Special Committee of the Parliament on Kashmir
CONSTITUTION OF THE COMMITTEE
The Special Committee of the National Assembly on Kashmir was constituted by the Assembly through a motion on 3rd November, 2003. Subsequently, the Committee was elevated as the Special Committee of the Parliament vide the Senate Resolution dated 23rd July, 2004 and the National Assembly Resolution dated 30th July,2004. The Committee, comprising 47 members (34 MNAs and 13 Senators), is the biggest Parliamentary Committee on Kashmir ever Constituted.
The Committee elected Mr. Hamid Nasir Chattha, MNA, its Chairman on 16th June, 2004. The Chairman was accorded the status of Federal Minister vide the Cabinet Division’s Notification No.3-5/2004-Min. I, dated 3rd September, 2004.
TERMS OF REFERENCE
i. To monitor violations of human rights and atrocities being committed by the Indian forces in the occupied Jammu and Kashmir
ii. To Mobilize world opinion in support of the cause of right of self determination to the people of Jammu and Kashmir as well as the stand of Pakistan
iii. To solicit and provide political, moral and diplomatic support to the people of Jammu and Kashmir in their just struggle for their right of self determination in accordance with the U.N. Resolutions.
iv. To consider and decide such other issues and matters relating to above which may be referred to it by the House from time to time
CHARTER OF FUNCTION
1. To support initiatives and efforts aimed to achieve a just and durable settlement of the Kashmir problem, in accordance with the aspirations of the people of Jammu and Kashmir
2. To mobilize world opinion particularly Parliaments, think tanks and civil society organizations in favour of the legitimate struggle of the people of Jammu and Kashmir to realize their right of self-determination in accordance with the United Nations resolutions
3. To seek international support for an end to suppression and human rights violations and to campaign for the restoration, protection and promotion of basic human rights of the people of Jummu and Kashmir
4. To establish and maintain close contact with the people of Jammu and Kashmir through their true representatives and members of civil society, with a view to providing moral, political and diplomatic support in their endeavour to safeguard their fundamental rights and promote an equitable settlement of the Kashmir dispute
5. To motivate public opinion with a view to strengthening national consensus of Pakistan’s Kashmir policy, actively re-enforcing that Pakistan is a part to the Kashmir dispute, besides India and the people of Jammu and Kashmir and it is the core issue between India and Pakistan
6. To mobilize public opinion at home and abroad through the print and electronic media as well as the Internet
7. To interact with the elected representatives, political parties and civil society of Azad Jammu and Kashmir
8. To consider such other issues and matters relating to Kashmir, which the House may refer to it from time to time
KASHMIR ISSUE IN A NUTSHELL
The current agitation in Indian-Held Kashmir is rooted in the struggle of the people for the exercise of the right of self-determination. Peaceful processions chanting demands for freedom were fired upon by Indian Army and Police. Hundreds of men, women and children have been killed or wounded.
New Delhi’s allegations of assistance to the Kashmiri people from the Pakistan side are unfounded. Objective reports in foreign media testify that the Kashmiri agitation is indigenous.
Pakistan upholds the right of the people of Jammu and Kashmir to self-determination in accordance with the resolutions of the United Nations Security Council. These resolutions of 1948 and 1949 provided for the holding of a free and impartial plebiscite for the determination of the future of the State by the people of Jammu and Kashmir.
The basic points about the UN resolutions are that:
(i) the complaint relating to Kashmir was initiated by India in the Security Council;
(ii) the Council explicitly and by implication, rejected India’s claim that Kashmir is legally Indian territory;
(iii) the resolutions established self-determination as the governing principle for the settlement of the Kashmir dispute. This is the world body’s commitment to the people of Kashmir;
(iv) the resolutions endorsed a binding agreement between India and Pakistan reached through the mediation of UNCIP, that a plebiscite would be held, under agreed and specified conditions.
The Security Council has rejected the Indian contention that the people of Kashmir have exercised their right of self-determination by participating in the “election” which India has from time to time organized in the Held Kashmir. The 0.2% turn out during the 1989 “elections” was the most recent clear repudiation of the Indian claim.
Pakistan continues to adhere to the UN resolutions. These are binding also on India.
The Simla Agreement of 2 July 1972, to which Pakistan also continues to adhere, did not alter the status of Jammu and Kashmir as a disputed territory:
· Para 6 of the Agreement lists “a final settlement of Jammu and Kashmir” as one of the outstanding questions awaiting a settlement.
· Para 4 (ii) talks of a “Line of Control” as distinguished from an international border. Furthermore, it explicitly protects “the recognized position of either side.” The recognized position of Pakistan is the one which is recognized by the United Nations and the World Community in general.
· Article 1 (iv) obviously refers to the Kashmir issue when it talks of “the basic issues and causes of conflict which have bedeviled the relations between the two countries for the last 25 years.
The Simla Agreement does not preclude raising of Kashmir issue at the United Nations:
· Para 1 (i) specifically provides that the UN Charter “shall govern” relations between the parties.
· Para 1 (ii) providing for settlement of differences by peaceful means, does not exclude resort to the means of pacific settlement of disputes and differences provided in the UN Charter.
· The UN Security Council remains seized of the Kashmir issue which remains on the Council’s agenda.
· Articles 34 and 35 of the UN Charter specifically empower the Security Council to investigate any dispute independently or at the request of a member State. These provisions cannot be made subservient to any bilateral agreement.
· According to Article 103 of UN Charter, member States obligations under the Charter take precedence over obligations under a bilateral agreement.
· Presence of United Nations Military Observes Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP) at the Line of Control in Kashmir is a clear evidence of UN’s involvement in the Kashmir issue.
Jammu and Kashmir is a disputed territory. It does not involve the principle of respect for the unity and territorial integrity of states to which Pakistan adhere.
Attempts to forcibly suppress the legitimate demands of the people of Jammu and Kashmir are doomed to failure. Similarly, threats of use of force will not affect Pakistan’s resolve to maintain its position of principle.
The Indian claim is that the State is an integral part of the Indian Union and brooks no further discussion. With such a rigid approach, no scope for manoeuvre, what hope can be expected from any talks on the issue which India sometimes agrees to open with Pakistan to hoodwink the world opinion.
Ever since the Simla Agreement was signed, a quarter of a century ago, India has insisted that the issue is purely bilateral one and must be solved without any outside intercession or mediation. India is so allergic to the very reference of the issue in any international forum that one needs to recall India’s bitter reaction to Nelson Mandela’s mention of “Kashmir” at the 1998 NAM Conference in South Africa. Even as India comes to half-hearted international pressure to resolve the flashpoint issue of Kashmir with its neighbour, it only agrees to bilateral talks to gain time.
In May 1998 the issue came to the fore front in the wake of nuclear explosions first by India and then by Pakistan, after which many genuinely hoped that international pressure would be brought to bear on India to come to a meaningful resolution of the Kashmir problem that has bedeviled the two nations of the sub-continent and has eaten up so much of their meager resources. One thing is starkly clear : without an active interest of big powers to come to the rescue of Kashmiris, India will never agree to any meaningful talks on Kashmir.
INDIA’S COMMITMENT OF PLEBISCITE FOR
THE PEOPLE OF KASHMIR
“Our view which we have repeatedly made public is that the question of accession in any disputed territory or State must be decided in accordance with wishes of people and we adhere to this view.”
· JAWAHARLAL NEHRU
(in telegram No. 402-Primin-2227 dated 27 October 1947 to Prime Minister of Pakistan repeating telegram addressed to Prime Minister of United Kingdom).
“In regard to accession also, it has been made clear that this is subject to reference to people of State and their decision.”
· JAWAHARLAL NEHRU
(in telegram No.413 dated 28 October 1947 addressed to Prime Minister of Pakistan).
“ …….the people of Kashmir would decide the question of accession. It is open to them to accede to either Dominion then.”
· JAWAHARLAL NEHRU
(in telegram No.255 dated 31 October 1947 addressed to Prime Minister of Pakistan).
“Kashmir should decide question of accession by plebiscite or referendum under international auspices such as those of the United Nations.”
· JAWAHARLAL NEHRU
(Letter No. 368-Primin dated 21 November 1947 to Prime Minister of Pakistan).
“We are anxious not to finalize anything in a moment of crisis and without the fullest opportunity to be given to the people of Kashmir to have their say. It is for them ultimately to decide.
“And let me make it clear that it has been our policy all along that where there is a dispute about the accession of a state to either Dominion, the accession must be made by the people of that state.”
· JAWAHARLAL NEHRU
(Broadcast to the Nation: “All India Radio”: 2 November 1947).
“The issue in Kashmir is whether violence and naked force should decide the future or the will of the people.”
· JAWAHARLAL NEHRU
(Statement in Indian Constituent Assembly; 25 November 1947).
“We have not opposed at any time an over-all plebiscite for the State as a whole…….”
· JAWAHARLAL NEHRU
(in telegram dated 16 August 1950 addressed to the U.N. Representative for India and Pakistan: S/1791 : Anne 1(B).
“The most feasible method of ascertaining the wishes of the people was by fair and impartial plebiscite.”
· JAWAHARLAL NEHRU
(Joint press communique of the Prime Ministers of India and Pakistan issued in Delhi after their meeting on 20 August 1953).
“People seem to forget that Kashmir is not a commodity for sale or to be bartered. It has an individual existence and its people must be the final arbiters of their future.”
· JAWAHARLAL NEHRU
(Report to the All-India Congress Committee, 6 July 1951; The Statesman, New Delhi, 9 July 1951).
“Kashmir is not a thing to be bandied about between India and Pakistan but it has a soul of its own and an individuality of its own. Nothing can be done without the goodwill and consent of the people of Kashmir.”
· JAWAHARLAL NEHRU
(Statement in the Indian Parliament, 31 March 1955).
“We had given our pledge to the people of Kashmir, and subsequently to the United Nations; we stood by it and we stand by it today. Let the people of Kashmir decide.”
· JAWAHARLAL NEHRU
(Statement in the Indian Parliament, 12 February 1951).
“We have taken the issue to the United Nations and given our word of honour for a peaceful solution. As a great nation, we cannot go back on it. We have left the question for final solution to the people of Kashmir and we are determined to abide by their decision.”
· JAWAHARLAL NEHRU
(Amrita Bazar Patrika, Calcutta, 2 January 1952).
“If, after a proper plebiscite, the people of Kashmir said, ‘We do not want to be with India’, we are committed to accept that. We will accept it though it might pain us. We will not send any army against them. We will accept that, however hurt we might feel about it, we will change the Constitution, if necessary.”
· JAWAHARLAL NEHRU
(Statement in the Indian Parliament, 26 June 1952).
“I want to stress that it is only the people of Kashmir who can decide the future of Kashmir. It is not that we have merely said that to the United Nations and to the people of Kashmir; it is our conviction and one that is borne out by the policy that we have pursued, not only in Kashmir but every where.
“I started with the presumption that it is for the people of Kashmir to decide their own future. We will not compel them. In that sense, the people of Kashmir are sovereign.”
· JAWAHARLAL NEHRU
(Statement in Indian Parliament, 7 August 1952)
“The whole dispute about Kashmir is still before the United Nations. We cannot just decide things concerning Kashmir. We cannot pass a bill or issue an order concerning Kashmir or do whatever we want.
· JAWAHARLAL NEHRU
(The Statesman, 1 May 1953)
“Leave the decision regarding the future of this State to the people of the State is not merely a promise to your Government but also to the people of Kashmir and to the world.”
· JAWAHARLAL NEHRU
(In telegram No. 25 dated 31 October 1947 addressed to Prime Minister of Pakistan).
“In regard to accession also it has been made clear that this is subject to reference to people of State and their decision.”
· JAWAHARLAL NEHRU
(In telegram No.413 dated 28 October 1947 addressed to Prime Minister of Pakistan).
“That Government of India and Pakistan should make a joint request to U.N.O. to undertake a plebiscite in Kashmir at the earliest possible date.”
· JAWAHARLAL NEHRU
(In telegram No. Primin-304 dated 8 November 1947 addressed to Prime Minister of Pakistan).
“We have always right from the beginning accepted the idea of the Kashmir people deciding their fate by referendum or plebiscite………..”
“Ultimately, the final decision of settlement, which must come, has first of all to be made basically by the people of Kashmir…….”
· JAWAHARLAL NEHRU
(Statement at Press Conference in London, 16 January 1951, The Statesman, 18 January 1951).
“But so far as the Government of India are concerned, every assurance and international commitment in regard to Kashmir stands.”
· JAWAHARLAL NEHRU
(Statement in the Indian Council of States; 18 May 1954).
FLAMES OF FREEDOM
The fire of freedom against the tyrannical and despotic Indian rule (at times remote controlled through their Kashmiri stooges), seething in the hearts of Kashmiris over decades, erupted into flames because of the non-implementation of UN resolutions on the Kashmir issue, the sham polls of 1987 as well as the wave of democracy, which swept the globe in the eighties. Kashmiris took to the streets for peaceful demonstrations. As India tried to quell the protests by force, Kashmiris per force had to opt for militancy. Just to break the will of Kashmiris to fight for freedom, India has unleashed a reign of terror in the occupied Kashmir by deploying over 7 hundred thousand soldiers and imposing draconian laws, which give unlimited powers to them. Kashmir is bleeding and the Kashmiris are crying for help.
