International community urged to play role for just solution of Kashmir

Published March 17, 2024
Renowned Kashmiri leader Tanveer ul Islam speaks at a seminar under the aegis of his Jammu Kashmir Peace and Justice Organisation in Muzaffarabad on Saturday. — Photo by author
Renowned Kashmiri leader Tanveer ul Islam speaks at a seminar under the aegis of his Jammu Kashmir Peace and Justice Organisation in Muzaffarabad on Saturday. — Photo by author

MUZAFFARABAD: Speakers at a seminar on Saturday urged the international community, particularly the powerful western nations and oil rich Gulf states, to stand in solidarity with the oppressed Kashmiri people and play their role for a just and peaceful solution to the longstanding conflict that runs the risk of triggering a nuclear war between India and Pakistan.

The event titled “From Amritsar Treaty to Abrogation of Article 370 and Article 35-A: Kashmir’s Journey for Self-Determination and Peace” was organised by Jammu Kashmir Peace & Justice Organization (JKPJO), and addressed by prominent scholars and participated by youth activists and locals including women.

Divided in two sessions, the seminar shed light on the harrowing history and the ongoing struggle of Kashmiri people, highlighting the inhumane repercussions of the Treaty of Amritsar, signed on March 16, 1846 between the British East India Company and Gulab Singh Jamwal, the Dogra ruler of Jammu.

It underscored the urgent need for sustained attention to the Kashmir issue and emphasised the indispensable role of global solidarity in securing justice and freedom for the Kashmiri people.

Speakers highlighted how the infamous Amritsar Treaty, orchestrated by colonial powers and regional actors, had perpetuated decades of slavery, exploitation and marginalization under the authoritarian Dogra rule.

Some also emphasized the importance of comprehending this historical backdrop in framing the narrative of Kashmir’s self-determination struggle.

“The Treaty of Amritsar holds significance for scholars, researchers, and social scientists… On the one hand it established the territories of Jammu and Kashmir as a unified state but on the other it unleashed an tyrannical rule on the Muslim majority of these territories who had been bearing its brunt to this day,” said prominent Kashmiri leader, peace activist and JKPJO chairman, Tanveer-ul-Islam at the first session.

The second session was attended and addressed by a notable gathering of civil society members, including luminaries such as Prof Shahid Hussain Mir, Prof Sajid Hussain, senior journalist Khizar Hayat Abbasi and Muhammad Yaseen Khan.

They condemned the atrocities committed on the freedom seeking Kashmiris, from the oppressive Dogra rule to the recent revocation of Articles 370 and 35A by India.

Prof Mir delineated the centuries-long struggle of Kashmiris, highlighting the systemic discrimination and oppression faced under various rulers.

He poignantly recounted harrowing events such as the killings of silk factory workers in 1924 and the massacre outside Srinagar Central Jail in 1931, shedding light on the deep scars etched into Kashmir’s collective psyche.

In his concluding remarks at the second session, the JKPJO chief delved into the aftermath of the partition in 1947 and the subsequent human rights abuses suffered by the Kashmiris without any pause.

He appealed to the international community, particularly the powerful nations like the United States and the United Kingdom and oil rich Gulf states such as Saudi Arabia, Qatar, United Arab Emirates and Kuwait to use their influence to proactively facilitate dialogue and ensure the fundamental rights of the Kashmiris.

“An early and peaceful settlement is not only in the interest of India and Pakistan, but also all those nations which are connected to both nuclear powers in any manner,” Mr Islam said.

Published in Dawn, March 17th, 2024

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