“When there is no enemy within, the enemies outside cannot hurt you.” Winston S. Churchill. The disputed territory of Jammu and Kashmir stands apart as the most cantankerous of conflicts, with the catastrophic possibility of nuclear devastation. After all India and Pakistan have fought three wars and nearly began a fourth with the ever-present threat of nuclear exchange. Hence, the world powers need to reaffirm their commitment to the inalienable Kashmiri right of self-determination and help in resolving this long stand conflict to the satisfaction of all parties concerned.
Amb. Yusuf Buch, former advisor, United Nations Secretary General, has described the agony of the people of Kashmir in these words, “Have we heard a word, even a whisper, about gardens being turned into graveyards, about young women being raped and their mothers being forced to witness the atrocity, about young men being crippled and maimed for life, about the great numbers of fake disappearances which are continuing to this day in occupied Kashmir? It will glibly be said that it points only to the failure of the media. But have not the media been influenced and deterred from an aggressive, truth-revealing course by official policies sedulously maintained?” These facts have become well known in Kashmir. The grassroots leadership and the global Kashmiri diaspora leadership have acted frequently, as individual men and women, to these problems with calls to action, and the people have responded, as well they would, and have taken to the streets by the thousands, and on occasion by hundreds of thousands. It’s imperative at this stage in our history for the global Kashmir diaspora to recognize that real change is needed and cannot happen without a change in the way that we do business. Foremost, what is needed is a united front among Kashmiri diaspora that will inspire the people as well. A united leadership will demonstrate to them that we are Kashmiris first and foremost, and not simply members of some little political offshoot or an organization that has no real mandate. Only a united Kashmiri diaspora can unite the people on the ground. Only a united people can bring about the change that will help us achieve our ultimate objective – the right of self-determination. I agree with Dr. Syed Nazir Gilani, President, JKCHR when he said “It is much more important that Kashmiri diaspora does not use their activities to advertise their personal or group interests in the Webinar or at any other time. If we start using anyone of these webinars in that manner, it will snowball into an abuse and there would be no end to it. A mischief by an individual or a group to seek an advertisement of any kind does not remain in the best interests of the people of Jammu and Kashmir. If there is a need for an appreciation, it should be general and in equity.”