Speakers at a briefing in Istanbul have said that gravity of the situation in Indian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir deserves immediate attention of the world for the sake of international peace and security.
During the briefing, a Kashmiri delegation apprised the members of Istanbul-based ASSAM, (Justice Defenders Strategic Studies Center), about the grim human rights situation in IIOJK. The Kashmiri delegation included Dr Ghulam N Mir, Chairman of ‘Kashmir Diaspora Coalition (KDC) and President of World Kashmir Awareness Forum; Dr Mubeen Shah, Vice Chairman KDC and President of Istanbul-based Kashmir House; and Dr Ghulam Nabi Fai, Chairman of World Forum for Peace and Justice.
Speaking on the occasion, Dr Mubeen Shah explained the objective of Kashmir House to the members of the board of ASSAM. He said that the main components of Kashmir House include, ‘Advocacy / Political Engagement’ where we will engage with Turkish government, political parties, civil society, think tanks, universities, besides diaspora groups based in Istanbul and beyond. The engagement would be within the limits of Turkish law. The aim of such engagements would be to strive for achieving United Nations-granted right to self-determination for people of IIOJK.
Dr Mubeen Shah added that ‘Institute of Kashmir Studies’ will be a research center in Istanbul’ in one or more universities, to do research regarding the struggle of Kashmiris in different languages.
The Kashmir House intends to launch news/views/comment website and magazine/newspaper/newsletter regarding Kashmir from Istanbul. This will include documentaries, videos and photo galleries, etc. The productions of the Kashmir Mediascape will be made available against proper subscriptions in and outside Turkey. Kashmir House may also open a small-scale business organization to generate funds to support the operations of the Kashmir House.
Dr Ghulam N Mir briefed the members of the ASSAM board about the latest situation in Kashmir. He said the Indian government has legalized its draconian laws so as to give immunity to 900,000 Indian occupation forces’ personnel who are stationed in Kashmir. Unlawful Activity (Prevention) Act (UAPA) is a prime example of this oppressive law where a subject can be declared even a terrorist. When Khurram Parvez, an internationally known human rights activist was lodged under this Act, a person no less important than Mary Lawlor, Unite Nations Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders came to rescue Khurram when she said, “Khurram Parvez is not a terrorist. He is a human rights defender.”
“Educational institutions in Jammu and Kashmir are in shambles. All available surveys conducted in Jammu and Kashmir portray rise in students who feel depression and desperation. We hope OIC countries, including Turkey will come forward and allocate some scholarships for the meritorious and deserving students from Jammu and Kashmir,” Dr Mir added.
Dr Fai expressed his appreciation to the people of Turkey for consistently supporting the oppressed people of Kashmir. He said, Turkey, being the member of the OIC-Kashmir Contact Group has played a leadership role in highlighting the pain and suffering of the people of Kashmir. “President Recep Tayyip Erdogan constantly expressed his Administration’s support for the just cause of Kashmir. His words at the United Nations General Assembly have become source of inspiration and have given hope to millions of hopeless people of the region. We hope that the civil society of Turkey will mobilize the global public square to make sure that the Kashmir conflict is resolved to the satisfaction of 23 million of its people,” he said.
“The latest developments in Kashmir, particularly since August 5, 2019, are worrisome. The words of Dr Gregory Stanton, Chairman, Genocide Watch are both frightening and alarming when he said during a congressional briefing in Washington in January 2022 that Kashmir was at the brink of genocide. We hope that ASSAM would enhance its activities in Turkey and beyond to educate the policy makers of these countries that the time for subterfuge, and trickery is gone. The gravity of the situation in occupied Kashmir deserves immediate attention for the sake of international peace and security,” Dr Fai added.
ASSAM General Secretary, Ali Cosar, said, “The aim of our organization is to make determinations at an academic and political level regarding current problems in world politics, especially in the Islamic Countries; and to present a solution to these problems so as to create an atmosphere of peace and security in the world.”
Vice Chairman of ASSAM, Melih Tanriverdi, said, “Taking into account the main areas of activities of various countries, “ASSAM held multiple international conferences: First one was held in 2017, the second in 2018, the third in 2019, the fourth in 2020, the fifth in 2021, and the sixth in 2022.—KMS