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Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Documenting the Forgotten History of Jammu’s Massacred Muslims


Biased and facile narratives loom large in conversations involving Jammu and Kashmir. Sometimes, the tellers of these tales don’t shy away from committing grave historical omissions in order to enforce a convenient, self-indulgent portrayal of events in the Valley.

One example of a monumental omission is documented in the book, Being The Other: The Muslim in India, written by Saeed Naqvi. The book reminds audiences of not one, but two ethnic cleansings that took place in the state: one of Kashmiri Pandits from the Valley, and the second, of Muslims from the Jammu region.

Being the Other by Saeed Naqvi. (Photo Courtesy: Aleph Publications)

A chapter on Kashmir in the book – written largely from the point of view of Ian Stephens, editor of the British paper, The Statesman, from 1942-1952, so as to avoid nationalistic biases – talks of the large scale and carefully orchestrated massacre of Muslims from the once-Muslim majority Jammu region.

Stephens suggesting that all this happened with the approval of Maharaja Hari Singh.

Maharaja of Kashmir, Hari Singh (1895 - 1961) . (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

What was the death toll in the killing fields of Jammu? There are no official figures, so one has to go by reports in the British press of that period. Horace Alexander’s article on 16 January 1948 in The Spectator is much quoted; he put the number killed at 2,00,000. To quote a 10 August 1948 report published in The Times, London: ‘2,37,000 Muslims were systematically exterminated — unless they escaped to Pakistan along the border — by the forces of the Dogra state headed by the Maharaja in person and aided by the Sikhs. This happened in October 1947, five days before the Pathan invasion and nine days before the Maharaja’s accession to India.’

Being the Other, Saeed Naqvi

The communal riots of 1947 weighed heavily on Jammu’s Muslims; lakhs were killed, and many had no option but to flee to what became Pakistan-occupied Kashmir. The zonal plebiscite in Jammu that Maharaja Hari Singh was pushing for and revenge for what was happening in East Punjab to Hindus and Sikhs, were cited as possible reasons for the large scale massacre.

Naqvi’s book even goes on to suggest that Lord Mountbatten, the first Governor General of India, knew about the genocide but tried to filter it from the news, attempting to sink it into a black hole forever.

One thing is true, that post 1947-48, Jammu – that had had a Muslim majority (61 percent Muslims) – housed the community only as a minority.

Gandhi’s comment on the situation is also presented in the book. The book quotes from Volume 90 of Mahatma Gandhi’s Collected Works:

The Hindus and Sikhs of Jammu and those who had gone there from outside killed Muslims. The Maharaja of Kashmir is responsible for what is happening there
Mahatma Gandhi

Naqvi isn’t the only one to suggest this. Last year, on the 25th anniversary of the Azaadi uprising, Swaminathan S Aiyar too had written about Jammu’s buried history in his piece, A Tale of Two Ethnic Cleansings in Kashmir.

Another book, Revisiting India’s Partition, says Hindu and Sikh refugees from Azad Kashmir and West Punjab, along with Sikh deserters of the Sialkot unit, massacred Muslims, and calls the “mad orgy of Dogra violence against unarmed Muslims” as one that ought to put any self-respecting human to shame.

In an interview with Reuters, which is published in the book, the erstwhile Prime Minister of Pakistan General Liaquat Ali Khan, accuses the RSS of orchestrating the violence with the Maharaja.

After the massacre of Muslims in East Punjab and the Punjab states, the forces of annihilation turned to Jammu and Kashmir...Towards the end of September the Indian National Army and the RSS shifted their headquarters from Amritsar to Jammu.. they were provided modern weapons by the state authorities. They set about the formal business in Jammu and Poonch of repeating the horrible drama they had enacted in East Punjab.

General Liaquat Ali Khan

In the aftermath of the violence, many Muslims from the border areas of Bishnah, RS Pura, Akhnoor etc fled to Sialkot in Pakistan. Besides the Jammu region, there were large scale killings in Udhampur, Chenani, Ramnagar, Reasi, and even far away Bhaderwah.

For someone who is a descendant of the Dogra rulers, and stakes a claim in the future of the state, I can only hope that all of us forget each other’s sins, and move forward to a less violent Jammu and Kashmir.

First Published: 17.07.16

Monday, February 26, 2018

London Guantánamo Campaign

The London Guantánamo has been campaigning since 2006 for the return of all British residents from the Guantánamo Bay prison camp, the release of all prisoners, the closure of this prison and other similar prisons and an end to the practice of extraordinary rendition. Human rights for all.

