An open letter to Senator Joe Biden, Presidential Candidate for US Election 2020 on 244th Independence Day of United States of America

An open letter to Senator Joe Biden, Presidential Candidate for US Election 2020 on 244th Independence Day of United States of America

The longest running dispute needs your urgent attention. Help people of Jammu Kashmir State to be free.

An open letter to Senator Joe Biden, Presidential Candidate for US Election 2020 on 244th Independence Day of United States of America
Senator Joe Biden
Democratic Party Presidential Candidate for US Election 2020

Dear Sir,

Let me congratulate you and the American nation on your 244thIndependence Day. For a nation, no day is better than the day of her independence. American nation has a great history of resistance against foreign occupation and I would, on this day, like to quote the famous words of Richard Henry Lee of Virginia on 7th of June 1776 that “these united colonies are , and of right ought to be, free and independent States, that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain is, and ought to be, totally dissolved.”

Let me also express my gratitude on your recent statement condemning gross human rights’violations, unconstitutional and undemocratic actions and measures being taken by Indian government in Indian Occupied Jammu Kashmir since august 5, 2019.

Dear Sir,

You are aware of the fact that Narendra Modi’s government in India has forcibly annexed Jammu and Kashmir on August 5, 2019 violating UN Security Council resolutions and international law, splitting the region into two union territories. This move practically tumbled Kashmir into a virtualembargo after communication and internet services were cut off, print media was silenced, journalists were banded from reporting and all civil liberties were suspended.All prominent political and pro-freedom leaders were put into prisons. Political activists, men, women and even children were detained, and health infrastructure came to standstill. Mr. Muhammad Yasin Malik, the chairman of Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front and one of the most prominent, nonviolent and rational voices in Jammu Kashmir state, is continuously facing the madness and vengeance of Indian government facing fictitious and false cases fabricated against him.

He is continuously suffering in solitary confinement in Tihar jail New Delhi for last one year being denied of legal and medical assistance. The Indian government has also denied access to all UN and non-UN humanitarian agencies and civil society organizations to observe the situation in Jammu Kashmir.

Dear Sir,

This distressing situation has become worst since the start of covid-19 pandemic.The government of India is exploiting the pandemic to give a free rein to its military and law enforcement agencies to suppress fundamental human rights including right to free movement, peaceful assembly, political dissent and freedom of expression. People are not able to talk to their loved ones. They are simply cut off from the rest of the world. People are facing various complexitiesandaccess to food, medicines and health facilities, transport, businesses and jobs is almost denied in many cities, towns and villages of the valley. Life of common masses has turn out to bevery challenging and threatening.

This also has escalated tensions between India and Pakistan on the line which forcibly divides the Jammu Kashmir state since last 72 yearssplitting it into Indian and Pakistani occupied areas. This escalation isagain causing severe loss of lives and property of civilians living at Cease Fire Line (CFL) facing exchange of firing and intense shelling between two atomic powers on daily basis.

After the recent clashes between India and China in Ladakh region of Jammu Kashmir state, the entire region is at a verge of a conceivable war masquerading a potential threat to regional and international peace and security and it could result in destruction and desolation.

Dear Sir,

The situation needs your immediate attention. You can competea vital role to solve this long-standing issue lingering on the table of UNSC since its birth. Since 1947, The UN Security Council has passed more than a dozen resolutions to resolve the Issue according to freely expressed wishes of the people of the state of Jammu Kashmir. The UNSC has passed resolutions and promised the people of Jammu Kashmir state to demilitarize and reunite the state as it existed in 1947 and a final settlement based on freely expressed will of the state subjects.

You can use your good office to compel India, Pakistan and china to restrain, formulate a dialogue process with the principal party to the issue to permanently resolve Jammu Kashmir Issue under the supervision of UNSC, release all political prisoners and initiate a complete withdrawal of their militaries from Jammu Kashmir state followed by a replacement of UN peace keeping troops till the final and permanent disposition of the issue according to UN charter and UNSC resolution of August 13, 1948.

