Wednesday, 8 September 2010

KNP leaders meet British Foreign Office

KNP leaders meet British Foreign Office

Kashmir National Party leaders Abbas Butt and Dr Shabir Choudhry had a detailed meeting with senior officials responsible for issues related to Kashmir and South Asia at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in London.

Issues discussed by the Kashmiri leaders included human rights abuses, terrorism, extremism, communalism and militant infiltration. They also emphasised that there was no military solution to the Kashmir dispute; and that it was not a religious or a bilateral dispute. The dispute has to be resolved by a peace process and by making people of Jammu and Kashmir part of the process.

The KNP leaders also handed in a letter for British Foreign Secretary William Secretary; and text of the letter is produced below.

08 September 2010
Rt Hon William Hague, Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs
Dear Sir
Re: Kashmir dispute

We want to draw your attention to the plight of the people of Jammu and Kashmir who are forcibly divided and suffer with varying degree on both sides of the Line of Control; and many Kashmiris hold the British responsible for their miseries as it was they who failed to resolve the Kashmir dispute before relinquishing their imperial rule in India.

Sir, Britain and other European countries make lofty claims about human rights and democracy. They claim to promote democracy and rights of suffering people; but they have virtually ignored the plight of the people of former State of Jammu and Kashmir.

We appreciate economic and strategic interests are important, but principles and human values are also very important; and members of the International Community must uphold human values and right of self determination.

Sir, people of Jammu and Kashmir also deserve to enjoy fruits of democracy. They must not be denied fundamental human rights, including right of self determination. They must not be subjugated, oppressed, abused and humiliated.

The people of Jammu and Kashmir have self respect and they want to live in peace and harmony. They don’t want to be victims of extremism, communalism and hatred. They don’t want to be victims of terrorism, violence and state terrorism.

Sir, how many more innocent people have to die, how many more children have to be orphaned and how many women have to lose their dignity before the international Community feels it necessary to take some action to alleviate miseries and suffering of the people?

The Kashmir dispute is not religious in nature; and it is not a territorial dispute either. The dispute concerns our unfettered right of self determination. People of the former Princely State must be allowed to determine their future without any fear or intimidation. The State must not be divided on religious or ethnic lines as this will create more problems for the people and for the peace and stability of the entire region.

On behalf of Kashmir National Party which promotes liberal, democratic and secular politics, we want to suggest the following to provide some relief to the suffering people:

1. Both India and Pakistan should ensure that human rights abuse in their respective parts of Jammu and Kashmir must come to an end;

2. Political prisoners should be released without any delay; and preferably before Eid – Muslim Christmas;

3. People uprooted because of the conflict must be resettled and appropriate measures must be taken to ensure that all sections of the society are protected;

4. Pakistan must be urged to ensure that there is no infiltration across the LOC and militant activities are stopped immediately in areas of the State under their control;

5. Pakistan must also ensure that people uprooted because of the earthquake in 2005, and because of the recent floods must be appropriately helped and supported; and that the help destined for them must not end up elsewhere;
6. As there is no military solution to the dispute, both sides must stop use of gun and ensue the peace process;
7. As the Kashmir dispute is not a territorial dispute and concerns right of self determination of the people, people of Jammu and Kashmir must be made part of the peace process to ensure that there is amicable solution to the dispute.

Sir, we believe Britain still has an important role to play in the matter of Kashmir; and we hope that you will take some positive steps to help resolve the Kashmir dispute.

We look forward to hearing from you.

Yours sincerely

Presented on behalf of Kashmir National Party by Abbas Butt (Chairman) and Dr Shabir Choudhry (Head of Diplomatic Section).
Tel. 07790942471

No comments: