Leaders from Kashmir delivered a letter on Monday to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, seeking his personal intervention to take up the Kashmir dispute with the Security Council, saying tension over the lingering issue could lead to a nuclear war between Pakistan and India.
The letter was delivered to the UN Secretary-General on the day Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj, who is representing her country at the UN General Assembly made a speech, launching an attack on Pakistan.
A protest rally was also held outside the UN headquarters in New York when the Indian foreign minister was making her speech. The demonstrators raised anti-India slogans and called for freedom of Kashmir. They also urged the UN and the United States to get implemented the long-standing resolution on Kashmir passed by UN Security Council in 1948.
In the letter, wrote by former Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) President Barrister Sultan Mehmood Chaudhry, Sardar Sarwar Khan, former advisor to the PM of AJK, Dr. Ghulam Nabi Fai, Secretary-General of World Kashmir Awareness and Dr Imtiaz Khan, President Kashmiri American council, the leaders drew the attention of the world body on the deteriorating situation in the held valley.
More than 105 persons including teenagers have been killed and more than 10,000 injured in the renewed phase of unrest in the occupied valley which erupted after the killing of young Kashmiri freedom fighter Burhan Wani in July.
More than 600 civilians, including children and women, have been blinded due to the pellet guns used by the Indian army.
“The situation in Kashmir has been met with studied unconcern by the United Nations. This has given a sense of total impunity to India. It has also created the impression that the United Nations is invidiously selective about the application of the principles of human rights and democracy,” the leaders wrote in the letter.
There is a glaring contrast between the outcry over the massacre in Crimea, on the one side, and the official silence (barring some faint murmurs of disapproval) over the killing and maiming of a vastly greater number of civilians in Kashmir and the systematic violation of the 1949 Geneva Convention.:
The Kashmiri leaders asked the UN Secretary General bring this matter to the attention of the Security Council.
“Whether this could be done successfully depends on the attitudes and policies of the permanent members, but they should be left in no doubt that any failure to resolve the problem could lead to serious disorders throughout the South Asian subcontinent and possibly to yet another war between India and Pakistan, with incalculable consequences for the whole world, since both states now have nuclear capability.”
The leaders expressed the hope that the personal involvement of the UN Secretary General will bring its influence to bear on both India and Pakistan to initiate a peace with which the United Nations, as well as the people of Jammu & Kashmir, will be associated so as to ensure that settlement arrived at will be based on the principles of justice.
The Kashmiri leaders also fully endorsed the statement of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights who expressed serious concern about the situation in Kashmir and proposed on September 13, 2016, that an independent, impartial and international mission is now needed crucially.
UNHCR Commissioner also stated that such an international mission should be given free and complete access to establish an objective assessment of the claims made by the two sides.