on Kashmir not to ask India and Pakistan to talk. In Kashmir there are different people of faith, caste and creed and all have the right to express their Right of Self Determination and it is the majority decision which has to prevail.”

“Kashmiris are not against talks but these talks have proved futile in the past. I request the World Community including UNO to see for themselves as to what is happening in Kashmir, where minors, old and infirm are arrested and put behind the bars without trial. They are brought to the courts in handcuffs. I request the lawyers to play their part more effectively and put pressure on world to resolve Kashmir issue in accordance with the wishes of Kashmiri people. In Kashmir, people are not allowed to offer their prayers, which is a worst kind of human rights violations. We should fight this oppression and inform the world about the same,” he added.

G M Shah, President Bar Association, Kupwara, stated, “Almighty Allah has created the mankind and has given all the rights to him, but all these rights are being denied to us, only because we want freedom.” “We should fight the oppressor.”

Chairperson Hurriyat Conference (m), Mirwaiz Umar Farooq stated, “the Bar Association has played an important role in the ongoing freedom struggle during the last 25 years. Whether it is detention matters, human rights violations, visiting of jails, the Bar has done its duty tremendously.”

“Kashmir is a humanitarian problem and if it is examined in that perspective one would find that it has caused tremendous problem to the humanity itself. Kashmir has been divided unnaturally and one brother has been separated from the other. Kashmir issue is now being taken to High Court and Supreme Court,” he said “these courts have no authority to pronounce any verdict on Kashmir. It is an internationally accepted problem which has to be decided in accordance with the wishes of people. Right of Self Determination is non-negotiable.”

“Kashmiris are the principle party to the dispute. India and Pakistan can’t decide it bilaterally. After a pretty long time, India and Pakistan have agreed to talk, which is encouraging. There are tremendous violations of human rights in Kashmir. The recent happenings in Kupwara are very serious. A case like fake ‘Machil Encounter’ is in the offering,” he said.

Mirwaiz added, “under the garb of AFSPA, people are being killed with impunity. Bar as well media is no doubt highlighting these issues, but no space is given to pro-freedom leadership to express themselves. There is no room for despondency. Even though detentions are rampant and people are not being allowed to offer their prayers as well and during last few months twelve times curfew was imposed in the city, yet we have fought the tyrant boldly. The so called legislative members are not representing Kashmir in Delhi, but they are representing Delhi in Kashmir.”

“All our rights have been trampled. In all resistance movements, lawyers have played an important role, as such the Bar can play an important role in the ongoing struggle. It is high time for the lawyers to join the pro-freedom groups/parties, so that those parties/groups can benefit by their ideas. The freedom struggle is now in the hands of youth. We are open to criticism. The intellectuals should lead the freedom struggle. Our struggle has started in 1931 and it needs brain power which can be provided by young lawyers,” Mirwaiz further said.

Noor Mohammad Bilal, Ex-Professor of faculty of Law, University of Kashmir, said, “when we speak of human rights violations day in and day out, we are forgetting that there is a right, which is not specifically mentioned, is that of political right. The vague term ‘Rule of Law’ used in the Human Rights Declaration is violated by those who have got it mentioned in the preamble. In real terminology Kashmir is a law free zone. In terms of AFSPA, there is the culture of impunity. There is a licence to kill with no threat of accountability. Right to life and Right against torture, mentioned in the declaration are abrogated and violated in impunity.”

Z G Mohammad, columnist, said, “what is important is how to counter Human Rights violations.”

He referred to a book “Blood in my Hands” and said, “it gives a mind-set of Indian state in Kashmir and Assam and shows how fake encounters are happening.” “According to the book, killing of a Kashmiri is justified by levelling him as Pakistani terrorist, or a Kashmiri terrorist. As Kashmiris we have failed to report about human rights violations. We have developed a defeated mentality. We have not been in a position to document these violations, so that the international community comes of its own to our help.”

Zahid also referred to Algerian fight and said, “we should strengthen our narrative as against the dominant narrative and inform the world about the happenings in Kashmir.”

Fayaz Ahmad Sodgar, President Bar Association, Islamabad, said that on every 10th of December, we observe Human Rights Violations day “but nothing comes out of it”. “There are hundreds of instances, which go unnoticed. One Hajra of Sona Brari has lost her four sons but it has not been reported. Mr Salroo, Ex-Deputy Director, Prosecution has lost two sons but their killing has not been reported. Four Brigadiers and Cols of Army, number of IGPs, number of SSPs, Police task force officials are involved in the killing of innocents, but they have not been got arrested. After these officers retire from service, we gladly accept them in our fold.”

“Our leaders are arrested and detained. They are not allowed to offer their prayers. We should highlight these human rights violations. Syed Ali Geelani, Shabir Ahmad Shah, Mohammad Yasin Malik and others are day in and day out put behind the bars, or put under house arrest, but we don’t highlight these human rights violations. We should oppose the Indian attempts of becoming a permanent member of Security Council,” he added.

Parveena Ahanger, Chairperson Association of Disappeared Persons, said that Bar Association has played an important role in the ongoing struggle. “High Court Judges after their retirement are appointed in the Human rights Commission, being Judges in the High Court, they fail to protect human rights of the people.”

She said, “Hajra of Bandipora has lost her four sons. Two dead bodies have been returned to her and two are still untraced. There are thousands of half widows as well. We are fighting against the Human Rights violations of these half widows. We will fight against the oppressors till we achieve freedom. We are meeting after every month to highlight their sufferings and miseries.”