Dear Sir,

The People of Jammu Kashmir state have great expectations towards you. I request you to give a kind and early attention to those expectations and help them achieve a permanent peace and stability in the region by making Jammu Kashmir a bridge of friendship and progress instead of a bone of contention in the region. People of Jammu Kashmir have every right to be free and live free and they have waited for long time to be granted the pledged right to decide their own future.

I thank you again.

Yours truly,
Dr. Toqeer Gilani
President Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF)
Pakistani Controlled Jammu Kashmir Gilgit Baltistan Zone
Telephone: # +92-347-078-6373
Email: gilanitoqeer@hotmail.com

 

UK Foreign Office Response to JKLF Letter

UK Foreign Office Response to JKLF Letter

The British Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), commonly known as the Foreign Office, has sent a comprehensive response to an urgent letter written to British Prime Minister Boris Johnson in relation to the occupation of Jammu Kashmir, recent escalations in human rights abuses and the ongoing sufferings of 20 million inhabitants of the Occupied State.

President of Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF, UK Chapter) Syed Tahseen Gilani had written to PM Johnson in September, highlighting barbaric human rights abuses being committed in Indian-occupied part of the Occupied State, and dangerously increasing use of oppressive measures by Indian and Pakistani governments, including unlawful imprisonments of peaceful political and human rights activists

On the issue of human rights abuses, including unlawful detentions and imprisonments of prominent political leaders and activists of Jammu Kashmir by India and Pakistan, the Foreign Office official wrote:

“We recognise that there are human rights concerns in both India-administered-Kashmir and Pakistan-administered-Kashmir. We encourage all states to ensure domestic laws are in line with international standards. Any allegation of human rights abuse is deeply concerning and must be investigated thoroughly, promptly and transparently and independently.”

The letter by JKLF UK President Syed Tahseen Gilani had also highlighted the continuous use of pellet guns and human shields by Indian Army in Jammu Kashmir — actions which are blatant violations of human rights conventions and disgrace to the progress humanity has made. The Foreign Office official responded:

“We are also concerned at reports of use of pellet guns by Indian security forces. We expect all states to uphold their international human rights obligations. Any allegations of human rights violations or abuses is concerning and there must be a prompt and thorough, fully independent and transparent investigation.”

On the issue of alarming increase in severity of oppressive measures employed by India in Jammu Kashmir since August 2019, including communication blockade and detentions of political leadership, the Foreign Office official commented:

“..the continued use of detentions and restrictions on communications in India-administered Kashmir remain a concern. We are clear that individual rights should be fully respected and that there should be constructive dialogue with affected  communities.”

The letter from the Foreign Office has sought to reassure JKLF of British government’s concern over human rights abuses in Jammu Kashmir, and the progress on the issue in general. The response states:

“We are in regular contact with the Governments of India and Pakistan. The Prime Minister has underlined to both Prime Minister Modi of India and Prime Minister Imran Khan of Pakistan the importance of resolving issues through dialogue. The Foreign Secretary has spoken with the Indian Minister of External Affairs to express the UK’s concerns around the situation in India-administered Kashmir and call for calm. I have also discussed the situation with Ministers and senior representatives of the Indian and Pakistani Governments on a number of occasions, most recently with my Indian counterpart on 28 July and the Pakistani Foreign Secretary 8 September. We regularly discuss concerns with both the Indian High Commissioner and the Pakistani High Commissioner. We continue to follow the situation closely.”

Commenting on the response from the UK Foreign Office, JKLF UK Spokesperson Shakeel Jaral welcomed the UK government’s concern and continuous contact with Indian and Pakistani authorities. However, he urged the international community to make meaningful efforts towards fulfillment of the promise it made to the people of Jammu Kashmir 73 years ago, and help achieve a lasting resolution of the conflict as per the wishes of the 20 million inhabitants of Jammu Kashmir.
The letter from the UK Foreign Office is attached below in full.

Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front Hosted on All Parties Conference

Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front Hosted on All Parties Conference

Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front Hosted on All Parties Conference in which leadership of social, religious and political parties of AJK, GB and APHC were invited. Chief Guest Prime Minister of Azad Govt, of Jammu Kashmir state was also there.Unanimous devisions of condemning Pakistan’s decision to make GB a province, rehabilitation of state subject rule, and providing a AJK type Setup to GB are made.
Moreover APC demands a collective upper house for both AJK & GB

Decimation and rewriting of Kashmir history

Decimation and rewriting of Kashmir history

WHILE India’s right wing Hindu ultra-nationalist BJP Government’s decision to abrogate articles 370, and 35A on 5 August 2019 to annex, and bifurcate Kashmir, is illegal, her decision to do so however, is designed to disintegrate Kashmir’s heritage, destroy its religious and cultural identity, and communalise centuries’ old harmony and tolerance in the State, to further the objectives of BJP Government’s flagship Hindutva project. Primarily India’s policy is designed to bring about demographic change. This is intended to be achieved with new domicile rules which replaced article 35A.With these rules, India has literally opened up Jammu Kashmir, (full name of the internationally disputed State) to 1.3 billion Indians.

With little over twelve months since illegal annexation of Kashmir, more than 1.2 million domicile certificates, according to Kashmir Observer 1 Sept 2020, have been issued with one or the other pretext, to non-Kashmiris. At this rate, when Prime Minister Modi’s ultra- nationalist BJP goes to the polls in the 2024 general election, a proud declaration of victory over Kashmir, will be made by Mr Modi, the political progeny of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh-RSS, to heighten majoritarian extremism in his party’s bid to secure another term in government.

India’s illegal action not only betrayed people of Kashmir, but defied the UN by showing utter contempt for its numerous resolutions regarding Kashmir’s political status. With illegal annexation, and disintegration of the173 year old State, the BJP/RSS nexus has embarked upon its nefarious and malicious policy to decimate centuries’ old heritage, and identity of the interconnected heterogeneous State, by fomenting divisions on religious, ethnic, linguistic, and cultural grounds across its diverse population.

India defied UN resolutions no. 91 of 1951, 123 and 126 of 1957, which clearly stipulate that unilateral action to change disposition of Kashmir was prohibited for India and Pakistan. Since both countries control Kashmir as proxies for the UN, changes cannot be made by either country unilaterally, until a fair and transparent plebiscite takes place under UN’s auspices on final status of the divided State.
KARACHI: Activists of Gilgit Baltistan Youth Alliance shouting slogans during protest on October 11 for immediate release of political prisoners in Gilgit-Baltistan. These demonstrations are being held in other cities of Pakistan as well.

Kashmiris across the CfL hope that Pakistan will not follow in India’s foot- steps to make similar changes in Azad Jammu Kashmir, and Gilgit Baltistan AJKGB. Reports in Pakistani media however indicate, that Pakistan intends to absorb (annex) GB as its province, which no doubt, will add to complications in the issue and the region, and inevitably, will create serious disquiet among the people across the divided State. India however, did exactly the opposite with the disputed territory, and rules the bifurcated State now directly from New Delhi as union territory-UT- of Ladakh, and as the UT of Jammu Kashmir, comprising of Kashmir valley and the province of Jammu.

With abrogation of article 35A and introduction of new domicile rules, an undeclared objective of the Indian Government is to dilute Kashmir’s identity, and its Islamic heritage, and to reduce Muslim majority into an inconsequential minority within a few years. 5 August 2019 therefore, will be etched in the memories of Kashmiris as their nakba or the great catastrophe. In order to delegitimise Kashmiris’ internationally recognised right to self-determination India has projected their freedom struggle as a struggle for Muslim religious rights. In a calculated policy to vilify and denigrate the freedom struggle, Indian leadership has weaponised the Pandit minority of Kashmir valley to project the struggle as Islamic terrorism. Ironically projecting the Kashmiris as the problem, in their own homeland.

