NEW YORK, Oct 26 (APP)::A prominent Kashmiri leader Monday appealed to the United Nations to take urgent steps for resolving the decades-old Kashmir dispute between India and Pakistan in a bid to promote peace and stability in South Asia, where ” not two, but three, nuclear powers have been eyeball-to-eyeball for the last one-year.”
“Now is no time for complacency or temporizing,” Dr. Ghulam Nabi Fai, Secretary-General of the Washington-based World Kashmir Awareness Forum, said in a statement issued on the eve of “Black Day” marking the 73rd anniversary of India’s massive invasion and occupation of Kashmir.
“October 27 marks the beginning of Indian occupation of the disputed territory of Jammu and Kashmir,” he said, adding, “It is forever scarred in the collective minds of the Kashmiri people as the day they became occupied.”
After giving background to the Kashmir issue, Fai said that Kashmiri people are constantly reminded of the unanimous 1948 UN Security Council resolution that calls for the future status of Kashmir to be ascertained in accordance with the wishes of the people of the territory.
But, he said, India contrived an excuse after an excuse to frustrate a plebiscite and all other proposals to realize the aspirations of the Kashmiri people. Years later, India dropped all pretense of acceding to a referendum by unilaterally proclaiming its annexation of Kashmir, a move never accepted by the United Nations.
Today, Fai said, Kashmir has a new generation whose long suffering under the brutal Indian occupation has freed the people of any fear.
That fearlessness of Kashmiri people has led to the outbreak of large demonstrations in recent years in which hundreds of thousands of people protested on the streets of Srinagar, he said.
Their marches near the office of the the United Nations Military Observes Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP), which monitors the Line of Control in Kashmir, is a proof that their freedom struggle is not a terroristic in nature but “a movement that is indigenous, spontaneous, peaceful and popular.”
The Kashmiri leader urged the world powers and saner elements in South Asia to realize that the bilateral talks between India and Pakistan have never produced any result. In view of this, he said that a trilateral dialogue between governments of India, Pakistan and the leadership of Kashmir — without any precondition from any side — was the only way to resolve the issue of Kashmir once for all.
In fact, Fai called for establishing a “Kashmir Quartet” that includes Kashmir, Pakistan, China and India to pursue a solution amid escalating tensions in the disputed region, to be complemented by the UN’s mediation. He proposed that the chairmanship of the “Kashmir Quartet” should go to a person of international stature, such as Kjell Bondevik, a former prime minister of Norway, or Mary Robinson, a former president of of Ireland.
In addition, the Kashmiri leader urged UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to invoke article 99 of the Charter to bring the grave situation in Kashmir to the attention of the Security Council. ” If not now, then when can Article 99 be invoked to bring peace and stability to the region of South Asia,” he asked.