Make your own free website on Tripod.com

JAMMU & KASHMIR ITTIHADUL MUSLIMEEN

Geneva Convention
HOME
INTRODUCTION
LEADERS
KASHMIR
KASHMIR DISPUTE
FREEDOM STRUGGLE
DOCUMENTS
CALENDER
NEWS
MULTIMEDIA
LINKS
JOIN US
CONTACT US
ARCHIVES

Geneva Convention adopts working paper on Kashmir

Musharraf’s formula most relevant and desirable: Ansari

Conference calls for demilitarization of Kashmir.

 

Centre for Kashmir Studies (CKS), Srinagar

pic1gen.jpg

Geneva (Palais des Nations), September 27: History was made at the extraordinary two day successful “Geneva Convention on Kashmir: The Making of Peace in Kashmir – Analysing Promotion   and Protection of Human Rights and Right to Self-Determination” held at the Palais des Nations, Geneva. The last day of this two day convention concluded with the adoption of “Geneva Convention on Kashmir – Working Paper” voted on by the delegates from around the world. These included politicians, academics, scholars, Jurists, human rights activists, humanitarian organizations, think tanks, and other NGOs.

In the opening plenary, Barrister Majid Tramboo, Chair & Executive Director, ICHR Kashmir Centre.EU, in his opening remarks offered inspirational words of welcome and encouragement. He outlined the role of the United Nations in contentious issues such as the Jammu and Kashmir issue. He asserted that – “ The biggest challenge that is haunting the “peace process” is huge military presence in Jammu and Kashmir. According to various estimates, there are more than 700,000 gun-toting army and paramilitary forces in the streets, outside houses, hospitals, schools, religious places, in the fields and mountains. The men in uniform are ubiquitous and seen everywhere. There is roughly one army man for every ten Kashmiris. One can only imagine the life under such a heavy presence of the army and their paraphernalia. The situation on the ground makes a common Kashmiri skeptical about the peace as reminds them of their uncertain present and bleak future as the politics remains in continous flux.  The huge army presence has given rise to their unwanted contact with the resenting civilians. This leads to continous gross human rights violations. Thus an unending cycle of violence is born and sustained. The massive army has also stifled growth of local agriculture, education and strained the natural resources beyond limit as the army has occupied huge tracts of agricultural land, educational institutions and government buildings. This has also put a massive pressure on the local environment.”

H.E. Ambassador Masood Khan, Pakistan Mission to the United Nations, Geneva said that – “The UN Charter established the right to self-determination. The two international covenants affirmed the right to self-determination of all peoples by virtue of which they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural rights.

The people of Jammu and Kashmir have not yet exercised this right. The lodestar for the Kashmiris are several UN Security Council Resolutions that promised them a fair and impartial plebiscite to ascertain their political will. That promise has not been fulfilled. Meeting on the sidelines of the Human Rights Council, we can look at three dimensions: (a) the state of human rights; (B) the ongoing Pak-India composite dialogue and Confidence Building Measures involving Kashmiris; and (C) the quest for a long solution of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute.

This Convention being held in Geneva should call for an immediate end to the human rights abuses in IOK. Dialogue is the crucible for solutions. So far, Pakistan and India have held three rounds of composite dialogue and they are into the fourth round. The result is mixed. The dialogue, however, has not moved forward on the resolution of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute, though a willingness to address the issue has been expressed.

We need to step up efforts to find a solution of the dispute that is acceptable to Pakistan, India and the people of Jammu and Kashmir. For durable solutions, we need statesmanship, courage and flexibility.”

Bilal A. Lone, Chairman of Jammu and Kashmir People’s Conference and a leader of All Parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC) said that it is regrettable that the government of India has stalled talks with APHC and that currently there are no negotiation going on between APHC and the Indian government. He hoped that the “Peace Process” between the governments of India and Pakistan shall remain on course and that these initiatives will have direct impact on the ground situation in Jammu and Kashmir particularly with regards to human rights conditions there.
pic2gen.jpg

Farooq Siddiqi, Chairman of Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF), analyzing the democratic values of the governments of India said – “The claimant of largest democracy in the world holds civilian people under siege with 800 hundred thousand army presence within its streets, villages and hamlets. You will find how the claimant of responsible democratic country uses inhuman laws and methods to stifle the voice of freedom. You will find how under the garb of fighting terrorism it uses its acquired military might to unleash   terror in the Valley of Kashmir upon civilian people in order to negate the basic unalienable right to decide their future as guaranteed by the international community. You will find how fully it shut its eyes to daily killings of men, women and children as a matter of routine governance in Kashmir.  Democracy do not function in the absence of freedom, it has no relevance when people are besieged. If democracies commit human rights abuse like in Kashmir, such democracies are not defined by moral power of people, but the powerful define democracy, thereby undermining its purpose of governance.”

