A Letter to Ms Madeleine Albright Secretary of State
08 October 1999
Ms Madeleine Albright
Secretary of State
Our Ref: Sch/Pr-JKLF/1099
Dear Madeleine Albright
Re: American stand on Kashmir
I want to draw your attention to a very serious problem – the arrest of JKLF Chairman Mr Yasin Malik, together with other senior leaders of All Party Hurriyet Conference, the umbrella organisation of the Kashmiri people.
These people are known political leaders and were involved in a legitimate political activity at the time of arrest. With the record of Indian government on human rights in Kashmir, we fear that these people could lose their lives in the torture cells. At best they will face inhuman treatment and physical torture.
With this in mind I phoned the State Department today, and spoke to a gentleman who deals with the India Desk. I was shocked after listening to him. When I explained to him about the arrests, he immediately said “It was India’s internal matter” and we do not like to interfere in the internal matters of other states.
When I explained that Kashmir is not part of India, and that this action was against basic human rights. He replied Mr Yasin Malik should ask for legal help and the matter should be taken up legally. He said, Mr Malik is not American citizen, therefore we cannot do anything. The attitude and response of this gentleman was incredible. I have spoken to the officials of the State Department on many occasions before, and unlike this gentleman, I always found them understanding, sympathetic and helpful.
I wanted to explain the USA stand on Kashmir but it was not possible due to his negative and very cold attitude.
I wonder if the USA stand on Kashmir has changed recently, and I am not aware of it. On all previous occasions the USA officials regarded Kashmir as a disputed territory whose future is yet to be determined.
My request to you is to clarify the following points:
1. Does the USA regard Kashmir as a disputed territory whose future is yet to be determined?
2. Is the American government still concerned about the human rights abuse in Kashmir? (We know the concern and the actions taken in East Timor, Kosovo and other parts of the world).
3. Can we expect some help to get the release of the Kashmiri leaders.
I look forward to hearing from you soon.
Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front UK and Europe