International Community Must Demand an Impartial Investigation Into Recent Killings in Kashmir

Washington, DC – On July 9, 2010, Dr. Ghulam Nabi Fai, executive director of the Kashmiri American Council/Kashmir Center, made an imperative appeal for the international community to come forward and demand India allow freedom of speech, opinion and assembly in the disputed territory. The international community has an obligation to persuade all parties concerned to grant the people of Kashmir their inalienable right of self-determination. All those who believe in an inclusive, pluralistic, global village that recognizes spaces for individual expression must seize the moment and help in seeking a realistic and lasting solution of this long-standing dispute.

Commenting on the massive riots taking place in Kashmir, due to the deaths of more than 17 civilians, including women and children, Dr. Fai stated, “the myth of Indian democracy and respect for the rights of others is apparent with the deaths and injuries throughout Kashmir. Moreover, no amount of wishful thinking will resolve this outstanding dispute between India, Pakistan. It needs the understanding of the international community in general and the United States in particular and the full participation of the leadership of the people of Jammu & Kashmir.”

The recent killings of unarmed, defenseless civilians in Kashmir quickly escalated into a frenzy of revolt against India. Adding to this explosive situation, the Indian Army, with its brutal might, has re-entered the Kashmir Valley – the first time in 13 years. More than 400 political activists and the entire leadership including Syed Ali Geelani, as well as Mian Abdul Qayyum and Shabbir Shah have been imprisoned in contravention of Article 9 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Hundreds have been detained or house arrested including Naeem Ahmed Khan, Mohammad Yasin Malik and Mirwaiz Umar Farooq.

In such an atrocious atmosphere of trauma, horror and chaos, delusional Indian government officials are vehemently declaring everything is under control. Yet, Dr. Fai poignantly suggested, “India has completely lost Kashmir, it retains it only with the barrel of a gun and that cannot last.” Adding to that, Dr. Fai urged the international community to come forward and demand an impartial international investigation into the recent killings. He also demanded an investigation into the recently discovered unknown, unmarked and mass graves by the International Tribunal on Kashmir, which is headed by an eminent and internationally known scholar, Professor Angana Chatterji, who hails from Calcutta, India.