However, Kashmiris are continuing their struggle for the right of self-determination, promised to them by the United Nations, India and Pakistan. The sacrifices offered by the Kashmiris in terms of life and property are unprecedented in history. Kashmiris are writing their tales of woe with their blood. The current phase of their struggle, summarized in this brochure, encapsulating major events and the reaction of the world community, has indeed added a remarkable chapter to the history of freedom of nations.
The flames of this fire can engulf the whole region, thus creating an unmanageable situation. It is, therefore, high time the world community intervened and had the issue resolved. The tragic odyssey that is Kashmir, is a clarion call for all of us. It is an acid test of the will of the people of the free world.
HAMID NASIR CHATTHA
SPECIAL COMMITTEE OF THE PARLIAMENT ON KASHMIR
FLAMES OF FREEDOM
Unfortunately, the people of Jammu and Kashmir have been victim of tyranny and highhandedness for centuries. The despotic rulers not only illtreated them but they were made to pay many taxes also. According to Sir Walter Lawrence, then Settlement Commissioner in Kashmir: ‘Nearly every thing, save air and water, was brought under taxation in Kashmir’.
Kashmiris started resisting collectively the tyrannical Sikh rule in early nineteenth century. Maharaja Ranjit Singh sent his Commander, Raja Gulab Singh of Jammu, to quell the rebellion in 1832. He skinned the Kashmiri leaders alive. After purchasing Kashmir from the British Government of India in 1846, Gulab Singh treated the Kashmiri people as chattels. He made their life miserable and crushed any resistance from them with a heavy hand. After him, his successors followed suit. When the workers of a state-run silk factory agitated for an increase in wages in 1924, their leaders were tortured to death. Thirteen Muslims were killed in a shoot out on 13 July, 1931 outside the Srinagar Jail, where a Muslim was being tried for making a speech against the ruler, Maharaja Hari Singh. The same year, an All India Kashmir Committee was formed in Lahore, led by Allama Iqbal, Poet of the East, to organize support for the hapless Kashmiris. In 1947, his soldiers killed hundreds of thousands of Kashmiris. India also sent its troops and occupied the State of Jammu & Kashmir forcibly on 27 October, 1947. Kashmiris revolted and got some areas of the State liberated, which are called Azad (Independent) Jammu and Kashmir (AJK).
The United Nations Security Council and the United Nations Commission for India and Pakistan (UNCIP) in their resolutions called for holding a plebiscite in the State to ascertain the wishes of Kashmiris, whether they want to join India or Pakistan. India accepted these resolutions but, on one pretext or the other, did not implement the same. This further frustrated Kashmiris, fuelling the fire of their resentment.
In 1986, Muslim political parties in Indian-occupied Kashmir (IOK) formed the United Muslim Front for the elections of 1987. As in the past, these elections were also rigged. Wide spread rigging and rise in the power tariff in 1988 stoked the ambers of hatred against India, entailing agitation by Kashmiris. Demonstrators were fired at, leaders arrested and curfew imposed.
The liberation of Afghanistan from the occupation of the Soviet Union and the wave of democracy, spreading across the world, especially in the Eastern Europe, ignited fire of freedom amongst Kashmiris, simmering in their hearts for centuries. All this further triggered protests and demonstrations in IOK, which continued over the last 17 years, as encapsulated here year wise.
· The Kashmiri youth started clashes with the Indian security forces; the latter resorted to desecrating mosques, thrashing the Muslims during prayers.
· Daughter of the Indian Home Minister Mufti Saeed was kidnapped, who was released after 5 days.
· Curfew was imposed intermittently in the entire valley.
· Jagmohan staged his comeback as Governor and ordered house to house search.
· Protests of Kashmiris continued.
· The State Assembly was dissolved.
· Mass exodus of the Kashmiri pundits was started to give the freedom movement a religious and communal colour.
· Mir Waiz Moulvi Farooq was killed; his funeral procession was fired at, killing over 50 persons.
· The Indian soldiers dishonoured 23 women in the presence of members of their families in village Kunan Poshpora in one night, evoking strong world-wide condemnation.
· The Indian troops killed 73 Kashmiris, besides killing 50 others by firing at a funeral procession.
· 14 innocent Kashmiris were killed at one spot by the Indian troops, besides killing 12 in another violent incident.
· Molestation of women continued. The Indian security forces started using rape as a weapon of war as a strategy to break the will of Kashmiris.
· 30 parties joined hands, forming the All Parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC).
· Entire town of Sopore was burnt by the Indian troops; 40 residents were also killed.
· The Indian security forces besieged Hazrat Bal shrine for 32 days, where 65 Kashmiris were captivated.
· The US Assistant Secretary of State Robin Raphel cast doubts about the instrument of accession of the State to India.
· The freedom struggle gained momentum.
· There was no let up in the reign of terror, unleashed by the Indian authorities, despite condemnation by human rights activists and organisations.
· The Indian Government kept harping on the old tune that the State was an integral part of India.
· The International Commission of Jurists voiced concern over the continued state terrorism in IOK.
· The Amnesty International also clashed with the Indian Government over atrocities perpetrated by its security forces.
· The Indian National Human Rights Commission asked the Indian Government to let the representatives of the Amnesty International visit IOK.
· Chairman of the British Parliamentary Human Rights Group, Eric Avebury termed the situation in IOK as one of the greatest tragedies of modern times.
· The Indian soldiers gutted the shrine of Nooruddin Wali (Charar Sharif), causing a great anguish among the Muslims.
· The OIC Contact Group on Kashmir condemned the military operation in Charar Sharif.
· The United States described Kashmir as a disputed territory.
· The sham elections of Lok Sabha (Lower House of the Indian Parliament) were widely boycotted. Hundreds of thousands of government employees, detailed for the election duties, went on strike for three weeks.
· World media blasted the polls as sham and farcical. Twelve US Congressmen, in a letter to the Indian Government, expressed concern over the abuse of electoral process.
· The Security Council Working Group recommended to retain the Kashmir issue on the agenda of the Council.
· India extended the operation of two draconian laws: Arms Forces Special Powers Act and the Disturbed Areas Act in IOK, giving free hand and immunity to the Indian troops.
· Two NGOs: WSV (German), IFSO (US) and 4 member delegation of the European Union voiced concern over the human rights abuses in IOK. The Human Rights Watch said, human rights situation in IOK has aggravated due to the new policy of India to arm and support irregular militias for the purpose of its counter insurgency operations.
· The Clinton administration reiterated that Kashmir was an outstanding issue.
· Lord Avebury, Chairman, Human Rights Group, House of Lords urged the Indian Government to allow the human rights organisations to visit IOK.
- India sent more troops into the State.
- The Indian troops desecrated the shrine of Daud Khaki in Srinagar.
- The US Department and the Human Rights Watch confirmed wide spread killings and abuses by the Indian troops.
- The European Union condemned the human rights violations in IOK, urging the Indian Government to allow international organisations to visit IOK.
- The Indian soldiers in disguise started target killings of Kashmiris.
- British Parliamentarian George Galloway said, it is the responsibility of Britain to resolve the Kashmir issue.
- President Clinton said, India posed a major problem by refusing to accept any mediation on the Kashmir issue.
- British Foreign Secretary Robin Cook said, the Kashmir issue is on the top of British Government’s agenda.
- Addressing the NAM Summit, Nelson Mandela voiced support for the movement of the people of Jammu & Kashmir.
- The UN Secretary General Kofi Annan said, Kashmir is one of the causes of concern world-wide.
- Extremely low turn out was witnessed at the general elections.
- Protests of Kashmiris against the Indian occupation and repression continued. However, India not only increased its forces but also enhanced atrocities.
- Indian Prime Minister Vajpayee and Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif agreed in Lahore to settle all issues, including the Kashmir issue peacefully. However, tension between Pakistan and India remained high.
- During the Kargil crisis there was an apprehension of war.
- World leaders at G8 Summit meeting expressed concern over the continuing military confrontation in Jammu & Kashmir.
- More than 40 members of the US House of Representatives urged President Clinton to appoint a special envoy on Kashmir.
- Besides killing numerous Kashmiri Muslims, the Indian soldiers killed 35 Sikhs in village Chatti Singpura and blamed militants for this heinous act, which triggered wide spread protests.
- 100 shops were burnt in Pattan.
- Liberation activists Javed Zargar, Farida Bahenji and Manzoor Sufi were released after illegal detention of 5, 11 and 10 years, respectively.
- The UN Human Rights Commission in its annual report 1999 observed, India is among those countries, which are inaccessible to human rights organisations.
- The Amnesty International, in its annual report, expressed concern over massive human rights abuses in IOK. It demanded release of the Kashmiri detenus and withdrawal of draconian laws.
- Member of the British Parliament Tom Cox condemned world powers for not stopping the Indian aggression in Kashmir.
- The OIC Contact Group decided to appoint an envoy on Kashmir and a team to monitor the situation in IOK.
- The Special Representative of the Arch Bishop of Canterbury (London) called for an international conference to settle the Kashmir issue.
- The Indian forces besieged the shrine of Shah Ahmad Kirmani (Budgam) for many days.
- Six districts of Jammu were declared disturbed areas, giving sweeping powers to the Indian soldiers.
- The Indian troops gutted numerous houses, shops and other buildings in Kupwara and Kulgam.
- Lawyers boycotted courts, protesting against the draconian laws such as the Prevention of Terrorism Ordinance (POTO) and human rights abuses.
- India increased its military forces in IOK. Youm-e-Aseeran (Day of Detenus) was observed on 2nd November throughout the State.
- The Indian National Human Rights Commission asked the puppet regime of the State, federal ministers of defence & home to explain the rise in custodial killings.
- The Human Rights Watch called for withdrawal of POTO.
- The UN Human Rights Commissioner Mary Robinson termed the human rights situation in IOK very gloomy.
- The Amnesty International expressed grave concern over the grant of amnesty by the Indian Government to the Indian soldiers involved in human rights violations.
- 36 British Parliamentarians signed a resolution, supporting the Kashmiris’ right of self-determination.
- The US Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage said, the US is bound to take notice of the human rights violations in IOK.
- India deployed an unprecedented number of troops on Pakistan borders to bully the latter on the Kashmir issue.
- The Indian soldiers continued killings of innocent people in indiscriminate firing and in disguise.
- APHC Leader Abdul Ghani Lone was shot dead.
- India banned the Kashmiri Women’s Liberation Group, Dukhtaran-e-Millat.
- India further increased its forces in IOK.
- India refused to allow foreign observers to monitor IOK Assembly polls. Kashmiris boycotted the elections.
- India rejected Pakistan’s proposal for an international force to patrol the Line of Control (LOC).
- The APHC in a statement said, Kashmiris’ struggle is indigenous and Pakistan is not involved.
- The APHC rejected the LOC as international border or internal autonomy as solution of the Kashmir dispute.
- President Pervez Musharraf assured moral, political and diplomatic support to Kashmiris.
- The World Bank, British Foreign Secretary and the French Foreign Minister warned, Kashmir crisis can culminate in a nuclear war.
- The NATO leaders also expressed concern over the tension in the Sub-Continent.
- The US Secretary of State Collin Powel said, the Kashmir dispute is on the international agenda.
- The US Secretary Defence said, the US did not have any evidence of Al-Qaeda in Kashmir.
- The European Union Foreign Policy Chief J. Solana said, elections in IOK are no permanent solution to the Kashmir issue.
- The UN Secretary General observed, the international community has a role to play in resolution of the issue.
- The Amnesty International voiced apprehension that the persons accused in Indian Parliament attack case might not have a fair trial.
- British Foreign Secretary J. Straw observed, we committed serious mistake by not demarcating the boundaries between India and Pakistan properly.
- Canada offered mediation to resolve the Kashmir issue.
· The Indian troops killed 17 Kashmiris in Damhal Hanjorpora and 18 in Gurez (Baramola).
· 10 Kashmiris were sentenced to life imprisonment under the Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act (TADA).
· During Prime Minister Vajpayee’s visit to IOK, there was a complete strike.
· Many Kashmiri leaders were arrested. The APHC Chairman urged the UN to stop the Indian state terrorism.
· Indian Defence Minister G. Fernandes said, there is no Al-Qaeda in Jammu & Kashmir.
· In a reply to the Indian propaganda of infiltration across the LOC, Pakistan proposed posting of observers by the UN Security Council and 2 Islamic States to verify the infiltration. However, India barred even the UN Military Observers Group for India & Pakistan (UNMOGIP) from visiting the LOC to perform their duties.
· President Pervez Musharraf said, Pakistan will withdraw its troops from Kashmir if India agrees to do the same.
· The UN Secretary General once again offered his good offices to resolve the Kashmir issue.
· The US stressed, there is no change in its policy on Kashmir.
· The US Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage observed, besides Palestine, Kashmir is the most dangerous place in the world.