Monthly "Shut Guantánamo!" Protests to Resume at US Embassy Nine Elms (1st March)

Ahead of our first demonstration there, here is a video showcasing 12 years
of dedicated peaceful protest action against Guantánamo outside the US Embassy in
Grosvenor Square:

The London Guantánamo Campaign (LGC) held regular campaigns outside the US Embassy
in London’s Grosvenor Square for 12 years (2006-2018). Since February 2007, the
LGC held weekly (until August 2008), and monthly demonstrations since calling
for the closure of Guantánamo and justice and solidarity with the remaining

prisoners. We will continue our protests until Guantánamo closes.

On Thursday 1st March, the LGC will hold its first
demonstration, and first Shut Guantánamo! monthly demonstration outside the new
US Embassy venue (since January 2018) in Nine Elms.

Please join us between 12 and 2pm at the US Embassy, 33

Nine Elms Ln, London SW11 7US

Transport: underground: Vauxhall / bus: 156, 344, or 436
(Stop E)

Don't just watch - get involved! Details of our March 1st demo:
Event: https://www.facebook.com/events/975903689224552/

Posted by London Guantánamo Campaign

Monday, February 19, 2018

Save Kashmir, Save Humanity: Hold Promised Plebiscite in Kashmir

Save Kashmir, Save Humanity: Hold Promised Plebiscite in Kashmir

The Indian Independence Act and the partition plan of 3 June, 1947, envisaged the division of the Indian sub-continent into two sovereign states of Pakistan and India. There were more than five hundred princely states in India at the time of partition ruled by the native rulers who enjoyed autonomy in running the affairs of their states. These states were given the option to join any of the two dominions keeping in view the demographic realities and their geographical proximity.

    Ruler of Hyderabad who was a Muslim wanted to join Pakistan, but the Indian government annexed the state using its military might on the plea that since majority of the population of Hyderabad was Hindu it could not accede to Pakistan. Kashmir having 87 percent Muslim population was ruled by a Sikh ruler.The sikh ruler of Kashmir was not able to form a decision so he wanted to take time to make a final decision and for that extent he signed standstill agreement with the Government of Pakistan. He then wanted to sign the standstill agreement with india as well but india refused to do so which alarmed the establishment of Pakistan.

    The people of Kashmir were desirous of joining Pakistan due to its geographical proximity and their historic, religious and cultural bonds with the people of Pakistan. However the Indian government coerced the Sikh ruler to join the Indian dominion. That was a classic example of the Indian double standards and its betrayal of the principles enshrined in the partition plan and negation of the reasons it employed to capture Hyderabad.The muslims of Jammu area were killed by the Dogra army with the help of Hindus and Sikhs. it is said that more than 4 lakh muslims were killed at that point of juncture.

    Later Pashtun Muslims invaded kashmir because they wanted to save the Muslims of Jammu & Kashmir and wanted to make kashmir as the part of Pakistan. The sikh ruler sought india's help to fight the Pashtun tribals and indian army landed into Kashmir. The sikh ruler signed the instrument of accession with india but it was made conditional. Kashmiri people were promised that they will be will given chance to decide their future as soon as the situation gets normal. The presence of Indian Army in kashmir fueled the conflagration and eventually led to war between Pakistan and India.

    The Indian government approached the UN on 1 January, 1948, for help in the matter. A number of resolutions were adopted by the UN emphasizing the need for immediate cessation of hostilities, demarcation of the ceasefire line, demilitarization of the territory and deciding the question of accession through a plebiscite under the auspices of UN.

    With the passing of the resolutions, a ceasefire came into effect and a demarcation line was also drawn which partitioned Kashmir into Azad Kashmir and Indian-held Kashmir. On the question of demilitarisation of the valley, no headway could be made due to the Indian intransigence.

    The head of the United Nations Commission for India and Pakistan Sir Oven Dixon, an eminent Australian jurist, quit his job in protest against non-cooperation by India. However, the Indian leader Jawahar Lal Nehru in the correspondence exchanged with Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah and his statements in the Indian parliament kept reiterating his commitment to abide by the UN resolutions and allow the people of Kashmir to settle the question of accession through their free will.

    Kashmir's right of self-determination and is intact ,genuine and legal in the eyes of international law. There is striking resemblance between UN Resolutions of 13 August 1948 and in Text of Mountbatten's conditional acceptance of doubtful instrument of Accession of Hari Singh.

    Resolution of 13th August 1948 said that the "future status of the state shall be determined in accordance with the will of the people. The letter of Mountbatten dated 26 October says - special circumstances mentioned by your Highness my Government have decided to accept the accession of Kashmir State to the Dominion of India. Consistently with their policy that in the case of any State where the issue of accession has been the subject of dispute, the question if accession should be decided in accordance with the wishes of the people of the State.

