Seminar in Washington warns against indian plans to change demographics, special status of Kashmir
Pakistan has said India cannot roll the UN-recognized Jammu and Kashmir dispute under the carpet while experts at a seminar warned New Delhi against changing in the special constitutional status of the disputed territory and altering demographics of the occupied territory.
Coinciding with Kashmir Solidarity Day, the seminar was hosted by the Pakistani embassy and attended by Pakistani-Americans and Kashmir-Americans.
“The UN Security Council resolutions have the legitimacy of the international contract, accepted by both India and Pakistan before the international community. Therefore, denying the pledge would be a violation of that contract,” Pakistan’s ambassador to the United States Jalil Abbas Jilani said.
He renewed Islamabad’s moral and diplomatic support for Kashmiris’ legitimate struggle for right to self-determination.
Ambassador Jilani noted that the Indian trend to effect a demographic change in the disputed territory as well as New Delhi’s plan to change the special constitutional status of the territory have caused deep concern and alarm in the region.
It is extremely important for India and Pakistan to resolve the longstanding issue in accordance with the UN resolutions and wishes of the Kashmiri people, he undescored.
Azad Jammu and Kashmir Minister for Electricity Raja Faisal Rathore asked the international community to pay heed to the suffering of the Kashmiri people at the hands of Indian occupation forces. He said the world should not allow India to hide its heinous crimes against humanity in the form of torture, rape, violence against a people struggling for their just rights. Peace in the region would remain elusive if India does not reconcile to the imperative of resolution to the Kashmir dispute.
Former foreign secretary Riaz Muhammad Khan the world may have seen some geo-strategic changes but the fundamental reality – rejection of living under Indian rule by three generations of the people of Jammu and Kashmir – remains stark and immutable.
Khan, who led the back channel diplomacy from 2009-2013 said the BJP-ruled New Delhi’s contemplation of a change in the special status of Kashmir in the Indian constitution is fraught with precarious repercussions and warned that such a move may lead to widespread unrest, protests and violence in the disputed territory.
He reminded the world that the “tragedy of Kashmir is the tragedy of South Asia.”
Addressing the colloquium, Ambassador Touqir Hussain, Adjunct Professor at Johns Hopkins’ School of Advanced International Studies, noted that India’s refusal to address the Kashmir dispute stems from its rejection of the idea of Pakistan.
“India’s has been denying democratic rights to the people of Kashmir with 700,000 troops — but the people of Kashmir have rejected the occupation.”
He remarked that the United States needs both India and Pakistan for achievement of its strategic objective in the region. But, the former diplomat argued, without the resolution of the Kashmir dispute, the two South Asian countries cannot improve their relationship, and even the stability of Afghanistan is linked to improvement in Pakistan-India relations.
The participants and speakers also highlighted during the interactive session that India, which blatantly violates Kashmiris’ human rights, denies their democratic rights and rejects calls for implementation of UN resolutions on Kashmir can no way qualify to be a member of the world body’s security council.
February 07, 2015