Justice not a vocation for weak-hearted, in Kashmir: Fai

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Istanbul

The Chairman of Washington-based World Forum for Peace and Justice (WFPJ), Dr Ghulam Nabi Fai, has said that justice is not a vocation for the weak-hearted, whether in Palestine, Myanmar, Kashmir or elsewhere.

According to Kashmir Media Service, Dr Ghu-lam Nabi Fai addressing an international confer-ence, “Human Rights Violations Faced by the Mus-lims,” in Istanbul, Turkey, said it is a historical fact that the Kashmir question is one of the oldest unre-solved international problems in the world.

The conference was jointly sponsored by the Government of Turkey in cooperation with Inde-pendent Permanent Commission of Human Rights (IPCHR) of the Organization of Islamic Coopera-tion (OIC) and was addressed among others by Mevlut Cavusoglu, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Turkey; Professor (Dr) Mustafa Sentop, Speaker, Grand Assembly of Turkey; Yakup Mogul, Deputy Minister of Justice, Turkey; Daniel Holtgen, Spokesperson for the Secretary General of Council of Europe; and many others.

The other panelists of the session in which Dr Fai participated included: Ambassador Shabbir Ahmad Chowdhury, Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Bangladesh; El Habib Bourane, Director, Muslim Communities and Minorities, OIC; Dr Reza Uddin, Council member, Arakan Rohingya Union; Ambassador Zamir Akram, Former Pakistan’s Rep-resentative to the UN in Geneva; Dr Hassan A. Ab-dein, Associate Editor, Muslim Minorities, Oxford, UK. The theme of this session was, “The Situation of Muslims in Asia.”

Dr Fai said it is worth mentioning that when the Kashmir dispute erupted in 1947-1948, the United States championed the stand that the future status of Kashmir must be ascertained in accordance with the wishes and aspirations of the people of the territory. The United States was the principal sponsor of the resolution # 47 which was adopted by the Security Council on 21 April 1948, and which was based on that unchallenged principle, he added.

Dr Fai cited the United Nations High Commis-sioner for Human Rights (UNHCHR) Report on the Situation of Human Rights in Kashmir issued on June 14, 2018 which contains graphic documenta-tion of human rights violations being committed by the Indian military and paramilitary forces in Indian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir. This was a significant step towards greater international recog-nition of the serious abuses committed against the Kashmiris by the Indian army. This report takes the veil of secrecy off of India’s crimes against human-ity, he maintained.

The report, Dr Fai said, cites specific incidents where the Indian government violated the very prin-ciples of human decency and democratic freedom against the people of Kashmir. It also details many instances where the use of draconian laws has given a sense of total impunity to the Indian Army in Kashmir. The report, he said, underscored that “Im-punity for enforced or involuntary disappearances in Kashmir continues as there has been little move-ment towards credibly investigating complaints including into alleged sites of mass graves in the Kashmir Valley and Jammu region.”

The United Nations report suggested that [As a State party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which prohibits torture under any circumstances (Article 7), India is obliged to ensure that no person is “subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punish-ment”. There have long been persistent claims of torture by security forces in Kashmir.] The UN re-port qoutes ‘the Special Rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and consequences,’ who said, “[W]omen living in militarized regions, such as Jammu and Kashmir and the north-eastern states, live in a constant state of siege and surveillance, whether in their homes or in public.”

Since, August 05, 2019, the Indian government, in order to crush any resistance to its illegal occupa-tion, has instituted new draconian measures. In a ruthless campaign they imprisoned politicians, jour-nalists, and civil society members, to intimidate and suppress any form of dissent. The enactment of Domicile Law was designed to change the demog-raphy of Kashmir. It is reported that over 4 million Domicile certificates have been issued to grant non-Kashmiris right to buy land and compete for local jobs which is a clear violation of International Law since it unilaterally changes the United Nations-recognized status of Jammu and Kashmir.

Dr Fai added that the latest actions taken by In-dia’s National Investigation Agency (NIA) are po-litically motivated and are part of the Indian gov-ernment’s attempt to censor peaceful Kashmiri voices. The Unlawful Activity (Prevention) Act (UAPA) has been used countless times to harass, assault and imprison activists, political leaders and journalists who aim to expose the human rights violations committed by Indian forces. Latest victim is Khurram Parvez, one of the internationally known human rights activists, who was detained under UAPA. Ms Mary Lawlor, UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders said on November 23, 2021, that ‘he (Khurram Parvez) is not a terrorist, he is a human rights defender’.

Dr Fai made the following suggestions to the IPHRC: Given the reports, issued by the United Nations High Commissioner on Human Rights on June 14, 2018 and July 8, 2019, regarding the ‘Situation in Kashmir’, we would like to request the OIC members of the Human Rights Council to en-dorse this report and initiate a joint OIC resolution to set up an enquiry commission on human rights violations in Kashmir during the forthcoming ses-sion of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva to be held between February 28 to April 01, 2022.

Widely use and disseminate testimony of Dr Gregory Stanton, Chairman, ‘Genocide Watch’, which he gave to the United States Congress on January 12, 2022, and repeated in his January 19, 2022, TV interview with Karan Thapar, that ‘in India, there are the makings of a genocide against Muslims, starting with Kashmir & Assam’. Based on this authoritative evidence, we suggest to OIC ‘The Gambia Model’, taking Myanmar to the ICJ (international Court of Justice) for crimes against humanity against the Rohingya, to be followed for IIOJK as well.

OIC should invoke the ‘Genocide Convention’ in the UN General Assembly and / or Security Council.

The OIC must provide ‘safe havens’ for the Kashmiri Diaspora, especially those fleeing oppres-sion in occupied Kashmir – students, scholars, activ-ists, journalists, and business people – in OIC mem-ber states, in an institutional manner, like opening up visas / jobs / scholarships for meritorious stu-dents, relocation facilitation for such skilled and professional Kashmiris, for whom living in Modi’s India has become unbearable.

In the ‘battle of ideas’ for Azadi (freedom) of Kashmiri people, the OIC must promote the 3 core causes together: PKR (Palestine, Kashmir, Rohin-gya); establish a special website, combining geno-cide with resistance. This has to be a sustained and coordinated initiative, where people of conscience, both Muslim and non-Muslim scholars, intellectuals and diplomats can play a role through various chan-nels, including Parliamentary Diplomacy.

OIC should set up an ‘independent’ criminal court to hear cases of specific crimes against civil-ian population in IIOJK.

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