    The more likely outcome is that Kashmir will become independent, if this option is available. In a recent poll, almost 75% of Kashmiris, including Hindus, Muslims and Buddhists, favored independence. There is no reason why Kashmir, like India before it, could not opt for secularism, thus protecting all three religions equally.

    Kashmir is waiting for plebiscite promised to them by the international society in 1948 and have laid uncountable sacrifices for their right to self determination.

    In the wake of 1971 war, India and Pakistan signed Simla Agreement committing themselves to resolve all disputes including Kashmir through bilateral negotiations. Under the Simla Pact ceasefire, the line was changed into line of control. It does not say Kashmir dispute is solved or self-determination kept on hold. A further clause of Simla agreement says - That the principles and purposes of the Charter of the United Nations shall govern the relations between India and Pakistan.

    This keeps UN resolutions on Kashmir live. But unfortunately the Indians never responded positively to Pakistan’s overtures for peaceful resolution of the Kashmir dispute. Frustrated by this continued stalemate, the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front launched an armed struggle against the Indian occupation of Kashmir in 1989. India responded by inducting more than seven Lac troops, who let loose a reign of terror in the valley. The international community which initially recognized the move as a freedom struggle has shown criminal indifference to the cause of Kashmiris after 9/11.

    Especially Since 1989, Indian forces are committing heinous crimes against Innocent kashmiris. Kashmir is the most militrilized zone in the world.

    It is for all these reasons, the Kashmir people deserve a referendum. The people of Kashmir have made it obvious that they want freedom. There have been daily protests resulting in the loss of many lives. In order to stop the bloodshed, a robust political solution is required. They should have the right to vote on their own independence and freedom.

Fatalities So Far

    Jan. 1989 to 31st December, 2016

    Total Killings  94595

    Custodial Killings 7,078

    Civilians Arrested 139,612

    Structures Arsoned/Destroyed 107,740

    Women Widowed 22,831

    Children Orphaned 107,603

    Women gang-raped / Molested 10,828

    Enforced Disappearances 10,000 +

    Blinded 100s

Author: Advocate Sheikh Arshid

Twitter: @AdvocateArshid

Joburg protest against Indian atrocities in Kashmir

Sunday, February 18, 2018

54 patients died waiting for Israel to let them out of Gaza

54 patients died waiting for Israel to let them out of Gaza
Cancer patients take part in a December 2016 protest in Gaza City demanding that they be allowed to travel for treatment. In 2017, 54 patients died in Gaza after Israel denied or delayed such permits, the majority of them cancer patients. 
(Mohammed AsadAPA images).
Fifty-four Palestinians died last year waiting for Israeli permits to leave the Gaza Strip for medical treatment.
One of them was Faten Ahmed, a 26-year-old with a rare form of cancer. She died in August while awaiting an Israeli permit to travel for chemotherapy and radiotherapy not available in Gaza.
She had previously missed eight hospital appointments after Israeli “security approval” was delayed or denied, according to the World Health Organization.
Ahmed was one of five women who died from cancer in that month alone waiting for Israeli permission that never came.
Overall, 46 of those who died last year waiting for permits were cancer patients.

Shocking number of deaths

This staggering toll highlights the lethal impact of Israel’s ever-tightening siege on the two million people who live in Gaza.
“We’re seeing Israel increasingly deny or delay access to potentially life-saving cancer and other treatment outside Gaza, with shockingly high numbers of Palestinian patients subsequently dying, while Gaza’s healthcare system – subjected to half a century of occupation and a decade of blockade – is decreasingly able to meet the needs of its population,” Aimee Shalan, CEO of Medical Aid for Palestinians, said on Tuesday.
Her charity, along with Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, Al Mezan Center for Human Rights and Physicians for Human Rights Israel, has issued an urgent call on Israel to “lift the unlawful sweeping restrictions on the freedom of movement of people from Gaza, most critically those with significant health problems.”
In 2017 Israeli occupation authorities approved just 54 percent of applications for permits to leave Gaza for medical appointments, the lowest rate since the World Health Organization began collecting data in 2008.
Israel has dramatically tightened the deadly squeeze; its approval rate for permits fell from 92 percent in 2012 to 82 percent in 2014 and then 62 percent in 2016, before hitting its lowest point last year.
The health and human rights groups note that the UN and the International Committee of the Red Cross have declared Israel’s land, sea and air blockade on Gaza, preventing the movement of its population, to be “collective punishment” – a war crime.
“Palestinians from Gaza missed at least 11,000 scheduled medical appointments in 2017 after Israeli authorities denied or failed to respond in time to applications for permits,” the groups state.