Advocate Nazir Ahmed Ronga, President of the Jammu and Kashmir High Court Bar Association, insisted upon the Kashmir Centric CBM providing some kind of relief to the Kashmiri people. He appealed to the governments of India and Pakistan to give peace a chance and to avoid confrontation.  He particularly emphasized for the repeal of all draconian laws.

pic3gen.jpg

Masroor Abbas Ansari (President of the Jammu & Kashmir Ittihadul Muslimeen and an Executive Member of the All Parties Hurriyat Conference), supported the four-point strategy proposed by President General Pervez Musharraf for the solution of Jammu and Kashmir dispute.

He said that lasting peace in South Asia is only possible through a durable solution of Jammu and Kashmir issue. “To change the course of the events to peace and development, Musharraf’s formula seems most relevant and desirable. This is indeed a workable and practicable approach towards the Kashmir Solution. Its acceptance and then enforcement shall assure a new phase towards the resolution of long pending Kashmir conflict. But before discussing and reviewing the formula it must be noted that the arrangement worked out on the broadest definitions of this formula between India and Pakistan could have sanctity and viability only when ratified by Kashmiris through internationally supervised referendum”.

JKIM President reiterated that the four point formula if taken as an approach and not as a solution in itself could possibly be the only way out of the tragedy of Kashmir and may end the half century long suffering and misery of its people.

He stressed upon India to stop human rights abuses in Occupied Kashmir and respond positively to the suggestions of President Musharraf to solve the long pending Kashmir issue.

pic4gen.jpg

Dr. Z.U. Khan, Special Advisor to the President of Azad Jammu and Kashmir & Vice-Chancellor of the AJK University said that– “With Track 2 diplomacy and President Musharraf’s four points formula of demilitarization, self-governance, irrelevant borders and joint control which seems to be most realistic, is expected to bring peace and prosperity without compromising anyone’s belief or the spirit of the International agreement – UN Resolutions.”

Per Gahrton (Director of the Swedish Green Think Tank COGITO and a former Member of the European Parliament), P.J. Mir (Professional Journalist and the Head of the ARYONE World TV), Bashir Ahmed (Advocate and the Joint-Secretary of the Jammu Kashmir High Court Bar Association), Marjan Lucas (Senior Programme Officer on Kashmir on Kashmir at IKV), Ali Raza Syed (President of the Advisory Council to the Kashmir Centre.EU), Prof. Nazir Shawl (Executive Director of Justice Foundation Kashmir Centre), Syed Yousuf Naseem (Convenor of All Parties Hurriyat Conference, AJK & Pakistan Chapter), Mir Tahir Masood (Representative of the Jammu and Kashmir Ittihadul Muslimeen in APHC, AJK & Pakistan Chapter), Mariana Baabar (Professional Journalist and the Diplomatic Editor of the Islamabad based newspaper “The News”), Khalid Farooqi (Professional Journalist and the Information Analyst and Consultant for GEO TV), Murtaza Shibli (Professional Journalist and the Editor of the Kashmir Affairs Journal), Ismail Khan (Elected Member of the Board of Director of the Mountain Forum and an Op-ed Columnist/Analyst of the Islamabad-based newspaper “The News”), Sheikh Tajammul Islam (Professional Journalist and the Director General of the Kashmir Media Service), Prof. Noor Ahmed Baba (Head of the Political Science Department at the Kashmir University) together with other European jurists and scholars urged the two governments to uplift the peace process and to involve the people of Jammu and Kashmir in the process.

