KGC Letter to Senator Chuck Schumer regarding Kashmir Issue

 

Scan-KGC of this letter can be found here. The letter in its entirely is below.

August 15, 2019

The Honorable Chuck Schumer
United States Senate
Washington DC 20510

Dear Senator Schumer:

I am writing on behalf of Kashmir Global Council, http://kashmirglobalcouncil.com/, a political advocacy group based in New York, requesting you to use your position and influence and call upon the Indian government to end its illegal occupation of state of Jammu and Kashmir and allow the Kashmiri people to choose their own future in accordance with the relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions and allow them to exercise their right of self-determination guaranteed under the UN charter. We also request you to urge the State Department to exercise its influence and put pressure on Indian government to lift the siege on millions of people in Kashmir as a result of Indian government’s illegal and unilateral actions on August 5, 2019.

On August 5, 2019 Indian government rushed legislation through its parliament in an unprecedented manner revoking Articles 370 and 35-A of the Indian Constitution which granted special powers to the Jammu and Kashmir legislature to enact laws. The abrogation of special status was done in a manner that is widely seen as illegal and unconstitutional. It was done without consulting the people of Jammu and Kashmir, their legislature, or political leaders or representatives. While the State Legislature was already dissolved, on the night of August 4-5 prominent political leaders (even those who are mainstream or pro India) were and continue to be detained and the entire population throughout the State was put under lockdown, confined to their homes without access to any kind of essential or emergency services. Internet, phone, and cable services have been disabled.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/08/05 /opinion/kashmir-article-370. html

Jammu and Kashmir state has enjoyed special status under the Indian Constitution for the last 70 years. It is an internationally recognized dispute under various resolutions of the United Nations Security Council which call upon India and Pakistan, principal parties to the dispute, to resolve it through plebiscite thereby giving an opportunity to the people of Jammu and Kashmir to express their free will about their future.

By resorting to unilateral abrogation of special status of Jammu and Kashmir India has violated the UNSC resolutions as also the Shimla Agreement (1971) between India and Pakistan under which both countries agreed to maintain status quo in respect of political status of Jammu and Kashmir. India’s irresponsible actions have heightened the likelihood of war between the two nuclear armed nations and tensions have escalated between the respective governments.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/08/07/worl d/asia/paki stan-kashmir-india. html

By abrogating its temporary constitutional arrangement with Kashmir Indian government has removed the only legal justification it professed for its occupation of Kashmir. Consequently, India by its ill-conceived actions has stripped its occupation of Kashmir of any trappings of legality that it has claimed all along after its illegal occupation of Kashmir in 1947. India is now in naked occupation of Kashmir without any pretense of legal cover. Indian claims that its recent actions in Kashmir are its ‘internal matter’ has no basis in fact or law.

Kashmir is the most dangerous place in the world today. India and Pakistan have fought three wars over Kashmir since 1947 after their independence from British rule. Both countries occupy parts of Kashmir along with China. The militaries of India and Pakistan exchange fire on the Line of Control (LOC), dividing the parts of Kashmir held by them, almost daily, which has resulted in loss of military and civilian lives on both sides. The United States government had to intervene multiple times, in the past, to pull the two countries from the brink of war that could have led to nuclear confrontation. The rhetoric emanating from the leaders of the two countries as a result of recent unilateral actions by India in Kashmir has heightened tensions between them to dangerous levels. Any miscalculation or misunderstanding, in the current hostile environment, can lead to war and possible nuclear confrontation which would engulf the entire region threatening world peace.

We believe that the United States government is in a unique position to effectively intervene in this dispute to prevent a possible nuclear catastrophe. We request you to use your position and influence to urge the State Department to call upon India to end its illegal occupation of Kashmir and allow people of Kashmir to exercise their right to choose their future in accordance with the U N Charter and the relevant UNSC resolutions regarding Kashmir. Also, India must immediately end its illegal and unethical siege of Kashmiri people and restore their rights revoked by India’s unilateral actions of August 5, 2019.

We look forward to a favorable response from you.

Sincerely,

Mufti Showkat Farooqi
Vice President, Kashmir Global Council