Egypt and Palestinian Authority complicit

The groups also note that Egypt and the Ramallah-based Palestinian Authority played a role in worsening the situation: “Egypt has kept the Rafah crossing mostly closed for the population in Gaza since 2013, which contributed to restricting access to health care.”
“As a state bordering a territory with a protracted humanitarian crisis, Egypt should facilitate humanitarian access for the population,” they state. “Nevertheless, ultimate responsibility remains with Israel, the occupying power.”
The Palestinian Authority also sharply reduced its financial approvals for medical treatment outside Gaza as part of its sanctions aimed at forcing Hamas to hand over control of the governance of Gaza.
These PA restrictions resulted in at least one death, according to the groups. But medical authorities in Gaza have said that more than a dozen people, including a 3-year-old girl with a heart condition, died waiting for payment approval from Ramallah.
All of this comes amid the protracted siege-induced crisis which has brought the collapse of key parts of the health system.
“Amid widespread poverty and unemployment, at least 10 percent of young children are stunted by chronic malnutrition, up to half of all medicines and medical items in Gaza are completely depleted or below one month’s supply, and chronic electricity shortages have caused officials to cut health and other essential services,” the human rights and medical groups state.

End the siege

Earlier this month, hospitals in Gaza began shutting down as emergency generators ran out of fuel, forcing the postponement of hundreds of operations.
On Wednesday, RT posted this report from Gaza about the plight of cancer patients. Correspondent Anya Parampil spoke to Zakia Tafish whose husband Jamil died after he was repeatedly blocked from traveling to Jerusalem for surgery.

The channel also aired a report about the worsening situation in the territory’s hospitals.
Following UN warnings of looming catastrophe, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates last week pledged $11 million in short-term funding to stave off an even worse catastrophe for another few months.
However, as the human rights groups note, there is no long-term solution but to end the siege.
“The Israeli government’s restrictions on movement are directly connected to patient deaths and compounded suffering as ill patients seek permits,” Al Mezan director Issam Younis said.
“These practices form part of the closure and permit regime that prevents patients from a life of dignity, and violates the right to life.”
The UK-based Medical Aid for Palestinians is calling on the public to contact lawmakers in the British parliament and “ask them to urge the UK government to take action and save lives in Gaza.”

Event: Rohingya: The Silent Genocide?

Event: Rohingya: The Silent Genocide?
22 Feb. Pembroke College, Oxford 
#OxfordUniversity Islamic Society is hosting an evening devoted to "#Rohingya: The Silent Genocide?". 
Senior General Min Aung Hlaing openly calls it "an unfinished business". 
Imagine what "a finished business" to them looks like. 
We'll call a spade a spade: Myanmar is committing a genocide.

The Rohingya crisis in Myanmar is one of the biggest humanitarian crisis the world has seen in the 21st century. Close to a million people have been ‘ethnically cleansed’ of their own land in the space of less than a year. To what extent is the Aung San Suu Kyi-led government to be blamed? Has the international community failed to tackle this disaster? Has the west been too soft with their words? What is our role as students of the University of Oxford, the very same institution Aung San Suu Kyi graduated from and is the recipient of an honorary DPhil? Is there a solution to end the human rights abuses that the ‘most persecuted minority’ has been facing for almost half a century? And many more questions that challenge the current regime in Myanmar and the stance that the global community has taken. 

Join us as some of the best academics and activists who have field work experience in Myanmar address these topics. It will be one of the biggest events held this term by any society and arguably one of the biggest in recent history.


Professor Azeem Ibrahim: 
-PhD, Cambridge University
-Research Professor at the Strategic Studies Institute, US Army War College.
-Senior Fellow at the Centre for Global Policy in Washington
-International Security Fellow at the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University
-World Fellow, Yale University
-Rothermere Fellow, University of Oxford
-Board of the International Centre for the Study of Radicalization and Political Violence, Department of War Studies, Kings College London University.
-Ranked as a Top 100 Global Thinker by the European Social Think Tank in 2010.
-Ranked Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum

Professor Maung Zarni:
-Blogger, writer, columnist, poet, and fellow with the Genocide Documentation Center of Cambodia.
- PhD specializing in the politics of education and propaganda under military rule in Burma
(1962-88) University of Wisconsin at Madison.
- He was also schooled at the Universities of Mandalay, California and Washington
-Taught and/or held research and leadership fellowships at National-Louis University in Chicago, Georgetown, Harvard, Oxford, LSE, UCL Institute of Education, Malaya, and Brunei.
-Co-author, ‘The Slow Burning Genocide of Myanmar’s Rohingyas’
-Recipient of the bi-annual "Cultivation of Harmony" award from the world's oldest inter-faith organization, the Parliament of the World's Religions in 2015.

