Seminar held on Kashmirs’ Right to Self-Determination Day

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Sardar Ali Shan

ON January 5, 1949, the United Nations (UN) passed a resolution recognizing the right of Kashmiris to self-determination and promising them the right to freedom. This resolution was supported by a large number of major powers and countries, including Pakistan and India, and was seen as a significant step towards resolving the ongoing conflict in Kashmir. Since then, various international powers and organizations have made efforts to facilitate negotiations and find a peaceful resolution to the conflict.

These efforts have included offers of mediation, assurances to the representatives of the government of Pakistan and other world powers, and attempts to normalize regional and diplomatic relations. Despite these efforts, the situation in Kashmir remains unresolved and India continues to occupy a significant portion of the region. The UN and other international organizations have not taken necessary and effective measures to implement the resolution and give the Kashmiris their right to self- determination. India’s occupation of a large part of Kashmir and aggressive actions have not been stopped, and the efforts of the government of Pakistan and Azad Kashmir in this regard have not received sufficient support from international organizations and powers.

It is important for all parties to continue working towards a peaceful resolution to the conflict and respecting the right of Kashmiris to self-determination. This includes continued negotiations and efforts to find a diplomatic solution, as well as ensuring that the rights of the Kashmiri people are upheld and their voices are heard in the resolution process. The 75-year-old resolution of January 5 must not be forgotten, and all parties must work towards its implementation in order to find a just and lasting solution to the conflict in Kashmir.

The Indian government has consistently demonstrated a hypocritical and frivolous approach to principles of justice and international human rights, as seen in their illegal occupation of Kashmir. This occupation has led to daily aggressive actions and atrocities, particularly by India’s military leadership. In August 2019, the Modi government acknowledged that they had violated UN resolutions by dividing Kashmir into parts and annexing it to India. This action has resulted in the majority Muslim population becoming a minority through the implementation of laws favoured by India.

The occupied valley has been turned into a military camp and all international diplomatic laws and rules have been ignored. Additionally, millions of Indian citizens have been given citizenship and settled in the occupied state, despite the lack of constitutional, legal, and geographical boundaries. These actions have also put an end to any democratic initiatives and further changed the constitutional, legal, and geographical status of the occupied state.

Despite efforts over the past three years, the Indian government has not changed their behavior and continues to engage in aggressive and expansionist actions and operations, with military leaders now threatening to occupy Azad Kashmir and attack Pakistan. This shows a lack of commitment to UN resolutions and international principles of human rights and the right to self- determination for the people of Kashmir, particularly the Muslims. International organizations and institutions have also demonstrated a hypocritical stance on the issue of Kashmir, failing to implement the UN resolution on the right to self-determination for Kashmiris, which was passed 75 years ago. Instead, the Indian government has tried to suppress the freedom struggle of Kashmiris through force and aggression. The actions of the occupation forces and 19th mountain division, breaking all records of oppression and persecution, are clear evidence of this.

The situation in the occupied state of Kashmir has been steadily deteriorating, with increasing atrocities committed against the people living in both the interior regions and on the cease-fire line. Aggressive actions are being taken by the Indian government and military. In response, the government of Pakistan and Azad Kashmir, along with various organizations and immigrants, have been working to stop the Indian atrocities and support the right to self-determination for Kashmiris. These efforts have included domestic and international diplomatic measures, as well as support from the OIC and other international organizations.

Despite these efforts, there has been insufficient support for resolving the issues in Kashmir. The government of Pakistan and Azad Kashmir, along with various institutions, has been working to highlight the situation in Kashmir and the struggles of the Kashmiri people both domestically and internationally. The media has also played a positive role in this regard. The government of Azad Kashmir has established various institutions, including the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Cell, the Liberation Commission, the Department of Public Relations, and the Department of Services and General Administration, to inform foreign delegations about the current situation in Kashmir and important events related to the regionr.

This year, there have been more programs and events organized to raise awareness about the situation in Kashmir than in previous years. These events have been led by the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Cell, the Liberation Commission, the Department of Events and KPRI, and other institutions. During these events, leaders from various schools of thought, including the government and opposition, the Hurriyat Conference, and media organizations, have repeatedly emphasized the right to self-determination for Kashmiris according to UN resolutions and called for an end to Indian atrocities in the region. The media has also played a more active role in highlighting the situation in Kashmir, with details appearing in various articles and the publication of annual progress reports.

The officials responsible for these efforts include Ijaz Hussain Lone, the Secretary of Kashmir Cause, Arts and Languages, as well as Raja Muhammad Aslam Khan the Director of Events and Raja Muhammad Sajjad Khan, Director of Administration and Kashmir Policy Research Institute (KPRI), respectively. These officials have been working to effectively carry out their duties and address the situation in Kashmir.

The Kashmir Policy and Research Institute (KPRI), is playing an increasingly active role in highlighting the efforts and important activities related to the Kashmir cause both domestically and abroad. This department is currently responsible for the proper transportation of foreign delegations and has participated in numerous important events. These events have included the participation of the President, Prime Minister, and other leaders of Azad Kashmir, as well as the opposition and Hurriyat Conference, senior officials from the government of Azad Kashmir, representatives of migrant organizations, and members of the media. In addition, the KPRI has held monthly internship programs/briefings for university professors and students, including those from Azad Kashmir University and major universities such as National Defense University Islamabad.

These programs have provided important information about the Kashmir issue and the current situation in the region to help participants better understand the fundamental and significant aspects of the issue. Along with these programs, the Kashmir Policy and Research Institute, in conjunction with the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Cell Commission, will hold a seminar on January 5, 2023, from 1 to 3pm at Kashmir House in Islamabad to mark the day of the right to self-determination for Kashmiris.

This seminar, which will be attended by the President of Azad Kashmir, Barrister Sultan Mehmood Chaudhry, and other experts and diplomatic representatives with knowledge and experience on the issue of Kashmir, will discuss the changing situation in the region. The seminar is expected to be attended by leaders and representatives of the All- Party Hurriyat Conference, national and state media, and representatives from other important institutions and organizations, including higher education institutions.

The seminar will aim to highlight the importance of this historic day in regards to the Kashmir issue and the struggle for self-determination for Kashmiris on both domestic and foreign fronts. The KPRI will continue to play a positive and effective role in highlighting the Kashmir issue and informing important national and international organizations about the current situation in the region, as well as seeking their support.