Despite an unabated militarised violence, and the ongoing siege, Britain and other major powers like the USA, and France, the three countries that are in the vanguard of the world-wide human rights advocacy, have shown no interest in the effect of the siege in Kashmir. With the Covid-19 pandemic millions of Kashmiris are under double lockdown since March 2020, which is enforced by 900,000 Indian troops. Human rights violations including the right to life itself, are all too frequently disregarded by Indian forces, which operate with total impunity under Armed Forces Special Powers Act AFSPA. According to the UNOHCHR report on Kashmir in July 2019, not a single military personnel has been prosecuted over the past “three decades.”
A view of main shopping market in Gilgit city

The UNOHCHR referring to the UNESCO report also confirms that India was responsible for half of the world-wide internet shutdowns. While India relaxed the internet restrictions earlier this year in Kashmir, users still remain deprived of access to 4G since 5 August 2019. Restrictions on the local media continue, while journalists are monitored and regularly detained under Public Safety Act PSA on ‘security’ grounds. International media, and journalists are not allowed to report as in reality Kashmir is isolated and shut away from the world.

Pro freedom politicians, dissenters and activists, languish in prisons across India on charges that are concocted, vindictive and politically motivated. For many families of the detained, it is extremely difficult to afford a trip from Kashmir to a prison in a far-off corner of India, which could involve a return journey of up to three thousand kilometres. With frequent use of PSA, and other preventive legislations and rules, there is no recourse to justice for the helpless families. These calculated and punitive methods of punishment, are colonial in nature, and designed to break the will of the people to force them into submission. According to the on- line Clarion India, a “staggering” loss of 40,000 crore rupees hit Kashmir’s economy, equalling 5.3 billion USD during August 2019 to July 2020.

To stifle political and democratic dissent systematic violations of human rights with mass illegal arrests and detentions of civilians including children, and political leaders are perpetrated with the use of most draconian laws like PSA and the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act, UAPA and AFSPA. The UN Secretary General’s report in June 2020 on “Children in Armed Conflict,” refers to 68 Kashmiri Children ranging from the ages of 9 to 17 who had been arrested on national security related charges after 5 august 2019. However, the figure could be in thousands rather than in hundreds. Report by the Forum for Human Rights in Jammu Kashmir, from August 2019 to July 2020, refers to “mass detentions” of political leaders including children. One of the very first Fact Finding Report by an all-female group from India in September 2019 states that in “one estimate given to us was that 13, 000 boys were lifted during this lockdown.” The group carried out its work between 17 and 21 September, and presented the findings at a press conference in Delhi on 24 September in 2019.

Many political leaders like the Chairman of the Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front-JKLF- Mr Yasin Malik, Mr Shabir Shah the Chairman of Democratic Freedom Party, Ms Aasiya Andrabi Chief of Dukhtaran-e- Millat, and her colleagues, Ms Naheeda Nasreen, Ms Famida Sofi, Dr Abdul Hameed Fayaz, leader (Amir) of Jamat-e-Islami, and Moulana Mushtaq A Veeri Vice President of the Jamiat-e- Ehl-e- Hadith, are held in the notorious Tihar Jail in Delhi. Like Mr Yasin Malik, they too, are held in solitary confinement.

It is dismaying to note however, that British Foreign Office in its annual report entitled “Human Rights and Democracy” which came out in July 2020, makes no mention of India’s conduct in Jammu Kashmir let alone any details about the brutalities and inhuman treatment meted out to Kashmiris with the collective punishment inflicted on the people, with all its consequences through the ongoing siege.

Peoples’ Republic of China PRC, which is the third power directly linked with the Kashmir dispute, reacted to India’s illegal annexation of Kashmir in terms of exclusively her immediate national interest instead of taking an extended view to seek an equitable resolution of the issue based on the international legality with UN resolutions, and Kashmiris’ right to self-determination. As a powerful neighbour of Kashmir, we hope the PRC will support People of G B in their legitimate need for Self-Government, structured on the AJK model, and will encourage Pakistan to facilitate the needs of Gbians rather than to annex the region as a province of Pakistan. As people of the divided State including the Gbians, we fully support China Pakistan Economic Corridor CPEC. It is appropriate to expect however, that GB’s Government would be represented as a partner, on the all-important CPEC project.