Tun Khin:
-Actual Rohingya born and brought up in Arakan, Myanmar.
-Grandson of the Parliamentary Secretary during the democratic period in Myanmar.
-President of Burmese Rohingya Organisation, UK which has been a leading voice for Rohingya people around the world.
-Actively involved in informing US Congress and State Department, British Parliament, Swedish Parliament, European Union Parliament and Commission, the UN Indigenous Forum in NY and the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva.
-Recipient of a leadership award from Refuges International Washington DC in April 2015 for his relentless effort working on the Rohingya issue.

On Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/579778752357477/ 

Tears Of Rohingya

Tears Of Rohingya
The Rohingya are a UN recognized most persecuted group on earth today.... Aung Sun Suu Kyi won the Nobel Prize for Peace in 1991.
The Nobel committee recognised with respect her non-violent struggle for democracy. However, today it is violence that has reared its ugly head in Nobel Laureate Suu Kyi’s Myanmar. Can there be a more laughable situation where Nobel prize winner (for PEACE at that) wanting to protect her army and the majority population first, from a battered hapless tiny minority who are running for their lives, leaving behind everything including their homeland? A classic case of an angel of democracy turning back to become the 'killer crazy demon', soon after pocketing the Nobel prize...The genocide of Rohingya Muslims is a classic case of guys with guns killing those without guns. It's like American Indians vs the settlers. Arm and train the Rohingya, let them fight for their liberty. The Buddhist regime will smell the coffee when their maroon clad genocidal maniacs start dying like flies. The only thing that works in this world is the balance of power.
Author: Suddhan Sadaf Shareef
Twitter: @SuddhanSadaf30

Trudeau urged to raise issue of pellet-guns in IoK during India visit

By News Desk  Published: February 16, 2018

Canadian PM Justin Trudeau. PHOTO: REUTERS
In an open letter written by Amnesty International to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, the organisation has called on the PM to raise six different issues including the use of pellet-firing shotguns in Kashmir during his visit to India.

Trudeau is visiting India from February 17 to 23 and the letter lays “out a number of pressing human rights concerns and related recommendations that Amnesty International’s 300,000 supporters across Canada urge you [Trudeau] to raise in all possible exchanges, including meetings with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.”
According to Amnesty International, the areas of concern are: threatened forced mass expulsion of Rohingya people from India; justice and accountability for the 1984 Sikh massacre; use of pellet-firing shotguns in Kashmir; demonisation of religious minorities;  decriminalisation of consensual adult same-sex relations; and criminalisation of marital rape.
Use of pellet-firing shotguns in held-Kashmir
Concerned about use of pellet-firing shotguns in held-Kashmir, Amnesty International urged the Canadian PM “to call on Prime Minister Modi to immediately ban the use of pellet-firing shotguns as a means of policing protests.”
The open letter states these shotguns have killed, blinded and injured thousands of people. “People injured by pellet-firing shotguns have faced serious physical and mental health issues, including symptoms of psychological trauma,” the letter reads further.
The use of pellet shotguns in held-Kashmir violates international standards on the use of force, states Amnesty International. They also urged Trudeau to “work with the state government of Jammu and Kashmir to set up independent investigations into cases of deaths or serious injuries caused by pellet firing shotguns.”
Demonisation of Muslims in India
Hate crimes against Muslims has also been raised as a major concern by the human rights organisation. According to the letter, in 2017, several hate crimes against Muslims were reported in different parts of India, amid a rising tide of Islamophobia in the country. Stating that this has “contributed to a growing sense of insecurity for many Muslims, and intensified religious tensions.”
As such, the organisation urges Trudeau call on PM Modi to”publicly condemn hate crimes and Islamophobia and work with state governments to end impunity for those responsible for hate crimes against Muslims.”
Other areas of concern
The open letter also asks Trudeau to call on Modi to ensure that Rohingya people living in India are not forcibly expelled, and “to explore opportunities for Canada and India to work together to pressure the government of Myanmar to end discrimination and violence against Rohingya people.”
The 1984 Sikh massacre has also been raised as an issue of concern and it is urged that “all those suspected of involvement in the 1984 killings, including those with command responsibility, are prosecuted.”

The letter also asks the Canadian PM to discuss with Modi to decriminalise consensual adult same-sex relations. Further, the organisation also asks that India “amend the law to remove the exception to marital rape in the definition of rape in the penal code.”

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Why is Karabakh conflict not resolved yet?

Why is Karabakh conflict not resolved yet?


The Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict turns 30 this month, but unfortunately, it is yet too early to speak about its settlement. Why? For what reason do the parties to the Karabakh conflict, which resulted in occupation of 20% of Azerbaijani lands and turned nearly a million people into refugees and displaced persons, fail to come to a solution?