· The OIC urged India to allow its delegation to visit IOK.
· Five British MPs moved a resolution in the House of Commons, demanding implementation of the UN resolutions for self-determination in Jammu & Kashmir.
· Indian Premier Vajpayee and the President of Pakistan Pervez Musharraf resolved to initiate a dialogue to settle all disputes, including Kashmir.
· As was done in the past, the Republic Day of India was observed as black day by Kashmiris.
· Instead of responding positively to the goodwill gestures shown by Pakistan, India erected fence on the LOC and started target killing of the Kashmiri leaders.
· Kashmiris boycotted the sham elections of the Lok Sabha.
· Former Chief Minister Dr. Farooq Abdullah said, India has forcibly occupied Jammu & Kashmir.
· Black day was observed on 27 October, (the day when India forcibly occupied Jammu & Kashmir) and on the visit of Indian Premier Manmohan Singh to IOK.
· Addressing the Parliamentarians of AJK, President Musharraf reaffirmed Pakistan’s moral, political and diplomatic support to Kashmiris.
· President Musharraf and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh agreed to explore possible options for a peaceful settlement of the Kashmir issue.
· The Amnesty International urged India to be more serious about probing the human rights violations in Kashmir.
· Iranian President Syed Muhammad Khatami urged for resolution of the Kashmir issue in accordance with the wishes of Kashmiris.
· Chairman, Kashmir Committee in the European Parliament James Ellis and British MP Goodman said, the best settlement of the Kashmir issue lies in the UN resolutions.
· Kashmiri leader Shakeel Ahmad Bakhshi released after 4 years of detention.
· Delegation of the European Parliament, after its visit to IOK, denounced the human rights abuses there, calling it “the most beautiful prison of the world”. It recommended appointment of a Rapporteur on Kashmir by the European Parliament. It also urged India to let the United Nations Military Observers Group for India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP) play its role. At a press briefing, a member of the delegation observed, struggle in IOK is indigenous, adding that the custodial killings of innocent Kashmiris by the Indian troops stand at 17 per day.
· Special Committee of the Parliament (of Pakistan) on Kashmir repeatedly called for resolving the Kashmir issue in accordance with the wishes of Kashmiris, in the light of the UN resolutions. It also reiterated moral, political and diplomatic support to the just struggle of Kashmiris for their right of self-determination.
· The US Congressman Pitts moved a resolution in the House of Representative, urging the US President to appoint a Special Envoy on Kashmir
· Shut down strike was observed all across IOK on the Republic Day of India.
· The drama of local bodies polls was replayed in IOK. However, on the call of the APHC, Kashmiris not only boycotted the elections, but a paralyzing strike was also observed on the occasion.
· President Pervez Musharraf, in his message on the Kashmir Solidarity Day (February 5), emphasised that peace in the region was not possible nor could the confidence building measures proceed unless the Kashmir issue was resolved in accordance with the wishes of Kashmiris. Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz, while addressing the Kashmir convention held to mark the day, reiterated that Pakistan would never compromise on its principled stand on Kashmir. Addressing a solidarity rally, Hamid Nasir Chattha, Chairman, Special Committee of the Parliament on Kashmir, assured Kashmiris of moral, diplomatic and political support of Pakistanis in their just struggle for the right to self-determination.
- Condemning gross human rights violations by the Indian troops, the US State Department, in its annual report, said that the Indian security forces committed abuses with impunity, killing civilians in Jammu and Kashmir. It also castigated the police for extra-judicial killings, staged encounter killings and custodial deaths.
- India and Pakistan re-started Kashmir bus service across the LOC with effect from April 7 after around half a century.
- Most of the participants of the conference, organized by a think-tank, PUGWASH, in Srinagar on April 24, demanded an internal ceasefire, withdrawal of troops, involvement of Kashmiris in the Indo-Pak dialogue process and release of political prisoners.
- The Amnesty International (AI) condemned the human rights abuses in IOK. It also criticized the puppet regime of IOK for its failure to bring to justice those responsible for the death of Jalil Andrabi.
- During his visit to European countries Hamid Nasir Chattha, Chairman Parliamentary Kashmir Committee called upon the world community to pressurize India to resolve the Kashmir issue.
- A nine-member delegation of the APHC, headed by Mir Waiz Umer Farooq, visited Pakistan for a fortnight. During its stay, the delegation discussed the Kashmir issue with the Pakistani and AJK leaders.
- The US law makers, politicians and intellectuals from the South Asia, who attended the International Peace Conference in Washington (July 14-15), held the conversion of ceasefire line in Jammu & Kashmir into permanent international border un-acceptable and stressed inclusion of Kashmiris into talks to resolve the Kashmir dispute.
- British High Commissioner to Pakistan Mark Lyall Grant confessed that Britain truly had made a mistake, holding the settlement of Kashmir issue in abeyance at the time of partition of India.
COMMITMENTS OF INDIAN LEADERS ON KASHMIR
Area or population, no doubt, make a country big. But these factors don’t make a nation great. It is character that makes a nation great. Great nations demonstrate the moral courage to keep their word. India has to ponder whether it has fulfilled the commitments made by its leaders, like late Mahatama Gandhi, Jawahar Lal Nehru and others, to hold plebiscite in the State of Jammu & Kashmir. The whole world knows, they haven’t.
Now when India is aspiring for a permanent slot in the UN Security Council, India should think seriously whether it really qualifies for that, because it has not only reneged on the promises it made on Jammu & Kashmir but has also defied with impunity the resolutions of the UN Security Council on Kashmir, the same body in which India desires a permanent seat. If India is interested to play its role at the international level, it should, in the first instance, amicably resolve all pending issues with its neighbours, including the issue of Jammu & Kashmir, so that India may emerge as a peace loving nation.
(HAMID NASIR CHATTHA)
SPECIAL COMMITTEE OF THE PARLIAMENT ON KASHMIR
- “If the people of Kashmir are in favour of opting for Pakistan, no power on earth can stop them from doing so. They should be left free to decide for themselves”.
(Speech at Prayer Meeting, 26th October, 1947. Complete Works of Mahatama Gandhi)
LORD MOUNTBATTEN, GOVERNOR GENERAL OF INDIA
- “The question of the state’s accession should be settled by a reference to the people”.
(Letter to Maharaja of Jammu & Kashmir, 27th October, 1947)
JAWAHARLAL NEHRU, PRIME MINISTER OF INDIA
- “Our view which we have repeatedly made public is that the question of accession in any disputed territory or State must be decided in accordance with wishes of people and we adhere to this view”.
(Telegram to British and Pakistani Prime Ministers, 27th October, 1947)
- “In regard to accession also, it has been made clear that this is subject to reference to people of State and their decision”.
(Telegram to Prime Minister of Pakistan, 28th October, 1947)
- “Our assurance that we shall withdraw our troops from Kashmir as soon as peace and order is restored and leave the decision regarding the future of this State to the people of the State is not merely a promise to your Government but also to the people of Kashmir and to the world”.
(Telegram to Prime Minister of Pakistan, 31st October, 1947)
- “We are anxious not to finalize anything in a moment of crisis and without the fullest opportunity to be given to the people of Kashmir to have their say. It is for them ultimately to decide.
“And let me make it clear that it has been our policy all along that where there is a dispute about the accession of a State to either Dominion, the accession must be made by the people of the State”.
(Broadcast to the Nation: All India Radio, 2nd November, 1947)
- “We have declared that the fate of Kashmir is ultimately to be decided by the people. The pledge we have given not only to the people of Kashmir but to the world. We will not and can not back out of it”.
(Statement in New Delhi: All India Radio, 3rd November, 1947)
- “…….Where the State has not acceded to that Dominion whose majority community is the same as State’s, the question whether State has finally acceded to one or other Dominion should be ascertained by reference to the will of people”.
(Telegram to Prime Minister of Pakistan, 8th November, 1947)
- “Kashmir should decide question of accession by plebiscite or referendum under international auspices such as those of the United Nations”.
(Letter to Prime Minister of Pakistan, 21st November, 1947)
- “In order to establish our bonafides, we have suggested that when the people are given the chance to decide their future, this should be done under the supervision of an impartial tribunal such as the United Nations Organisation. The issue in Kashmir is whether violence and naked force should decide the future or the will of the people”.
(Statement in Indian Constituent Assembly, 25th November, 1947)
- “…. I confess, however, that I find myself unable to suggest anything beyond what I have offered already, namely, to ask UNO to send impartial observers to advise us regarding the plebiscite”.
(Telegram to Prime Minister of Pakistan, 12th December, 1947)
- “Even at the moment of accession, we went out of our way to make a unilateral declaration that we would abide by the will of the people of Kashmir as declared in a plebiscite or referendum. We insisted further that the Government of Kashmir must immediately become a popular government. We have adhered to that position throughout and we are prepared to have a plebiscite, with every protection for fair voting, and to abide by the decision of the people of Kashmir”.
“……Ultimately there is no doubt in my mind that, in Kashmir as elsewhere, the people of Kashmir will decide finally, and all that we wish is that they should have freedom of decision without any external compulsion”.
(Statement in Constituent Assembly of India, 5th March, 1948)
- “It has always been our view that, in the event of a plebiscite, the people of Kashmir should decide their future for themselves”. (Telegram to UN Representative for India and Pakistan, 16th August, 1950)
- “…..We all agreed that it is the people of Kashmir who must decide for themselves about their future externally or internally. It is an obvious fact that, even without our agreement, no country is going to hold on to Kashmir against the will of the Kashmiris”.
(Press Conference in London, 16th January, 1951, reported in
The Statesman, New Delhi on 18th January, 1951)
- “We had given our pledge to the people of Kashmir and subsequently to the United Nations; we stood by it and we stand by it today. Let the people of Kashmir decide”.
(Statement in Indian Parliament, 12th February, 1951)
- “First of all, I would like to remind you of the fateful days of 1947 when I came to Srinagar and gave the solemn assurance that the people of India would stand by Kashmir in her struggle. On that assurance, I shook Sheikh Abdullah’s hand before the vast multitude that had gathered there. I want to repeat that the Government of India will stand by that pledge, whatever happens. That pledge itself stated that it is for the people of Kashmir to decide their fate without external interference. That assurance also remains and will continue”.
(Address at public meeting in Srinagar, 4th June, 1951)
- “People seem to forget that Kashmir is not a commodity for sale or to be bartered. It has an individual existence and its people must be the final arbiters of their future”.
(Report to All-India Congress Committee, reported in The Statesman, New Delhi, 9th July, 1951)
- “We have taken the issue to the United Nations and given our word of for a peaceful solution …….. As a great nation, we can not go back on it. We have left the question for final solution to the people of Kashmir and we are determined to abide by their decision”.
(Statement reported in Amrita Bazar Patrika, Calcutta, 2nd January, 1952)
- “India is a great country and Kashmir is almost in the heart of Asia. There is an enormous difference not only geographically but in all kinds of facts there. Do you think (in dealing with Kashmir) you are dealing with a part of U.P or Bihar or Gujrat?”
(Statement in Indian Parliament, 26th June, 1952)
- “I want to stress that it is only the people of Kashmir who can decide the future of Kashmir. It is not that we have merely said that to the United Nations and to the people of Kashmir; it is our conviction and one that is borne out by the policy that we have pursued, not only in Kashmir but everywhere. Though these five years have meant a lot of trouble and expense and in spite of all we have done we would willingly leave Kashmir if it was made clear to us that the people of Kashmir wanted us to go. However sad we may feel about leaving. We are not going to stay against the wishes of the people. We are not going to stay against the wishes of the people. We are not going to impose ourselves on them at the point of the bayonet.
“I started with the presumption that it is for the people of Kashmir to decide their own future. We will not compel them. In that sense, the people of Kashmir are sovereign”.
(Statement in Indian Parliament, 7th August, 1952)
- “The most feasible method of ascertaining the wishes of the people was by fair and impartial plebiscite”.
(Joint communiqué of the Prime Ministers of India and Pakistan issued in
Delhi after their meeting on 20th August, 1953)
- “As a result of the plebiscite over the entire state, we would be in a position to consider the matter, so that the final decision should cause the least disturbance and should take into consideration geographical, economic and other important factors.
“I should like to make it clear that there is no intention on my part to exclude the UN from this question of Kashmir.
(Letter to Prime Minister of Pakistan, 3rd September, 1953)
- “Our object is to give freedom to the people of Kashmir to decide their future in a peaceful way so as to create no upset, as we said in our joint statement”.
(Letter to Prime Minister of Pakistan, 10th November, 1953)
- “India will stand by her international commitments on the Kashmir issue and implement them at the appropriate time.
“The repudiation of international commitments would lower India’s prestige abroad”.
(Statement reported in The Time of India, 16th May, 1954)
- “But so far as the Government of India are concerned, every assurance and international commitment in regard to Kashmir stands”.
(Statement in Indian Council of States, 18th May, 1954)
- “Kashmir is not a thing to be bandied about between India and Pakistan but it has a soul of its own and an individuality of its own. Nothing can be done without the goodwill and consent of the people of Kashmir”.
