Sixth International Kashmir Conference in Washington
Kashmir a Volcano, Warns Mowahid


Mowahid H. Shah addresses the Sixth International Kashmir Conference on Capitol Hill in Washington. Looking on is noted Kashmir resistance figure, Yasin Malik, Chairman, Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front

Washington, DC: Miscalculating the explosive potential of Kashmir would be a blunder because Kashmir can explode at any given moment, and its effect can spill over beyond the regional confines.
This was said by Mowahid Hussain Shah, Special Assistant to the Chief Minister, Punjab, during his address at the inaugural session of the International Kashmir Conference convened on Capitol Hill inside the premises of the US Congress. He stated, “You can ignore the volcano, but the volcano won’t ignore you.”
The other panelists included Ambassador Mahmud Ali Durrani; Mr. Yasin Malik, Chairman of the Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front; Mr. Kamal Chenoy, Jawaharlal Nehru University; Mr. Salman Haider, ex-Foreign Secretary of India; Amb. Yusuf Buch and Congressmen Dan Burton and Jim Kolbe. The ably-organized and largely attended conference, representing delegates from all corners of the globe, was put together by the Kashmiri American Council/Kashmir Center and the Association of Humanitarian Lawyers.
Mowahid said while India relies on the utility of force, the present scenario reveals only the futility of force. Despite brutal occupation, the spirit of the Kashmiri people remains unconquered, he emphasized. He said that the Kashmiri people should be allowed to freely decide their future through the modality of plebiscite under applicable UN resolutions.
If occupation continues, resistance too will continue, stressed Mowahid. “No justice for Kashmir means no peace in the region,” said Mowahid.
During his presentation at the follow-up Roundtable discussion, Mowahid urged Muslim youth in America to raise the international profile of Kashmir through frequent e-mailing of Letters to the Editor. Mowahid reminded his American audience that his research had revealed that had the founding father of America and its first President, George Washington, been captured by British forces, he most likely would have been hung for his pivotal role in leading American resistance to British colonial occupation. All participants to the conference assented to Mowahid’s proposal that India should be made to apply and abide by the Geneva Conventions in Held Kashmir.
The Members of Congress unanimously voiced their support for the continuation of a peace process that respects the aspirations of the people of Kashmir and includes their representatives. The Congress members who spoke on the occasion included: Congressman Dennis Kucinich, former Democratic Presidential Candidate; Congressman Dan Burton; Congressman McCotter, Congressman Rohrabacher; Congressman Rahall; Congresswoman Bernice Johnson; Congresswoman Sheila Jackson-Lee; Congressman Pascrell; Congressman Kolbe; Congressman Major Owens; Congresswoman McKinney and others.
Different themes were debated by different panelists. Mr. Muhammad Yasin Malik, Chairman of the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF), in his inaugural address asked India to enhance the pace of the peace process and end all human rights violations. He urged Pakistan to institutionalize the peace process by engaging all Pakistani political parties.

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Editor: Akhtar M. Faruqui
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