Kashmir issue is neither any territorial conflict nor a border dispute between two countries, but a humanitarian issue concurring the existence and future of more than 15 million people of Jammu and Kashmir.
This was stated by Hurriyat Conference (G) chairman Syed Ali Geelani while addressing a seminar held in Islamabad, Pakistan on 8 December 2018.
Geelani in his address said that Jammu and Kashmir is a long pending issue waiting for the final dispensation in accordance with the agreed UN resolutions. He said people of this “unfortunate land” are yearning for their right to self-determination.
He said the people of Jammu and Kashmir have been relentlessly struggling to free themselves from the Indian military grip using all possible means. “In response to our struggle for freedom, India has deployed about a million armed forces to crush and control a small population of 15 million, turning it into a huge prison,” he said.
He said there are countless resolutions passed by UN Security Council in favour of conducting a plebiscite.
“So far, the forces have killed more than a lakh people in Kashmir region and around 5 lakh in Jammu region, enforced disappearances of about 10 thousand, maimed, imprisoned and tortured lakhs, especially young people, used rape and molestation of womenfolk as a war weapon to humiliate and demoralize the culturally and morality sensitive population,” Geelani said, adding, “Hundreds of unmasked graves identified and discussed by local and international media while Indian media and establishment has completely ignored it. In these graves most probably these disappeared persons have been buried, but India never heeds to the demands and requests of the families of these persons.”
“State of Jammu and Kashmir is being used as a testing lab for newly introduced weaponry of government forces, be it the use of pellet guns, PAVA shells, chemical weapons, anti-tank missiles,” he said, adding, “Our just struggle is being branded and labelled as terrorism, sponsored by the neighbouring country and a malicious and defaming propaganda is launched by the state-run media houses.”
Geelani said thousands of our people irrespective of their age and gender, are languishing in jails in and outside the state for years together without any legal proceedings.
He said bilateral talks and lip service of “so-called” negotiations have failed to yield anything positive for the last 7 decades. “Kashmir issue is not a territorial problem or a border dispute between two countries, but a humanitarian issue concerning the future of millions of people,” he said.
Geelani said in India, minorities especially Muslims are harassed, killed and threatened on one or the other pretext. “Cow vigilantes, mandir euphoria and the uniform civil code is nothing but to target a particular community. Mob lynching has become a day to day affair and at the behest of the establishment, religious fanatics are free to harm anybody on mere suspicion,” he said.
“In this grim and gloomy atmosphere, world especially South Asia cannot afford addition of yet another nuclear collusion,” he added.
Hurriyat (G) chairman said that recently the first-ever report on human rights violation by the office of UN High Commissioner for Human Rights is welcome step and we as a nation are highly obliged to see the UN finally woke up and opened its eyes after a long period to see the “victimized and crushed” people of Kashmir.
Such courageous initiatives need to be capitalized and more pressure is needed for India to accept the demand of UN to send its fact-finding mission to Kashmir, he said, adding, India tried its best to discredit the report by character assassination and maligning the image and stature of UN Human Rights Commission Chief.
“We need to ensure that this report is tabled in both General Assembly and Security Council, otherwise we will be facing the situation and 1990s, when Pakistan got a resolution on Kashmir which couldn’t be passed because of Indian lobbying and diplomatic maneuvering,” Geelani said.
“I once again thank you all to show patience to listen to my feelings. I hope and pray that sincere efforts of the organizers get a warm and encouraging response from its member nations to allow the humanity especially those trapped in conflict zones to live a dignified and peaceful life which is their birth right,” Geelani said.