(Statement in Indian Parliament, 31st March, 1955)
CHAPTER – II
- “The people of Kashmir would be free to decide their future by the recognized democratic method of plebiscite or referendum, which in order to ensure complete impartiality may be held under international auspices.”
(Letter from Government of India to UN, 31st December, 1947)
- “In accepting the accession they [the Government of India] refused to take advantage of the immediate peril in which the State found itself and informed the Ruler that the accession should finally be settled by plebiscite as soon as peace had been restored. They have subsequently made it quite clear that they are agreeable to the plebiscite being conducted if necessary under international auspices.
“On the question of accession, the Government of India has always enunciated the policy that in all cases of dispute the people of the State concerned should make the decision. “We have no further interest, and we have agreed that a plebiscite in Kashmir might take place under international auspices after peace and order have been established. “We desire only to see peace restored in Kashmir and ensure that the people of Kashmir are left free to decide in an orderly and peaceful manner the future of their state. We have no further interest, and we have agreed that a plebiscite in Kashmir might take place under international auspices after peace and order have been established.”</code></pre></li>
Gopalaswami Ayyangar, (Statement at the Security Council, 15th January, 1948)
- “The question of accession is to be decided finally in a free plebiscite, on this there is no dispute”.
(White Paper on Kashmir issued by Government of India, 1948)
- My government has always taken the view that resolutions, if they are passed, must be implemented.”
Krishna Menon, (Statement at UN General Assembly, 5th April, 1951)
- We adhere strictly to our pledge of plebiscite in Kashmir – a pledge made to the people because they believe in democratic government …… We don’t regard Kashmir as a commodity to be trafficked in”.
(Press statement in London, reported in the Statesman,
New Delhi, 2nd August, 1951)
- “The Government of India not only reaffirms its acceptance of the principle that the question of the continuing accession of the State of Jammu and Kashmir to India shall be decided through the democratic method of a free and impartial plebiscite under the auspices of the United Nations, but is anxious that the conditions necessary for such a plebiscite should be created as quickly as possible”.
(Letter from Govt. of India to UN Representative for India and Pakistan, 11th September, 1951)
- “We do not seek to go behind the UNCIP resolutions, or to ignore the vital elements of principle contained in them. ……We have always adhered to the UNCIP resolutions….. We cannot be a party to the reversal of previous decisions taken by the United Nations Commission with the agreement of the parties.”
Mrs. Vijay Lakshmi Pandit,
(Statement at the Security Council, 8th December, 1952)
- “I want to say for the purpose of the record that there is nothing that has been said on behalf of the Government of India which in the slightest degree indicates that the Government of India or the Union of India will dishonour any international obligations it has undertaken.”
Krishna Menon (Statement at UN Security Council, 24th January, 1957)
- “If, as a result of a plebiscite, the people decided that they did not want to stay with India, then our duty at that time would be to adopt those constitutional procedures which would enable us to separate that territory.”
Krishna Menon, (Statement at UN Security Council, 8th February, 1957)
- “The resolutions of January 17, 1948 and the resolutions of the UNICP, the assurances given, these are all resolutions which carry a greater weight – that is because we have accepted them, we are parties to them, whether we like them or not.”
Krishna Menon, (Statement at UN Security Council, 20th February, 1957)
- “These documents (UNCIP reports) and declarations and the resolutions of the Security Council are decisions; they are resolutions, there has been some resolving of a question of one character or another, there has been a meeting of minds on this question where we have committed ourselves to it.”
Krishna Menon, (Statement at the Security Council, 9th October, 1957)
- “India believes that sovereignty rests in the people and should return to them.” Krishna Menon, (The Statesman, Delhi, 19th January, 1962) ………………………………
SUMMARY OF REPORT OF DELEGATION OF
EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT ON KASHMIR
The Committee on Foreign Affairs, Human Rights Common Security and Defence Policy of the European Parliament issued the Report of its Adhoc Delegation on 27th July, 2004. The Delegation visited both parts of the State of Jammu and Kashmir to see the ground reality. In this Report the Delegation condemned the atrocities perpetrated by the Indian security forces, calling Indian Held Kashmir (IHK) “the most beautiful prison in the world”. The Delegation also recommended appointment of a Standing Rapporteur. Moreover, it called upon India to allow the United Nations Military Observer Group (UNMOGIP) to carry out its mandatory functions.
Similarly, the European Parliament in its Annual Report 2004, has again condemned the human rights violations in IHK.
Summary of the Report/Recommendations of the Delegation as well as the relevant part of the Annual Report on Human Rights, 2004 of the European Parliament is published, enabling the readers to know the ground reality in the State of Jammu and Kashmir.
(HAMID NASIR CHATTHA)
SPECIAL COMMITTEE OF THE PARLIAMENT ON KASHMIR
SUMMARY OF REPORT OF ADHOC DELEGATION OF EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT
The Committee on Foreign Affairs, Human Rights, Common Security and Defence Policy of the European Parliament sent a delegation, comprising its members, to both parts of State of Jammu & Kashmir. The delegation’s objective was to meet people from different walks of life, to learn their views and to have a firsthand knowledge of the situation on the ground.
The delegation visited both sides: Islamabad and Azad / Independent Jammu & Kashmir (AJK) and New Delhi & Indian Held Kashmir (IHK). The first visit took place on 8 – 11 December, 2003 and the second on 20 – 25 June, 2004.
The delegation, led by Mr. John Walls Cushnahan, comprised Mr. Bob van den Bos, Mr. David Bowe, Mr. Glyn Ford, Mr. Jas Gawronski, Mr. Reinhold Messner and Ms. Luisa Morgantini. However, during the visit of June 2004, Mr. Per Gahrton replaced Mr. Messner, who was no more Member of the European Parliament. Besides, Mr. Gawronski was also unable to accompany.
The delegation met the following dignitaries:-
President General Pervez Musharraf; Ch. Amir Hussain, Speaker National Assembly; Mian Khurshid Mehmood Kasuri, Foreign Minister; Mr. Aftab Ahmed Khan Sherpao, Minister for Kashmir Affairs and Northern Areas.
President Sardar Muhammad Anwar Khan; Prime Minister Sardar Sikandar Hayat Khan; Sardar Siab Khalid, Speaker Legislative Assembly; Shah Ghulam Qadir, Finance Minister; Leaders of Muslim Conference, Peoples Party, JKLF and All Parties Hurriyet Conference (AJK Chapter).
At Islamabad, the delegation met the EU Ambassadors, representatives of UNMOGIP and civil society.
Mr. Somnath Chatterjee, Speaker Lok Sabha; Mr. Parnab Mukherjee Defence Minister; Mr. Shivraj Patil, Home Minister; Mr. Ghulam Nabi Azad, Minister for Parliamentary Affairs and Urban Development and Mr. N.N. Vohra, Special Representative of the Government of India for Kashmir.
Indian Held Kashmir:
Lt. Gen. (R) Sriniwas Kumar Sinha, Governor; Mufti Muhammad Saeed, Chief Minister and his daughter Ms. Mehbooba Mufti; Mr. Mangat Ram Sharma, Deputy Chief Minister and Mr. Muzaffar Beig, Finance Minister.
Mr. Ali Shah Geelani, Mr. Abbas Ansari, Prof. Abdul Ghani Bhatt, Mir Waiz Umar Farooq, Mr. Bilal Lone, Mr. Shabbir Shah, Mr. Yasin Malik and Mr. Muhammad Yousaf Tarigami.
At New Delhi, the delegation also met the EU Ambassadors, representatives of UNMOGIP, NGOs, civil society and media.
After the visit to Azad Jammu & Kashmir (AJK) and the Indian Held Kashmir (IHK), the delegation made the following recommendations: –
RECOMMENDATION NO. 1:
We believe that there are three parties which have a legitimate interest in finding a solution to the Kashmir problem namely the Indian government, the Pakistan government and the Kashmiri people and their representatives, and therefore that all three should be fully involved.
While the delegation made it clear that it supports the current India-Pakistan dialogue, they also recognized that at least one of these parties would find any form of direct involvement (classified as “interference”) as unacceptable, nonetheless as members of a democratically elected parliament, representing over 450 million people, the delegation maintained that there are three parties with a legitimate interest in being involved in finding a solution-the Indian government, the Pakistan government and the Kashmiris.
RECOMMENDATION NO. 2:
The delegation unequivocally repudiates the use of all terrorism and violence. We demand that militant groups immediately cease their violence and that action be taken to protect human rights. We also believe that continued abuse of human rights on all sides feeds the cycle of violence. In addition, we strongly recommend better monitoring of all detainees.
While urging the creation of an environment conducive to breaking the cycle of violence and human rights abuses, the delegation also recognized that the reported human rights abuses by Indian security forces continue to feed this cycle of violence. In order to start a real process for leading to a definitive peace, there is a need for an atmosphere free of intimidation and violence. It has been alleged that most militants come from outside Kashmir, although in the Kashmir Valley itself it would appear that the majority are indigenous.
In IHK, there is a huge military presence, with approximately 1 soldier to every 10 civilians in Jammu and Kashmir. The psychological pressures of ‘stop and search’ practices and the sense of being in a war zone are strong.
RECOMMENDATION NO. 3:
We support the recent emphasis on confidence-building measures as part of the current peace process and ensuing dialogue between India and Pakistan. However, we believe that the dialogue must be meaningful and have real substance.
The delegation welcomed the steps taken by both India and Pakistan since spring 2003, including the Composite Dialogue. However, fears were expressed that this new dialogue would be no different. The message that the delegation heard time and again was that unless it made a difference to the life in Kashmir, the process was “not useful”.
Kashmiris expressed hope that they would be allowed to travel across the Ceasefire Line / Line of Control (LOC) to visit family and friends without the need for visa.
RECOMMENDATION NO. 4:
We would propose that a conference involving academics and relevant experts from both sides of Kashmir, India, Pakistan as well as from the EU, be held to examine options for conflict resolution.
The delegations encouraged further development of cross-border academic meetings and exchanges. Moreover, the delegation believed that the EU could provide an input by funding a conference, possibly to be held in two separate sessions, one in IHK and the other in AJK, with experts on conflict resolutions. Besides, the European Parliament may host meetings in Brussels or Strasbourg for parliamentarians from Pakistan, India and the two parts of Kashmir.
RECOMMENDATION NO. 5:
We would propose the establishment of cross-border bodies (e.g. on tourism, environment)
In order to involve Kashmiris in controlling their own destiny and with goodwill on the part of both India and Pakistan, cross-border bodies (e.g. on tourism, environment) should be established. The business communities on both sides of the LOC should be free to contact each other to expand trade
RECOMMENDATION NO.. 6:
We would call upon the new Indian government, in the new climate, to reconsider its position on UNMOGIP (United Nations Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan), and to enable it to properly carry out its UN mandate by once again allowing and facilitating equal access for UNMOGIP to the Indian- administered side of the LOC.
The United Nations Military Observer Group for India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP), based in Rawalpindi (Pakistan) and Srinagar (India) was appointed in 1949. Its mandate is to monitor and investigate all the incidents which take place (incursions, shelling, etc) on and around the Ceasefire Line/LOC and to report back to the United Nations.
The delegation called upon the Indian government to enable UNMOGIP to properly carry out its mandate by allowing and facilitating equal access to them to the Indian – administered side of the LOC.
RECOMMENDATION NO. 7:
We strongly recommend that the European Parliament’s Committee on Foreign Affairs appoint a standing Rapporteur on Kashmir.
While many Kashmiris expressed their delight at the interest being taken by the European Parliament, it is difficult for them not to lose faith in the international community because they have not really shown any enduring commitment to the problem of Kashmir, nor have they stayed long enough to get a sense of the real dimension of the Kashmir issue.
The delegation expressed the firm conviction that the European Parliament must continue to engage with Kashmir by keeping open the lines of communication and continuing to track events. The delegation strongly recommended that the European Parliament’s Committee on Foreign Affairs appoint a Standing Rapporteur on Kashmir to be the focal point for the existing contacts and to report back to the Committee at regular intervals.
Annual Report on Human Rights in the world 2004 and the EU’s Policy [2004/2151(INI)]
Remains concerned at reports of human rights abuses in the Kashmir region by members of the Indian military and police forces; calls on the Government of India to ensure that all reports of such abuses are investigated promptly by a judicial authority; strongly condemns all acts of terrorism and violence throughout the region and insists on full and open access for media and human rights organizations to the Kashmir region.
Indian Laws in Indian Occupied Kashmir
JAMMU & KASHMIR PUBLIC SAFETY ACT, 1978
The Act promulgated in 1978 (amended in 1987 and 1990) empowers the State government to detain a person without trial for two years under the pretext of maintenance of public order. The Act fell short of the recognized norms of justice, such as equality before law, the right of the accused of appearance before a Magistrate within 24 hours of arrest, fair trial in public, access to counsel, cross examination of the witnesses, appeal against conviction, protection from being tried under retrospective application of law, etc. Even the provisions of the Act, though already unsatisfactory, have been consistently violated. The detainees are not informed of the reasons of their arrest and they are kept in custody for a much longer period of time than stipulated in the Act. They are not allowed to meet their relatives and counsels. The amendment of 1990 extended its operation beyond the State, enabling the State machinery to keep the detainees in the jails of India, outside the State. Under Section 22 of the Act, any legal proceeding against officials for acts “done in good faith” are also disallowed.
The law has been widely used against the innocent Kashmiris as well as political opponents. Thousands of people have over the years been detained under the Act.
JAMMU & KASHMIR DISTURBED AREAS ACT, 1990
Under the Act, the whole or part of the State can be declared disturbed area by the Central Government or the Governor. The whole valley of Kashmir and two Districts of Jammu have since been declared disturbed areas. An official of the level of Head Constable is allowed to use force or shoot (and kill) under the pretext of maintaining the public order. The Act gives the police extraordinary powers of arrest and detention. It provided a cover to the state machinery for indiscriminate and unprovoked firing at peaceful and unarmed demonstrations, extra judicial killings and destroying the property of Kashmiris on suspicion. Moreover, Section 6 gives legal immunity to persons acting under this Act; no suit or prosecution can be instituted, except with the previous sanction of the government against any person in respect of anything done or purported to be done in exercise of the powers conferred by the Act.
TERRORIST AND DISRUPTIVE ACTIVITIES ACT (TADA) 1990
The Act enforced in 1985 (amended in 1987) gives security forces and armed forces special powers for use of force, especially the amendment of 1987 made it tougher. It was widely used for unauthorized administrative detention without formal charges or trial for upto one year. Under the Act, involvement in, or preparation for, disruptive activities attracts sever punishment upto life imprisonment. Arrests can be made even on suspicion of committing “disruptive activities”, broadly defined as “any action taken, whether by act by speech or through any other media ….. which questions, disrupts or is intended to disrupt, whether directly or indirectly, the sovereignty and territorial integrity of India, or which is intended to bring about or support any claim…… for the cession of any part of India from the Union……”
Since the law gives special powers to the security forces in the use of force, arrest and detention, it was extensively used in the occupied Kashmir. Even after lapse of the Act in 1995, the cases are filed under this Act, which provides that it may be applied to preceding trials in various courts and to persons, who may be tried in connection with the offences alleged to have been committed prior to 1995. The regime of the occupied Kashmir acknowledged that it held 772 persons under the TADA. Still many more are in Indian jails, outside the State.
This law also fails to meet the international standard of fundamental principles of justice, which requires that the detainees should have a fair and prompt trial and they should be informed of the reasons of arrest. The defence counsel is not permitted to see witnesses for the prosecution, who are kept behind screen while testifying in court. Besides, confessions extracted under duress are permitted as evidence.
THE ARMED FORCES (JAMMU & KASHMIR) SPECIAL POWERS ACT, 1990
The Armed Forces (Jammu & Kashmir) Special Powers Ordinance, introduced in July, 1990, was later enacted by the Parliament of India and enforced on 10th September, 1990. When certain areas are declared to be “disturbed”, the army and paramilitary forces are granted sweeping powers under Section 4 (C) of this Act.
The armed forces can be used in aid of civil authorities and even a non commissioned officer can search any place, stop/seize any vehicle, fire at any person (and kill), or arrest him even on the basis of suspicion with no obligation to inform him of the grounds thereof. It gives the Indian security forces sweeping powers that facilitate arbitrary arrests and detention and extra judicial executions as well as destruction of property.
The provisions of the black law are further violated in the occupied Kashmir by the security forces. Under the law, an arrested person is to be handed over to the nearest police station. But it is seldom done. Besides, the armed forces personnel are supposed to act as and when requested by the civilian authorities. In other words, the former should work under the direction of the latter. However, factually the security forces are inflicting atrocities on the Kashmiris without informing the civil administration. The State government has proved ineffective in controlling the Indian security forces, who have unleashed a reign of terror in occupied territory. The Act legitimizes barbarism in the State, as under Section 7, the security forces are given an immunity from prosecution for any act committed by them.
PREVENTION OF TERRORISM ACT (POTA), 2002
The Prevention of Terrorism Ordinance (POTA), promulgated on 25th October, 2001 was initially rejected by the Upper House, when presented for enactment. However, it was passed at the joint session of the Indian Parliament on March 26, 2002. Though the law was for the whole country, its main focus was occupied Kashmir.
POTA equipped the Indian forces with extra ordinary powers. Under the law, any act committed with a lethal weapon was termed terrorist act. The offences included even inviting support for an alleged “terrorist organisation”, addressing a gathering of sympathizers (of a terrorist organisation) and arranging, helping or assisting to arrange a meeting in which support for any “terrorist organisation” or its activities is expressed. The properties of the alleged terrorists, terrorist organisations and their sympathies would be seized. The suspects could be detained for 3 months without framing charges against them and for another 3 months, if allowed by a special Judge.
The Government officials admitted that excesses had regularly been committed. A long list of illegal arrests and unlawful killings has been documented by the human rights organisations. This black law was used mainly in occupied Kashmir. Ninety Nine point nine percent arrested under this Act were Muslims. Owing to strong protests and denunciation from the world leaders and organisations, the Act has now been withdrawn.
UNLAWFUL ACTIVITIES (PREVENTION) AMENDMENT ORDINANCE 2004
The Ordinance was passed by the Indian President in 2004 and was implemented forthwith. It has since been promulgated as Act. It again provides extraordinary powers to armed forces and other law enforcement agencies, similar to those previously provided by the POTA.
In addition to the above-mentioned measures, the laws and ordinances regarding other disturbed parts of India can also be applied in occupied Kashmir.
THE NATIONAL SECURITY ACT (NSA)
Under the NSA, a person can be detained without charge or trial for upto one year to prevent him from acting in a manner prejudicial to state security, the maintenance of public order or relations with a foreign power.
OFFICIAL SECRETS ACT (OSA)
Under the Official Secrets Act (OSA), the Government may restrict publication of sensitive stories. But the Government interprets this broadly to suppress criticism of its policies.
NEWSPAPERS INCITEMENTS TO OFFENCES ACT
The Newspapers Incitements to Offences Act, 1971 remains in effect in Jammu and Kashmir. Under the Act, a District Magistrate may prohibit the publishing of material resulting in “incitement to murder” or “any act of violence”.
CRIMINAL PROCEDURE CODE
The Criminal Procedure Code provides for an open trial in most cases, but it allows exceptions in proceedings involving official secret trials in which statements prejudicial to the safety of the State might be made, or under provisions of special security legislation. The authorities enjoy special powers to search and arrest without a warrant. If required, the public assemblies can be banned and a curfew can also be imposed.
INDIAN TELEGRAPH ACT
The Indian Telegraph Act authorizes the surveillance of communications, including monitoring telephone conversations and intercepting personal mail, in case of public emergency or “in the interest of the public safety or tranquility”.
Besides the afore mentioned draconian laws, the following are also in force: –
i. Enemy Agent Ordinance 1948
ii. The Egress and Internal Movement (Control) Ordinance, 1948
iii. Prevention of Unlawful Activities, 1963
iv. Prevention of Subversion and Sabotage Act, 1965
· The TADA gives a license to kill. (Amnesty International)
· The powers of the TADA and the Armed Forces Special Power Act are incompatible with the state obligation to uphold and protect human rights, in particular the right to life. (UN Human Rights Committee)
· Wide powers of arrest granted under TADA, combined with the absence of fundamental legal safeguards for detainees, create a climate, which encourages abuse of power and facilitates illegal and secret detention. (Amnesty International)
· The TADA has come to represent a blatant and wide spread violation of civil rights. (Daily The Indian Express)
· This organisation has not come to know of a single case of disappearance in Indian Held Kashmir in which the perpetrators have been brought to justice. (Amnesty International)
· Thousand of allegations of torture and deaths in custody have been reported in Jammu & Kashmir since early 1990. (Amnesty International Report, 1995)
· “Access to redress for victims of human rights violations, a right guaranteed under international law, is being denied to victims in Jammu & Kashmir”. (Amnesty International – May, 1997)
· Thousands of political persons were detained without charge or trial under special legislations such as TADA, the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act and the Disturbed Areas Act, which lacked vital legal safeguards. (Amnesty International Report, 1997)
· Many provisions of TADA contravene important international human rights standards, especially the right to liberty and security, to a fair trial, freedom of expression and the right not to be tortured. (Amnesty International)
· India should release all detained Kashmiri leaders and political workers. The draconian law, the Public Safety Act should be annulled, if it cannot be so amended as to conform to the standard of protection of human rights. (Amnesty International – May, 2001)
· The Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act violates provisions of International human rights law, including the right to life, the right to remedy and the rights to be free from arbitrary deprivation of liberty and from torture and cruel inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. (Amnesty International)
· The continuance of a system characterized by extra ordinary law created to fight the insurgency, like the Armed Forces Special Powers Act, the Public Safety Act and the POTA, has “produced an environment of impunity and lawlessness”. A systematic pattern of abuse emerges – the Armed forces do not disclose, indeed they conceal their identity, no record is maintained of who is conducting the arrest. The Armed forces do not respond to summon from the courts even in habeas corpus petitions. The High Court of Jammu & Kashmir has been forced to close hundreds of cases without even finding what happened to disappeared persons for non cooperation of the Armed forces. (Tapan Bose – The Committee of Initiative on Kashmir)
· The Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA) continued to be used to detain political opponents and members of minority populations. The lapsed Terrorist and Disruptive Activities Act continued to be used to arrest people in Jammu and Kashmir by linking them to cases filed before 1995. Preventive arrest and detention provisions contained in other security laws as well as in the Code of Criminal Procedure were also misused against political and human rights activists. (Amnesty International Report, 2004)
· The Indian government’s failure to account for these abuses and take rigorous action against those members of its forces responsible for murder, rape and torture amounts to a policy of condoning human rights violations by the security forces.
Among the worst of these violations have been the summary executions of hundreds of detainees in the custody of the security forces in occupied Kashmir. Such killings are carried out as a matter of policy.
…… operating as secret illegal army, have been the state – sponsored paramilitary groups. Many of these groups have been responsible for grave human rights abuses, including summary executions, torture and illegal detention as well as election – related intimidation of voters. (Human Rights Watch Asia, Report, 2005)
· Indian troops continue to use extra judicial killings as a method to suppress insurgency in Kashmir. The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) reported 136 deaths in police custody and 1357 deaths in judicial custody during the period of January to March, 2004. Besides, the Indian authorities generally did not report encounter deaths in Jammu & Kashmir to the NAHRC. (State Department Report, 2005)
· The condition of detainees (Kashmiris), languishing in different jails of the State (occupied Kashmir) and outside (India) was worse than that of those in Abu Gharib prison in Iraq. The methods and manners in which detainees are being treated in interrogation centres are horrible. You will forget Abu Gharib after listening to the horrific tales of Kashmiri detainees in these jails. (Kashmir Bar Association, Srinagar – April, 2006)
· According to the Association of Parents of Disappeared Persons, eight to ten thousand Kashmiris disappeared mysteriously in Indian Held Kashmir between 1989-2003, while the Asian Centre for Human Rights put the figure at six thousand. (US State Department Report, 2006)
· Politically motivated violence slightly decreased but torture, deaths in custody and “disappearances” continued to be reported. At least 38 people were reported to have died in custody…….. Several people had been held under the PSA for over 10 years under successive PSA detention orders. (Amnesty International Report-2006)
Islamabad, March 11, 2006 (Special Representative of OIC on Kashmir)
Islamabad, February 19, 2006 (Visit of British Parliamentary Delegation)
Islamabad, January 19, 2006 (Ambassadors Designate to Sweden and Iran Call on Chattha)
Islamabad, June 16, 2005 (Ambassadors Designate to Libya & Kazakhstan Call on Chairman Kashmir Committee)
Islamabad, June 7, 2005 (PAK Ambassador Designate to Portugal Calls on Mr. Chattha)
Islamabad, March 14, 2005
(Special Committee of the Parliamentary on Kashmir Meets)
Islamabad, February 16, 2005
(Parliamentary Union of OIC Condemns Indian Atrocities Occupied Kashmir)
Islamabad, February 10, 2005 (Mark Lyall Meets Chattha)
Islamabad, January 11, 2005 (Kashmiri Leaders Meet Chattha)
Islamabad, January 5, 2005
Islamabad, December 28, 2004
(Solidarity Day [5 February])
Islamabad, December 16, 2004
(Meeting of Sub-Committee of the Parliamentary Committee on Kashmir Held)
Islamabad, December 13, 2004
(Meeting of Sub-Committee of the Parliamentary Committee on Kashmir Held)
Islamabad, December 9, 2004
(No Trade and Culture Sans Kashmir, Chattha)
Islamabad, November 8, 2004
(Chattha Welcomes APHC Occupied Kashmiri Leaders to Visit Pakistan)
Islamabad, October 27, 2004
(Meeting of the Special Committee of the Parliament on Kashmir)
Islamabad, October 14, 2004
(Meeting of The Sub-Committee of the Special Committee of the Parliament on Kashmir)
Islamabad, October 14, 2004
(Chattha Welcomes the Proposal for US Envoy on Kashmir)
Islamabad, October 7, 2004
(Kashmir issue be Resolved According to UN Resolution)
Islamabad, September 4, 2004
(Grant of Status of Federal Minister to Mr. Hamid Nasir Chattha)
Islamabad, August 31, 2004
(Report of Indian Human Rights Commission)
Islamabad, August 26, 2004
(Meeting of Special Committee of Parliament on Kashmir)
Islamabad, August 25, 2004
(APHC Leaders Call on Chairman, Special Committee of Parliament on Kashmir)
Islamabad, August 13, 2004
(Meeting of the Special Committee of the Parliament on Kashmir)
SPECIAL REPRESENTATIVE OF OIC ON KASHMIR
Islamabad, March 11, 2006: The appointment of Ambassador Izzat Kamal Mufti as the Special Representative of the Secretary General of Organization of Islamic Conference will go a long way in projecting the Kashmir issue in its true perspective. Welcoming the appointment of Ambassador Mufti, the Chairman, Parliamentary Kashmir Committee Hamid Nasir Chattha said, it is a much awaited step in the right direction. The OIC has passed numerous resolutions calling for the implementation of the UN resolutions on Kashmir, the end of human rights violations in the region as well as the peaceful resolution of the issue. However, appointment of the Special Representative is a concrete measure, which should have been taken earlier.
