NEW YORK, Aug 27 (APP):A prominent Kashmiri leader has portrayed as “an absolute fallacy” the joint declaration issued by the pro-India leadership in Srinagar that called for restoration of the special status of Jammu and Kashmir as it existed pre-August 5, 2019, saying no settlement of the disputed state’s status will hold unless explicitly based on the principles of self-determination.
In a statement, Dr. Ghulam Nabi Fai, Secretary-General of the Washington-based World Kashmir Awareness Forum, said that the so-called Gupkar Declaration fails to mention that the measures it demanded of India also contravene the UN Security Council resolutions that prohibit any unilateral action targeted at changing the disputed nature of the of the state of Jammu and Kashmir.
(Gupkar is a high security zone along the shores of Dal Lake in Srinagar where most of the pro-India politicians reside and run their offices from.)
“Leaving aside linguistic and strategic maneuvering, the Gupkar Declaration leads us to one conclusion: that the autonomy is the only option,” Fai noted.
“But the present situation in Kashmir has also made it abundantly clear that the autonomy is unjust, untenable and not acceptable to the people of Kashmir. The ‘Aazadi’ is the only catch phrase of resistance on the streets of Kashmir which does not mean autonomy but right to self-determination.” he added.
The declaration dated 22 August 2010 was signed by six Kashmiri political parties, including the National Conference of Farooq Abdullah and the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) of Mehbooba Mufti.
It said, “We all reiterate that we are bound, wholly, by the contents of the Gupkar declaration and will unwaveringly adhere to it. We are committed to strive for the restoration of Articles 370 and 35A, the Constitution of J&K and the restoration of the State and any division of the State is unacceptable to us. We unanimously reiterate that there can be ‘nothing about us without us’”.
In his statement, Fai underscores the fact that the United Nations resolutions on Kashmir have acquire a “decisive” importance from two crucial factors: they constitute the only international agreement freely negotiated between India and Pakistan on the future status of Kashmir, and they also embody the only principle on whose basis a just and durable settlement of the problem can be achieved- — the principle of freedom of choice by the people concerned.
“Therefore, it is fair to say that no settlement of the status of Kashmir will hold unless it is explicitly based on the principles of self-determination and erases the so-called line of control, which is in reality the line of conflict,” the Kashmiri leader added.