Imran Yaqub Dhillon
Kashmir conflict have turned into new
complexities after Indian government
revoked special constitutional status of the held valley on August 5,2019,raising threats for armed conflict between nuclear states of the region .Since then, several Kashmiri and Pakistani rights groups , organizations and leaders have raised voices over human rights abuses in Indian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir along with diplomatic efforts of Pakistan .In United States ,Kashmir Solidarity Council is a prominent kashmiri group forcefully campaigning for right of self determination and stop human rights violations in the held valley. To understand the issue and way forward,we have candid talk with Founding Chairman of the council, Javed Rathore ,here is the detail
Q. 1. Kashmir issue has not been resolved for 73 years. Will this issue ever be resolved?
Answer. Though it is true that Kashmir issue is not resolved in 73 years but I believe it will be resolved and it has to be resolved. The first reason is that, Kashmir is the oldest dispute on the agenda of United Nations. The second reason this is the burning issue in South Asia, which is bone of contention between three nuclear powers in the most populous region of the world. It is imperative for the peace and prosperity of the region to resolve this issue. Most importantly, this is the fundamental right of people of Kashmir to determine their future according to their free will. The people of Kashmir sacrificed for this right and they will never compromise on this right.
Q.2. Despite the unilateral move of India on 5 August 2019, why the world powers and the United Nations have maintained a double standard on Kashmir.
Answer. You’re right that after abrogation of article 370 and 35a by Indian government to end the special status of Kashmir declaring it part of Indian union, world did not took the sufficient notice initially and remained silent, but after international media start ed reporting about the gravity of situation in held valley , kashmiris and Pakistanis started successful protests in world capitals and the issue caught attention globally.
European Union and world Parliaments started discussion and debates about Kashmir.US congress hearing over Kashmir was a big success which mounted pressure on India , but unfortunately because of corona virus, we have to suspend all activities and India got an opportunity to continue its repression under the pretext of pandemic
Q.3. Will the new regional bloc of China, Pakistan, Iran and Turkey make a difference on Kashmir issue?
Answar. As this new emerging block is concerned ,no doubt it is a powerful block of powerful countries. It is also a fact that China is emerging superpower in the world but reality is America still enjoy this superpower status and has very deep influence and interests with other countries around the globe, so we should also keep engaging with America and continue to solicit American support. American is a Democratic society which respects human rights and human values so isolating ourselves from America is not a good idea.
Q.4. What was the outcome of the struggle of Kashmiri organizations and leaders in Europe, America and other countries of the world?
Answer. As far the struggle of kashmiri organization and Kashmir people is concerned ,it is our responsibility to stand up with the people of Kashmir, specially when India imposed complete lockdown and turned state of Jammu and Kashmir into a open jail.
Secondly, international media and international organizations do not had a access in occupied Jammu and Kashmir , in such circumstances the kashmiri organizations were the only hope and force to speak and stand-up for the voiceless people of Kashmir, who witnessed worst kind of atrocities and repression every single day. At this time of difficulty kashmiri organizations played active role, but they could have done better than this if they would have a proper coordination among themselves. I think it is need of hour to come up with comprehensive multidirectional and result oriented strategy.
I have to accept that despite many organizations and Pakistan efforts, world is not fully aware about the issue of and plight of kashmiri people, because we never presented the issue in a true perspective. We must present this issue in a true logical perspective and our narrative should be very clear,consistent and appealing. I think we should focus only on two points, the first highlighting massive human rights violations and second Kashmiri’sfundamental right of self-determination.
Q. 5 . Do you have any blueprint, proposal or plan of action that can solve the Kashmir issue?
Answer, As you know that by now this issue became very complex and no one has a single blueprint which can resolve the issue . I believe this is very simple issue as well if everyone see this issue with the eyes of justice and fairness instead of looking for interests.
If all parties follow the simple principle of fundamental right of freedom for every human beings, then they will respect the fundamental right of kashmiri people and hold free and fair plebiscite to ascertain the will of people. This right of kashmiri people was accepted by international community through numerous resolutions of United Nations.
Q.6 What has the government of Pakistan not done and what should it do?
Answer. Pakistan could have done a lot better to handle the issue, but I will not talk about the past and follow the easy pattern of criticizing the conduct of previous governments of Pakistan , I would like to suggest tow important steps are needed immediately. The first is shaping and presenting very clear narrative vigorously and secondly formation of multi-directional strategy’ take on this issue to muster international support to build coalition of international community to pressurize India to hold plebiscite in the state of Jammu and Kashmir.
Presently the world view this issue as a bilateral conflict or a territorial dispute between India and Pakistan. When people see this issue in that perspective ,we can’t get more help because of interests of these countries with India.
If we present this issue as a fundamental human rights issue, we can gain more help. We must think out of box ,redraw and rephrase our narrative’ develop a result oriented multidirectional strategy.