15 August 2008
KASHMIR: PEACE, WHAT PEACE?
The Media Review Network (MRN) and the Muslim Judicial Council (MJC) has long been agitating for a settlement in the Indian Occupied Territory of Kashmir. The tragedy that is playing itself out in the region during the past month is merely a symptom of the will of the Kashmiris- their desire for self determination and their sovereign state. Successive Indian Governments have steadfastly refused to honour the United Nations Resolutions. They have also ignored the promises made by Jawaharlal Nehru and Mahatma M.K. Gandhi, both of whom, on numerous occasions, assured the people of this disputed territory, that a referendum would be held and the will of the people respected. This undertaking, regrettably, remains a pipe dream.
Sixty years after Independence, the Government of India remains intransigent. Their policy of state run terrorism via the employment of over 700 000 security forces is allowed to continue unhindered by the International Community. Political parties, for the sake of political expediency, stir up communal violence between Muslim and Hindu. The suffering of the civilian population, mostly women, children, the elderly and the infirm is of little consequence. The Muslim population is at the receiving end of this brutal machinery. The anguish, pain and misery brought onto the human population are beyond imagination. The violation of human rights by the security forces, coupled with the array of draconian laws make the security forces almost immune to any prosecution. The local population has nearly no recourse to a fair and just judicial system.
It is as a matter of urgency that our Government identify with the people of Kashmir and impress on the Indian Government to respect the wishes of the People and by doing so honour the UN Resolutions. The MRN and MJC also call upon the South African Human Rights Commission to visit the disputed territory and to make an independent assessment of the situation on the ground. It is our moral responsibility to identify with the suffering of the people of Kashmir, considering our fight against oppression, discrimination and human rights violations.
Media Review Network
012 374 6987
Muslim Judicial Council
083 408 1157
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