The Chairman, Special Committee of the Parliament on Kashmir observed that sometime back a delegation of the European Parliament visited both parts of Jammu and Kashmir and called the Indian occupied Kashmir as “the most beautiful prison in the world”. The delegation also called for appointment of a Rapporteur. He appealed to the European Parliament to go ahead with the appointment of the rapporteur.
The Chairman added that the in the past, requests were made to the United Nations Secretary General for appointing a Special Envoy on Kashmir. Similarly, a resolution was also moved in the US Congress, calling for appointment of a Special Envoy on Kashmir by the President of the United States. The Chairman said, it is high time that both the UN Secretary General and US President appointed their envoys on Kashmir. These envoys can share information and coordinate efforts which can help to evolve a strategy for the early resolution of the problem.
VISIT OF BRITISH PARLIAMENTARY DELEGATION
Islamabad, February 19, 2006: A four member delegation of the British Parliament has arrived Islamabad at the invitation of Special Committee of the Parliament on Kashmir on a 4 day visit 19th-22nd February, 2006. The delegation led by Mr. Martin Salter, MP comprises members of the All Party Parliamentary Group of the British Parliament on Kashmir and their names are: Mr. Mark Fisher, Ms. Mary Creagh and Miss Kerry McCarthy. Mr. Salter and Mr. Fisher are seasoned politicians and have been Ministers in the past.
The delegation will visit different cities of Pakistan, quake affected areas of AJK and have briefing on rehabilitation in Muzaffarabad. The delegation will have meetings with President AJK Sardar Muhammad Anwar Khan, Speaker National Assembly Ch. Amir Hussain, Chairman Special Committee of the Parliament on Kashmir Ch. Hamid Nasir Chattha & Members of Kashmir Committee, Speaker AJK Assembly Sardar Syab Khalid and Members of AJK Assembly.
The All Party Parliamentary Group on Kashmir of the British Parliament has played an important role in projecting the Kashmir issue. They are, therefore, known as friends of Kashmiris.
AMBASSADORS DESIGNATE TO SWEDEN AND IRAN CALL ON CHATTHA
Islamabad, 19th January, 2006: The Chairman Special Committee of Parliament on Kashmir Mr. Hamid Nasir Chattha has urged India to bring down the level of forces in Indian Occupied Kashmir, as militancy would come to an end because the presence of Indian troops is the main cause of militancy in occupied Kashmir. He made this observation while talking to Pak ambassadors-designate to Sweden, Mr. Shaheen Gillani and to Iran Mr. Shafqat Saeed, who called on him today in the Parliament House. Mr. Chattha said that draconian laws exercised by paramilitary forces in Indian Occupied Kashmir has led the Kashmiris to revolt against India as these laws have made their lives miserable.
Pakistan has shown maximum flexibility on Kashmir and now India must suspend because all CBMs will die a natural death if there is no response by India to Pak proposals on Kashmir issue. He said that the Kashmiris be made a full dialogue member to have a lasting and fair solution of the Kashmir Issue because talks will be meaningless without their association as they are the affected party.
The ambassadors assured him that they will do their best to muster the support on the issue in the countries of their assignment.
AMBASSADORS DESIGNATE TO LIBYA & KAZAKHSTAN CALL ON CHAIRMAN KASHMIR COMMITTEE
Islamabad, June 16, 2005: Pakistan and India have to be flexible on the Kashmir for resolving the issue, and the Kashmiris have to be involved in the dialogue process for a long lasting solution, as Kashmiris are the affected party. This was said by Mr. Hamid Nasir Chattha, Chairman Kashmir Committee while talking to the Ambassadors designate to Libya and Kazakhstan Air Marshal (R) Mr. Iqbal Haider and Mr. Irfan-ur-Rahman Raja who called on him this afternoon before proceeding abroad to take on their new assignments.
Mr. Chattha emphasized the need to muster the support at international level to persuade India to come forward for talks on Kashmir issue. He urged the international community to check the human rights violations made by the Security Forces stationed in the Indian Occupied Kashmir.
The Ambassadors designate assured the Chairman Kashmir Committee that they would do their best to highlight the issue in the country of posting during their stay.
PAK AMBASSADOR DESIGNATE TO PORTUGAL CALLS ON MR. CHATTHA
Islamabad, June 7, 2005: The Chairman, Special Committee of the Parliament on Kashmir Mr. Hamid Nasir Chattha has said that the visit of APHC leaders to Pakistan is a step forward to the resolution of Kashmir issue as leaders on both sides of LoC would exchange views to resolve this long outstanding issue which has resulted political and economic instability in the region. However, efforts to highlight the Kashmir issue at the global level for the ultimate resolution of the issue should continue. This he said while talking to the Pakistan Ambassador designate to Portugal Ms. Fauzia Sanaa who called on him in the Parliament House today.
Mr. Chattha said that Kashmiris have to be associated in the peace process as a third party for the dialogue on Kashmir as it basically pertains to the Kashmiris. He urged that the European Parliament should appoint a rapporteur on Kashmir at the earliest as recommended by its delegation which visited Indian Held Kashmir last year. Moreover India and Pakistan are spending a huge amount on the defense because of the Kashmir dispute which can be diverted for the social uplift of both the countries.
The Ambassador designate assured the Chairman that all possible efforts would be made to project the Kashmir cause during her assignment in Portugal. It may be pointed out that a policy decision has been taken to the effect that all diplomats would call on the Chairman Kashmir Committee before proceeding abroad to take their assignments.
SPECIAL COMMITTEE OF THE PARLIAMENTARY ON KASHMIR MEETS
Islamabad, 14th March, 2005: The Special Committee of the Parliament on Kashmir has urged the World Bank to appoint the neutral expert expeditiously to resolve the issue of Baglihar Dam under construction on River Chenab by India in Indian Occupied Kashmir. The decision to this effect was taken after a detailed discussion by the members in the Committee meeting held this morning in the Parliament House.
The members of the committee expressed their concern on the dilatory tactics adopted by India and advised the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Water & Power to have a proactive approach to get the issue resolved within the treaty provisions at the shortest possible time as India is proceeding ahead with the construction of the dam at a fast pace. The committee directed the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Water & Power that the argument put forth by India that Pakistan was standing in the way of power generation for the benefit of the people of Jammu and Kashmir should be countered effectively as it was a common knowledge that all the power generated in Jammu and Kashmir would be connected to the national grid and a very small proportion would, therefore, be available to Kashmiris.
The Committee had a consensus that Indus Water Treaty is sacrosanct and it must be implemented in its true spirit. The Committee insisted that concentrated/consultative awareness should be created among the diplomats on the Kashmir issue as well as issues relating to the Indus Water Treaty. The Foreign Secretary assured the Committee that not only the Foreign Office or the Ministry of Water & Power would brief all diplomats proceeding abroad on diplomatic assignments but would have them briefed on the Kashmir issue by the Chairman of Special Committee of the Parliament on Kashmir.
Earlier, the Secretaries for Foreign Affairs, Water & Power and Commissioner Indus Water briefed the Committee in detail about the major projects being undertaken by India on the Western Rivers including Baglihar, Kishan Ganga and Wuller Barrage.
The meeting was attended by Federal Ministers Rao Sikandar Iqbal, Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed, Mr. Muhammad Ijaz-ul-Haq, Ministers of State Mr. Zahid Hamid Khan, Malik Amin Aslam Khan, Miss Anisa Zeb Tahirkheli, Mir Muhammad Naseer Mengal, MNAs; Mr. Liaqat Baloch, Mrs. Zeb Gohar Ayub, Sardar Talib Hassan Nakai, Prof, Mushtaq Victor, Mr. Imtiaz Safdar Warriach, Haji Gul Muhammad Dummar, Mr. Amjad Ali Warriach, Nawab Asmanullah Khan, Senators; Mr. Wasim Sajjad, Mr. Mushahid Hussain Sayed, Mr. Mouhim Khan Baloch, Prof Muhammad Saeed Siddiqui, Mr. Waqar Ahmed Khan, Prof. Khurshed Ahmed, Mr. Muhammad Aslam Buledi and Mrs. Rukhsana Zuberi.
PARLIAMENTARY UNION OF OIC CONDEMNS INDIAN ATROCITIES IN OCCUPIED KASHMIR
Islamabad, February 16, 2005: The Parliamentary Union of Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) has strongly condemned the human rights violations perpetrated by Indian Security Forces in Indian Held Kashmir. The decision to this effect was taken in the 7th session of Council recently held in Beruit. In its declaration the Council called upon UN to find solution to existing dispute over Kashmir in accordance with its resolutions as well as stop the killings, rapes and aggressions Kashmir people are subjected.
The Council also stressed that resisting occupation in Kashmir alongwith Palestine, Iraq, Afghanistan is not considered as terrorism but legitimate right of occupied peoples to regain their rights and restore the sovereignty.
It may be recalled that 7th session of the Council was inaugurated by President of Lebanon Mr. Nabih Berry which was called to review the situation in Iraq, human rights, terrorisms, Islamic Solidarity Fund and impact of globalization on the development countries.
The Pakistan delegation comprised of Maj. (R) Tanveer Hussain, Syed Nayyar Hussain Bokhari MNAs and Mr. Tariq Shafique Khan, Additional Secretary National Assembly.
MARK LYALL MEETS CHATTHA
Islamabad, the 10th February, 2005: The Special Committee of the Parliament on Kashmir is of the view that Pakistan should not move fast on cultural and trade issue as the confidence building measures should be more Kashmir specific. There should have been more progress on Kashmir but India is dragging its feet and likes to talk on everything else except this core issue.
This was observed by Mr. Hamid Nasir Chattha, Chairman, Kashmir Committee in a meeting with British High Commissioner Mr. Mark Lyall held in the Parliament House today.
The Committee feels that progress on other issues be linked with the development on Kashmir issue and said that no meaningful progress on other issues could be sustained unless and until there is a substantial progress on Kashmir issue. About the Bus Service, Mr. Chattha said that Pakistan wanted Kashmiris on both sides of LoC to travel on local documents rather than visa to facilitate their interaction as used to be the case in early fifties.
Mr. Chattha said that Pakistan is striving for peace and without the involvement of Kashmiris in this dispute there cannot be a peace in the region.
He urged the international community to put more pressure on India and come forward for resolving Kashmir dispute as it would pave the way for peace and development in this region.
Mr. Lyall observed that the progress on the issue was very slow and frustrating but expressed the hope that the composite dialogue process between India and Pakistan would bear fruit.
KASHMIRI LEADERS MEET CHATTHA
Islamabad, the 11th January, 2005: The people of Jammu and Kashmir do not want to be a part of India and the world should be convinced of Kashmiris’ resolve not to live with India. The presence of such a big Indian army is indicative of the fact that the movement for the liberation of Kashmir from Indian occupation is far from over. This was stated by the leader of Kashmiri delegation Mr.Abdul Majeed Trambo in a meeting with Chairman and members of Kashmir Committee representing the major political parties held here this morning in the Parliament House.
They informed the members that, will of the Kashmiri people has not been broken despite the draconian laws imposed by the Indian Government in Jammu and Kashmir. The custodial killings are the order of the day just to suppress the movement so that the Kashmir give up their legitimate right of self determination. They also highlighted the atrocities and human rights violations committed by the military and para military forces stationed in the valley. They briefed the Sub-Committee about the efforts made by the Indian Government to bring a social and demographic change to tarnish the Muslim culture of valley and urged the Chairman to take up this issue with the International bodies.
The Kashmiri leaders emphasized that there should be a change in the status quo for the resolution of this core issue. They expressed their concern over the Indo-Pak discourse through media and culture activities and said that this would not help much in bringing an end to the stalemate on the Kashmir issue. They thanked the people of Pakistan for providing political support at the international level for the Kashmiris’ right of self determination.