We extend our heartfelt gratitude the governments and peoples of nations that support the rights and aspirations of our people’s valiant struggle for freedom. In particular our heartfelt gratitude to the people and the leadership of Republic of Turkey, Malaysia and the Islamic Republic of Iran, for their support. We are particularly grateful to His Excellency President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey for supporting our right to freedom during his virtual address to the UN General assembly in September 2020. We would like to thank His Excellency Mr Mahathir Mohamad, the former Prime Minister of Malaysia, and His Excellency President Hassan Rouhani of Iran, for their support to the people of Kashmir despite considerable opposition and threats of trade boycott by India.

Kashmiris wish to see their State become a cross road of peace to unlock prosperity, and amity in the region. All that is required is to take the first step based on the inherent and inalienable sovereign right, of people in accordance with the UN Charter and its relevant resolutions. Britain with its historic links in the region, is well placed to take that step. The PRC as the region’s major power, along with P5 nations, must encourage India and Pakistan, towards a people centric solution of the issue. Otherwise India’s path will lead to disintegration of Jammu Kashmir and its civilisation that has been nurtured for centuries, in the laps of the Pamirs, the Karakorums and the Himalayas. This will truly be a calamitous alternative, and rewriting of region’s history, which all concerned must do their utmost to avoid.

Letter to Prime Minister of Pakistan regarding Gilgit Baltistan issue

Letter to Prime Minister of Pakistan regarding Gilgit Baltistan issue

His Excellency,
Jenab Imran Khan Sahib
Prime Minister, Islamic Republic of Pakistan,
Islamabad.
Dated: 26-09-2020

Assalam u Alaikum Warahmatullah

I take this opportunity to offer my good will and good faith to you. Representing the people of Jammu Kashmir (JK) and the incarcerated Chairman Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF), Muhammad Yasin Malik, who is languishing in Indian Jail for almost last two years now, I am writing to your good self because certain media reports, recent activities in Islamabad and statements emanating from some federal ministries indicate that your government is planning to change the status of Gilgit Baltistan (GB), a part of recognized disputed State of JK, and annex it as the 5th province of Pakistan.

Respected Prime Minister, the principled and stated position of Pakistan has been that the entire State of JK including GB is a disputed territory, and that it needs to be resolved in accordance with the relevant UNSC Resolutions. Pakistan as a party to Kashmir issue, has been a vocal supporter of right of self-determination of the people of JK and till now has been advocating vigorously for the achievement of this basic right to Kashmiris. Furthermore, echoing the cries of Kashmiris since 1947, Pakistan has been condemning all kinds of illegal and unilateral actions taken by India in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu Kashmir (IIOJK) that in any shape or form would compromise the demographic and the disputed nature of the State of JK. Pakistan’s position on Mr. Narendra Modi’s unilateral and illegitimate action of August 5, 2019 that not only annexed and bifurcated IIOJK but also eroded its national identity, is a glaring example in this regard.

Respected Prime Minister, the UNSC resolutions on Kashmir, the decisions of High Court and Supreme Court of AJK and the January, 2019 decision of Supreme Court of Pakistan, clearly state that GB is a part of the disputed State of Jammu Kashmir, and that its annexation by or integration into the federation of Pakistan is illegitimate.

Respected Prime Minister, the entire leadership of the disputed and divided State of JK, from across both the sides of ceasefire line (AJK Govt. including all political parties, and from IIOJK – APHC & JKLF) along with Kashmiri diaspora, consider GB’s proposed annexation as unacceptable. All Kashmiris unequivocally and unambiguously, have expressed their serious disquiet, and concerns on this matter. Hurriyat and Joint Resistance Leadership namely; Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Muhammad Yasin Malik, through a joint statement, and AJK leaders through a joint declaration in the All Party Conference (APC) held in Islamabad last year, have clearly and unanimously raised their voice against proposed GB’s annexation. In 2016, when same proposals were being discussed in Pakistan, incarcerated JKLF Chairman had written to the then Prime Minister of Pakistan, urging him to refrain from any such move as it can legitimate Indian unilateral actions in IIOJK. This is on record that on March 18, 2016 in response to Mr. Malik’s letter, the then Prime Minister assured the people of JK that Pakistan is fully aware of the sensitivities attached to GB with regard to the JK dispute, and that Pakistan will never compromise on its principled stand. Nor will Pakistan take any measure that may cause harm to the valiant struggle of the people of JK, for their inalienable right to self-determination, promised to them by the UN Security Council resolutions.

