SRINAGAR: Hurriyat Conference (G) chairman, Syed Ali Geelani, on Monday sent a memorandum to the United Nations Organisation’s secretary general for the body to play its role in resolving the Kashmir issue.
Here is the complete text of the memorandum:
Through the medium of this memorandum we seek the attention of the august house of the United Nations towards the besieged people of Jammu and Kashmir, who are facing a sustained wave of brutal repression at the hands of Indian occupation forces. Our life, dignity and property is at the mercy of Indian State led by a militaristic and violent fanatic Hindu vanguard professing and practicing an imperialist ideology intolerant of peoples and identities different from theirs.
On July 9, when the people were still busy celebrating the Muslim festival of Eid, a fresh wave of state terror was unleashed by the Indian armed forces in an attempt to stop hundreds of thousands of people from joining the funeral of 21 year old Burhan Wani, a popular resistance figure and a youth icon. Ever since, on regular basis, Indian occupation troops have fired live ammunition without prior warning into the crowds of people expressing their grief, anger and outrage through peaceful demonstrations on the streets of all major towns and villages across Jammu and Kashmir.
We have entered in the third month of the latest uprising wherein more than 11,000 have been injured and over 700 blinded, disfigured or maimed for life. Hundreds including minors have been arbitrarily detained. For a small place like Jammu and Kashmir, it is a total war like situation.
In the name of non-lethal means of crowd control the Indian troops have used medieval firearms like pellet guns which have resulted in blinding and disfiguring of hundreds of people mostly aged between 13 and 25. Ambulances carrying the dead and wounded have been fired at, their drivers subjected to violent beatings, local volunteers have been stopped from offering their services while hospitals and medical facilities remain besieged and difficult to reach in view of the curfew that has been imposed across Kashmir. The curfew and heavy clampdown has literally imprisoned the whole population in their homes, denying them access to supplies, medical care, education and livelihood.
Critical care medicines and baby food are running in short supply as a humanitarian crises of war-like proportions is brewing up in all major towns and villages of Kashmir. Newspapers were forced to shut down for at least a week during the first month and access to cable TV is still restricted. In this time of despair and uncertainty the hapless people, when they need to comfort and console each other the most, are unable to connect as a result of this brutal state repression. Relatives are unable to attend funerals of their loved ones such being the state of things.
Pro-freedom leadership has either been detained or placed under house arrest. Besides, hundreds of youth have been arbitrarily detained including minors. Spiraling out of control, this state of affairs can trigger a fresh confrontation in the region, which will result in further destruction of life, resources and property, which we understand, needs to be avoided at all costs.
Right from the day Indian military landed here in October 1947 people of Jammu and Kashmir are a facing brutal occupation at the hands of the Indian state. Jammu and Kashmir, a Muslim majority region, was forcibly annexed by Indian troops against the principles of Indo-Pak partition, self-determination and natural justice. Our right to self-determination has also been endorsed by the United Nations, which has passed many resolutions asking for holding a plebiscite to determine people’s choice, a basic right which the Indian state has been continuously denying us.
Ever since, the people of Jammu and Kashmir have been struggling to free themselves from this illegal occupation using all means legitimate under international law and norms of civilized behavior. In response to this struggle for freedom India has deployed more than half a million armed forces to crush and control less than 10 million people of this occupied region turning this picturesque place effectively into what a visiting European Union delegation once aptly described as a beautiful prison. In this situation, the international community, embodied in the United Nations with its lofty ideals, has a special responsibility to intervene and thus persuade the Indian state to shun state violence and uphold International law by fulfilling its promises and obligations towards the people of Jammu & Kashmir.
The road to peace and cooperation in our region runs through Kashmir and any forward march on this road shall pave way for all people in the region to live a dignified life as envisaged by the UN Charter.
Honorable Secretary General,
Ours is a peoples’ movement for basic human and political rights that has been consistently professing faith in the international framework of arbitration despite being ignored by the global forums repeatedly. Through-out our long and painful struggle, we have used civilized, democratic and peaceful means acceptable under the international law.
