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Round Table Discussion
Human Rights Violations in IOK
Kashmiris' Aspirations & Responsibility of International Community

Organized by
MUSLIM Institute

MUSLIM Institute organized a Round Table Discussion on "Human Rights Violations in IOK: Kashmiris' Aspirations & Responsibility of International Community" on Friday, October 7, 2016 at National Library of Pakistan, Islamabad. Former senior Pakistani diplomat Ambassador (R) Ashraf Jehangir Qazi chaired the session. Eminent scholars, diplomats, foreign delegates and political leaders from Pakistan and Azad Jammu & Kashmir participated in the discussion and expressed their views on the subject. A number of researchers, analysts, university students and professors, journalists and lawyers also participated in the RTD.


Honorable Speakers which participated in the discussion and summary of their views observed as under:


Mr. Tahir Mehmood
Public Relations Coordinator, MUSLIM Institute

Indian Occupied Kashmir continues to remain shut on 91st day, children continue to get maimed and blinded by the wanton use of pellet guns by Indian occupying forces. If we talk about media, India has banned newspapers in Occupied Kashmir to silence voice of freedom and to hide its war crime and atrocities on the other hand Indian media instead of showing the brutalities in Indian occupied Kashmir (IOK), it is diverting attention towards non-issues & self-created crap. Even the Indian Surgical Strike stunt was also a try to divert attention of international community from the burning Kashmir issue and severe human rights violations. International media was more interested to highlight the so called Uri attack than to show the Indian atrocities. While Pakistani media unfortunately is not giving priority to Kashmir Issue to the level it deserves.


Dr. Muhammad khan
Former HOD, IR Dept., National Defence University, Islamabad

The basic nature of the Kashmir issue is political and not a religious, linguistic or cast based. Two resolutions of United Nations Security Council, August 13, 1948 and January 5, 1949 give Kashmiris the right of self-determination under free and fair administration. Kashmiris have been denied this right despite the pledges of international community, United Nations and Jawaharlal Nehru. Simla agreement doesn’t set aside UN resolutions. According to Universal Declaration of Human Rights every human has the right of safety and privacy but unfortunately Kashmiris are being denied from all of their basic human rights. International human rights organizations are giving meager attention to the human rights violations in IOK.


Ms. Farhana Qazi
Fellow at the Center for Global Policy, USA, Author and Instructor for US Military

Indian government under the leadership of a zealot Narendra Modi is committing heinous human right violations to suppress the voice of Kashmiri people for freedom. Criminal silence of international community regarding the grave situation of Kashmir is highly condemnable. Social fabric of Kashmir is badly affected especially Kashmiri women have to endure a lot of mental trauma but still they are committed for their rights. Resolution of Kashmir dispute is not on the agenda of American policy makers. Through international pressure Modi government can be made accountable for severe human rights violation in IOK.


Mr. Hasnain Haider
Assistant Director Kashmir Desk, Ministry of Foreign Affairs

The Indian atrocities have compelled the people of Kashmir towards armed struggle which was evident by the mass congregation at the funeral of freedom fighter Burhan Wani. The Indian forces are killing the innocent protesters and creating humanitarian crisis to kneel down the Kashmiris. Ironically, India claims the support of common Kashmiri but is adamantly resisting the application of UN Security Council resolutions for plebiscite in Kashmir. Indian forces are deliberately creating humanitarian crisis in IOK like burning crops and one Indian official during his interview to Al Jazeera channel confessed that they deliberately created food shortage to kneel down the Kashmiris.


Mr. Wazir Ahmad Jogezai
Former Deputy Speaker, National Assembly of Pakistan

Kashmir is not bleeding today, it is bleeding from past 69 years. Kashmir is bleeding and world is observing. Unfortunately we also couldn’t project its issue as it deserves. The governmental machinery including Kashmir Committee is not earnestly presenting the case of Kashmir on international arena. Visionless government under the garb of pseudo-democracy is unable to solve the problems of Pakistan including Kashmir.


Prof. Nazir Ahmed Shawl
Chairman Kashmir Center, London

Kashmir issue is wrongly perceived by the international community as a bilateral issue between Pakistan and India due to faulty approach of the government of Pakistan. Martyrdom of Burhan Wani re-bounced the spontaneous and indigenous struggle of Kashmiris for freedom. Indian efforts to assimilate the Kashmir through constitutional amendments and demographic transition also invoked unrest in IOK. It is obligatory upon Pakistan to carve out well thought Kashmir policy, inform the international community regarding catastrophic consequences of unresolved Kashmir issue and include Kashmiri leadership as stake holder in the negotiations on Kashmir issue.


Mr. Altaf Hussain Wani
Leader All Parties Hurriyat Conference

In spite of remaining part of international coalitions, Pakistan could not gather the support of international community on Kashmir. No concrete steps have been taken by OIC and the Pakistani allies in the Security Council except issuing ceremonial statements. It is the policy failure on the part of government of Pakistan. International community is not uttering a single world on severe human rights violations in IOK because of their economic interests. It was the first time that United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights said that he is receiving evidences that India is using brute force in IOK.


Ms. Sarwat Rauf
HOD, IR Dept., National University of Modern Languages, Islamabad

It is a very common phenomenon all over the world that when imperialist powers loose hold on their colonies they intentionally left those areas with some conflicts, similar is the case of Kashmir. At the advent of partition, Kashmir issue was given as an independence gift to India and Pakistan by the British. Current situation of Kashmir is the evidence of the intentions of the world powers that they deliberately don’t want to settle down the issue. Indeed we are striving hard and effectively conveying our message at international forums like UN, OIC, Amnesty International but India is securing an edge of its better economy to monopolize Kashmir issue at these forums. However, by strengthening our economy and improving our education we can also fortify our position on Kashmir dispute.


