Mirwaiz addresses conference on “Revisiting The Kashmir Issue” online  

Home » Kashmir » Mirwaiz addresses conference on “Revisiting The Kashmir Issue” online  

By Fast Kashmir on 17/04/2017. 1 Comment

SRINAGAR APR 17 : APHC chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq through a recorded video delivered the keynote address on the topic titled “Revisiting The Kashmir Issue” as part of the two day Conference held by the Pakistan Harvard Forum at the Harvard University Boston on 16th April 2017.

Mirwaizs address was the inaugral adress at the forum, attended by a distinguished audience and large number of students. As Mirwaiz’s passport stands impounded he could not attend the conference in person.

Addressing the gathering Mirwaiz said that India has declared a war on Kashmir. The kind of repression unleashed on civilians is unprecedented. Referring to the dispute in its historical and current context Mirwaiz said that the Indian state refuses to acknowledge the people’s political struggle for the resolution of the Kashmir dispute as per their aspirations as a consequence of which they are making huge sacrifices and suffering tremendously. 

Loading...

Referring to recently held elections Mirwaiz said that people were again were made to go through the drill and drama of so called elections to the Indian parliament. On the day of polling 8 youth were shot dead and hundreds injured by the troops, as the youth came out on the streets to resist  .With less than 7% voting the rejection of Indian occupation and political institutions is clear.Although the United Nations Security Council repeatedly made it clear in 1951 and 1959 that elections for local governance  in Kashmir  had no bearing on the disputed nature of Kashmir which has to be resolved through a referendum, GOI exploited these so called ‘elections’ internationally as an expression of people’s opinion in its favour, which has been completely deflated.

The Indian state is intransigent and insists Kashmir is its integral part, refusing to listen to Kashmiris.It has been an endless struggle for the past 70 years and every time we confront a dead end.  The Govt of India attempts to delegitimize our long term struggle – which began even before India’s struggle for freedom – by equating it with terrorism, through an irresponsible and false discourse. 9/11 provided the Indian state an excuse to put the Kashmir struggle under the rubric of terror. In the post 9/11 Islamophobia environment it fits well with the broader narrative. Kashmir happens to be a Muslim majority territory and India is using it as a pretext to demonize a people as terrorists and miscreants.

He  said that Kashmir is akin to a tinder box at present, with extreme volatility in the political situation and without timely intervention by the world community the consequences are bound to be ghastly and catastrophic.Mirwaiz said that the most simple and democratic way to resolve the conflict is through the promised referendum. He said engagement and dialogue among the parties to the dispute, India Pakistan and people of J&K, could provide the alternative way of resolution provided there is sincerity to find a solution.

 

Full Text of the Speech made by Mirwaiz Umar Farooq

 

I would like to thank Pakistan Harvard Forum for giving me an opportunity to speak to you. I would have very much liked to be there amongst you to interact and share my views and concerns. As I speak to you I have once again been placed under house arrest for the past one month. Arbitrary curbs and restrictions are a regular feature of the state against me. During the past 27 years at the whim and will of the state in defiance of all international laws and in violation of basic human rights, I am repeatedly arrested or detained and even prevented from offering Friday prayers. For the past six years I have not been allowed to offer Eid prayers. My passport stands impounded for many years now, to prevent me from reaching out to the world community. Same treatment is meted out to all leadership and political activists in Kashmir by the Indian state who challenge the status quo on Kashmir and strive for the resolution of this longest standing dispute in the United Nations security council in accordance with the promises made by the council , that of giving the People of Jammu and Kashmir the basic right to self-determination for deciding their destiny.

  More than 7 hundred thousand Indian troops are used as instrument of control to hold on to our territory and the people against their will, making Kashmir the most militarized zone in the world. Sweeping powers and complete immunity from accountability or prosecution has been provided to them by the Indian state under such draconian laws as the armed forces special powers act(AFSPA), the  “public safety act”, the disturbed areas act and so on. The result of this unbridled power and immunity given to the troops has been mayhem and massacres across the length and breadth of the valley over the past 70 years in general and the last 30 years in particular when the peoples struggle for self-determination became an open revolt against occupation.