In his concluding remarks, the Chairman Kashmir Committee said that there can be no serious negotiations without the participation of the Kashmiri people. Pakistan and India have no mandate to barter the right of self determination of the Kashmiris.
The members of the Kashmir Committee reiterated their resolve to enhance the role of the Foreign Office and media in highlighting the Kashmir Cause at the international level.
The meeting was attended by Minister of State Ms Anisa Zeb Tahirkheli and MNAs Mr. Naseer Mengel, Raja Nadir Parvaiz, Raja Pervaiz Ashraf, Mr Liaqat Baluch and Senators Mouhim Khan Baluch and Mushahid Hussain Syed.
The Kashmiri side was represented by Mr. Nazir A Shawl, Mr.Ghulam Nabi Fai, Mr. Farooq Siddiqui, Mr. Ghulam N Mir, Mr. Ali Raza Syed, Mr. Nazir Ahmed Ronga , Ali Majid Fazli and Mr. Muhammad Riaz.
Islamabad January 5, 2005: Sub-Committee, constituted by the Special Committee of the Parliament on Kashmir to formulate a detailed programme for Solidarity Day (5 February), met today in the Parliament House, Islamabad with Dr. Attiya Inayatullah, MNA in the Chair.
The Sub-Committee has recommended the holding a Joint Session of the Parliament on 5th February, 2005 as an expression of solidarity with Kashmiris to be addressed by the Prime Minister of Pakistan and heads of parliamentary parties. Besides, it has been recommended that the provincial assemblies also meet on the day with similar agenda. There is also a proposal of Joint Session of AJK Assembly & AJK Council as well as of the Northern Areas Council also.
The Sub-Committee further recommended to hold rallies/public meetings, seminars and exhibitions to express solidarity with the Kashmiris, who are fighting for their right of self-determination. It is also being proposed to hold special programmes on TV/Radio and special supplements in newspapers. All educational institutions in the country should hold special functions on Kashmir as well as debating competitions among the students.
It has also been proposed to hold cultural shows depicting the freedom struggle in IHK at various places of the country. It has also been suggested that the people should make chains in different cities and towns, symbolizing identity with the Kashmiris. Pakistanis & Kashmiris living abroad have also been advised to hold similar programmes.
The Committee has proposed a programme spreading over 4 to 5 days including a seminar in Islamabad, exhibition of paintings/photographs depicting atrocities in Kashmir, tableau/cultural programmes on Kashmiris struggle and visit to refugee camps in AJK.
All political parties and social organizations have been urged to observe the day with fervour and solemnity, keeping the political affiliations aside, so that one voice should emanate from the whole country giving a clear message to the people of Indian Held Kashmir (IHK) that the whole Pakistani nation is with them.
SOLIDARITY DAY (5 FEBRUARY)
Islamabad: December 28, 2004: The Sub-Committee of the Special Committee of the Parliament on Kashmir Committee, constituted to chalk out a programme for the Solidarity Day (5 February), observed every year to express solidarity with Kashmiris, met in the parliament House today with Mr. Mushahid Hussain Sayed, Senator in the Chair.
The Sub-Committee recommended that the Solidarity Day should be observed with due solemnity and in a befitting manner, with a non-traditional and non beauracratic approach, involving peoples of all walk of life and shades of opinion. It was suggested that material on Kashmir Issue should be prepare in ample quantity, in different local and foreign languages for distribution. A Joint Session of the Parliament may be held on that day, which may be addressed by the Prime Minister of Pakistan and leader of political parties. Similarly the provincial Assemblies may also meet that day. Rallies in cities and towns of the countries should be held to mark the day, wherein leaders of all political parties should participate. Similarly, seminars and functions on Kashmir should be arranged. Declamation contests should also be held in universities, colleges and schools, where Members of the Kashmir Committee may be the Chief Guests.
The Sub-Committee observed that Provincial Governments Assemblies and all political parties and social organizations should also be involved. It emphasized that the whole nation should be galvanized to actively participate in the activities of the Day so that a single message may emanate from the country – that the whole nation is with the Kashmiris.
The meeting of the Sub-Committee was attended by its members, namely Mr. Liaqat Baloch, MNA and Raja Pervez Ashraf, MNA.
MEETING OF SUB-COMMITTEE OF THE PARLIAMENTARY COMMITTEE ON KASHMIR HELD
Islamabad: December 16, 2004: The Sub-Committee of the Special Committee of the Parliament on Kashmir in its meeting today has emphasized that the Line of Control is not acceptable as the interim or final solution either to Pakistan or to the people of the Kashmir on the Kashmir issue. The sub-Committee meeting was chaired by Senator Mr. Waseem Sajjad in the Parliament House to formulate the plan of action for soliciting the international support on Kashmir.
The Sub-Committee called upon the UN to implement its resolutions regarding the holding of plebiscite in the State of Jammu and Kashmir, as the right of self-determination is the basic right of the Kashmiris which has been exercised by some others nations recently. If this basic right of self-determination is denied to Kashmiris it can lead to a potential nuclear flash point.
The Sub-Committee had a consensus that in order to resolve the Kashmir Issue India should fulfill its commitment to hold plebiscite in Indian occupied Kashmir. It was observed with concern that there were serious violations of human rights by the Indian Security Forces stationed in the Valley which need to be highlighted
The meeting was also attended by Prof. Khursheed Ahmed, Prof. Saeed Siddiqui, Senators Prof. Mushtaq Victor, Ch. Imranullah Advocate, MNAs and other concerned officials.
MEETING OF SUB-COMMITTEE OF THE PARLIAMENTARY COMMITTEE ON KASHMIR HELD
Islamabad: December 13, 2004: The Sub-Committee of the Parliamentary Committee on Kashmir has supported the process of normalization in the Indo Pak bi-lateral relations and said that it should move forward in the composite dialogue context.
The Sub-Committee which met here this afternoon with Ms Sherry Rehman, MNA in the chair, decided to propose the Kashmir Committee that the International Think Tanks may be approached for projecting the Kashmir Issue and their inputs be invited for consideration of the Committee. The meeting had a consensus that the independent electronic channels be asked to allocate time for discussions and discourses on Kashmir Issue. It was proposed during the meeting that the electronic media should be used for highlighting the Human Rights Violations in Indian Occupied Kashmir through entertainment programmes of higher quality with infotainment value.
The Sub-Committee noted that more than 15 thousand Global NGOs are engaged directly in International Human Rights advocacy, which needed to be approached for monitoring the Human Rights Violations in Indian Occupied Kashmir to highlight the atrocities being committed by the military and paramilitary forces stationed in the valley.
The Sub-Committee comprises the following MNAs/Senators, Ms Anisa Zeb Tahirkheli, Mrs. Zeb Gohar Ayub, Mr. Amjad Ali Warriach, Ms Saima Akhtar Bharwana, Mr. Waqar Ahmed Khan, Engineer Amir Muqam and Sardar Talib Hassan Nakai.
NO TRADE AND CULTURE SANS KASHMIR, CHATTHA
Islamabad: December 9, 2004: The Special Committee of the Parliament on Kashmir met this morning with Mr. Hamid Nasir Chattha in chair in the committee Room No. 2 of the Parliament House.
The Committee recognized that the most important confidence building measure for Kashmir in the Indo Pak talks is unification of divided families, regretted the breakdown of bus talks and deplored the attitude of India in this regard. Rather than making this important CBM a reality, they were not even agreeable to reviving the 50’s position of movement between AJK and Indian Occupied Kashmir.
The withdrawal of around thirty thousand Indian troops from Indian Occupied Kashmir was viewed as less than a cosmetic action and repeal of POTA an eye wash. This reflected the non serious attitude of India in resolution of the distress and suffering of the people of the Kashmir.
The Committee fully supported the normalization process between India and Pakistan and recognized that the composite dialogue agenda was substantive. However, it was pointed out that without the core issue of Kashmir being addressed other confidence building measures including trade and culture would not be sustainable. The Kashmir Committee fully supported the three track dialogue between Pakistan, Kashmir and India, with Kashmiris being the important basic party to the dispute for their right of self determination.
Mr. Hamid Nasir Chattha informed the members that because both the Prime Minister and Foreign Minister were in contact with him on a regular basis, he stands updated on this issue. It was his understanding that there is no change in Pakistan’s stated policy on the right of self determination of the Kashmiri people.
The Committee reiterated its resolve to play the role required of the parliament within the country, in Kashmir and internationally. In this regard it expressed its dissatisfaction with the level of information sharing and exchange of views between government and the Multiparty Committee. It was further reiterated that interaction between the Kashmir Committee and the Government should be institutionalized.
The Committee unanimously recognized that Pakistan’s policy and all strategies relating to a just and durable solution of Kashmir was required to be taken within Article 257 of the Constitution which reads that when the people of the State of Jammu and Kashmir decide to accede to Pakistan, the relationship between Pakistan and that State shall be determined in accordance with the wishes of the people of that State.
The meeting was also attended besides others by the Ministers Rao Sikandar Iqbal, Mr. Muhammad Naseer Khan, Mr. Muhammad Ijaz-ul-Haq, Makhdoom Faisal Saleh Hayat, Malik Amin Aslam Khan, Ms. Anisa Zeb Tahirkhali , Mir Muhammad Naseer Mengal, and Sardar Talib Hassan Nakai, Raja Pervez Ashraf, Prof. Mushtaq Victor, Mrs. Naheed Khan, Ms. Sherry Rehman, Mr. Imtiaz Safdar Warriach, Ch. Imranullah Advocate, Maulana Shah Abdul Aziz, Mr. Amjad Ali Warraich, Nawab Amanullah Khan, Dr. Attiya Inayatullah, Mr. Mouhim Khan Baloch Mrs. Rukhsana Zuberi, Mr. Mohammad Ishaq Dar, and Prof. Khurshid Ahmed members of National Assembly and Senators.
CHATTHA WELCOMES APHC OCCUPIED KASHMIRI LEADERS TO VISIT PAKISTAN
Islamabad: November 8, 2004: Pakistan welcomes the leadership of All Parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC) in Indian Occupied Kashmir to visit Pakistan and we are waiting anxiously to see them, this was stated by the Chairman of the Special Committee of the parliament on Kashmir Mr. Hamid Nasir Chattha.
In a statement issued here today Mr. Chattha said that the decision of the Indian Government to allow the leaders of Indian Held Kashmir to visit Pakistan is wise and timely and Kashmiris of both sides should also be allowed to visit the other side of the Line of Control (LoC).
He said that Indian Government had placed ban on the movement of the leaders of the Indian Held Kashmir. The world community and Human Rights Organizations repeatedly impressed upon the Indian Government to relax these restrictions which have now been acceded to. We are happy that sanity has finally prevailed and after a long time the Kashmiri leaders have been allowed to visit Pakistan, which is a welcome development.
In the current scenario where both India and Pakistan have expressed their willingness to resolve the Kashmir Issue, the removal of restrictions on the movement of Kashmiri leaders is encouraging. This will allow and help them to exchange views with the Pakistani leadership as well as the leaders of AJK making it a useful interaction, he added.
The Parliamentary Committee on Kashmir looks forward to warmly receive the delegation of Indian Occupied APHC Kashmiri leaders. It will also arrange meetings of the delegation with opinion leaders, intellectuals and politicians in Pakistan.
MEETING OF THE SPECIAL COMMITTEE OF THE PARLIAMENT ON KASHMIR
Islamabad: October 27, 2004: Chairman, Special Committee of the Parliament on Kashmir Mr. Hamid Nasir Chattha has said that no decision regarding the future of Kashmir will be taken without taking the Kashmiris into confidence as they are the major stake holders in this issue.
In a statement issued here today he said that no decision will be taken without consulting them. The wishes and aspiration of Kashmiris cannot be ignored.
The Committee will continue to give diplomatic, moral and political support to the Kashmiris. It also stands committed to mobilize world opinion in support of the cause of the right of self determination of the people of Jammu and Kashmir, as provided by the terms of reference of the Kashmir Committee.
MEETING OF THE SUB-COMMITTEE OF THE SPECIAL COMMITTEE OF THE PARLIAMENT ON KASHMIR
Islamabad: October 14, 2004: Mr. Mushahid Hussain Sayed, Senator said we desire to take all political parties along on the important issue of Kashmir. He observed all political parties of Pakistan are united on the Kashmir issue and there is no difference of opinion among them. The interest is common, strategy may be different and for evolving a consensus on the strategy, there should be more frequent exchange of views on Kashmir issue among the political parties. He stressed, there is no u-turn on the Kashmir issue and this government is seriously working to resolve it.
Mr. Mushahid Hussain Sayed, who is Convener of the Sub-Committee of the Special Committee of the Parliament on Kashmir was presiding over the meeting of the Sub-Committee attended by Mr. Justice (R) Abdul Razzak Thahim, Senator, Mr. Imtiaz Safdar Warraich, MNA, Ms. Naheed Khan, MNA, Maulana Gul Naseeb, Senator and Mrs. Rukhsana Zuberi, Senator.
