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Indian PM failed to fulfill zero-tolerance promise: Fai

New York, September 26, 2007:

Executive Director of the Kashmiri American Council Kashmir Center, Ghulam Nabi Fai today said that Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had failed to fulfill his promise of brining down human rights violations in the state to zero.

Addressing the OIC Kashmir Contact Group Meeting here at the United Nations, Fai said that the Indian troops were continuously indulging in grave human rights violations and killings innocent Kashmiris.

He said that the Kashmir dispute primarily involves the life and future of 14 million people of the land. "Because of its impact on relations between India and Pakistan, however, it directly affects the peace and stability of the South-Asian subcontinent."

"This is a region, which contains one-fifth of total human race," Fai said addressing the OIC Kashmir Contact Group Meeting here.

Fai emphasised that the dispute is not insoluble through peaceful procedures. "It appears to be so only because the obduracy and inflexibility of one of the parties is encouraged by the apathy of the world outside. To cover its wrongful occupation of Kashmir, India has skilfully propagated a series of myths about the genesis and nature of the dispute," he said.

Fai reminded the leadership of the OIC that the human rights situation in Jammu Kashmir has not changed despite the peace talks between India and Pakistan. "Far from seeking to rectify its atrocious human rights record, he said despite Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's promise of zero tolerance on the human rights situation in Kashmir, India has legalised its state-sponsored terrorism in Kashmir."

He said: "India has given its troops powers to shoot, to kill and the license to abuse the people of Kashmir in whatever ways they like in order to suppress the popular movement for self-determination. These tactics have no military purpose whatsoever. Their only imaginable purpose is to terrorise people into submission."

Fai warned that as long as the international community allows India to "hide its atrocities" in Kashmir, there would be no end to the ever-increasing gross and consistent violations of human rights in that unfortunate land.

"As long as India is successful in isolating Kashmir from the rest of the world, they will not only continue to trample the Kashmiris' basic rights and freedom but will also block all peaceful processes for the restitution and restoration of these rights and freedom," he said.

The Executive Director told the audience that the Kashmiri Hindus, though less than 1 per cent of the total population, flourished under Kashmir's Muslim majority. He said that these Kashmiri Hindus equally believe, as do their Muslim compatriots, that resistance in Kashmir is against "alien occupation and is not communal".

Fai urged the United Nations and the OIC to impress upon parties concerned to include the genuine and accredited leadership of Jammu Kashmir in all future peace negotiations.

He appealed the world body to persuade New Delhi to initiate the Kashmir-centric CBMs, including allowing the people of Kashmir to freely express their political views, releasing all political prisoners, repealing draconian laws, withdrawing troops from urban areas and city centres, dismantling bunkers from the villages and towns and allowing Kashmiri political leaders to travel abroad.

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