Reacting to the occupation of the territories of sovereign Azerbaijan by Armenia in 1993, the UN Security Council unanimously adopted four resolutions – 822, 853, 874 and 884. These resolutions confirmed that the Nagorno-Karabakh region is an inseparable part of Azerbaijan, decisively called to respect the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Azerbaijan and its internationally recognized borders, and stressed inadmissibility of use of force to capture territory.

The UN resolutions demanded the immediate, complete and unconditional withdrawal of all occupation forces from the occupied territories of Azerbaijan and the creation of conditions for the safe return of displaced persons to the places of their permanent residence. But Armenia never fulfilled any of these resolutions.

The destructive stance of official Yerevan in the negotiation process, violation of the cease-fire regime and shooting at civilians in frontline villages may cause escalation of the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict at any time, as happened in April 2016, when Azerbaijan managed to liberate a part of its territories within a very short period. The world community did not take long to respond: influential international organizations including UN and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), as well as the United States, Russia and other states, called on both parties to suspend hostilities.

Why did the world community react so promptly to the escalation of the conflict? Because Europe understands that the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is a threat to security of not only the South Caucasus region but also Europe. Why Europe? Azerbaijan has successfully implemented the global energy projects of Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan and Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum, it supplies oil to the world market and has recently launched the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railroad. In addition, once the TANAP and TAP export gas pipelines are commissioned, Europe will also be supplied with Azerbaijani gas. Due to rapidly depleting hydrocarbon reserves Europe is currently in need of stable energy supplies and in this respect Azerbaijan is among the most reliable and stable suppliers.

Thus, the world community should pay greater attention to the Karabakh problem, since the economic interests of the European states will suffer in case of a full-fledged war. The war in Nagorno-Karabakh is a direct threat to the energy security of Europe. And while Europe realizes it well, it still does not pay increased attention to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
The OSCE, European Parliament, European Commission and European politicians should ponder this seriously and spare no effort for the resolution of the Karabakh conflict. There is only one way out of this situation – liberation of the occupied territories of Azerbaijan – Nagorno-Karabakh and seven surrounding regions as required by the four resolutions of the UNSC.

The OSCE Minsk Group is represented by a group of OSCE member states leading the search for ways to peacefully resolve the Karabakh conflict. It includes Belarus, Germany, Italy, Sweden, Finland and Turkey, as well as Armenia and Azerbaijan. Unfortunately, efforts toward a diplomatic resolution of the conflict, with OSCE mediation, produced no effect. Since the start of Minsk Group’s activity to resolve the Karabakh conflict, the status quo around Nagorno-Karabakh has remained unchanged.

The trust of Azerbaijani public in the Minsk Group was undermined on March 14, 2008, when Minsk Group co-chairing countries (the US, Russia and France) declined Azerbaijan-initiated resolution 62/243 demanding “immediate, complete and unconditional withdrawal of all Armenian forces from all the occupied territories of the Republic of Azerbaijan.” Thirty-nine states voted for the resolution, seven voted against and 100 abstained.

Is there any prospect of resolving the Karabakh conflict within the framework of the OSCE Minsk Group, whose co-chairing states voted against the Azerbaijani resolution? Azerbaijan is now skeptical regarding the Minsk Group, since the co-chairing states remain passive in the resolution of the Karabakh conflict. Today the voices in favor of reconsideration of the Minsk Group format are growing louder in Azerbaijan. Therefore, it is not ruled out that the composition of this group may be expanded in the future.

IT IS separatism, not terrorism, that represents the main threat to stability in the world. Yes, separatism. Each region faces the threat of separatism and the fact of violation of the states’ territorial integrity. Great attention was paid to this topic at the 72nd session of the UN General Assembly in New York in September 2017. From the UN rostrum, world leaders repeatedly called for the unconditional respect and protection of the territorial integrity of member states. It should be noted that Azerbaijan President Ilham Aliyev also spoke at that session, drawing attention to the occupation of Azerbaijani lands by Armenia and its disastrous consequences.

Today the whole world is infected with the virus of separatism and it is necessary to intensify the struggle against this evil for it not to take over the principles of sovereignty and territorial integrity of states. Azerbaijan faced this threat and lost part of its lands. Today separatism is shaking Europe. The powers of Spanish Catalonia recently held the so-called “referendum on independence,” which was not recognized by the Spanish government. Italy’s Veneto, Belgian Franders, as well as Bavaria, Switzerland, could have also taken this path had the Spanish government not dismissed Catalan president Carles Puigdemont and his government. The leaders of European countries and, certainly, the EU government in Brussels are well aware of the unpredictable consequences separatism may have if no preventive measures are taken.