The Sub-Committee recommended that more efforts should be made to highlight the Kashmir Issue. Seminars and conferences on Kashmir should be held to highlight the issue and the human rights violatioins in the occupied Kashmir. A fact sheet on the human rights violations should be prepared, which should be updated regularly. Electronic and print media should be involved in this regard. Talks on Kashmir should be held frequently on TV & Radio. The Kashmir Committee should also develop its website so that the latest information can be had easily.
It was also decided to observe the days relating to Kashmir in a befitting manner. Solidarity Day will be observed throughout the country on 5 February. A seminar will be held on that day in Muzaffarabad. Similarly other days, concerning Kashmir will also be observed. The Sub-Committee called for mobilization of the young generation also. For that, literature on Kashmir should be disseminated in educational institutions and subject of Kashmir should be included in the syllabi.
CHATTHA WELCOMES THE PROPOSAL FOR US ENVOY ON KASHMIR
Islamabad: the October 14, 2004: The Chairman, Special Committee of the Parliament on Kashmir, Mr. Hamid Nasir Chattha has appreciated the move, as reported in a section of the press, made by Congressman Mr. Joe Pitts in US Congress urging the State Department to appoint a special US Envoy on Kashmir to resolve the long outstanding issue between Pakistan and India. According to the move, all issues particularly the Kashmir problem must be resolved between the two nuclear states in the light of U.N resolutions and aspirations of Kashmiris.
Welcoming the move, the Chairman Kashmir Committee, in a statement issued here today said that the move in US Congress is reflective of America’s deep interest in early and amicable resolution of the Kashmir problem. He said that the Indian aggression has so far miserably failed to suppress the Kashmiris. The genuine and legitimate struggle by Kashmiris against foreign occupation has now been recognized by the International Community. The struggle of Kashmiris would certainly win them their fundamental right of self-determination, he added.
KASHMIR ISSUE BE RESOLVED ACCORDING TO UN RESOLUTION.
Islamabad: October 7, 2004: Referring to the various news items which recently appeared in a section of press about the resolution of the Kashmir issue, Mr. Hamid Nasir Chattha, Chairman, Special Committee of the Parliament on Kashmir said Kashmir is a very sensitive issue on which the people, Kashmiris as well as Pakistanis, are very touchy. It is, therefore, advisable that one should be careful while making any statement on it. He stressed that Kashmir dispute is an unfinished part of the agenda of the partition of the Sub-Continent. The United Nations Security Council as well as the United Nations Commission for India and Pakistan passed quite a few resolutions on Kashmir. The matter, therefore, has to be resolved in the light of the Partition of India Act 1947, passed by the British Parliament and the U.N Resolutions.
The Chairman, Kashmir Committee observed that Pakistan’s stance on the issue is based on principles. People of Pakistan desire to have good neighbourly relations with India. However, Kashmir, which is the core issue, has to be resolved. Pakistan is engaged in a dialogue with India to resolve the issue. Confidence building measures are also being discussed. But these measures should not overshadow the core issue.
Mr. Hamid Nasir Chattha said that Kashmiris are the major party to the dispute and their wishes can’t be ignored. Majority of the population of the State are Muslims. Besides, the atrocities perpetrated by the Indian security forces during the last 16 years have further alienated them from India. No dialogue can be meaningful without the participation of true representatives of Kashmiris.
GRANT OF STATUS OF FEDERAL MINISTER TO MR. HAMID NASIR CHATTHA
Islamabad September 4, 2004: The Government of Pakistan has granted the status of Federal Minister to Ch. Hamid Nasir Chattha, Chairman, Special Committee of Parliament on Kashmir.
This is the biggest Parliamentary Kashmir Committee ever made in Pakistan. The other Kashmir Committees, constituted by the Parliament and the National Assembly, headed by late Nawabzada Nasrullah Khan and Ch. Muhammad Sarwar respectively, comprised almost half the membership than this Committee. Besides, seven Federal Ministers are Members of this Committee.
The leadership of Azad Jammu & Kashmir is meeting Ch. Hamid Nasir Chattha, Chairman, Kashmir Committee on 8th September, 2004 at 11.00 a.m in the Parliament House, Islamabad. The Chairman has advised the Members of the Kashmir Committee to be present on the occasion so that both sides know each other and work closely.
The Sub-Committee formed by the Kashmir Committee will also meet in the afternoon of 8th September to discuss the Terms of Reference of the Committee. The Committee will again meet next day, the 9th of September, 2004 at 11.00 a.m in the Parliament House.
REPORT OF INDIAN HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION
Islamabad, 31st August, 2004: Ch. Hamid Nasir Chattha, Chairman, Special Committee of Parliament on Kashmir has strongly condemned the report of the Indian Human Rights Commission, wherein it has justified the custodial killings of Kashmiris.
The Indian Commission in its report submitted to the Indian Parliament has acknowledged that 1462 were killed in custody during 2003-04, adding that the custodial killings of Kashmiris by the Indian Forces are in order under the Armed Forces Special Power Act. Expressing surprise over the statement, the Chairman said that the very constitution of the Commission by the Government of India caused concern as neutrality and fair play could never be expected from a body sponsored by the Government. Such a statement as this from a Human Right Organization is a slap on the face of justice, because according to the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights as well as the civil law of all civilized nations, nobody can be condemned unheard. Such an ignoble and despicable report will further encourage the Indian Forces to play with the lives and honour of hapless Kashmiris.
The Chairman stressed that the Kashmiris are waging a struggle for their right of self-determination, accepted by the United Nations in its resolutions. Thus, their struggle can’t be termed as a terrorist movement. He appreciated the report of the delegation of the European Commission which recently visited Indian Held Kashmir (IHK), observing that the report has exposed the atrocities perpetrated by the Indian Security Forces in IHK. Now it is imperative that the international community should pressurize India to stop human rights violations in the valley and to resolve the Kashmir Issue, once and for all.
MEETING OF SPECIAL COMMITTEE OF PARLIAMENT ON KASHMIR
Islamabad August 26, 2004: Mr. Hamid Nasir Chattha, Chairman, Special Committee of Parliament on Kashmir has directed the Foreign Office that no doubt the composite dialogue should continue as Pakistan desires to resolve the Kashmir Issue through dialogue, but our stand should not allowed to be weakened or clouded by the confidence building measures (CBMs).
The Kashmir Committee, which met today with Mr. Hamid Nasir Chattha in the Chair, called upon India to stop human rights violations, withdraw its armed forces from the occupied Kashmir, turned into cantonment by deployment of over 7 lac troops and to withdraw all draconian laws, enabling the Kashmiris to live a normal life.
The Committee took a serious note of the visit of Pakistani Scouts as well as Pakistani singer to Srinagar. The Foreign Secretary who was also present in the meeting informed the Committee that the Ministry did not give them permission to visit the Occupied Kashmir. However, the Committee stressed that the Government not to allow such events to recur. Such ill considered moves throw salt on the wounds of our Kashmiri brethren, whose sacrifices in terms of lives, honour and property, are matchless in the history of mankind.
The Kashmir Committee also called upon the international community to pressurize India to stop reign of terror unleashed in IHK, stressing that a movement for the right of self-determination, accepted by the United Nations in its resolutions, can’t be termed as terrorism.
The Committee decided to intensify its efforts to high light the cause of hapless Kashmiris at the international level. It has also established a Sub-Committee headed by Chairman, Kashmir Committee to review the Terms of Reference of the Committee, to make the efforts of Committee result oriented and in line with present day requirements.
The names of Members who attended the meeting are: Rao Sikandar Iqbal, Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed, Mr. Muhammad Ijaz-ul-Haq, Mr. Muhammad Naseer Khan, Makhdoom Muhammad Amin Fahim, Mr. Liaqat Baloch, Dr. Attiya Inayatullah, Mrs. Zeb Gohar Ayub, Ch. Shahbaz Hussain, Mr. Zahid Hamid Khan, Dr. Noor Jahan Panezai, Malik Amin Aslam Khan, Engineer Amir Muqam, Raja Pervez Ashraf, Mr. Muhammad Shamim Siddiqui, Prof. Mushtaq Victor, Mrs. Naheed Khan, Ms. Sherry Rehman, Mr. Imtiaz Safdar Warriach, Ch. Imranullah Advocate, Mr. Munir Khan Orakzai, Maulana Shah Abdul Aziz, Haji Gul Muhammad Dummar, Mr. Amjad Ali Warriach, Ms. Saima Akhtar Bharwana, Nawab Amanullah Khan, Ms. Rubina Shaheen Wattoo.
APHC LEADERS CALL ON CHAIRMAN, SPECIAL COMMITTEE OF PARLIAMENT ON KASHMIR
Islamabad August 25, 2004: Speaking to a group of APHC leaders who had called on the Chairman, Special Committee of Parliament on Kashmir, Mr. Hamid Nasir Chattha said that the Government and the people of Pakistan stand together with the people of Jammu & Kashmir in their just struggle for the right of self-determination. Expressing solidarity with the people of Kashmir, Chairman Hamid Nasir Chattha said that the Kashmir Committee will continue its efforts for promotion and projection of Kashmir cause and mobilization of international support for the Kashmiris right of self-determination. He said the people of Jammu & Kashmir have suffered for the last 57 years and their sacrifices will not go unrewarded.
The Members of Kashmir Committee namely Mr. Amin Fahim, Mr. Liaqat Baloch, Mr. Zahid Hamid, Raja Pervez Ashraf, Mrs. Saima Akhtar Bharwana and Mr. Amjad Ali Warriach were also present. They also assured the people of Jammu & Kashmir of Pakistan’s full support for their just struggle for right to self-determination.
The Chairman and Members of the Kashmir Committee urged India to stop human rights violations, stressing how the confidence building measures (CBM) can fructify when innocent Kashmiris are being killed every day. It was further stressed that there should be time frame for the talks. They also called for withdrawal of military and para military forces from the occupied Kashmir.
The Kashmiri leaders appreciated the support of the Parliament’s Committee on Kashmir extended to the people of Jammu & Kashmir in their just struggle for realizing their right of self-determination in accordance with relevant UN Security Council Resolutions.
MEETING OF THE SPECIAL COMMITTEE OF THE PARLIAMENT ON KASHMIR
Islamabad: August 13, 2004: The Special Committee of Parliament on Kashmir expressed solidarity with the people of Jammu & Kashmir for their just struggle for the right of self-determination. The Committee made this call in a resolution passed at its meeting held today at Foreign Office. The meeting chaired, by its Chairman Mr. Hamid Nasir Chattha, was attended by Ch. Shujaat Hussain, Prime Minister and other Members of the Kashmir Committee.
The Foreign Minister Khurshid Mehmood Kasuri briefed the Committee about the efforts the Government is making to resolve the Kashmir Issue. The Foreign Secretary also gave a resume’ of his recent talks with his Indian counterpart.
The Prime Minister reiterated that Government will take opposition parties along on all important issues, including Kashmir. Mr. Hamid Nasir Chattha said on the Kashmir Issue, the whole nation is united and there is no divide. He said Pakistan’s stance on the Issue is based on principles. Therefore, Government of Pakistan should not show any weakness.
In the resolution, their Committee also commended the European Parliament for their support to the just struggle of Kashmiris as well as appointment of Rapporteur on Kashmir. The Committee urged the international community to continue supporting the people of Jammu & Kashmir and ensure early implementation of the U.N resolutions on Kashmir, accepted by India & Pakistan and endorsed by the international community.
The Committee called upon India to stop human rights violations in India held Kashmir (IHK) eliminate repression, release political prisoners, remove military and para military forces from IHK, repeal Kashmir specific draconian laws and dismantle fencing on the Line of Control. The Committee also stressed that Kashmiris are a party to Kashmir dispute.
Expressing their views, the Members of the Committee supported dialogue with India, because Pakistan desires to resolve the Kashmir Issue peacefully. However, they reiterated the Pakistan’s political, moral, diplomatic support to the Kashmiris for their just struggle for that right to self – determination.
The names of the Members who attended the meeting are: Rao Sikandar Iqbal, Minister for Defence, Mr. Muhammad Ijaz-ul-Haq, Minister for Religious Affairs, Mr. Muhammad Naseer Khan, Minister for Health, Makhdoom Muhammad Amin Fahim, Sardar Farooq Ahmed Khan Leghari, Mr. Liaqat Baloch, Raja Nadir Pervaiz Khan, Dr. Attiya Inayatullah, Mrs. Zeb Gohar Ayub, Ch. Shahbaz Hussain, Mr. Zahid Hamid Khan, Dr. Noor Jehan Pailezai, Malik Amin Aslam Khan, Engineer Amir Muqam, Sardar Talib Hassan Nakai, Raja Pervez Ashraf, Prof. Mushtaq Victor, Ms. Sherry Rehman, Mr. Imtiaz Safdar Warriach, Mr. Munir Khan Orakzai, Maulana Shah Abdul Aziz, Haji Gul
Muhammad Dummar, Mr. Amjad Ali Warriach, Ms. Saima Akhtar Bharwana, Nawab . Amanullah Khan and Ms. Rubina Shaheen Wattoo.
SOURCE : National Assembly Pakistan