Amb (R) Ishtiaq H Andrabi
Former Additional Secretary for Foreign Affairs

Kashmir is one of the few nations or may be one nation which was sold by one party to another party and that was the beginning of the violation of their rights. We should not only support the Kashmir cause but also accept Kashmiris as a nation having separate identity. Indian propaganda of militancy is weakening the cause. Kashmir uprising is solely indigenous and we should strongly propagate the essence of difference between militancy and the Kashmir cause.


Mr. Ghulam Hussain Abid Sipra
Lecturer of International Relations, National University of Modern Languages

Kashmir dispute represents the misconduct of the British, they adopted a very wrong policy regarding the division of India and Pakistan; deliberately allotting Muslim majority areas to India. The most alarming fact is that despite joining American block in early 50s, we could not grab a strong support from our allies. It would be difficult to resolve the issue until and unless all Muslim countries pressurize India in particular and the rest of the world in general. Role of OIC is very crucial in this regard.


Ms. Zeenia Satti
Political Analyst

Kashmiri struggle is distinctly different from what it was in past. We are at the good side of the story, we are with the diplomatic community, we are with international law and we are with the United Nations. We need to have a Kashmir situation monitoring cell which must have expertise on it so we should be able to see and predict what the Modi government is going to do. We should have predicted that the Modi is trying to hide behind the band wagon. But in Modi’s case it is like a dinosaur hiding behind an ant hill. We need to develop a counter narrative on Kashmir which is scientific, which is accurate and which penetrates the hearts and minds of the international community.


Maj. Gen. (R) Ali Baz
Former Principal NIPCONS, National University of Science & Technology, Islamabad

We have not been able to propagate our theory on Kashmir to the international forums. On the contrary India has been able to convince the world while propagating the instrument of accession. In fact there are a lot of historical evidences even by western historians in books like Kashmir: A disputed legacy by Alastair Lamb, The Danger in Kashmir written by Josef Korbel that the instrument of accession even does not exist. Further, people like Sir Owen Dixon flatly refused India’s claim of instrument of accession. Second point is regarding the provisions of the resolution of 1948. Clause 1 says that Pakistan should withdraw all its Lashkar and forces while 2nd clause says that India will also draw leaving minimum forces. India claims at international forums that Pakistan did not honour that clause and did not withdraw its forces. But the fact of the matter is that forces which were left in Azad Jammu & Kashmir (AJK) were only the regiments comprising of retired Kashmiri soldiers from AJK and particularly most of them were from Poonch valley and till 1965 there were no Pakistani troops in Azad Jammu & Kashmir.


Mr. Ghulam Muhammad Safi
Convener All Parties Hurriyat Conference AJK & Pakistan

Another excuse regarding the issue of Kashmir is that UN Resolutions under chapter VI are mere suggestions which cannot be implemented in the way demanded by resolutions under chapter VII. In a situation when international peace is endangered then the UN Secretary General is bound to present the case in front of United Nations Security Council for immediate resolution under article 99. We have not been able to convince UN Secretary General regarding this point that the world cannot limit this dispute to mere chapter VI or VII but it also needs acute attention under article 99. However article 103 of the UN charter says that in event of a conflict between the obligations of the UN member states and their obligations regarding any other international agreement, their obligations under the UN charter shall prevail so how simla agreements can override UN Security Council resolutions. Furthermore the indigenous freedom movement going on in Indian occupied Kashmir is dubbed as militant movement by Modi. India needs to be told that the UN charter allows people who are enslaved or have been deprived of their right of self-determination to take all possible means to get rid of the occupation.


Maj. Gen. (R) Shahid Hashmat
Former Principal CIPS, National University of Science & Technology

Pakistan has never actually agitated as far as international community is concerned; things are driven and governed by interests at international forums. These are geopolitical and geo-economic interests. I believe that more responsibility rests on our shoulders to create awareness among international community regarding the essence and urgency of this dispute. And I also believe that our efforts and policies are disjointed, which suffer from three Cs which are lack of clarity, lack of continuity and lack of coherence. We need to have a comprehensive and integrated policy on Kashmir. We need to get together all the stakeholders and prepare a workable policy which is achievable and attainable both in terms of short, mid and long term.


Ambassador (R) Ashraf Jahangir Qazi
Retired Senior Pakistani Diplomat

In the entire period of seventy years, we have adopted short term policies while nature of Kashmir issue is long term. Though, our case is superior to that of India in terms of Law, morality and majority opinion of the people of Indian Occupied Kashmir, still world is paying no heed to us. The reason is that Pakistan’s international standing is not so strong. Temporary measures on the part of successive Pakistani governments have rendered irreparable damage to Kashmir cause. Pakistan should be extremely careful of not harming the Kashmir movement unintentionally as it may cause anger among Kashmiris. So, Pakistan should formulate short term as well as long term policy for the Kashmir issue. Kashmiris should be extended ethical, political and legal support along with projection of Kashmir issue and Indian brutalities on the international forums. On the other hand, Pakistan should strive to stabilize itself internally and internationally. Hence, world listens to what Pakistan says. Similarly, option of talks with India must be kept open on the condition of equality.


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