SRINAGAR: As the United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres arrived on his maiden visit to India, the joint resistance leadership (JRL) has written to the world body chief seeking his attention towards the resolution of Kashmir dispute.
The JRL comprising Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Muhammad Yasin Malik urged Guterres to impress New Delhi to engage with the resistance leadership and Pakistan to resolve the dispute which “remains on the agenda of the United Nations”.
“We draw your attention to three aspects of it (Kashmir dispute),” the JRL said in the letter addressed to UN Chief.
“First, we feel that India’s refusal to talk is doing unimaginable harm not only to Kashmir but to the entire South Asian region… We would like to urge you to advocate that New Delhi engage with us in Kashmir and with Pakistan, with whom India’s relations are also deteriorating by the day,” the leadership said. “We have a right to self-determination.”
“Second, we would like to draw your attention once again to the human rights violations by the Indian armed forces. This has been documented most recently by your own Office of the United Nations Commissioner for Human Rights,” the JRL said. “The lack of sustained attention by the international community to this aspect of the disputed conflict and not calling India to account on this score, has only succeeded in emboldening its armed forces, enjoying immunity from law causing untold misery for civilian Kashmiris who are forced to live with arbitrary arrest, imprisonment, torture and killings in their everyday lives.”
The Indian forces continue to shower pellets and bullets indiscriminately on the unarmed civilian population, the letter reads. The campaign of suppression through daily cordon and search operations (CASO) has become a permanent feature; and during these operations, the forces assault residents and damage their properties, it added.
“Third, Jammu and Kashmir is not a territorial dispute between India and Pakistan,” the JRL said, adding, “We would like to assert that it is primarily a question of the rights of the people of the State of J&K, and that resolution must be sought within the parameters of that definition as well.”
“In this regard, we would like to emphasise that this facet of the dispute can only be addressed if we, the people of the state, are permitted to represent our case and therefore ask you to champion our right to be heard on the dispute as the primary party to it. We urge you to take these points into consideration as you engage with the Government of India,” Geelani, Mirwaiz and Malik.