An informative and educational session on ‘Global Injustice” was organized during ICNA-Mid-Atlantic Convention, held at Sheraton Hotel, Edison, New Jersey. The topic included injustices in Kashmir, Palestine, and Indian minorities.
Speakers included: Dr. Ghulam Nabi Fai, Chairman, ‘World Forum for Peace & Justice’, Dr. Osama Abu-Irshad, a well-known human rights activist and National Director, ‘American Muslims for Palestine ‘and Dr. Zahid Bukhari, Executive Director, ‘ICNA/Council on Social Justice.’
The ICNA Mid-Atlantic Convention was held on November 5th and 6th in Edison, New Jersey, and was attended by over 6,000 people.
Dr. Ghulam Nabi Fai elaborated that the seeming conspiracy of silence over gross affronts to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in Indian occupied Kashmir – an occupation which itself violates still binding Security Council resolutions dictating a self-determination there under international and impartial supervision – is worrisome. That unheroic muteness of world powers has emboldened India to a chilling campaign of human rights atrocities against innocent Kashmiris. The 900,000 Indian military and paramilitary forces operate outside the rule of law under the protective umbrella of an Indian immunity statute. Egregious human rights violations are commonplaces: involuntary disappearances, extrajudicial killings, rape, torture, plunder, abductions, mutilations, arbitrary detentions and discovery of over 4,000 mass graves in Kupwara district alone. It is even a crime in Kashmir to salute implementation of the Security Council resolutions, a shocking affront to the Council itself.
It is one thing to deny a people their right to freedom of speech and the freedom to vote. It is another thing to deny them the right to live. Dr. Ghulam Nabi Fai added that there is no freedom in Kashmir, only death, destruction, and depression.
The movement in Kashmir Dr. Ghulam Nabi Fai highlighted, reverberates with cries of Aazadi (freedom) and believes in a simple truth: a fair, impartial referendum held under the auspices of the United Nations. Attempts at delegitimizing the Kashmiri struggle have fallen entirely on deaf ears. No amount of wishful thinking has successfully persuaded growing international opinion that Kashmir is not an integral part of any society other than its own. This belief is unshakeable, consistent, and formidable,” Dr. Fai emphasized.
He warned that if India or Pakistan or any other power would like to bring pressure on the people of Kashmir to capitulate, or to agree to any terms which will compromise their freedom, then any so-called peace process is foredoomed. The people of Kashmir wish to leave no doubt in anyone’s mind on that score.
Dr. Fai clarified that Kashmir is the Gordian knot of peace and prosperity in South Asia. A just and final resolution of its sovereignty in accord with the wishes of the people of Kashmir is of utmost regional and international importance. Kashmir is the most densely soldiered and most nuclear combustible territory on the planet. It is the only region in the world which shares border with three nuclear countries – India, Pakistan, and China, thus makes it the most dangerous place on earth.
“India’s image suffers far more from the obvious duplicity and an incorrigible unwillingness to confront openly its wrong-headed policies than it would if it just laid its cards on the table. The flaunting of its inhumanity — as if to say, we’re going to do it and you can’t do anything about it” — is only deepening its commitment to permanent conflict and suffering in Kashmir. It’s time for the international community to act decisively and intervene in the interest of global peace to settle the Kashmir dispute to the satisfaction of all parties concerned – India, Pakistan and the people of Kashmir,” explained Fai
The U.S. was once considered a shining example to the rest of the world of what democracy can mean, and yet, now, too, we see a complete breakdown of this grand vision at its very source that awakened generations of people to hope for real change. What is the significance of an alliance between the great democracy (US) and so-called largest democracy in the world (India) when universal principles, democratic values and human rights are completely ignored, Dr. Fai asked?
Dr. Ghulam Nabi Fai expressed his anguish by saying that it is quite unfortunate that the Biden administration and the United Nations both have chosen to adopt India’s view that Kashmir is simply a bilateral issue. Unfortunately, it is the Big Lie, and an extremely dangerous one. India and Pakistan remain on the verge of war with each other, and this is a threat to international peace. When two nuclear countries are facing each other down, as they have for going on 75 years, with already three wars under their belts, that’s not a bilateral issue whatsoever. That has the makings of a world war. Nothing else demands international attention like such a threat, and it greatly behooves the United States, the United Nations, and other allies to sit up and take heed.
Dr. Fai suggested that the breaking of the impasse over Kashmir between India and Pakistan would be greatly facilitated by the presence of a facilitator, a person of an international standing, like Kjell Magne Bondevik, former Prime Minister of Norway, who would define the obligations of the parties under the agreements concluded between them, spell out the contentious issues and the conflicting positions and remove the confusion about what needs to be done to narrow the gap.