Kashmir is facing existential threat due to criminal negligence of world powers: Dr Imtiaz Khan

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Dr Imtiaz Khan, Professor at George Washington University Medical Center, has said that Indian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir is facing existential threat due to criminal negligence of world powers.

Dr Imtiaz Khan in an interview said that during his recent visit to IIOJK when he landed in Srinagar, it had the appearance of Hindu holy city. He said, hundreds of thousands of Hindu pilgrims are being pumped in under the pretext of visiting newly discovered religious shrines. “They are being provided facilities for extended stays with the goal of finally settling them in Kashmir. Huge swaths of land are being acquired and confiscated from the local Muslim population to accommodate the settlers,” he said. Dr Imtiaz Khan said fanatic Hindus from India for the last 4 years have been provided domicile certificates and the process is being proceeded with high exigency. He said the goal is to change the demographic character of the area and transform it to a Hindu majority region.

“Ultimate plan is to bring in Hindu government and approach the international community or UN for conducting a plebiscite and with the transformation of population the outcome of this exercise will be in their favor,” he said. When asked by an interviewer of Saalamedia TV about a recent incident of the forced entry of the Indian occupation forces into a mosque where at gunpoint the worshippers were made to chant slogans for Hindu god, he said, “Currently there is a religious persecution going on in occupied Jammu and Kashmir and this incident does not come as a surprise.”

Dr Khan added that it gives shivers down his spine to state that occupied Jammu and Kashmir is facing an existential threat and criminal negligence of world powers will facilitate the execution of this evil design. He said, everyday killings, molestation of women, stealing of valuables by occupation forces is continuing with impunity. In the pre-Modi era they used to target the youth who were taken to army camps, murdered and their dead bodies thrown outside their homes. With the dawn of the Modi era, he added, the bodies are disposed off in the army camps and the loved ones are not provided an opportunity to perform the last rites.

“In one such incident in the valley a practicing dentist was murdered by the occupation forces and in response to intense protests the remains were handed over to the family. The amount of repression and fear instilled into the people can be gauged by the fact that the father of the deceased profusely thanked the Indian government’s administrator of occupied Kashmir. There was no demand for inquiry into this horrendous act as the person felt that he is luckier than a number of others who don’t have the opportunity to have the last glimpse of their loved ones,” he said. Lot can be and needs to be done to neutralize this catastrophic scenario. It is evident that notwithstanding these horrific measures by the Indian government, the freedom-loving population of Kashmir will never surrender. However, a region which is surrounded by three nuclear powers will become highly unstable and it is not far-fetched to presume that it will lead to a nuclear catastrophe. International community should be made aware about the potential impending cataclysm that will result due to non-resolution of the Kashmir dispute, Dr Khan warned.

Dr Khan felt very dismayed to witness the recent red-carpet treatment of the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi by the US President, Joe Biden. This treatment has disappointed the freedom and peace-loving people in America and around the world. There are documented evidences about the mass murders committed by Modi and his cahoots. The US as a cradle for liberty and justice should take a lead role in impressing upon Modi to start negotiations with the genuine leadership of Kashmir and Pakistan so that this thorny issue is resolved, and the region can live in peace.

Dr Ghulam Nabi Fai, Secretary General of World Kashmir Awareness Forum responded when asked by the interviewer to describe the Kashmir conflict. “The Kashmir question is one of the oldest unresolved international problems in the world. It prevails in what is recognized – under international law – as a disputed territory. According to the international agreements between India and Pakistan, negotiated by the United Nations and endorsed by the Security Council, the territory’s status is to be determined by the free vote of its people under the supervision of the UN. Kashmir represents a government’s repression not of a secessionist or separatist movement but of an uprising against foreign occupation, an occupation that was expected to end under the determinations made by the UN. The people of Kashmir are not and cannot be called separatists because they cannot secede from a country like India, to which they have never acceded to in the first place,” he said.

In response to another question, Dr Fai said the situation in Kashmir may have been ‘manageable’ for India and certainly for the world outside, including the US, but it has entailed the unparalleled atrocities that are being daily committed by the Indian occupation regime on innocent civilians in the Vale of Kashmir. Dr Gregory Stanton of Genocide Watch has warned Biden Administration that Kashmir was on the brink of genocide and New York Times wrote on August 10, 2019, [Inside Kashmir, Cut Off From the World: ‘A Living Hell’ of Anger and Fear.]’ It is painful for us to note, Dr Fai added, that there was not the slightest reference to the massive violations of human rights in Kashmir when President Biden gave red carpet treatment to Narendra Modi on June 22, 2023. We wonder whether, in these humanly intolerable circumstances, it would not be more in accordance with America’s traditional concern and declared standpoint over human rights that President Biden raises the issue at the appropriate multilateral forum, like G20 which will take place in India between September 9 and 10 this year.

Dr Fai said that there were two principles involved in the Kashmir dispute. First, it is the inherent right of the people of the entire state of Jammu & Kashmir to decide their future according to their free will. Two, it is impossible to ascertain their will, except through a vote under impartial supervision in conditions that are free from compulsion, intimidation, and external coercion. When asked about the role of great powers, Dr Fai said that “I would like to submit that because of inaction and studied unconcern on the part of the world powers towards the people of Kashmir and given the traumatic events of the last thirty-three year in general and four years in particular in the Valley, the people of Kashmir feel that they have been betrayed. The United Nations and the great powers have chosen not to notice what is happening to the Kashmiris, much less do anything about it.”

The interview was on Salaamedia TV, based in Johannesburg, South Africa. Salaamedia’s mission statement reads, “The world is in need of love, a gentle hand and tons of smiles. Hearts need to be comforted and humanity needs to be shared once again.” The interviewer was El-Hajj Mauri Saalakhan, a human right advocate; author, lecturer and poet. He is a founder of the Coalition Against Political Imprisonment (CAPI); and a founder of the National Association for Police Accountability (NAPA). He is also the founder of – and presently serves as Director of Operations for — The Peace and Justice Foundation. In 1995 Mauri Saalakhan was the recipient of the “Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Award,” from the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), and a “Maryland State Senate Resolution,” for his human rights work in and outside the State of Maryland.

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