Fai urges G20 to push for all parties’ dialogue for Kashmir’s peaceful settlement

Dr Ghulam Nabi Fai
WASHINGTON, Sep 09 (APP):A prominent Kashmiri leader Friday called on the G20 leaders’ summit to end its neglect of the decades-old Kashmir dispute and push for a dialogue between all parties concerned — India, Pakistan, and Kashmiri people’s leadership —  to set a stage for its democratic and peaceful solution.
“Kashmir is a political issue which needs a political solution,” Dr Ghulam Nabi Fai, Secretary-General of the World Kashmir Awareness Forum, a Washington-based advocacy group, said in a statement at the event of the summit being held in New Delhi.
He said “Some of the immediate requirements for such a dialogue include International community’s intervention to bring the violence in Kashmir to a quick end, Demilitarization of the State of Jammu and Kashmir on both sides of the cease-fire line, and, Release of all political prisoners namely Mohammad Yasin Malik, Shabbir Ahmed Shah, Masarat Aalam, Aasia Andrabi, and Khurram Parvez.”
“The leadership of G20 countries need to realize that there is still a great opportunity for peace in Kashmir, but it cannot occur unless the people of Kashmir are permitted to have their own identity,” Fai said.
“Were India to allow a referendum in Kashmir, — as called for by the UN resolutions —  it would prove to the world that it too is a great democratic country, and not the persistent and militaristic oppressor that it has become,” he added.
In his statement, Fai cited several world leaders and key international officials as well as academics drawing attention to the lingering Kashmir dispute and warning of the dangers to international peace and stability if it was left unresolved.
“The denial of democracy and human rights in Kashmir, especially self-determination, has spawned nuclear and missile proliferation,” he warned.
“Kashmir has been an open wound in India-Pakistan relations for more than 76 years, that is why Amnesty International, along with four other international NGO’s,  wrote to G20 countries on August 24, to persuade India to ‘end the human rights violations in Kashmir and release jailed rights defenders and political prisoners’, Fai said.
On Thursday, the White House National Security Council Coordinator for Strategic Communications, Admiral John Kirby, was asked whether President Joe Biden, in his bilateral meeting with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi,   would raise the Kashmir issue as well as the growing human rights  abuses in the disputed territory.
Kirby told reporters at the Foreign Press Center  that the U.S. policy on the Kashmir issue had not changed.
“We believe that the tensions there are best resolved by the parties themselves,” he said.
“Human rights are a cornerstone of President Biden’s foreign policy, and he never shies away, nor will he ever shy away from raising concerns about human rights with his counterparts overseas,” he said.
“And that was the case when Prime Minister Modi visited Washington not long ago, and it will be the case going forward. I mean, he absolutely will not shy away from mentioning our concerns and raising our concerns about civil and human rights all around the world, including there (Kashmir),”  Kirby said.
Asked if he would urge Indian leaders to resume talks with Pakistan, he said, “That’s for Indian leaders to speak to.”
APP Services