Top Kashmiri leaders urge UN chief to push for talks between India-Pakistan to settle Kashmir dispute

United Nations, September 27 (KMS): Azad Jammu and Kashmir President Barrister Sultan Mehmood Chaudhry and 11 other top Kashmiri leaders have drawn United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres’ attention to India’s grave violations of the UN resolutions on the Kashmir dispute, and urged him to bring India and Pakistan to the negotiating table, along with Kashmiri people’s genuine leadership, to settle the lingering conflict once and for all.

“The people of Jammu & Kashmir urge you to oblige India to fulfill its pledges of a free United Nations-supervised plebiscite in order to ensure restoration of democracy and social justice in their land,” they said in a joint letter submitted to the UN chief that refers to his landmark August 8, 2019 statement that the Kashmir issue has to be resolved under the UN Charter and the applicable UN Security Council resolutions.

For over 75 years, the people of Jammu & Kashmir have been peacefully struggling for their right to self-determination through a fair and impartial plebiscite under the auspices of the UN, the letter said, while pointing out that India systematically enacted laws, like Domicile Law, to integrate Kashmir into its territory. These laws, according to the leaders, designed to change the demography of Kashmir are in violations of 18 substantives resolutions adopted by the Security Council.

“India’s refusal to implement the United Nations resolutions calling for such a plebiscite is at the heart of the problem. It is a problem that does, indeed, have a solution. That solution can be peaceful, but unfortunately the Government of India has chosen the path of indiscriminate murder and intimidation instead of negotiations and peaceful resolution to the conflict,” they maintained in the letter.

The UN, the letter said, has the ability to change this miscarriage of justice and to put an end to the violence, adding that it was not enough to simply keep a record of cease-fire violations. Too many have died, it said, noting that the number of deaths exceeds 100,000.

“Mohammad Yasin Malik, the most revered and respected leader of Kashmir, is facing a life and death situation. Shabbir Ahmed Shah has spent 36 years in prison. Khurram Parvez, who according to TIME is one of the top 100 influential persons of 2022, has been charged under Unlawful Activities Prevention Act. Masarrat Aalam’s Public Safety Act (PSA) was quashed 35 times, but is still in Jail. Aasiya Andrabi was slapped with PSA 20 times and has been transferred to Tihar Jail, India. There are hundreds of political prisoners who deserve your attention and intervention to be released unconditionally and without a delay,” the letter said.

The letter added, “The people of Jammu & Kashmir urge you to oblige India to fulfill its pledges of a free United Nations-supervised plebiscite in order to ensure restoration of democracy and social justice in their land.”

Besides, the AK President, the leaders are Dr Ghulam N Mir, President of the World Kashmir Awareness Forum; Dr Ghulam Nabi Fai, Chairman of the World Forum for Peace and Justice; Senator Shaheen Khalid Butt, Chairman of the Kashmir Mission, USA; Sardar Sawar Khan, former Member of the AJK Council; Aftab Shah, Jammu and Kashmir Muslim Conference; Choudhary Zahoor; PTI (Azad Kashmir); Sardar Taj Khan, PML-N (Azad Kashmir); Muhammad Mushtaq, PPP (Azad Kashmir); Sardar Haleem Khan, Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front); Sardar Niaz Khan; Jammu and Kashmir People’s Party, and Sardar Imtiaz Khan Garalvi, Jammu and Kashmir Jamaat-e-Islami.

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