Does Trade Matter More Than Human Lives In Kashmir?
By Our Special Correspondent
London, U.K. October 31, 2021 – British-Kashmiris irrespective of their party affiliations, including Tehreek-e-Kashmir held daylong events to mark the 74th anniversary of Kashmir Black Day in London on Wednesday, October 27, 2021.
Protest rallies with speeches denouncing Indian military invasion of Jammu and Kashmir on October 27, 1947, were made by various political leaders and activists in front of the Indian High Commission in London.
The Rallies and media were addressed by Barrister Sultan Mahmood Choudhary, the President of Azad Jammu and Kashmir, Dr. Ghulam N Mir, President of the World Kashmir Awareness Forum and Raja Fahim Kayani, President of the Tehreek-e-Kashmir UK.
Tehreek-e-Kashmir launched the Kashmir Black Day with a Kashmir Digital Van with impactful imagery of anti-occupation slogans denouncing Indian state terror in Kashmir.
Speaking to the reporters Dr. Mir repeated his condemnation of the October invasion and subsequent reigns of terror and tyranny by each Indian administration, including the August 5, 2019, abrogation of what limited autonomy J&K had exercised. He stated that India continues to violate the UN Security Council resolutions which grant Jammu & Kashmir the basic right of self-determination. He expressed strong concern that Kashmir as the most dangerous flash point in the nuclear triangle can endanger the entire region and beyond if Kashmir issue is not resolved through peaceful dialogue.
Dr. Mir added that the way to resolve the Kashmir dispute was through peaceful tripartite negotiations between all parties concerned – the governments of India & Pakistan and the genuine leadership of the people of Kashmir. Even this will not succeed unless there was the direct involvement of a third party, like the United Nations.
Raja Fahim Kayani expressed deep concern at the continued oppression of the people of Kashmir by the Indian occupation forces. He noted that more than 100,000 Kashmiris have been killed by Indian military and paramilitary personnel over the last three decades and deplored the silence of the international community because of India’s nuclear and economic strength. Kayani underscored that the Indian army is involved in serious crimes. They open fire on unarmed civilians at their will because they have been given immunity under draconian laws, like, Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA). The United Nations High Commissioner on Human Rights demanded an enquiry of commission into these war crimes, but India refused. Kayani pleaded that the United Kingdom, as a champion of human rights around the world, in conjunction with the international community, should send a clear message to the Government of India that such barbarity has no place in the comity of nations in this day and age, Kayani appealed.
A four member Kashmiri American and British Kashmiri delegation consisting of Dr. Ghulam N Mir President of the World Kashmir Awareness Forum (USA), Fahim Raja Kayani, President of the Tehreek-e- Kashmir UK, Raja Nazir Ahmed and Haris met with the leaders of Labour, Conservative and SNP parliamentarians in the British Parliament on the Kashmir Black Day to discuss the ongoing atrocities and possible way forward to negotiate a peaceful settlement to end the occupation and settler-colonization of J&K. Dr. Mir explained the current state of affairs in which there is absolute denial of free speech, right of public assembly, legal recourse and due process. He lamented that politicians, Journalists, human rights activists are detained under the draconian laws for indefinite periods without justification.
Parliamentarians, Afzal Khan, Shadow Deputy Leader of the House of commons, MP James Daly, Chair Conservative Friends of Kashmir, MP Anum Qaiser from SNPMP Khalid Mahmood and MP Tahir Ali expressed their full support for the Kashmir cause and a peaceful resolution of the conflict.
Dr. Mir addressed the special conference held at the Pakistan High Commission London to commemorate the Kashmir Black Day. The conference was also addressed by intellectuals and parliamentarians virtually and in person to express solidarity with the people of Kashmir. In his address Dr. Mir explained his first-hand experience with the Indian military, paramilitary forces and the corrupt Indian administration. He stated that Kashmiris are unanimous in denouncing Indian occupation, genocide, and displacement of Kashmiris by the colonialist government of India. He assured the audience that Syed Ali Geelani’s firm stand for the right to self-determination has eternally affirmed that Kashmiris will never submit to Indian rule and that the only path to resolving the Kashmir conflict was through a fair and unfettered plebiscite.
Dr. Mir explained that the world powers have not been forthright in helping the people of Jammu & Kashmir to realize their right to self-determination. It seems that trade matters more than human lives. The vast commercial market in India represents a serious distraction and seems invariably to take priority over any application of human rights policy.
Raja Fahim Kayani said that it was a historical fact that the Great Britain has traditionally been committed supporter of the plebiscite agreement as the only way to resolve this issue. In Britain, both Labour and Conservative governments consistently upheld the position that a plebiscite was the only way the dispute over Jammu & Kashmir could be democratically and peacefully settled.
Kayani urged Her Majesty’s Government to impress upon Government of India to immediately halt its campaign of terror and torture against the civilian population in Kashmir and allow access to international human rights organization to the distressed population.