Even during the current phase of our resistance against Indian occupation, which has so far witnessed lot of mayhem and civilian bloodshed, we still broadly maintain that plebiscite under UN auspices is the only democratic, peaceful and just means of resolving the decades-long conflict.
Pushed to wall by the Indian state along with its war-mongering media that continues to remain in denial of our basic human and political rights, besides choking every political space, we apprehend a major drift towards extremes in our youth because of growing brutalization by the Indian troops on ground.
Given the deteriorating situations in other parts of the world, where military means are increasingly replacing the entire political responses from both states and societies; we earnestly appeal to you to persuade Indian state ad influence their conduct in Jammu and Kashmir as per the international norms and covenants.
Having said that we do understand that being one of few largest markets in the world, India feels emboldened by her growing proximity with world’s great powers especially the leading power to trample upon our basic and universal rights with impunity. Total silence by the global community especially the international forums like UN over the horrible Indian conduct in Jammu and Kashmir feeding the Indian intransigence further.
We also understand that power relations dictated by the changing geo-politics do form the important part of maintaining global order by the leading world powers. However, we fervently appeal all the relevant world powers and international forums not to sacrifice the historically peaceful and just struggle concerning more than twelve million souls at the altar of growing military and trade relations between nation-states. That would herald the death of world order based on human values and historically obtained human principles.
We the people of Jammu and Kashmir shall continue to strive for our basic human and political rights within the boundaries of international law despite the growing Indian power to manipulate opinions and perceptions of global community. And the firmness of our resolve shall rest upon the veracity of our truthful struggle and belief in universal human conscience that must transcend transitory trade besides grand power games and dirty political gimmicks.
For we believe, a new era of freedom and friendship in this region shall be possible only after India is stopped from aggression and urged to make good on its International and humanitarian obligations and stop using force to deny people their basic human rights guaranteed under international law. The behavior of the Indian State in Jammu and Kashmir must be challenged so as to respect and adhere to UN charter and especially the UN resolutions on Kashmir.
Since the situation obtaining on ground is fraught with peril for peace and stability of the region in general and for the life and liberty of the oppressed people of Jammu and Kashmir in particular, it calls for serious and urgent intervention. With this in view the leadership of the people’s movement for freedom has already proposed to the Indian State directly besides through international forums to create an atmosphere conducive for peace and resolution by taking the following few Confidence Building Measures (CBMs):
Accept the disputed nature of Jammu and Kashmir and announce the acceptance of the people’s Right to Self Determination.
Announce rapid demilitarization process from Jammu and Kashmir under credible international monitoring.
Repeal draconian laws like Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) and Public Safety Act (PSA) that provide the legal immunity to state perpetrators of crimes against humanity from any prosecution and accountability thus empowering the occupation forces to operate with absolute impunity.
Release all the political prisoners from prisons, detention centers and house arrest and restore their right to free political activity withdrawing all cases against them.
Allow UN Special Rapporteurs and all international human rights and humanitarian organizations to work in Jammu and Kashmir.
Announce and ensure free political space in Jammu and Kashmir for those advocating peoples’ Right to Self Determination.
These steps if taken with a sense of urgency and responsibility can help in restoring calm and peace among the brutalized population and pave way for the processes required for the final and just resolution of the dispute of Jammu and Kashmir, thereby help disperse the perpetual clouds of war and conflict that threatens regional and global peace.
In the interests of regional and global peace, justice, progress and development, it is an earnest appeal from the people of Jammu and Kashmir to intervene through the good office of United Nations to inform and influence the violent behavior of Indian state in the disputed region of Jammu and Kashmir.
On behalf of the people of Jammu and Kashmir, and on humanitarian grounds, we request you to kindly take a personal interest in expanding and upgrading the UN institutional presence here and to play a more proactive role in addressing the issue of Right to Self-determination of our people; the denial of which is creating violent state repression in Indian Occupied Kashmir and dangerous international crises between two nuclear powers periodically and predictably.