More than hundred thousand people killed, tens of thousands disappeared, thousands tortured maimed and blinded, tens of thousands languishing in jails, women dishonored ,natural resources plundered, economy shattered.

Friends, Humiliation and harassment at the hands of the forces is an everyday occurance in the life of an ordinary Kashmiri. Kashmir is a classic case of occupation. All forms of repression are in place. There is no space and scope for peaceful means of resistance or protests. Human rights violations and state threats to people keep touching new low daily. Communication links with outside world are repeatedly snapped to block flow of information. Most Indian media has become an extention of state and its propaganda machinery. 

India has virtually decleared a war against the people of Kashmir. Repeated mass uprisings in 2008, 2009 and 2010 or in the most bloody summer of 2016 are met with the same response -ruthless repression. Year 2016 saw the state crushing us and our resistance to its unprecedented brutality.  In four months 120 civilians mostly childen and teenagers were shot dead , Over 17,000 injured with many losing their limbs, over a thousand people blinded by directly firing pellet guns at them and more than 20 thousand youth arrested. The repression continues unabated, with loss of life and limb  almost on a daily basis . Arbitrary Arrests detention and torture of youth on a daily basis is  part of the state policy to tame people.

As a consequence, our fourth generation since 1947, born and raised in such repressive environment is getting impatient and hitting the street with fatal consequences as they are shot and killed. It is also pushing many among our educated youth to a path of armed resistance, when again they get killed by the forces. Both situations are a matter of a grave concern and worry for us as we are losing our future generation.

Recently again we were made to go through the drill of so called elections to the Indian parliament. On the day of polling 8 youth were shot dead and hundreds injured by the troops , as the youth came out on the streets to resist  .With less than 7% voting the rejection of Indian occupation and political systems is clear.     Although the United Nations Security Council repeatedly made it clear in 1951 and 1959 that elections for local governance  in Kashmir  had no bearing on the disputed nature of Kashmir which has to be resolved through a referendum, GOI exploited these so called elections internationally as an expression of peoples opinion in its favour, which has been completely deflated.

Friends, as you are aware, the issue of Kashmir is primarily about the people of Kashmir and their right to self-determination. Our struggle is rooted in a quest for justice and dignity. We are the victims of sustained aggression from a democratic state, which uses primarily un-democratic ways to extinguish our right to self-determination. The best way to address our political aspirations is that United Nations be proactive and honor its commitment made to the people of Jammu and Kashmir through various resolutions of holding a referendum for self-determination or to to get this issue on the table for an imaginative solution among the three stakeholders to the dispute namely India, Pakistan and the people of J&K represented.

The Indian state is intransigent and insists Kashmir is its integral part and refuses to listen to Kashmiris. It has been an endless struggle for the past 70 years and every time we confront a dead end.  Pakistan being a party to the Kashmir dispute while providing moral political and diplomatic support to our cause has repeatedly asked India to come to the negotiating table to resolve the issue, as per the people’s aspirations, but to no avail. India keeps snubbing these efforts.  The Govt  of India attempts to delegitimize our long term struggle – which began even before India’s struggle for freedom – by equating it with terrorism, through an irresponsible and false discourse. 9/11 provided the Indian state an excuse to put the Kashmir struggle under the rubric of terror. In the post 9/11 Islamophobia environment it fits well with the broader narrative. Kashmir happens to be a Muslim majority territory and India is using it as a pretext to demonize a people as terrorists and miscreants.

Kashmiris are suffering . Our lives and future is at stake. Kashmir is akin to a tinder box at present, with extreme volatility in the political situation and without timely intervention by the world community the consequences are bound to be ghastly and catastrophic. (PTK)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.