Respected Prime Minister, annexation of GB will unwittingly not only disturb the disputed nature of the State of Jammu Kashmir, but will also compromise Pakistan’s principled position on the JK issue. By doing so, Pakistan as compared to India will for sure lose its thus far high moral ground over the issue, and for Kashmiris across political spectrum, the act will be considered unfriendly akin to the unilateral action taken by Mr. Narendra Modi government on August 5, 2019 in IIOJK. It will certainly provide a justification to India’s unlawful action of 5th August 2019, and her erroneous claim of Jammu Kashmir being an ‘integral’ part of her federation or union.

Respected Prime Minister, in order to strengthen the national identity of the State of Jammu Kashmir and the popular freedom struggle, we suggest and strongly urge your Excellency to integrate both GB and AJK with each other so that people of the area are served in a representative and democratic structure of governance. We believe this move can prove to be an effective political and diplomatic counter to Indian aggression of 5th August, 2019.

Prime Minister Sahib, as already alluded to, the proposed annexation of GB with Pakistan will be considered as an act similar to that of the Indian decision of August 5, 2019; since both are in contravention and violation of the UNSC resolutions #91 of 1951 and, #122 & #126 of 1957. It is obvious that annexation of GB with Pakistan will further disintegrate the State, and will constitute a grave betrayal of the people of Jammu Kashmir who have sacrificed more than six hundred thousand lives for the sacred cause of freedom of their motherland since 1947, and continue to endure sufferings and hardships for the noble cause.

Prime Minister Sahib, if your government incorporates GB into Pakistan, and if as a consequence, India consolidates its hold in Kashmir, this would amount to a bartering of people’s aspirations. Kashmir is not about territory. It is about rights of people. Bartering these rights for land means killing the aspirations of people. While economic development attached to the region of GB is important for us all, there is however, no moral right to adopt, and pursue a policy that will adversely affect the future of millions of Kashmiris. We are fully aware of the fact that Pakistan is in a delicate phase of its history. Nevertheless, it should not mean that fundamental rights of not only people of GB, but the entire State of JK should be compromised and sacrificed.

Respected Prime Minister Sahib, we are not against the uplifting of the human rights situation nor against ending the deprivations of rights of our people in GB. We sincerely wish and pray for their prosperity, better development and success but in a more suitable and honorable way other than that of being annexed in to Pakistan which carries numerous consequences and fallouts, and pitfalls along with it.

The establishment of AJK like structure in GB is the best and more appropriate solution/s to elevate it and the system with their own President, Prime Minister and Supreme Court may provide enormous opportunities for people to prosper as citizens of the State of Jammu Kashmir. Furthermore, in order to overcome any constraints that may arise over CPEC, we strongly urge that the local government of GB be made a party to the ongoing project.

Respected Prime Minister, the will of people of Jammu Kashmir is what everyone including your good self knows. History, morality and ethics bears a witness that will of the people always triumphs. History also judges people in light of greatness and great accomplishments they make. So, we urge you to take an extended view of history and not short term interest because this action has its own devastating political and moral implications that would, for sure, hit the sentiments of the struggling people of JK. We appeal you to think of the legacy you will leave if you become party to depriving people of their historical, political and moral rights for which they have, and continue to give their lives. As said by Chairman JKLF, Yasin Malik ‘Bartering away territory for economic growth does not make you statesman”. Thus, resisting short term temptations and not bowing to economic pressures makes one a true statesman.

On behalf of the Chairman JKLF and the people of JK, I thank you Prime Minister Sahib in anticipation, and look forward for your sincere and statesmanship like decision on GB in line with, and in recognition of the unparalleled sacrifices of our valiant people in the freedom struggle.

Sincerely yours,
Abdul Hameed Butt
Acting Chairman,
Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF).
Central Information Office JKLF
B-144, Chandni Chowk, Murree Road,
Satellite Town, Rawalpindi.
Emai: jklf1977@gmail.com