Separatism is a very serious challenge and threat to the UN, too. If the wave of separatism embraces the whole of Europe, it may call into question the future of this organization. Today most countries are skeptical about the UN due to its lack of a strong will regarding ensuring the prescriptions of international law. Everyone knows that not all countries fulfill UN resolutions. As mentioned earlier, Armenia, for example, is rudely ignoring them.

So why do UN resolutions work on some countries and not on others? Why can’t the UN bring the matter under control? After all, every country is responsible for upholding international law prescribes, isn’t it?

The issue is that today there is actually no system of international law. The system collapsed after the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia in 1999. Since then the world has plunged into chaos, in which not all countries observe the UN rules. And there is a great possibility that international chaos may last for decades, since the problem of separatism in Europe and other parts of the world has been left unattended, with some countries, including Armenia, continuing to ignore the requirements of the UN Security resolutions. And unless a global restructuring takes place, the situation will not improve.

By Seymur Mammadov - the director of the International expert club “Eurasia-Azerbaijan”, editor-in-chief of the Azerbaijani news agency Vzglyad.az.


Why Boycott India?

Why Boycott India?

Dear world community, If we love freedom, peace, justice and believe in humanity then we MUST BOYCOTT INDIA for its racist oppressive apartheid policies and brutal as well as illegal occupation of Kashmir. 

Never stop sharing, caring and speaking out against Indian brut state atrocities. India and her one million gun wielding occupation forces stationed in Kashmir is a crime against mankind! When one group of people attacks another group of people to steal their homeland, that's a crime against all free people around the world and against international law. India must be stopped! They must be brought to justice and we should never stop until that happens! They must be held accountable for their war crimes against the unarmed innocent Kashmiri civilians! Please don't underestimate any little act you do to counter this horrific crime. The ramifications of this injustice going unanswered threatens freedom everywhere. We need to insist on one system of justice for everyone everywhere! India is illegally occupying Kashmir at the expense of the indigenous Kashmiris who own that land and have lived their for centuries. The brutal occupational forces must return to their original birth places from which they came. We don't want them here terrorise or kill our people. The Kashmiris are struggling for freedom, justice, and peace, and this conflict will not end until that is achieved. 

The Kashmiris don't have weapons, but they have the love for their country, and the love for freedom! No amount of weapons can change that! 

Nonetheless, Indian forces have intermittently been employing various patterns of military terrorism to maintain their alien rule on the occupied territories, but it seems that non-condemnation of these acts by the so-called US-led civilised international community has further encouraged India to step-up its atrocities on the armless Kashmiri masses. 

Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We being humans must stand for other fellow beings, their rights & freedom. Our small acts can contribute so much to the humanity, save human lives, bring smile on the faces of oppressed Kashmiris.

Read More about Occupied Kashmir:

Kashmir - The Valley Of Tears

Author : Suddhan Sadaf Shareef 
Twitter :

Friday, February 16, 2018

Kashmir - The Valley Of Tears

Kashmiri brethren for their inalienable right of self-determination promised to them by the UN in 1948 and 1949.

As a matter of fact, due to the apathy shown by the UN and the big powers India has always refused to implement the UN Security Council resolutions for the last 70 years that gave Kashmiris the right through plebiscite to join India or Pakistan.The US and the West have double standards.Take the case of East Timor, which was carved out of the largest Muslim country of the world. A resolution was passed within months and implemented within weeks.

In 1991, when Iraq invaded Kuwait, once again UN Security Council passed the resolution to punish Iraq, which was implemented immediately because it was in the interest of the US and the West. It does not look like that they will do it because only when public protest fits into the geopolitical designs of the US and the West that they declare it a popular movement and honour it with the award of a `colour label`.The `orange revolution` of Ukraine, the `rose revolution` of Georgia, the `cidar` revolution of Lebanon and much earlier velvet revolution of Czechoslovakia would pale before the Kashmiris` movement for their freedom yet they were given colours by the colour-blind big powers. It has to be mentioned that in none of the above cases there was a UN mandate whereas Kashmiris have been given their inalienable right of self-determination by the UN in 1948 and 5th January 1949.

International community should stop India from perpetrating atrocities on the people of Kashmir and also understand the gravity of the situation, as this conflict has the potential to big conflagration that could adversely impact the region and beyond. Historical evidence suggests that Kashmiris have passed through the longest ordeal and faced death and destruction. They had faced repression even before the partition when the British had sold Kashmir to Gulab Singh, a former governor of Maharaja Ranjeet Singh, for 7.5 million rupees. Once again at the time of partition when people of Kashmir had dreamed of freedom from oppression, India accepted Lord Mountbatten as the first Governor General of India with a view to exacting undue favours from the `friend`.