Dr. G.N. Fai, Executive Director of the Kashmir Centre Washington in his written message. He said that -  “The Kashmir conflict has been won. The question is no longer if Kashmir's right to self-determination will be honored, but when.  It may come five years hence, or it could take ten years of more unwearied resolution.  But it will come.  India will ultimately come to recognize that it has lost the struggle to choke freedom in Kashmir, as Great Britain did in Ireland after more than a century of recurring rebellions and as the United States did in withdrawing from South Vietnam after thrashing the Ho Chi Minh Trail with more bombs than had been dropped in all of World War II.” The Convention wishes him well and hoped for his speedy recovery.

pic5gen.jpg

Those present in the closing plenary session were Barrister Majid Tramboo, Bilal G. Lone, Masroor Abbas Ansari, Farooq Siddique, Dr. Z.U. Khan, Z G Muhammad, Sardar Ali Shahnawaz Khan, Prof. Edgar Garcia, Mike Pennning, and Advocate Nazir Ahmed Ronga.

At the closing plenary, the remarks of IHRAAM’s chair Dr. Y.N. Kly were recorded in which he wishes the delegates to note that IHRAAM has a global interest in protecting and promoting the right of people to self-determination as a fundamental human rights foundation on which the charter of the UN also finds its niche.

Dr. Z.U. Khan read the Proposals of working paper in the conference.

Following two days of intensive presentations, discussions and debates that took place over five sessions, the following working paper was adopted at the convention:

 “Geneva Convention on Kashmir – Working Paper”

BACKGROUND

For decades, India-Pakistan relation, in particular regarding the Kashmir Issue, have dominated South Asia’s political and economic development, calendar.

Kashmir is a regional issue with international implications. Therefore, the initiatives on establishing peace process by the governments of India and Pakistan are underway and the people of Jammu & Kashmir support the process.

There is a need to improve existing condition so that the peace process can eventually address and find a peaceful and acceptable solution to the Kashmir Conflict. However, may questions and pitfalls remain as to how the current initiatives can translate into concrete steps so that a meaningful process to the Kashmir conflict can begin.

Most importantly, the leaders of Pakistan and India have to demonstrate courage and vision to undertake a brave and genuine peace process on Kashmir. Without serious political will, nothing will be achieved. Not least of all, Kashmiris and the international community will need to convince the leadership of India and Pakistan to recognize the need to involve Kashmiris in the peace process and to workout concrete mechanism for Kashmiris participation in the process format. No solution on Kashmir will be durable unless it is legitimate in the eyes of the people of Jammu and Kashmir.

The Geneva Convention on Kashmir reiterates the position taken by the ad hoc Delegation on Kashmir of the European Parliament, which is summarized as follows:

 “… that there are three parties with a legitimate interest in being involved in finding a solution – the Indian government, the Pakistan government and the Kashmiri people through their representatives, who should be freely chosen, coming from both parts of Kashmir”.

It is fundamental to recognize that the Jammu and Kashmir issue should not be viewed as an exclusively bilateral issue between India and Pakistan, the current status quo of the Cease Fire line (CFL) or Line of control (LOC) cannot be maintained indefinitely or its conversion into a permanent border is not acceptable to the people of Jammu and Kashmir.

pic6gen.jpg

PROPOSALS

Following the Convention deliberations, the following key proposals are suggested:

Proposal No. I: It is firmly believed that effective demilitarization will bring a increased sense of security, cessation of all violence and flexibility and tolerance.

With approximately, one soldier to every 10 inhabitants in Jammu & Kashmir (on the Indian side), the huge military presence is never far away. Therefore, it is extremely important that Kashmiris must, once again, feel safe and secure in their own land and homes. For this purpose a methodology needs to be devised by the governments of India and Pakistan to ultimately make the State of Jammu & Kashmir “Military free Zone” area. There are two possible ways to achieve this that are as follows:

  With regard to Jammu & Kashmir (on the Indian side), where there is an extremely strong military and paramilitary presence, it is vital that those should be withdrawn to barracks from towns, cities and all inhabited and populous areas; and

  Once ceasefire between the Government of India and the Kashmiri resistance forces is attained, the two governments in consultation with Kashmiri political & resistance leadership must devise a practicable plan to demilitarise the State of Jammu & Kashmir.

In addition, the demilitarization is vital for protection of environmental assets of global significance e.g. glaciers, waterbodies and forests.

