JKLF presents memorandum to UN office in Islamabad

Urges UN Secretary General to save Yasin Malik’s life

Islamabad, December 06 (KMS): The Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front has appealed to the UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, to take steps for saving the party Chairman, Muhammad Yasin Malik, who faces a serious threat to his life in New Delhi’s Tihar Jail, and ending escalation between Pakistan and India at the Line of Control.

The appeal was made by Acting Chairman of Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front, Abdul Hameed Butt, in a memorandum addressed to the UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres. The memorandum was presented to the UN Office in Islamabad by the JKLF leaders, Hafiz Muhammad Anwar Samavi, Muhammad Rafiq Dar, Saleem Haroon, Sardar Jamshed and Waheed Showkat.

In the memorandum the Secretary General was informed in detail that Muhammad Yasin Malik was arrested in Srinagar on February 22 this year under the black law, Public Safety Act (PSA), and on March 7 sent to Kot Bhalwal jail in Jammu and later on May 9 shifted to New Delhi’s Tihar jai.

According to the JKLF spokesman, the UN Secretary General has been informed that Yasin Malik, who believes in a peaceful political struggle and who has in the past raised the Kashmir dispute with the prime ministers of India and Pakistan as well as a number of world leaders, is being targeted by the authorities.

Citing the examples of martyred Maqbool Butt and Afzal Guru, the Secretary General was appealed to intervene and play their role in saving Yasin Malik’s life.

Mohammad Rafiq Dar, speaking on the occasion, mentioned the continued lockdown and human rights violations in occupied Kashmir by the Indian forces and termed it the worst kind of Indian state terrorism.

Following is the full text of the memorandum.

His Excellency Antonio Guterres
Secretary General United Nations,
New York, USA. Dated: 06-12-2019

Respected Excellency:
We express our deep and serious concerns regarding threat to life of Mr Mohammad Yasin Malik, the Chairman of Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front -JKLF-due to vindictive and malicious motives of the Indian government against him. Mr Malik is languishing in India’s Tihar Jail in solitary confinement, at the behest of India’s National Investigation Authority –NIA- on trumped-up charges, and cases, that are over thirty year old. The ominously written head line by Shabir Hussain in the reputable Pakistani daily, the Dawn sums up this threat, to Mr Malik faces to his life in all its frightening manifestations.

“While Kashmir continues to reel under a serious humanitarian crisis in the wake of the August 5 abrogation of Article 370, it seems another sinister potion is brewing in the Hindutva cauldron of India, to be served at an appropriate time to the collective conscience of the bloodthirsty electorate”.

Mr Malik’s arrest, incarceration, the NIA investigation, raking up of thirty year old cases against him, maligning him, and his character assassination by the jingoistic Indian media, and calling him a Pakistani proxy and a quisling, continuously smeared and accused by camp followers and cheer leaders of Mr Modi’s BJP/RSS government, and his ill treatment in solidarity confinement by the authorities, knowing full well that Mr Malik suffers from a number of serious health ailments; are all clear and obvious signs that Prime Minister Modi’ government is callously, and vindictively up to some kind of a sinister plan to silence the most effective and credible political voice in Kashmir who is fully committed to a peaceful solution of the long standing conflict.

Mr Malik, the fifty five year old leader of the JKLF, has been illegally incarcerated since his arrest on 22 February 2019 from his residence in the Maisuma neighbourhood of Srinagar, and was initially taken to Srinagar’s Kothibagh Police station. As well as being the head of JKLF, Mr Malik is one of three leaders of the Joint Resistance Leadership-JRL- comprising of Syed Ali Shah Gilani and Mirwaiz Umar Farooq. Mr Malik’s party the JKLF, and the JRL, are committed to a peaceful and democratic resolution of the more than seven decades old international dispute, on the political status of Kashmir- full name Jammu and Kashmir.

