Interviewee: Syed Yusuf Naseem;
Interviewer: Syed Hameed Shaheen Alvi
Q.1. You have been attending international Kashmir peace conferences; you have seen that the outside world wants and favors peaceful settlement of Kashmir dispute; that means Kashmiri leaders need to evolve an strategy to have the world favor institutionalized; how can that be done? Are satisfied with the activation of Kashmir cause at the international level? What more efficacious measures need to be taken?
Ans: The world community has already given their verdict through U.N. Security Council resolutions for the final disposition of the state of Jammu and Kashmir according to the “Will of People” to be expressed through a “fair and impartial plebiscite” conducted under the “auspices of the United Nations”. Kashmiris and Pakistan demand their implementations in letter and spirit. India continues to defy the implementation of the UN resolutions. These resolutions are international agreements signed by India and Pakistan and accepted by the Kashmiris. Yes, I have attended and represented Kashmir issue in various international conferences in the different power centers of the world especially United Nations Commission ,Sub commission, United Nations council for human rights, Organization of Islamic Cooperation Summits, Foreign ministers conferences, European Parliament, British Parliament and NGOS conferences. As APHC representative, I was part of Pakistan Parliamentary Kashmir committee delegations in different important countries of the world. We could not succeed to prove our struggles as indigenous movement supported by Pakistan as party to dispute.
In the regime of PM Mrs. Bainazeer Bhutto Shaheed, All Parties Hurriyat Conference was introduced as true representatives of the people of Kashmir. Organization of Islamic Cooperation recognized the APHC with observer status. Under the chairmanship of Nawabzada Nasrullah Khan, Pakistan Kashmir Parliamentary committee was very effective. The Kashmir policy of Pakistan Kashmir Parliamentary committee died with the death of Nawabzada Nasrullah Khan .The changing Kashmir policy of Pakistan also affected the Kashmir Issue. This is need of the hour that Pakistan should launch offensive diplomacy against India. APHC leaders with the Kashmir committee of Pakistan parliament should visit all the power countries of world and unveil the Indian ugly face. I suggest Kashmir desks should be open in every embassy of Pakistan.
Q.2. Are we successful in highlighting immense Kashmiri sacrifices even within the region and outside of it?
Ans: In the state of Jammu and Kashmir, political peaceful struggle was there in shape of All Jammu and Kashmir Muslim Conference, Jammu and Kashmir plebiscite Front, Al-Fatah, Muslim United Front and other organizations since 1931 and then scenario was changed in 1947. The people of the state of Jammu and Kashmir gave tremendous sacrifices. After so called election in 1987, the youth of Kashmir was compelled to struggle with arms against the occupation forces. The Kashmir issue was highlighted at national and international level. But again after 9/11, the scenario was changed. We tried our level best to highlight the sacrifices of the Kashmiris and the human rights violations by the occupation armed forces but not up to the mark. We have correspondence with United Nations Commission of Human Rights, International Human Rights Organizations and the peace loving people of the world. Pakistan as a party and advocate pleaded Kashmir case in United Nation and other power centers of the world but we have not achieved our goal so far.
Q.3. I myself as a Kashmiri feel that there must be some forums like Voice of Kashmir at global level; would APHC extend cooperation?
Ans: Yes, there are people and organizations in different countries of the world working for the Kashmir cause. APHC always appreciated the genuine people.
Q.4. How to sensitize EU, AU, OIC, Latin American community of countries [majority of UN observers in Kashmir belong to Latin American countries]?
Ans: We have to work on all these important countries, organizations and especially the media houses to update them the situation of Kashmir on regular basis. The role of the media is very important in forming opinion of the governments and the people.
Q.5. Every Indian government has kept its public quite ignorant over Kashmir; how can we inform them [Indian public]? At their leaders promises on Kashmir must be transmitted to them from Pundit Nehru to Manmohan Singh.
Ans: Indian Congress Party ruled India for long time and is responsible to curb the birth right of Kashmiris “The right to self-determination”. Pundit Jawaharlal Nehru promised the international communities, Pakistan and the people of Kashmir in speeches, letters written to Pakistani leadership and India Is also signatory to the UN Security Council resolutions that the people of Kashmir will decide their political future through the democratic method of a “free and impartial plebiscite”. All Parties Hurriyat conference opened an office in New Delhi in 1995 to educate the Indian Nation about the disputed nature of state of Jammu and Kashmir and the promises of their founder Prime Minister Pundit Jawaharlal Nehru and others. In 1997, office bearers of this APHC activists were arrested and the office was closed by Indian police. APHC and the Kashmir youth used the media to educate Indian about the ground realities. Now our sympathies are increasing day by day.
Q.6. How far the UN roadmap on Kashmir is feasible in the changed relationship equation?
Ans: The roadmap given by United Nation on 5th January 1949 resolutions is 100% feasible accepted by India and Pakistan and welcomed by the people of Kashmir. This is the only way out. For us Kashmir issue is a political issue internationally recognized and can be resolved by peaceful means through meaningful talks between the three parties under the auspices of United Nation.
Q.7. I feel that China is more sensitive over Kashmir because of its geographic contiguity with the disputed region. Do you agree?
Ans: China is emerging as a super power. Pakistan is a gateway for China economic development and strategic point of view and relation with the international community. CPEC is economic corridor not only for China and Pakistan but majority countries of the world. China is also feeling that there should be peace in the region and the roadmap of the peace in this region goes through Jammu and Kashmir.
Q.8. Modi hates Muslims; can he or his administration draw a fresh line for Kashmir solution?
Ans: India claims that “India is secular and the largest democracy in the world”. It is in their constitution but reality is opposite of it. Prime Minister Modi has changed the narrative of India and is trying to convert India as a Hindu Country. Being open enemy of Islam and other minorities, even low caste Hindus are against his policy. I am sure later or sooner India will break. There are politicians and intellectuals in India. They understand that Kashmir solution is must for the peace in the region and is in the interest of India as well. All the Indian governments including Prime Minister Modi used all the weapons (political, military and diplomatic) but India failed to crush popular freedom struggle in Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir. The commitment, dedication and sacrifices of the Kashmiris will change the Indian Objectives.
Word of Thanks: Thank you very much for continuing the policy of Late Zahid Malik shab on Kashmir and Pakistan. I am sure every Pakistani and Kashmiri cannot forget such a patriot Pakistani. We are always at your disposal.
— [Writer is senior leader of All Parties Hurriyat Conference Pakistan/AJK Chapter].