Kashmiris relying on documents for self-determination not drawn in mosques but in UN: Yusuf Buch

Yusuf Buch, a former Pakistani diplomat and world-renowned Kashmiri intellectual residing in New York city, said Thursday the documents the Kashmiris rely upon for self-determination were not drawn in mosques. “They were composed by western hands in the Security Council of the United Nations.”

The former senior adviser to the UN Secretary General for 14 years, who met with Dr. Ghulam Nabi Fai, Secretary-General of the World Kashmir Awareness Forum, at former’s residence in Brooklyn, said “India cannot successfully fight a war against extremism in Kashmir while fertilizing the sense of injustice that is one of the roots of extremism.”

Mr. Buch called on Kashmiri-Americans to explore all humane and reasonable avenues aimed at delivering Kashmiri men, women and children under Indian occupation from “an acute and unbearable suffering”, report APP quoting a press statement.

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“India cannot successfully fight a war against extremism in Kashmir while fertilizing the sense of injustice that is one of the roots of extremism. You cannot overcome the religious extremists if you keep supplying them proof that, for redressing injustice, peaceful secular processes are but a pretense or a trap. What principles and instruments do Kashmiris invoke for the redress of the wrongs inflicted on them? Not any conceived and inspired solely by their religion. They call for adherence to principles which are recognized by the UN Charter as basis to a peaceful and stable world order.”

“The documents the Kashmiris rely upon were not drawn in mosques. They were composed by western hands in the Security Council of the United Nations,” Mr. Buch said.

Buch stressed the need to make the international community aware of the sharply deteriorating situation in Indian occupied Kashmir, a press release issued on Thursday said.

“It is because of the manifest need to articulate the recognition that the situation in Kashmir is not frozen and, if at times it seems so, it will not stay frozen,” he added.

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A direct participant in Kashmir’s struggle for freedom since its inception in its modern form in 1931, Yusuf Buch was special assistant to former Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto from 1972-77, with the rank of a federal minister.

He also served as Pakistan’s ambassador to Switzerland in 1977. Later, Buch joined the United Nations as senior adviser to the Secretary-General, a post he held for 14 years.

“India cannot successfully fight a war against extremism in Kashmir while fertilizing the sense of injustice that is one of the roots of extremism,” Buch said.

He said the principles and instruments that the people of Kashmir invoke for the redress of the wrongs inflicted on them were not conceived and inspired solely by their religion.

“They call for adherence to principles which are recognized by the UN Charter as basis to a peaceful and stable world order. The documents the Kashmiris rely upon were not drawn in mosques. They were composed by western hands in the Security Council of the United Nations.”

Later in the evening, Dr Fai had a detailed discussion in Brooklyn, a borough of New York City, with the representatives of various political parties of Azad Kashmir which was organized by Sardar Sawar Khan, a former Advisor to the Prime Minister of Azad Kashmir, the press release said.

Dr Fai reiterated that Kashmir conflict was not a border quarrel between India and Pakistan, or a fight between Hindus and Muslims and neither a struggle between theocracy and secularism.

“It is primarily about the 20 million Kashmiri people, their human rights and the right to self-determination under international law and still binding United Nations Security Council resolutions.”

Fai added that third party intervention and mediation in Kashmir was indispensable for the resolution of the dispute. India and Pakistan have negotiated for more than half a century without result.

The best candidates, Fai suggested for outside intervention and mediation were the United States or the United Nations, like in Northern Ireland, East Timor, the Middle East peace process, and Bosnia.

“The mediation can also be undertaken by a person of international stature, such as former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, South African Bishop Desmond Tutu or former Irish President Mary Robinson.”

Sardar Sawar Khan said that the genuine representatives of the Kashmiri people must be senior partners in any negotiations over Kashmir’s political future. No solution that fails to command popular consent would endure.

Contrary to much of India’s myth making, the Kashmiri resistance was overwhelmingly indigenous; outsiders or infiltrators who capture many headlines are marginal to the conflict, Sawar Khan emphasized.

Those attending the meeting were Kashmiri activists, including Sardar Younis Khan, Ajmal Mohammad, Shakeel Mohammad, Ghulam Ghous Shafiq, Sardar Mustafa Khan, Sardar Sajid Swar khan, Ramzan Khan, Zaheer Hanif, Khalid Hamid, Imran Mohammad, Ansar Mohammad, Kamran Mohammad, Azam Khan, Rashid Mohammad, Masood Mohammad, Sohail Ajmal, Mohsin Shafiq, Ahsan Shafiq, Hussnain Shakeel, Shayan Shakeel, Farid Mohammad, Zulfiqar Ali, Shahid Zulfiqar, Abdul Matten, Raja Mukhtar Ahmed, Sardar Wajid Sawar.

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