Kashmir- Gateway To South Asian Peace And Prosperity'
1 September 2003
The Pakistan Tribune
Chicago: Dr Ayyub Thukar, President, World Kashmir Freedom Movement has stressed the need for solution of Kashmir dispute to promote peace and prosperity in South Asia . 'Peace and prosperity in South Asia, have been a hostage to 56-year old Kashmir conflict; and unless the conflict is resolved soon, Peace and prosperity of South Asia would not be possible,' he said while speaking a special session on 'Kashmir-the Gateway to South Asian Peace and Prosperity' held in Chicago, USA at the annual convention of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) . He said that the UN Security Council has already given the road map to peace and prosperity in the region in its resolutions on the Kashmir conflict in the late 1940's. It had also devised a mechanism how it could be achieved, he added. Had UN resolutions been fully implemented, the break down of peace and Prosperity in the region would have been avoided, he maintained . Non-implementation of the UN Security Council resolutions, mainly on the part of India, has compelled the people of Kashmir to struggle for their right of self-determination guaranteed to them by the UN resolutions, Dr Thukar said . He recalled that, in the course of their struggle, Kashmiris have sacrificed lives of 90,000 men, women and children, at the hands of Indian occupation forces. Tens of thousands of Kashmiri youth have been imprisoned without trial, many of whom have met custodial death; thousands of Kashmiri women have been raped and property worth billions of dollars has been destroyed by the Indian forces . Dr Thukar said that human rights and humanitarian organisations are not allowed entry into Kashmir by Delhi with the result that grave human rights Violations by the Indian forces in Kashmir remain unnoticed. Similarly humanitarian relief and medical assistance to victims of human rights abuses are not available, which adds to the trauma of the Kashmiri people manifold, he said . He blamed India for not realising that the unresolved Kashmir conflict is a hurdle to peace in the region and called on India to change its mindset on Kashmir, and he urged the international community to pressurise India to resolve the conflict in accordance with the will of the people of Kashmir in an internationally supervised referendum . Speakers in the special session on Kashmir included, Mr Lars Rise, Norwegian MP and Mr Edward Hasbrouk. Dr G.N. Fai, Executive Director of Washington-based Kashmiri American Council was the moderator . It may be mentioned that ISNA annual convention (this being its 40th) attracts nearly 25,000 and 30,000 participants. It was also attended by scholars, politicians, and a large number of student community .