New York; August 5th, 2020
In a statement issued by the Chief Spokesperson of Kashmir Global Council (KGC), Professor Dr. Humaira Gowher said that KGC is pleased to announce the initiation of the process for formation of the Kashmir Senate.
Giving details, Professor Gowher stated that on December 22nd , 2019, the KGC hosted a conference in New York to discuss the proposal for the formation of the Kashmir Senate, which would represent all regions of the State: Jammu and Kashmir, Ladakh, Azad Jammu, and Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan. The Senate proposal was to be further discussed in March 2020, at the KGC-hosted conference in Dallas, USA. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the conference has been rescheduled, and the date will be announced as soon as possible. In the meantime, KGC has decided that given the uncertainty about hosting a physical conference, it would be prudent to initiate online deliberations for the Senate formation.
On July 3rd, 2020, in a KGC board of directors meeting, it was decided that the Kashmir Senate formation will take place in a phased manner across all regions of the State. Today’s announcement marks the launching of the 1st phase, which consists of receiving nominations for the Senate from each constituency. In the 2nd phase, online deliberations will be held with all nominees to align common goals and policies. In the 3rd and final phase, the names of Senators will be made public. The nomination process will stay open until all the seats are filled.
The Kashmir Senate will comprise of 152 seats derived from the current electoral constituencies in the Assemblies of all regions of the State. The breakdown of seats is as follows: 87 from the region of Jammu and Kashmir, 41 from the region of Azad Jammu and Kashmir, and 24 from the region of Gilgit-Baltistan.
The goal of the Senate is to create a collective representative character for the entire State of Jammu and Kashmir as it stood in 1947 before its occupation.
On August 1st, 2020, the KGC board of directors appointed Mufti Showkat Farooqi, the Vice President of KGC as the Convener of the Kashmir Senate to conduct, coordinate, and facilitate the process of Senate formation. He is a graduate of Columbia Law School and currently practices as an attorney in New York state.
Professor Gowher also expressed her pleasure in welcoming Salim Nanaji from Srinagar, Kashmir as a new board member of KGC. Salim Sahib is a well-known political personality who has contributed, sacrificed, and suffered years of incarceration in Indian prisons for his political belief. He is a stalwart of Kashmir’s struggle for independence since 1987 and is known for his uprightness.
We are also pleased to announce that we are receiving nominations from all regions and the nominees are currently undergoing vetting. We will announce the first list of Senators as soon as the vetting process is complete.
With deep regret, we announce the passing away of the Senate nominee late Ilyas Majeed Wani, brother of Shaheed e Kashmir, Ashfaq Majeed Wani, from Srinagar. He was a hardworking political rights activist. We offer our heartfelt condolences to his family and our thoughts and prayers are with them. May his soul rest in peace.
Dr. Humaira Gowher,
Chief Spokesperson, Kashmir Global Council