The Documents the Kashmiris Rely upon Were Not Drawn in Mosques: Ambassador Yusuf Buch
New York: “India cannot successfully fight a war against extremism in Kashmir while fertilizing the sense of injustice that is one of the roots of extremism. You cannot overcome the religious extremists if you keep supplying them proof that, for redressing injustice, peaceful secular processes are but a pretense or a trap. What principles and instruments do Kashmiris invoke for the redress of the wrongs inflicted on them? Not any conceived and inspired solely by their religion. They call for adherence to principles which are recognized by the UN Charter as basis to a peaceful and stable world order. The documents the Kashmiris rely upon were not drawn in mosques. They were composed by western hands in the Security Council of the United Nations,” this was told by Ambassador Yusuf Buch to Dr Ghulam Nabi Fai during the meeting that took place at Mr Buch’s residence in New York City.
Mr Buch added that “the Kashmiri Americans should feel impelled to explore all humane and reasonable avenues to deliver the men, women and children of Kashmir from an acute and unbearable suffering. It is because of the manifest need to articulate the recognition that the situation in Kashmir is not frozen and, if at times it seems so, it will not stay frozen.”
Later in the evening, Dr Fai had a detailed discussion in Brooklyn, New York with the representatives of various political parties of Azad Kashmir. The meeting was organized by Sardar Sawar Khan, former Advisor to the Prime Minister of Azad Kashmir.
Dr Fai reiterated that the Kashmir conflict is not a border quarrel between India and Pakistan, or a fight between Hindus and Muslims and neither a struggle between theocracy and secularism. It is primarily about the 20 million Kashmiri people, their human rights and right to self-determination under international law and still binding United Nations Security Council resolutions.
Fai added that third party intervention and mediation in Kashmir is indispensable. India and Pakistan have negotiated for more than half a century without result. All the flowery declarations from Tashkent, Simla, Lahore and other scores of summits have proven sound and fury signifying nothing. To persist in the same course after 70 years of dismal failure conjures up many adjectives, but none are flattering to the cerebral faculty. The best candidates, Fai suggested for outside intervention and mediation seem the United States or the United Nations, as in Northern Ireland, East Timor, the Middle East peace process, and Bosnia. The mediation can also be undertaken by a person of international stature, such as Kofi Annan, Bishop Desmond Tutu or President Mary Robinson.
Sardar Sawar Khan said that the genuine representatives of the Kashmiri people must be senior partners in any negotiations over Kashmir's political future. No solution will endure which fails to command popular consent. Contrary to much of India's myth making, the Kashmiri resistance is overwhelmingly indigenous; outsiders or infiltrators who capture many headlines are marginal to the conflict, Sawar Khan emphasized.
Haji Mohammad Shafiq concluded the meeting with du’a.
Those who attended the meeting included: Sardar Younis Khan, Ajmal Mohammad, Shakeel Mohammad, Ghulam Ghous Shafiq, Sardar Mustafa Khan, Sardar Sajid Swar khan, Ramzan Khan, Zaheer Hanif, Khalid Hamid, Imran Mohammad, Ansar Mohammad, Kamran Mohammad, Azam Khan, Rashid Mohammad, Masood Mohammad, Sohail Ajmal, Mohsin Shafiq, Ahsan Shafiq, Hussnain Shakeel, Shayan Shakeel, Farid Mohammad, Zulfiqar Ali, Shahid Zulfiqar, Abdul Matten, Raja Mukhtar Ahmed, Sardar Wajid Sawar.
(Dr Fai is the Secretary General of the World Kashmir Awareness Forum - firstname.lastname@example.org)