By News Desk
Islamabad – “According to UN resolutions, Jammu & Kashmir is disputed territory. It is the oldest issue on UN agenda. Indian Held Kashmir (IHK) never fully merged with India in 1947 and its only link remains article 370 which itself is illegal according to international laws. BJP’s government ambitions are to change the demography of IHK and turn Muslim majority areas into Hindu majority areas just like in Jammu, due to massacre of Muslims by Indian troops, Muslims are now in minority. 27th October will remain black day until the plebiscite is practiced in Jammu & Kashmir.”
These views were shared by the speakers during the round table discussion on “Legal Status of Indian Held Kashmir (IHK): Article 370 & Ambitions of BJP Government” organized by MUSLIM Institute on Wednesday 28th September at National Library, Islamabad. Chief Executive CISS, Ambassador Ali Sarwar Naqvi presided over the session whereas Ambassador Asif Ezdi, Minister of Social Welfare AJK Ms. Farzana Yaqoob, Activist for Peace & Justice Mr. Edward Hasbrouk from USA (via video link) and Public Relations Coordinator of MUSLIM Institute Mr. Tahir Mehmood spoke on the occasion. The speakers on the occasion added that:
If the BJP Government recalls and reinstates a new constituent assembly; by putting the constitutional amendment in front of this assembly, the so called Instrument of Accession of Jammu & Kashmir to India is being called into question. By doing this, India will lose the last so called reason of occupying Jammu & Kashmir. In case this constituent assembly adopts the constitutional amendment, then next task of India would be of initiating full merger of Kashmir into India which would again be possible by holding a plebiscite in Jammu and Kashmir to see if the locals do want to join India or not.
International support on Kashmir issue is necessary for its resolution which will come when people will pressurize their governments to provide the support. Much dependence of such happening is on reframing the issue. Kashmir issue is not a question of separatism or a bilateral problem but it is basically struggle for democracy and right of self-determination which is a human right. People are being gunned down because they are struggling for their rights particularly the ‘right to vote’. There is no justification for more than seven hundred thousand military forces in IHK. Kashmiri’s lives are as precious as that of any other human being. Kashmiris will not let down their freedom struggle whether article 370 is abrogated or not. Kashmiris’ case of ‘right to vote’ can attract international support. World powers’ policies continue to be driven by their strategic interests and India is a big trade partner of most of them. India has been successful in propagating its propaganda because of large number of overseas working as propaganda force. Kashmiris’ voices should be amplified so that they can effectively present their case to international community. Pakistan is presenting Kashmir issue on international level for international recognition of the issue.
According to article 370, IHK has its own constitution and Indian Parliament’s powers over the state are restricted to only defense, foreign affairs, and communications. Indian citizens neither can become the citizen of IHK nor can buy any property there. Even the article 356, under which the Indian President can impose his rule in any state, cannot be enforced in IHK without the consent of constituent assembly, the Indian Supreme Court has no jurisdiction in IHK and disrespecting the tricolor and other national symbols is not a crime in the state. The Indian Agenda behind article 370 is very much clear from Home Minister Gulzar Lal Nanda’s address in the Lok Sabha on 4th December 1964 where he described it as only way of taking the constitution of India into Jammu and Kashmir. All the additions to the union powers within the state of Jammu & Kashmir are unconstitutional as the assembly didn’t have powers to do so. Indian Home Minister P. Chidambaram also acknowledged in Rajya Sabha on 6th August 2010 that the Kashmir issue is a unique problem which requires a unique solution.
Foreign delegates, professors and students of universities, scholars and researchers from different institutions, analysts and media personnel actively participated in the discussion.