On 7th March 2019, however, under the notoriously inhuman and draconian Public Safety Act — PSA, Mr Malik was removed to Kot Bhalwal jail in Jammu, the winter capital of the State of Jammu and Kashmir. And during the early hours of 9 May 2019, he was removed from Jammu’s Kotbalwal Jail, and taken to the Indian capital Delhi to be subjected to NIA’s- strong arm tactics, which has the task of manufacturing evidence against Kashmiri leaders like Mr Malik, and his party the JKLF, as part of Modi government’s malicious campaign to malign and subvert the legitimate and indigenous political struggle for a peaceful resolution of the seventy two year old conflict.

It needs to be pointed out however, that on 5 August 2019, Prime Minister Modi’s government in an illegal action, bifurcated and annexed Kashmir in defiance of 11 UN resolutions, including disregard of bilateral agreements, such as the Shimla Accord, with Pakistan, and flagrant violation of historic legal arrangements between India and Kashmir. The changed status of Kashmir breaks the disputed region into two union territories of Jammu Kashmir and Ladakh to be directly ruled from New Delhi, as submerged political entities.

In the wake of India’s unilateral action, it appears quite clear that the arrest and incarceration of Mr Malik, and the subsequent banning of the JKLF, was to pave the way for India’s grievous military, and political actions against Kashmir and its people, who remain subjected to the inhuman siege, which is being enforced against them by close to a million, military and paramilitary troops since 5 August 2019.

As a pro independent and a pacifist leader in Kashmir, Mr Malik actively sought a political resolution of the conflict that has bedevilled relations in South Asia, and which remains a constant threat to peace and prosperity of the entire region.

Mr Malik however, has opposed Modi government’s suppression of political dissent, and use of militarised violence to stifle democratic expression, and the denial of right to assembly and free movement in Kashmir. He has stood up to Prime Minister Modi’s ideologically driven manifest objective of Hindutva to obliterate Kashmir’s history, geography, social, cultural, and religious harmony, and identity through demographic changes, and taking away fundamental citizenship rights from the people, which they achieved through popular struggles and sacrifices against their autocratic rulers in the 1920s and 1930s.

Abrogation of articles 370 and 35-A on 5th August 2019 by Mr Modi’s government therefore, is a direct attack on the identity and fundamental freedoms of Kashmiris, and a calculated move to assimilate them in India without a trace. Mr Modi’s government is intent upon breaking the will and spirit of Kashmiri people, despite UN resolutions which call for a UN supervised Plebiscite to determine the status of the disputed State.

Both as head of JKLF, and as part of the collective Kashmiri leadership Mr Malik, stood firmly opposed to Mr Modi’s anticipated abrogation of articles 370 and 35-A, and organised peaceful political dissent, which always was met with militarised violence and use of pellet guns against protestors. In Mr Modi’s India unfortunately, right of a leader like Yasin Malik, and role of a political organisation like the JKLF, to organise peaceful democratic dissent, is called anti-national, even when the dissent is in Kashmir which is under defacto rather than dejure Indian control pending a final settlement of its future in accordance with the sovereign right of the people.

Indian government quite wrongly, and out of spite and political expediency to placate its ideological electorate, accuses Mr Malik of supporting militancy. Mr Malik made a clear decision in 1996 to lead a pacifist and peaceful political struggle as a basis of resolving the Kashmir issue. For this noble objective he engaged at the highest level with India and Pakistan, the rivals, each of whom, controls parts of the former Kingdom of Kashmir.

Mr Malik met leaders of both countries, including Mr Imran Khan when he was an opposition leader. He met the then Indian Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh, former Prime Minister Mr Atal Bihari Vajpayee and former Prime Minister Mr Inder Kumar Gujral. He met with Mr Nawaz Sharif when he was Prime Minister of Pakistan, former Prime Minister of Pakistan Mr Showkat Aziz and also met with the then President General Pervez Musharraf of Pakistan.

