Mirwaiz Urges US to Respond to the “Cries of the Kashmiri People”

Washington, DC: Urging the US to respond to the “cries of the Kashmiri people,” the chairman of the Hurriyat (M), Mirwaiz Umer Farooq,  on Monday asked India and Pakistan to include the Kashmiri leadership in their talks, and called for simultaneous “practical measures”  to restore an environment of non-violence in the region.
Addressing a seminar “India-Pakistan Relations: Breaking the Deadlock Over Kashmir” held at the George Mason University in Washington, Mirwaiz  said that his alliance was willing to enter into a dialogue with the government of India provided the latter responded to its four-point proposal, which included the demilitarisation of civilian areas and revocation of draconian laws.
“The present situation inside Kashmir makes it clear that, if talks between India and Pakistan are to mean anything, then the leadership of the people of Jammu and Kashmir must be associated and the talks must be accompanied by practical measures to restore an environment of non-violence,” the Mirwaiz said while welcoming the talks between the two countries in the Bhutanese capital of Thimpu.
“Contrary to the sensible course we suggest, the Indian authorities have in the past persisted relentlessly, even after the announcement of the intention to hold talks, in committing atrocities and holding Kashmir under siege,” he said.
“Today, it is a fact that India is involved in state terrorism in Kashmir. Furthermore, the 700,000 Indian military and paramilitary forces operate outside the rule of law under the protective umbrella of an Indian immunity statute,” he said.
“Who can defend torture, disappearances, or summary executions in this day and age? The genuine test of how much we care about such abuses is what we do about them, not just what we say about them. And the United States as a sole superpower has a moral obligation to respond to the cries of people who are involved in an indigenous, popular and non-violent movement in Kashmir,” he said.

“Our endeavour to resolve the Kashmir issue is not just a quest for peace for the people of Kashmir, we cannot overlook the fact that South Asia is a region that is becoming more and more a major role player and competitor in all international markets. Thus, it may be appropriate to point out that the resolution of Kashmir will pave the way for the peace, security and stability to the region of South Asia which includes, India, Pakistan and Afghanistan,” he said.

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Editor: Akhtar M. Faruqui
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