Bashir Ahmad Khan, said, “when I read the topic, immediately a ‘Hadith’ came to my mind, in which Prophet Mohammad ﷺ has said that a day will come when the people of the world will tear the Muslims of the World into pieces and when someone dared to ask as to why it will happen, he said that because the Muslims will fear death.”

“We should not separate religion from worldly affairs. We should observe human rights day on some holiday or Sunday and on that date only human rights cases should be discussed,” he said.

Advocate Noor-ul-Amin stated that UNO is no doubt recognized by its constitution, but during the last 60 years the “UNO has shown as to what it is”. “It is a sitting place for a few, which decides the fate of the people of the World. I agree with Noor Mohammad Bilal and Z G Mohammad in that we have developed a defeated mentality. UNO is the brainchild of imperialists. It can do nothing. We should not expect anything from UNO. There is no other option for us except to ask for Independence. India has shown that two nation theory is the true,” he said.

Man ki Baat is actually Man ki Bidas. We should ask for freedom and only freedom,” he said.

Advocate Arshad Andrabi said, “Noor-ul-Amin fleeced UNO but I want to tell him that if UNO is not asked to intervene then who else.”

He referred to the United Nations Declaration and said, “as lawyers we are taught to fight against the oppressor and when we work on our brief sincerely and honesty, we succeed. Historically, India is an aggressor in Kashmir. A historical fraud has been committed on the people of Kashmir. The matter was later taken to UNO by India and it was in UNO that we were assured plebiscite. 5th January, 1949, resolution passed by the Security Council Resolution is a consented resolution and UN is bound to get the said resolution implemented. We have to work hard and impress on the World Community to put pressure on India to settle Kashmir according to the wishes of the people. We should approach International Court of Criminal Justice. International Court can take so-motto cognizance, if the matter is brought to the notice of the prosecutor of the International Court of Criminal Justice. He said that bilateral discussions will not yield anything.”

Advocate Nazir Ahmad Ronga said, “the first and foremost violation of human rights in Kashmir is denial of Right of Self Determination to the people. India is tried firstly to project the movement as a terrorist movement and when they failed in that, they started saying that it is a communal movement. The only solution to our problem is that we should unite. Our leaders have given tremendous sacrifices but one thing which they have to do now is to unite and fight together on one common programme. Kashmir is not the only place, where freedom movement is going on. There are 15 states in India, who want separation from India. We should send our teams to Assam and Nagaland and to see how they are fighting against India. We have to create problems for India in India itself, if we have to succeed.”

Ronga said, “I have given 15-point formula for solving Kashmir in 1994 and people are working on those 15 points in Pakistan and London etc. We have to project our cause politically and economically, if we have to succeed. We should protect our special status. We should tell India and Pakistan that we are not against talks but our problem should be solved. We should not oppose talks for the sake of opposition. We should act as a bridge between the two countries so that there is friendship between India and Pakistan and our issue is resolved.”

Nahida Nasreen, Secretary General Dukhtaran-e-Millat, stated, “she is here because Syedah Aasiya Andrabi is unwell. Her son is in police custody from 4th of December. He is a minor of 14 years age and from 4th December, 2015 he has been booked in five cases and presently he is in a case registered by police station Maharaj Gunj.”

“Kashmir is not a case of Human Rights violations but of forcible occupation. Our boys, who are fighting against Indian forces, are fighting for their rights. We should not look forward to UNO. We should ask Islamic countries through Pakistan to stop India from committing Human Rights violations of Kashmir. UNO is an organization of those who are Jews and Christians. We have not accepted Indian occupation on Kashmir and will not accept it, in future,” she said.

President Bar Association, Advocate Mian Abdul Qayoom, in his address said, “the United Nations Security Council resolutions are important resolutions which we cannot afford to forget. These resolutions, which are 27 in number, provide a mechanism for solving the Kashmir issue.”

He read the preamble of the United Nations Charter and said, “if human rights of the people are not respected, then as a last resort they are entitled to go for rebellion.”

“The Human Rights Declaration of 1948 also provides that everyone is born free and he cannot be kept in slavery or servitude. It also provides that no one should be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile. It safeguards the right of freedom of expression and thought. It also says that nothing is an offence which is not a crime under the International Law.”

He said that there is nothing wrong in United Nations Charter or Declaration on Human Rights, but “it is our failure that we have not been able to get the Security Council resolutions implemented”. “We have a strong case but we have failed to project it properly. India is trying to become a permanent member of the Security Council but we should oppose it till India accedes to our request of holding plebiscite in the State of J&K. Our youth are languishing in jails, we should take care of them. Minors are also not now spared and as stated by Bashir Sidiq; number of minors were kept in detention without even showing them arrested.” “We condemn the arrest of these minors and appeal the International Community to come to our rescue.”

He said, “the talks which are now scheduled to be held between India and Pakistan, will not yield anything because of the stubborn attitude of India. When Swarn Singh was the Foreign Minister of India, he said that India agrees to hold talks with Pakistan only, when International pressure mounts on it, but it has no desire to settle the Kashmir issue and wants to gain time under the slogan of holding talks with Pakistan.” “The only solution to the Kashmir issue is to hold plebiscite in the state.”

He also referred to the petition filed against Article 35-A in the Supreme Court and said, “we are preparing the reply and will publish it in the form of a booklet, which will show how United Nations Resolutions are relevant and important for Kashmir issue. We should not show any weakness in our stand and fight the oppressor united.”


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