CBM S Are Means And Not An End By Itself: Raja Zaulqarnain
29 September 2007
Kashmir American Centre
Washington DC: Numerous CBM s including the bus service and free movement across the border has raised our hopes but a just and fair settlement for the people of Kashmir have yet to be materialized into any relief action for the effected people, said Raja Zulqarnain, President of Azad Kashmir. The President was addressing a gathering in Washington, D.C. which was organized by Dr. Ghulam Nabi Fai, Executive Director of the Kashmiri American Council - Kashmir Center and attended by the prominent journalists and the leadership of Kashmiri Americans from Azad Kashmir, living in the Washington metropolitan area. Raja Sahib spoke about the impact of the peace process in South Asia on the situation in Jammu & Kashmir. Pakistan has been very accommodative and flexible but I see no flexibility in India s attitude, he complained. Unless India reciprocates, I do not see the peace process going anywhere. The President reiterated that the Kashmir movement is neither secessionist nor annexation. It is not a territorial dispute. It is simply a question of fundamental human rights of 14 million people of Kashmir whose rights were guaranteed under the resolutions of the United Nations Security Council. Dr. Fai said that according to the latest survey conducted jointly by CNN, NDTV, Hindustan Times, The News & the Dawn, 87 percent people of Kashmir want Azadi (Freedom). Demanding Azadi means that the people of Kashmir rule out the Ceasefire Line becoming an international border. He warned that Line of Control is the line of conflict and any notion that it can become an international border is an absolute fallacy. Dr. Fai emphasized that no confidence building measure is an end by itself. Such measures have to be accompanied by tangible efforts to be taken by the Government of India to resolve the dispute. That may include steps like gradual demilitarization and release of political prisoners. He said that although Indian troops commit human rights violations even in major cities, the worst atrocities are committed in the far-flung rural areas. Such atrocities unfortunately go unnoticed by the media. The Executive Director said that some people come up with astonishing notion of autonomy within the Indian Constitution to be given to the people of Kashmir. That is an absolute non-solution. Here you are relaying on the provision of the Constitution of India. All the constitutions of the world are subject to an amendment and Indian Constitution is no exception. If not today, if not tomorrow, the Indian Parliament will delete the provision of autonomy from its Constitution and it may not even need a discussion, he reminded.