Javed Ahmed Kakroo;
Kashmir is a story of broken promises and the story of misery for centuries. In 1947 when India and Pakistan were celebrating their independence, Kashmiris lost it and the state was divided. People have questioned the authority of Maharaja Hari Singh to execute the accession and some believe he was coerced into doing it. No matter what but the conditions laid down in the accession document have all been violated. The promise for referendum to determine the future political status of the state has not been kept. The status of the problem was first reduced from 3 to 2 options and later on downgraded from international to the bilateral level. The World Body has failed to get its own resolutions implemented. The constitutional guarantees provided by India have been eroded.
The denial of democratic rights to Kashmiris has resulted into regimes being imposed upon them irrespective of their choice. Kashmiris have never been trusted and denied participation in decision making. The repression, denial of rights, imposition of Governments, broken promises and trust deficit caused depression, frustration and has resulted into an armed conflict since 1990 with Indian forces, resulting in colossal loss of life and property .Whole world is fully aware of the political unrest in Kashmir.
Our people have waited for seven decades for UN to get its own resolutions implemented, but nothing has happened. In the process, the constitutional guarantees given by India have been eroded, ignoring the fact that accession is not merger. Kashmiris were cheated, betrayed and letdown. The rounds of dialogue between two countries have achieved nothing because neither country is willing to move from its stated position. Their inflexible approach to the problem has caused Kashmiris to suffer-now three generations. The trust deficit, suspicion and hatred in some sections of the population of two neighboring countries has resulted, unfortunately, Kashmir issue to linger on, causing thereby a great suffering to our people.
The situation mentioned above was seriously considered by Kashmir Valley Diaspora in several meetings. They also analyzed the impact of activities undertaken for Kashmir in UK and other countries of Europe. For nearly thirty years we have witnessed the different groups and individuals from PAK in UK and elsewhere in Europe with a few people from valley are engaged in demanding the right of self-determination for Kashmiris. It was felt that there is no clarity in their thought and action. In absence of a unified voice these activities have failed to create any impression in the British public. The demonstrations organized locally or led by PAK politicians have at the most resulted into publishing a news item in local Jang newspaper. The so called million marches advertised for months do not attract even thousands. The close- door meetings attended by a few MP’s (more of Pakistani origin) instead of talking on the floor of the house are of no consequence. No doubt a good number of British MP’s depend for their success in election on the votes of people who have come from PAK and Pakistan. These MP’s could build up some pressure on the government to talk for the resolution of Kashmir problem but nothing like that does happen. The World Powers and UN instead of urging upon India to settle the issue have assumed an advisory role asking both the countries to engage for the settlement of Kashmir.
These activities raise a false hope and Kashmiris are made to believe that support at international level is increasing which is contrary to the real situation. The fact is that Indian economic and political influence has increased which accompanied by the decrease in the support for Kashmir resolution. Also an impression is being created that the movement in Kashmir is terrorism supported by Pakistan.
We are pained by the suffering of our people and wished to do something within our means and capacity that might help change the situation better. Our conscience does not allow us to sit idly by in UK and not be concerned about what happens back in our home. Our people have been suffering worst type of atrocities, death and destruction for all most three decades resulting in to the loss of more than hundred thousand lives besides the destruction of property worth billions. The indifference and criminal silence of international community coupled with the absence of any move or result oriented negotiations between India and Pakistan is highly disappointing and frustrating. Our hopes have been blasted and shadow of deep disappointment settled upon us. During the decades we have found ourselves to be only the victims of broken promises. We feel victims of Indian arrogance and inflexible attitude of both India and Pakistan.
We strongly felt that there is no need to create more organizations to work towards achieving what has so for been unachievable but we believed there is certainly a need to create some organization that may, besides seeking implementation of UN Resolutions, explore alternate solutions for Kashmir problem keeping in view the aspirations and wishes of Kashmiri people and for that exploration we have floated Kashmir Voice International (KVI) on 21st of January 2017.
KVI stands for:
Delinking Kashmir problem from the status of Indo Pak relations and asks it to be put aside and not to be looked at through the prism of their relations.
2. Treating Jammu & Kashmir is a multi-cultural and multi-religious state. KVI believes to enlist the support of all sections for its resolution.
3. An inclusive state of J & K based on diversity wherein all have equal opportunities for progress.
4. Dignified return of all Kashmiri Pandits and people who have migrated to Pakistan after 1990 and create a climate of harmony and MILCHAR (a Kashmiri term for love and respect)
5. Ending all sorts of violence and creation of peaceful environment for the political process and dialogue between the stake holders.
6. Treating Kashmir is a purely political issue and should be presented as such.
7. The creation of support constituency in India for the resolution of Kashmir should be a matter of priority.
8. Kashmir problem can be solved in a phased manner (step by step) through constitutional and political means for which the creation of a peaceful environment should be a pre-requisite.
9. Stake holders should move from their stated positions and engage in an unconditional dialogue with fixable attitude to explore an achievable solution acceptable to Kashmiris.
10. Treating the sufferers as the greatest stake holders and their participation in all programs and decisions should be ensured.
11. Understanding the difference between solution through right of self-determination and dialogue process whereas in the former is to enable the whole population of the divided state to exercise the right to choose an option but in the latter case it require flexible approach, give and take and to find a common ground. This obviously means a decision taken ignoring the opinion of the concerned people, more so when the rounds of dialogue take place without their participation.
KVI chalked out a year’s program (last year) which has been successfully carried out. The program included to devise a revised program of strategies which were discussed with Pakistan and Indian High Commissions in London and also with the President of Azad Kashmir. KVI is satisfied that an increased awareness regarding the Kashmir problem in international scenario was created among the community and also conveyed to the people in valley. KVI is the first organization which suggested a way forward for the resolution of Kashmir problem as the first step, through constitutional means. KVI has already initiated steps to contribute towards the creation of required and desirable support constituency in India.
There is an All Party Parliamentary Group on Kashmir (APPG) in London who hold meetings to gather evidence for human rights violations in Kashmir valley. KVI believes that the whole world knows about the gross human rights violations which our people are subjected to at the hands of Indian armed forces which is clear by the fact that Indian government disallows external agencies to visit Kashmir to assess facts. To seek participation in APPG meetings KVI as a valley diaspora organization requested for invitation in order to increase the awareness of the participants regarding the miserable situation afflicted to Kashmir. But KVI was not invited. To increase right awareness people of the valley who represent the real sufferers should be heard first but avoiding their participation in such meetings smells of dubious intentions.