Palestinian, French Activists Join Kashmiris From Srinagar In Addressing UN Event In Geneva
By Our Special Correspondent
GENEVA, Switzerland (March 18): India on Monday shut down the internet service in parts of Srinagar to prevent several Kashmiri leaders, including Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, from participating in a United Nations Human Rights Council sideline event via broadband.
But despite the shutdown, two Kashmiris—one politician and the other an academic, Nayeem Ahmed Khan Chairman Jammu & Kashmir National Front, and Sheikh Shawkat Hussain, professor of law at Kashmir University—both succeeded in recording their messages, which were shown to representatives of international NGOs at the Geneva event.
“I am really thankful to you for giving me an opportunity to speak on behalf of more than 13 million people subjugated by 700,000 armed forces of the largest democracy of the world,” Nayeem Khan told the audience at the Palais des Nations in a recorded message via Skype.
Nayeem Khan is under house arrest in Srinagar but managed to establish a Skype connection to record his message.
Palestinian activist Issa Amro and Daniela Donges from Geneva International Center of Justice (GICJ) also addressed the seminar.
The panel discussion was presided over by Sardar Amjad Yousaf Khan, Executive Director, Kashmir Institute of International Relations.
American human rights activist Karen Parker said the Indian laws enforced in Kashmir violate international law. She described her interest in Indian-occupied Kashmir since 1990, and said she has seen little improvement in the situation on the ground there in 32 years. Nayeem Khan said when the Indian subcontinent was partitioned into India and Pakistan in August 1947 India forcibly occupied Kashmir through manipulations and machinations and by making promises only to break them. Later in the same year when India and Pakistan clashed in Kashmir for its possession Nehru took the matter to the Security Council as a complaint against Pakistan. This led to the passing of Security Council Resolutions which bound India and Pakistan to hold a plebiscite in Kashmir after withdrawing their respective armies. Pandith Nehru the then Prime of India repeated the promises publicly to let people decide their political future but in practice India took all the steps to strengthen the occupation till today.
Sheikh Showkat, also speaking via Skype from Srinagar, said the tall claims of India that it is largest growing democracy and tolerant nation falls flat when applied to Kashmir, which has been declared as the world’s largest militarized zone. There are countless examples to substantiate my point but for the paucity of time I cannot do so. He said the Indian leadership through the military power has violated the basic principles of humanity and democracy in Kashmir. After democratic and political space was squeezed the Kashmiri youth took to guns in 1989 as a vehicle of dialogue to compel the Indian state to grant us our legitimate right upheld by the United Nations.
Palestinian activist Issa Amro said military occupation is the same and what Kashmiris go through the Palestinians go through too. We are not asking to occupy India or America, he said, but that as Kashmiris and Palestinians we just want Kashmir and Palestine back so that our peoples could live peacefully in their land. He called for closer coordination between Kashmiri and Palestinian human rights activists.
Altaf Hussain Wani questioned what the United Nations has done to end impunity. Occupation forces walk away with violations. Un should have a law that stops states from giving impunity . He said not only indian security forces are practicing repression but Indian judiciary is helping in the enforcement of repression. We saw at least 48 killings of innocent kashmiris in 2013 and 7 probes. Countless commissions of inquiry in the last quarter of century but none of these probes have been concluded . referred to Clinton visit , several kashmiris were killed, Indians claimed they’re foreign terrorist but the parithbal inquiry confirmed they were locals. Despite a probe by the supreme court of india, no action taken against indian soldiers involved. European parliament passed a resolution on mass graves but no action by indian supreme court. More recently a class 9 student was killed after coming out of mosque after Friday prayers. He was shot down. Kashmiri students studying in india are targeted even inside india, so the situation in Kashmir is no different to the situation in Palestine. Israelo boycotted UPR at UNHRC, india refused to take advice from un experts.