By Our Special Correspondent
Washington, D.C. March 21, 2020: World Kashmir Awareness Forum (WKAF) expresses deep distress over the news of FAST UNTO DEATH decision by Mr. Muhammad Yasin Malik, Chairman, Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) beginning April 1, 2020. Mr. Malik has been incarcerated and kept in solitary confinement by the Indian government, in Tihar Jail in New Delhi. Mr. Malik is a popular and revered leader of Jammu and Kashmir, who has been waging a peaceful struggle against the Indian occupation of his homeland for the last 34 years.
In a personal statement from New Delhi’s Tihar Jail, released to the public and press by his family on March 19, 2020, the JKLF Chairman reminded the Indian government to honor ‘the pledge made by the Indian Government’ and mentioned that he had relentlessly worked ‘for the freedom of my nation, for a peaceful negotiated settlement of Jammu and Kashmir issue and for the promotion of nonviolence.’ Mr. Malik added “he will prefer an honorable death instead of disgraceful life,” and concluded by saying, “Long live resistance, long live freedom.”
Outlining his involvement in the prolonged agony of the Kashmir independence movement and how he, along with his friends, launched peaceful activism against the Indian occupation, he states that it was the unrelenting state repression that compelled him and his friends toward an armed struggle. Questioning the bonafide of the trumped-up charges against him, the incarcerated leader has expressed his dissatisfaction with the format of the court proceedings that have denied him due legal process.
In his letter, Mr. Malik notes “I am being presented through Video link conference, where neither I am able to hear the arguments of lawyers nor am I being allowed to speak. I have already withdrawn my counsel and will send the same in writing to the judge, but the Judge is not ready to listen to me, and is behaving like any Prosecutor or police officer.”
The ailing Chairman of All Parties Hurriyet Conference, Syed Ali Geelani, who himself has been under house arrest for 11 years, has expressed grave concern over Mr. Malik’s health and safety. Mr. Geelani has expressed suspicion that India is plotting to send Mohammad Yasin Malik to the gallows. Warning India, Mr. Geelani stated, “If anything happened to JKLF Chairman, New Delhi would be responsible for it.”
World Kashmir Awareness Forum (WKAF) joins the people of Jammu and Kashmir and all political and civic organizations across the globe in demanding that the Indian government must ensure the safety of the entire Kashmiri leadership, including that of Mr. Malik. Noting that the people of Jammu & Kashmir demand an unfettered right to self-determination guaranteed under the United Nations Security Council Resolutions, WKAF underscores the urgent need for India to fulfill the pledges to the Kashmiri nation, made by the Indian leaders since 1947.
WKAF appeals to the Secretary-General of the United Nations and the Secretary-General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to demand the unconditional release of Mr. Muhammad Yasin Malik and other political prisoners immediately and drop all its trumped-up charges against him and hundreds of other political prisoners.
Further, WKAF demands that the United Nations mediate with the Government of India to allow Geneva-based International Commission of Jurists and a delegation of Kashmiri American diaspora to travel to New Delhi to meet with Mr. Malik at an early date personally.