JRL writes to UN Chief ahead of his India visit to seek resolution of Kashmir issue

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Srinagar: The Joint Resistance Leadership, comprising of Syed Ali Geelani, Yasin Malik and Mirwaiz Umar Farooq has jointly written to UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres ahead of his visit to India and sought his role in the resolution of Kashmir issue.

“As you embark on your trip to India, we in the State of Jammu & Kashmir take this opportunity to draw your attention towards the urgency of the need to resolve the dispute over it, which, as you know, Sir, remains on the Agenda of the United Nations. We draw your attention to three aspects of it,” the letter reads.

“First, we feel that India’s refusal to talk is doing unimaginable harm not only to Kashmir, but to the entire South Asian region at a time during which interconnectedness culturally, economically and politically (often termed globalization) is the driving force in international relations,” the letter states.

The JRL urged the chief to be the main advocate in kickstarting dialogue, citing their ‘right to self-determination’.

“Second, we would like to draw your attention once again to the human rights violations by the Indian armed forces. This has been documented most recently by your own Office of the United Nations Commissioner for Human Rights. The lack of sustained attention by the international community to this aspect of the disputed conflict and not calling India to account on this score, has only succeeded in emboldening its armed forces, enjoying immunity from law causing untold misery for civilian Kashmiris who are forced to live with arbitrary arrest, imprisonment, torture and killings in their everyday lives,” the letter continues.

Pointing out that ‘a warlike situation exists in Anantnag, Bandipora, Baramulla, Kulgam, Pulwama and Shopian districts’, the JRL said they had attached pictures to highlight the atrocities.

The JRL stated that: ‘According to estimates, more than 16000 people in Kashmir have been seriously injured by pellets while hundreds have been permanently blinded. 14 percent of these victims are below the age of 15. The campaign of suppression through daily cordon and search operations (CASO) has become a permanent feature of the Indian occupation. During these operations, the forces assault residents and damage their properties’.

“Third, Jammu and Kashmir is not a territorial dispute between India and Pakistan. We would like to assert that it is primarily a question of the rights of the peoples of the State of J&K, and that resolution must be sought within the parameters of that definition as well. In this regard, we would like to emphasize that this facet of the dispute can only be addressed if we, the peoples of the state, are permitted to represent our case and therefore ask you to champion our right to be heard on the dispute as the primary party to it,” it said.

The letter concluded with the JRL urging to take the points into consideration while in dialogue with the government of India.

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