He engaged with all the political shades along with the leading members of civil society in both countries to enlist their support in his quest for a peaceful resolution of the issue. He undertook 18 months long Signature Campaign in Kashmir during which he obtained more than one and a half million signatures in favour of peaceful resolution of the Kashmir conflict. He presented the soft copy of these signatures to Prime Ministers of India and Pakistan. He also undertook 116 days long very famous peaceful political campaign called Safar-e-Azadi — journey for freedom- across six thousand towns and villages of Kashmir, and engaged with the masses for a peaceful resolution.

Mr Malik’s many peaceful activities over the years included observing hunger strikes to seek peace and freedom for which he was accused of being a follower of Gandhi, the father of modern India, whose non-violent philosophy is being despised by Prime Minister Modi’s BJP/ RSS alliance that governs India today. Over the years Mr Malik has been arrested for more than 800 times, and in 1992 Amnesty International, declared him a prisoner of conscience during his incarceration at the notorious Tihar jail, where he is presently being kept in solidarity confinement since his removal from Jammu on 9 May 2019.

Mr Malik visited the United States of America, and twice visited the United Kingdom. In both countries he met politicians, diplomats, press and media, and gave numerous interviews, and addressed students in many world renowned universities. He engaged across all sections and shades of opinion in Kashmir, in India and Pakistan, and met with visiting delegations from the European Union, the US, the UK and elsewhere in the world.

Throughout the past almost thirty years Mr Malik has assiduously sought support, both in the sub-continent and across the world, for a just resolution of the Kashmir dispute, and has wished to make homeland a bridge of peace and not a bone of contention in South Asia.

How such a man, who is committed to a peaceful resolution of his homeland’s political future, support militancy and be involved in terror funding, as Mr Modi’s government would have the world believe?

Mr Malik is a part of the solution for a peaceful resolution of the Kashmir dispute rather than a part of the problem. Obviously it is Mr Modi’s government which has an agenda to remove and eliminate Mr Yasin Malik, which is a deeply serious cause for concern to Kashmiris and the JKLF across both sides of the ceasefire line-CfL- as well as in the diaspora.

As Manoj Joshi, the distinguished Indian writer, and journalist explains in the on- line Wire on 25 March- 2019 about India’s intolerance to political dissent after Mr Malik’s arrest and subsequent ban on his party that “the government may cite Pulwama as the reason for its action but the mess in Kashmir predates that. It goes back to 2016 and Operation All Out, aimed at an all-or-nothing approach that has refused to discriminate between political dissidence and armed militancy.”

Equally an editorial in the Pakistani daily, the News International on 24 March 2019 states: “By arresting Malik and banning the JKLF, India has confirmed that it sees any opposition to its occupation, no matter how peaceful it may be, to be illegitimate.”

Mr Malik’s illegal arrest and inhuman treatment in incarceration therefore, and the ban imposed on the JKLF, is to eliminate the leader and his political movement, as Mr Modi and his hard line religious nationalist government is not interested in a political, democratic and people centric solution of the seventy two year old Kashmir dispute. Mr Modi has shown complete disregard for the historic Indo- Kashmir legal and constitutional arrangements around the nature of Kashmir’s provisional ‘accession’ with India in 1947, and India’s obligations to Kashmir and its people. Equally and quite blatantly, Prime Minister Modi’s government has reneged on India’s international commitments on the Kashmir issue.

In these circumstances we genuinely fear for Mr Malik’s legal rights and freedom as an innocent man, because of trumped up and concocted charges against him, and indeed his physical safety, and threat to his life. We urge you to make urgent representations on his behalf to the Indian government not to malign and frame an innocent man and a genuine grassroots based leader of the Kashmiri people.

Furthermore, the death and destruction caused by the frequent exchange of heavy artillery fire at ceasefire-line between the two armies is the serious cause of concern for the people of both sides of the divide. Therefore, an urgent end to such exchanges of fire is need of the hour.

I thank you.

Sincerely

Abdul Hameed Butt
(Acting Chairman JKLF)

Check Also

Imran Khan’s statement gave new impetus to Kashmiris: TWI

Srinagar, June 02 (KMS): In Indian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir, Khadim Hussain, Chairman of …

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *