By News Desk
Washington, D.C. February 4, 2018. The Board of Directors of the Kashmiri American Council (KAC) met in Washington, D.C. to review the activities during the past year and deliberated on the various issues related to the movement aimed at seeking a negotiated settlement of the Kashmir dispute. The Board in its 2-days meeting agreed to the following 10-points “Policy Statement” to be pursued during the fiscal year of 2018.
- The Board reiterated the established fact that the people of Jammu & Kashmir were assured by both India and Pakistan as well as by the international community led by the United States that they would be given the right of self-determination to decide their future by a free and unfettered vote. And to this day, this assurance has yet to be honored;
- The Board further asserted that there must be a just and lasting resolution to the Jammu & Kashmir dispute in accordance with the United Nations Security Council resolutions and in accordance with the aspirations of the people of Jammu & Kashmir;
- The Board remains convinced that the people of Jammu and Kashmir constitute the principle stakeholders and should be an integral component of any future peace process along with India and Pakistan;
- The Board voiced its continuing belief that India and Pakistan alone cannot solve the 70-year-old Kashmir conflict — it requires a deeper engagement of the United Nations with both these neighboring countries;
- The Board believes that there cannot be a military solution of the problem. Any such solution is bound to invite challenge. The Board rules out war as an option and calls upon all the parties concerned to the dispute to work for a comprehensive cease-fire and to bring every form of violence to an end to improve the environment for a constructive and sustained dialogue;
- The Board continues to express grave concern over the conditions created by militarization, dehumanization and violation of inalienable human rights, including the right to self-determination. The militarization has induced disappearances, extrajudicial killings, unlawful detentions, torture, phenomenon of half-widows, orphans, internal and external displacement, systematic rape, deliberate eye sight deprivation, mass graves and worse;
- The Board expressed its disbelief that non-violent, civil disobedience movement based on peaceful agitation that began in July 2015 and is sustained until today, launched by the people of Kashmir has been repeatedly met with brutal force and collective punishment by the Indian military and paramilitary forces;
- The Board decided to continue to draw the attention of the international community toward the gross human rights atrocities committed by the Indian military and paramilitary forces in Kashmir;
- The Board will try encouraging the members of the United Nations Human Rights Council in order to persuade India and Pakistan to allow a fact-finding team of the UN High Commissioner on Human rights to visit Kashmir on both sides of the Ceasefire Line;
- The Board stressed that the Joint Political Resistance Leadership (JPRL) of Jammu & Kashmir continues to enjoy the confidence of the KAC and that the JPRL represents the broader spectrum of the opinion of the people of Jammu & Kashmir.