Jammu Kashmir International Peoples Alliance
People of State of Jammu and Kashmir have been victims of aggression, extremism and violence. Since 1947, they are forcibly divided and continue to suffer on both sides of the Line of Control. This forced division and suffering must come to an end, as people deserve to enjoy their fundamental human rights.
Democratic and secular minded leaders of the former Princely State have met many times to discuss and analyse the Kashmir dispute. These leaders belonging to various parties met again in Geneva to examine the current situation. They unanimously expressed their serious concern about on - going suffering and rise of extremism, violence and intolerance.
After a detailed discussion these leaders asserted that the Status – quo is not an option. We loyal sons of the soil cannot remain quiet or neutral when our sisters and brothers are victims of a proxy war and a proxy politics on both sides of the forced division. For the sake of peace and stability and for the future of our next generations, we have to challenge and fight those forces which promote violence, extremism and religious hatred.
Our suffering is not only due to policies of India and Pakistan; many Kashmiri leaders are also responsible for our present situation and continued agony. It is sad that some citizens of Jammu and Kashmir State are more loyal to either India or Pakistan than to their motherland. For their petty interests and political survival, they voluntarily became proxies of these countries and continue to advance national interests of India and Pakistan.
We loyal citizens of Kashmir strongly believe that these people DONOT want the status quo to change, as it helps them to maintain their positions and continue to benefit in name of the Kashmiri struggle. Furthermore, these so called leaders do not represent true sentiments of the people of Jammu and Kashmir.
The loyal sons of the soil not only examined the tribal invasion of 1947, and subsequent provisional accession, and India’s assumed responsibilities under the Instrument of Accession and under the UNCIP Resolutions; but they also scrutinized the role of Pakistan and how Pakistani governments refused to withdraw troops from the Kashmiri territories in accordance with the UNCIP Resolution of 13 August 1948.
The meeting emhasised that the Kashmiri struggle was to acquire our sovereignty and national identity; but it is sad that our struggle was transformed in to a territorial dispute in which a right to independence was blocked on suggestion of Pakistan in 1948, and we only had to choose between India and Pakistan. Furthermore, these leaders strongly criticized a deliberate policy of both countries of keeping people of Jammu and Kashmir away from the process of dialogue, whether it was at the UN or at bilateral level.
Some so called Kashmiri leaders have made alliances and parties either to support the cause of those who occupy us or to divide the people on religious and ethnic lines. These proxy warriors are generating extremism and hatred to ensure that people of Jammu and Kashmir remain divided, as that would make task of imposing some kind of solution on the divided and frustrated people easier.
There are other alliances which are inactive and have a laidback approach to the Kashmiri struggle; and only show activity on certain dates and events. However, Kashmir International Alliance will have a pro active and forward looking approach to advance the cause of people of Jammu and Kashmir.
Loyal sons of Jammu and Kashmir forcefully asserted that the State of Jammu and Kashmir is one political entity, and must remain one. Those who want to divide our motherland in name of religion or under some other formula are not our well wishers, as they want to destabilize the region by another communal division.
The meeting expressed deep concern on growing intrusions, and increased influence of China in matters of Jammu and Kashmir. It is regrettable that some Kashmiris are promoting an agenda of our occupier to make China a party in the Kashmir dispute. It is bad enough that Jammu and Kashmir State is occupied by three countries, but China was not and should not be a party to the Kashmir dispute.
The leaders present in the meeting unanimously declared that they want to advance pro peace and pro people policies that the suffering and miseries of the people could be eradicated or curtailed. They will interact with all ethnic and religious groups, journalists and human rights activists to build bridges of confidence and tolerance; and formulate practical policies that can lead to peace and amicable solution of the Kashmir dispute.
These leaders unanimously:
1. Declare that there is no military solution to the Kashmir dispute and dialogue is the only way forward; and in order to support the dialogue and peace process among all three parties to the dispute, politics of gun, fear and intimidation must end. They emphasized that the Kashmir dispute is not a territorial dispute between India and Pakistan; therefore, it could not be resolved bilaterally. People of Jammu and Kashmir are the principal party to this dispute and they must be part of the peace process;
2. Assert that the State of Jammu and Kashmir, which includes Gilgit Baltistan is one political entity and division of the State in any form or shape will not provide a just and lasting solution; and that it will further deteriorate the situation in Kashmir, as it will provide oxygen to evils of communalism, sectarianism and hatred;
3. Emphasis that the right to life is a fundamental human right, and this right is badly violated in all parts of State of Jammu and Kashmir, and in order to respect this right and safeguard this we request all the armed personnel stationed there to exercise restraint, and move back to their barracks. Also we request foreign militants to kindly leave Jammu and Kashmir that we can start a new life; and we request local militants to reconsider their policy and give peace a chance;
4. Reaffirm their commitment to continue their struggle to create a conducive environment in which people of the former Princely State can determine their future;
5. Note that the Kashmir dispute is a complicated one with many dimensions, and it may not be possible to resolve it with one stroke, we therefore, suggest that it should be resolved by step - by- step approach, and by putting confidence - building measures in place. In this regard, all traditional routes should be opened that people of the State of Jammu and Kashmir could interact with each other, and strengthen their social, cultural and economic ties;
6. Strongly believe that the State Subject Notification of 1927 is an important law of Jammu and Kashmir, which defines who is a Kashmiri, and protects our rights; we request Pakistani authorities to respect this law and stop settlement of non - Kashmiris in Gilgit and Baltistan to change the demography of the area;
7. Request Governments of India and Pakistan to respect and honour civil and political rights of the people of Jammu and Kashmir State; and also request government of Pakistan to refrain from annexing areas of Gilgit Baltistan and Azad Kashmir, as that will further exacerbate the situation. Instead, we request the government to grant autonomy to both areas under their control that the elected members could help the local people with everyday social, political and economic problems;
8. In this regard urge both governments to repeal all such laws like Armed Forces Special Powers Act, and Protection of Pakistan Ordinanace which infringe fundamental rights of the people;
9. Urge India and Pakistan governments to conduct an impartial and transparent investigations to determine exact number of people killed, imprisoned and disappeared since 1989; and those responsible must be made accountable;
10. Clarify that no single Kashmiri political party or alliance has a representative character to speak on behalf of all the people of Jammu and Kashmir, hence the peace process must be all inclusive and broad based that all regional and ethnic leadership is represented at the negotiating table;
11. Call upon all the Kashmiri leaders on both sides of the divide to forget bitterness and hatred of the past, and agree on a common minimum programme for peace, stability and prosperity of Jammu and Kashmir and South Asia.
The following parties and groups have committed to their struggle in light of the Geneva Declaration:
1. Kashmir National Party
2. United Kashmir People’s National Party
3. Jammu and Kashmir Unity Forum
4. Kashmir Diaspora Youth Movement
5. Friends of Jammu and Kashmir
6. United Kashmir Thinkers Forum
7. Kashmiri Institute of Human Rights
8. International Overseas Association
9. South Asian Federation
10. Swiss Kashmir Association
11. Kashmiri Belgium Association
12. International Kashmiri Women Front