Addressing members of Japanese Media at an event on Kashmir organised by Pakistani and Kashmiri diaspora at the Tokyo Press Club, in Japan Hurriyat Conference (M) Chairman, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq said that lasting peace, stability and economic development would elude South Asia until the Kashmir dispute is addressed and permanent solution to it found keeping in view the political aspirations of the greatly affected people of Kashmir.
Expressing grave concern and dismay over the grim human rights situation in Kashmir, Mirwaiz while speaking over video conference appealed the Japanese people and the international community to come forward to help in stopping the unprecedented human rights violations perpetuated by the Indian forces upon the people of Kashmir and also play a role in resolving the vexed issue.
Thanking the Pakistani diaspora in Japan for organising this informative session on Kashmir, the oldest unresolved issue on the agenda of the United Nations, Mirwaiz said Kashmiri people had since 1947 have been struggling to achieve their right to self determination, which was promised by New Delhi, Islamabad and the entire world, but continued to be elude fulfillment despite the passage of 70 long years.
“We have seen wars fought between India and Pakistan and witness skirmishes on the borders between them on regular basis and people of Kashmir get killed almost each day the Mirwaiz said and we have seen and continue to undergo,a lot of pain and sufferings during these past 70 years.”
Cautioning against the dangers posed by the unresolved Kashmir dispute the Mirwaiz said the two other parties to Kashmir dispute – India and Pakistan have both become nuclear powers.
“Who else will better know the horrors of nuclear war than the people of Japan who have suffered the great tragedy of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki. That is the reason why people of Jammu Kashmir warn against the war between India and Pakistan,” he said appealing the international community in general and the Japanese government and its people in particular to come forward and help build pressure on Government of India to end brutal human rights violations in Jammu Kashmir and resolve the dispute.
Mirwaiz said while Kashmir is a political issue, it has multiple human dimensions to it one among them being that the region stands divided between India and Pakistan and the families remain separated by a blood-soaked ceasefire line.
He said in the confrontation among the hostile neighbors dozens of people get killed along the borders and the LoC, and innocent Kashmiris on both sides of the ceasefire line become the targets.
Stressing that India had unleashed terror in Jammu Kashmir that continues to be the world’s highest militarized zone with the presence of 700,000 Indian troops, the Mirwaiz said for the past more than 70 years, people of Kashmir want an end to this militarization and call for the resolution of the dispute in accordance with their wishes and aspirations.
He said year 2016 witnessed a mass uprising and worst example of state terrorism, and from July 8, 2016 till date, “Indian armed forces martyred more than 130 unarmed civilians, arrested over 20,000 people, injured more than 15,000 and blinded more than 300 by ripping their eyes with lethal pellets.”
Stating that the draconian black laws like AFSPA give impunity to Indian forces to kill anyone they like and get away with it without prosecution the, Mirwaiz said “Kashmir today stands as a Police State where Government of India had curbed all religious, political, social and civil rights and liberties of the people while thousands of Kashmiris were languishing in different jails and interrogation centres.”
Urging the international community, and the world nations and people of the world not to be a silent spectators as Kashmir continues to bleed, he said APHC, an amalgam of various parties, believes Kashmir issue needs to be resolved in accordance with the wishes of Kashmiris either through the United Nations resolutions or tripartite dialogue involving India, Pakistan and the principle party – people of Jammu Kashmir. He said the promised referendum should be held and people should be given the democratic right to choose their destiny.
He said APHC has always advocated and supported dialogue between New Delhi and Islamabad but was disappointed at the way India despite Pakistan’s overtures had never responded positively for the dialogue, giving an impression that wants to continue the status quo and not rather than settle the Kashmir issue and continue its occupation through military might.
Making it clear to the people of India and the Indian diaspora that the resolution of Kashmir issue was in their own interest, he said Indian defence budget had reached around 40 billion dollars while more than 50 percent Indian children, under the age of 5 years, suffered from malnutrition and if better sense of resolving Kashmir issue prevailed in India, the country could instead use its resources in solving the problems of its people.
Thanking the Pakistani and Kashmiri diaspora for organizing the event he said APHC and people of Kashmir were thankful to the Pakistani and Kashmiri disapora for creating awareness about the dispute in the world and highlighting what was really happening on the ground in Kashmir and that it was through such interventions that the situation in Jammu Kashmir could be helped to change for better.
Hoping that the message of people of Kashmir would be received, he said, “We hope our hues and cries are heard by the world, especially by the international community, by the United Nations, by the champions of democracy, who believe in justice and freedom and that pain and sufferings need to end, but that can only end when justice is done in this region, and justice can only be done when people of Jammu Kashmir are given their birth right, the right to self determination.”