Proposal No. II: It is strongly recommended that international organizations such as the European Union, or the United Nations to appeal to the Kashmiri resistant militant groups to declare ceasefire.

 “The Geneva Convention on Kashmir” urges resistance groups and all those in a position to do so to establish the circumstances, which would create an environment conclusive to breaking the cycle of violence and human rights abuses. For the peace process to succeed leading to definitive solution of the Kashmir dispute and sustainable peace, what is needed is an atmosphere free of intimidation and terrorism in whatever form.

The unilateral cease fire announced by then Prime Minister of Pakistan Mr. Zafarullah Khan Jamali on 26 November 2003 has largely held on the Cease fire Line (CFL) or Line of Control (LOC) and has increased a sense of security and safety to all those Kashmiri’s living on both sides.

In order to make the entire territory of Jammu and Kashmir, violence free it is crucial to convince the Kashmiri resistance groups to hold fire.

Proposal No. III: The effective remedies be made available to protect and promote Human Rights in Jammu and Kashmir in accordance with the Geneva Convention.

It is important to consider the prerequisites required to establish a socio-political and economic environment confidence building, reconciliation and goodwill negotiations. In this case, it is suggested that the starting point should substantially increase accountability for human rights abuses, for the provision adequate and effective remedies for victims of human rights violations, which may be as stated below:

  Victims be assured of the cessation of continuing violations, and there should be public disclosure of the truth behind the violations, accompanied by an official declaration of responsibilities and/ or apologizes, public acknowledgement of violations, as well as judicial and administrative sanctions against the perpetrators.

  These remedies and reparations include such things as    restitution, rehabilitation, or compensation (this relates to compensating a victim for any pecuniary and non pecuniary assessable damage resulting from a violation, including physical or mental harm, emotional distress, lost educational opportunities, lost marital opportunities, loss of earnings, legal and/or medical costs);

  Given the large number of Kashmiri’s currently in prisons and detention centers, it is crucial that their names be provided to their families, Human Rights organizations, legal aid agencies etc.

Further it is recommended to abrogate all such provisions, which violate international covenants and conventions.

The Geneva Convention on Kashmir strongly urges free access to respected independent NGOs and agencies to monitoring protection of human rights and to counseling for those who have been traumatized by terrorism.

A profound review of the legal framework to ensure that the dispensation of justice is duly provided for (right to a fair trail by an Independent Judicial body).

Proposal no. IV: Provision of enhanced and improved communication and free movement, between the different parts of the former state of Jammu and Kashmir.

To reinforce the involvement of Kashmiris and with goodwill on the part of both India and Pakistan, it is essential that communication between two parts of Kashmir should be enhanced and improved. Kashmiris are encouraged with the opening of Chakoti bridge crossing across the CFL or LOC. However, there are considerable administrative bottle necks hindering free movement which need to be addressed.

Trade, Commerce and Tourism be encouraged for the dwindling revitalization of the economy on both sides. Active cooperation on the preservation and good management of Kashmiri’s natural resources (water, forests, minerals etc.) would benefit the whole of Jammu & Kashmir.

This will further reinforce the involvement of Kashmiris in controlling their own destiny.

Proposal No. V: Formation of European Kashmir Think Tank Group.

It is indeed, crucial to monitor and assess the “peace process” of Pakistan and India, particularly with reference to the interests of people of Jammu and Kashmir. The Geneva Convention on Kashmir to form a think tank – “Kashmir European Strategic Group (KESG)”.

KESG may from time to time, as this matters may progress, engage in providing fresh, new and creative ideas to continuously encourage the two governments (India and Pakistan) and the Kashmir leadership to strike a balance in order to solve the Kashmiri conflict that can lead to establish peace and encourage prosperity in the region. KESG intends to encourage the two governments to remain on the path of dialogue and negotiations. The key proposals set-out in this working paper will further be analysed by KESG with the purpose to strengthening the peace process and addressing the Kashmir conflict.
 

Posted on September 27, 2007 by CKS, Srinagar.

JKIM: First & largest Political Party of Kashmiri Shias

Copyright 2008-Ittihadul Muslimeen, Karanagar,Srinagar,Kashmir,190010