Kashmir Global Council (KGC) condemns the verdict of Indian court today against pro-independence leader and Chairman of Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) Yasin Malik sentencing him to life imprisonment.
It is on record that Yasin Malik did not plead guilty to any charges and chose not to contest them because he did not have faith in the Indian judicial system when it comes to Kashmiris. Today’s ill-informed and malicious verdict is not about Yasin Malik, but Indian state and judiciary itself.
Yasin Malik is an indigenous leader who represents the ideology of complete independence of Jammu & Kashmir from India and Pakistan. He renounced the armed struggle in 1994 by declaring a unilateral ceasefire and started a Gandhian type of pro-independence movement with assurances from government and political leaders of India.
In three decades since 1994, Yasin Malik has worked with 7 consecutive Indian Prime Ministers on the Kashmir peace process. While he kept his end of the bargain, the Indian state and courts deliberately ignored this important aspect. At the request of Indian government, he travelled to Pakistan twice to meet political and militant groups in order to pave way for the peaceful settlement of Kashmir issue. It is shameful and disingenuous that such meetings are being held against him today in Indian courts as evidence of conspiracy.
KGC rejects the Indian courts verdict of life imprisonment against Yasin Malik and will offer support and legal defense to him and his family in the appeal of his sentence. We ask the people of Jammu & Kashmir to register their protests in a peaceful and non-violent manner, and not to fall into the traps of the agencies of India and Pakistan. We also ask institutions, political leaders, and media in India and Pakistan not to exploit Yasin Malik’s imprisonment for advancing their own vested agendas on Kashmir.
We ask foreign governments to take cognizance of the travesty of justice that happened in the Indian court today which raises questions about the sincerity of India in bringing peace. A future peace process cannot function if the political leaders of Jammu & Kashmir are imprisoned in Indian jails. The verdict against Yasin Malik represents another nail in the coffin of peaceful settlement of Kashmir issue, unless Indian establishment reconsiders the verdict.
Board of Directors
Kashmir Global Council
New York, Toronto, Dallas