Letters and Editorials 4314 Views by Ameer Tarin

Kashmir: An appeal to UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres

Excellency Secretary General,

Your illustrious career from an astute politician to a sagacious diplomat and then occupying the executive post of Prime Minister of Portugal speaks volumes. Your profound insight into the plight of refugees as UN High Commissioner for Refugees is hard to compare with anyone with similar credentials in modern times. The peoples of the world faced with distress, suffering, tribulation and political victimisation are looking forward to your timely help so that under your leadership, the enslaved and illegally occupied people are relieved of the pain and agony.

Excellency, your offer of mediation between nuclear powers India and Pakistan is a quantum leap from the stand taken by your predecessor Excellency Ban Ki Moon who refrained from touching the sensitivities of India about offering mediation to solve the long standing problem of Kashmir. The news report run by Times of India (March 11, 2017) headlined "India snubs new UN chief, rejects mediation on Kashmir issue" is very disappointing and distressing as in the seventy years of Indian occupation Kashmir has more than one hundred thousand men, women and children brutally annihilated, many thousands maimed, crippled, thousands of women raped and billions worth property razed to the ground.

India under political pressure internationally harps on a bilateral solution of Kashmir between India and Pakistan but then bogs down Pakistan creating mayhem internally through terrorism resulting in law and order problem that sometimes goes out of hand. India has been playing the game for the last seventy years and the main sufferers of the inflicted pain have been people of Kashmir. India insists that "we can solve it" but the world is witness that the intent to continue occupation, by using force and military power to subdue and subjugate stone throwing populace of Kashmir, firmly ingrained shows no sign of any let up.

Excellency, your contribution in the campaign for UN intervention in East Timor to vote for independence or the twelve year long negotiations on the transfer of sovereignty over Macau have been the hallmark of your relentless efforts towards peace and justice accorded to deserving populace. The appointment as the High Commissioner for Refugees was an outstanding accomplishment towards protecting a colossal number of refugees of various countries in the year 1999.

British Deputy High Commissioner to India Dr Alexander Evans visited Kashmir (March 09, 2017) and held discussions with local govt;, installed by India, to take stock of deteriorating situation involving gross human-right violations, state sponsored terrorism resulting in death and destruction. The official position of government of Britain is that a solution must be found to the humanitarian problem keeping in view the wish of people of Kashmir.

The people of Kashmir believe that historically Kashmir quandary is a British legacy as the last Viceroy of British-India Lord Mountbatten hurriedly drew the partition line between India and the new nation of Pakistan. The viceroy followed strict instructions of Prime Minister Clement Attlee to leave India as quickly as possible and Kashmir suffered immensely because of this political inexpediency leaving Kashmir untouched and undecided.

Excellency, the eyeball to eyeball confrontation of the two rival nuclear powers considered very unnerving and a threat to the global peace must not be ignored. A top US military general, Joseph L Votel warned (Hindustan Times, March 10, 2017) that "Indian attempt to isolate Pakistan diplomatically enhances the risk of a conventional conflict leading to a nuclear exchange". The likelihood of a miscalculation is fraught with serious consequences in the region and the whole world at large.

The threat envisioned so very real internationally, the crises of Kashmir remains unnoticed as the core issue perceived as the unfinished agenda of the partition of 1947 remains unresolved. People of Kashmir, as abundantly clear, have suffered immensely in men and material and a sincere effort on global level needs to be redoubled to heal the wounds of millions inflicted by one million people in uniform to suppress and gag hapless innocent populace of Kashmir.

Excellency, now that you are at the helm representing the world body, the principle of comity of nations needs to be applied to solve some major conflicts around the world. Kashmir is the only major conflict that does not get adequate publicity in print or electronic media. It is generally believed that Kashmir is not so much in the news because it does not have the ‘oil’ or does not lie in the neighbourhood of Israel geographically. There is no doubt that your good self is very well aware of the ground reality of the caged people of Kashmir.

All Kashmir Resolutions passed in the august Forums of United Nations collecting dust need a revisit and as so much of blood is spilled; the time is ripe to act and save Kashmiri race from total decimation. Please do not let India dictate terms and use browbeating tactics to brush all the gory details under the carpet coming out of Kashmir on daily basis. United Nations is a very powerful organisation provided that power is put to use in a fair, honest and just manner. A nuclear war is not an option but fingers crossed if it breaks out we all know it will be catastrophic and devastating for the whole world.

Bless you, your Excellency


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