Washington, D.C: In conjunction with all diaspora Kashmiris around the world, the Kashmiri American Council (KAC), extends its full support to the call given by Mohammad Yasin Malik, Chairman, Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front to celebrate June 23rd, as a symbol of their unity to resist India’s illegal and inhuman occupation. We, at the KAC are enthusiastically responding to that bold and lofty directive.
According to a statement issued to KNS, KAC strongly condemned the ‘move by RSS and BJP to observe June 23, 2014 (which happens to be death anniversary of Mr. Shyama Prasad Mukherjee, the founder of Jan Sangh) as a day for integration of Jammu and Kashmir with India’. It must be noted that since the current government came to power they are planning to execute their sinister design to accommodate “refugees” as the “state subjects” so that demographics can be changed and Muslim majority status compromised. This is flagrant violation of international law and United Nation Security Council resolutions that can have serious repercussions in highly unstable region of South Asia.
“Jammu and Kashmir has lot of forestland, settling of refugees would alter the population dynamics in the region, which has been already compromised by the presence of hundreds of thousands of Indian armed forces in the area. Overpopulation in the forestland will spell ecological disaster in the State. The maintenance of low population density is strictly followed in states like Arunachal Pradesh, which has large swathes of forestland but is violated with impunity in Jammu and Kashmir. Government India is not only responsible for killing fields in Kashmir but is also culpable of offences related to ecological disaster. It is high time that international agencies clamoring for environmental protection take a serious note of the situation.’
KAC has said it believes that there should not be any condition from any party except the commitment to peaceful negotiations. Mr. Arun Jaitly, the Defense Minister of India’s statement was unfortunate when he said that Kashmir issue has to be resolved within the Indian constitution. KAC suggests that Mr. Jaitly needs to listen to his mentor, Atal Behari Vajpayee, former Prime Minister of India who wanted the Kashmir issue to be resolved within the ambit of humanity ‘Insaniyat Kay Dairay Mai’ and not within the parameters of the Indian constitution’.
“KAC’s stand is that ‘Autonomy’ and ‘Article 370’ are non-issues for the people of Kashmir. Here one relies on a provision of the Indian Constitution. All Constitutions of the world are subject to amendments and Indian Constitution is no exception. If not now, in the foreseeable future, this provision can be deleted in the Constitution and the move will not even need a debate in the Indian Parliament. Moreover, it has been emphasized at various times that article is a temporary provision which will lose its relevance when promise to hold plebiscite is fulfilled: which till now India has reneged upon.”
The statement said that secondly, Kashmiris have had the experience of a limited autonomy, which was first practiced under a personal understanding between Nehru and Abdullah and later provided for by Section 370 of the Indian Constitution. It was eroded and eventually whittled away by the forces of circumstances.
“KAC believes that Kashmir is a political problem and needs a political solution. The talks must be tripartite because the dispute primarily involves three parties – India, Pakistan and the people of Kashmir. But the primary party is the people of the State of Jammu & Kashmir. The talks must also be accompanied with practical measures to restore an atmosphere of nonviolence. India cannot talk peace with Pakistan while India is at war with Kashmiris.”