epa02836155 (FILE) A picture dated 12 August 2008 shows Dr. Ghulam Nabi Fai, the executive director of the Washington DC-based Kashmiri American Council, attending condolence ceremony on the demise of Sheikh Abdul Aziz, a seperatist leader who was killed by the Indian police firing on protestors at the office of Indian Kashmir’s main separatist alliance All Parties Hurriyat (freedom) Conference in Islamabad, Pakistan. According to media reports, FBI on 19 July, arrested Ghulam Nabi Fai on suspicion of acquiring funds from Pakistan’s premier initelligence agency Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) for decades-long Kashmir conflict, and using it to lobby for the Pakistani government inside the United States. The Kashmir, a Muslim majority Himalayan territory divided between two nuclear armed neighbours India and Pakistan, has triggered two wars between them since their independence from Britain in 1947. EPA/T. MUGHAL
LAHORE, (MANEND NEWS): “Violations of Human Rights in Kashmir and
the Role of Media” webinar was organized by Human Rights
Department of Punjab University.
Those who participated include Professor Dr. Niaz Ahmed Akhtar, Vice
Chancellor, Panjab University; Dr. Abida Ashraf, Chair, Human rights
Division, Dr. Ghulam Nabi Fai, Secretary General, World Kashmir
Awareness Forum, Professor Faizul Haq, State University of New York,
Dr. Mohammad Khan, International Islamic University and Sheikh
Tajammul Islam, Chief Editor, Kashmir Media Service Islamabad.
Dr. Niaz Ahmed Akhter welcomed everyone and thanked all the
colleague for attending this important webinar on Kashmir. He
appreciated the effort of all the students, educators and attendees. He
shared that he has not been able to forget the impact of all the
presentations that were made in other webinar that took place on
campus few days earlier. He formed a steering committee to pursue
the cause of Kashmir both nationally and internationally. Punjab
University, Lahore. Is one of the oldest and largest Universities of
Prof. Abida Ashraf, professor of Communication at Punjab University
Chair of Human Rights Commission, was the emcee of the webinar.
She introduced all speakers and mentioned that only with coordinated
efforts we can bring about the change in the public opinion.
Sheikh Tajammul Islam said after abrogation of Article 370 and 35 A,
the so-called accession of Kashmir became annexation. Legally
speaking it is now total occupation. More so, India would like to
impose its will on the hapless people of Kashmir through draconian
laws which have given total impunity to Indian army in Kashmir. The
reports issued by intentional NGOs testy to the fact that Indian army is
involved in crimes against humanity. It is the moral duty of the world
powers to bring the criminal of these war crimes before International
Sheikh Tajammul Islam emphasized that there is absolutely no doubt
that Indian media is not only dominated but also controlled by fascist
ideology of RSS and BJP. It needs to be exposed before the world
community. He said that despite all these atrocities committed on the
innocent people of Kashmir, the people of Kashmir have never
resigned to the military occupation of India.
Dr. Mohammad Khan said that people of Kashmir are facing atrocities
which are unparalleled in the region of South Asia. The region shares
borders with three nuclear powers, India, Pakistan and China. India is
fighting with China on one side and with Pakistan on the other and
making it the most dangerous place on earth and nuclear flash point.
He emphasized that the demand of the people of Kashmir has the
international legitimacy. The right to self-determination was
guaranteed by the United Nations as early as 1948. The world body
has yet to fulfill those promises.
Dr. Faizan Haq said that we must engage with Kashmir issue at three
Emotional and Personal Level. As the emotional level gives an outlet,
venting, and creates an affiliation. It is important for healing and
dealing with the trauma.
Political and Media Level. This cause provides Pakistani political
parties, leaders, media and stakeholders, a political agenda to gain
traction with the masses. Raising these issues at global level gives
prestige, and recognition.
Global Strategic Level. This is where we need to connect all the dots
from personal level to political level, it must be a part of a global
strategy. The strategic goals require a thought out plan for the
narrative, expressions, and political positioning for the sake of
elevating Kashmiris and their lives.
Dr. Haq proposed initiation of “Kashmir Cause Awareness Coordination
Committee” that will strategize all awareness efforts to achieve and
measure effect of actionable items. India’s economic well-being must
be directly connected with granting Kashmiris their rights according to
the UN resolution.
I must write what is in my mind. As God has not created anything
stronger than the word. Word is the ultimate communicating bridge.
From perception to reality, from inception to existence, from thought
to theory, it the word that takes us places, Dr. Fai emphasized.
Dr. Ghulam Nabi Fai said that Kashmir conflict has many dimensions:
Political, diplomatic, humanitarian, etc. But the goal of all these
dimensions is just one: to have a greater understanding of world
powers to help us to exercise the right to self-determination as was
guaranteed under UN Security Council resolutions. The most crucial
elements that can facilitate that understanding is the media. As
Marshal McLuhan has said that the medium is the message. It is a fact
that the media becomes instrumental in shaping the foreign policies of
world powers. Fai added, a timely editorial or article, even a letter to
the editor in major newspaper can influence the outcome of a
Congressional debate or encourage a shift in the policy of the
‘Unfortunately, both Obama and Trump administrations favored India
over the people of Kashmir. They made no protests at the United
Nations Security Council over India’s violations of human rights or its
plebiscite resolutions. That was tantamount to acquiescence in India’s
illegal claim of sovereignty over Kashmir. They gave India a veto over
any third party intervention knowing it would be employed to the
disadvantage of Kashmiris,” Fai said.
Fai expressed hope that President Biden has always been very
sensitive to the human rights violations across the globe. Biden
pleaded the case of Bosnia in the US Senate and declared the situation
there as genocide. The current situation in Kashmir is no different than
the situation of Bosnia in 1995. Let us hope that the saner elements in
Biden administration realize that resolution of Kashmir dispute will
unlock another tragic situation which we know as Afghanistan.