The plan of annexing Kashmir was contrived and implemented by Lord Mountbatten and Nehru when Raja Hari Singh was coerced into signing the controversial document. According to another report, a fake document of annexation was prepared by them, and it was on the basis of this document that Endian forces entered the Valley and annexed Kashmir. It is an irrefutable fact that on 19th July 1947, Muslim Conference organised a convention and passed a resolution for merging with Pakistan, which stated: "This convention of Muslim Conference has reached the conclusion that geographical conditions, 80 per cent Muslim population, important rivers of Punjab passing through the state, language, cultural, ethnic and economic relations and contiguity of the state with Pakistan make it imperative to merge with Pakistan". According to the Partition of India, the accession of the State of Jammu and Kashmir was to be decided in the light of its people`s wishes.

However, India occupied the State through military force and claimed it as an integral part of India. Earlier, changes in the Radcliff Award were made through intrigue by Lord Mountbatten by giving Gurdaspur to India otherwise India had no road link with Kashmir. When volunteers from Pakistan entered Kashmir to help Kashmiris in their struggle for freedom from illegal occupation, it was India that took the matter to the UN under Chapter VI of the UN Charter dealing with Pacific Settlement of Disputes.

According to Tashkent Declaration after 1965 War and Simla Agreement after 1971 War, both India and Pakistan had agreed to resolve all disputes through bilateral dialogue. Since then, India has always taken the position that Kashmir issue is a bilateral matter, and thus refuses to accept third party mediation. Former President Musharraf had more than once expressed Pakistan`s willingness to go beyond their stated position provided reciprocated by India. But India did not respond to these gestures; hence no progress could be made towards conflict resolution. He was of the opinion that the situation after 9/11 warranted a change in the strategy to resolve the issues, as the US had come out with the doctrine of pre-emptive strike. India mistook it as a carte blanche to all the `big and mighty` and thought it could apply the same in this region.

India has been harbouring the idea of limited war up to 2002 when it moved its forces close to the Pakistan`s borders. It was a war of attrition. And when India felt that Pakistan would not be cowed down, it ultimately withdrew its forces to the original positions. It was in view of post-9/11 scenario that Pakistan had hinted that both countries should go beyond their stated positions with a view to finding a solution of the Kashmir dispute, which was acceptable to India, Pakistan and the people of Kashmir.

There is no doubt that People on both sides of the Control Line want peace and wish that Kashmir dispute be resolved through dialogue, as they do not wish to live in trepidation and fear.The US and the West should, however, realise that India has been using bilateralism only as a ploy to retain its illegal occupation of the disputed territory. But with a view to appeasing India because of its size and population, they do not force India to implement the UN resolutions or resolve the Kashmir dispute through bilateral talks. It should, however, be borne in mind that if larger and stronger countries continued to turn a blind eye to their cohorts`hegemonic ambitions, the dream to make the world a safer place to live would never come true.

In an article published in the Asian Age - an Indian daily, the writer had discussed the possibility of resolving the Kashmir issue on the lines of an agreement reached over Andorra in 1993 between France and Spain. Andorra is a co-principality situated on the border of Spain and France in the Pyrenees Mountains, and co-princes are Bishop of Urgel (Spain) and the French President. It joined the United Nations as a member state in 1993, and is recognized as a parliamentary democracy. The other proposal was to make Kashmir Valley an independent state, Jammu and Ladakh to remain under India`s control whereas Azad Kashmir and northern areas to remain under Pakistan`s control. But the problem is that whenever in Indo-Pak dialogue the point of resolution of Kashmir dispute came, India did something to foil the dialogue, as it happened after Mumbai terror attacks in November 2008.

In case, India continues to balk at resolving the Kashmir dispute, and does not reciprocate with Pakistan to reach a solution acceptable to India, Pakistan and the people of Kashmir the only way out for Pakistan would be to invoke the UN Security Council resolutions. The international community has to understand that Tashkant and Simla agreements were signed by Pakistan under duress. One should not ignore the fact that Article 103 of Chapter XVI of the UN Charter clearly states: "In the event of a conflict between the obligations of the members of the United Nations under the present Charter and any other international agreement, their obligation under the present charter shall prevail".

India is focusing on confidence building measures to enhance people-to-people contact, cultural exchanges and economic cooperation, but these are not alternatives to the resolution of the Kashmir dispute over which both countries had three wars.
International community should, therefore, help resolve the Kashmir dispute to avert the impending disaster.

Author: Suddhan Sadaf Shareef
Twitter: @SuddhanSadaf30

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