Today the nation of Kashmir is facing an existential threat due to the various draconian laws adopted by Government of India (GoI) which gives total impunity to the roughly 900,000 Indian armed forces in Kashmir. They can shoot anybody, anywhere at will and will not be held accountable under law. “We believe that the Indian government’s actions in Kashmir have been an extreme case of persecution and could very well lead to genocide,” says Dr. Gregory H. Stanton, Founding President, Genocide Watch.
To this date, foreign media is still barred from reporting from Kashmir since August 2019. Kashmiri leadership, human rights activists and journalists continue to languish in jails, hundreds of miles away from their homeland. The Indian government consolidated its grip during the COVID lockdown which continues until today. The Indian media is completely compromised under the Modi administration and there is barely any news coming out of Kashmir due to the draconian measures adopted by the Government of India.
His Excellency, President Tayyip Erdogan, brought the issue of Kashmir again to the limelight at the United Nations General Assembly today, on September 19, 2023, by stating “Other developments that will pave the way for regional peace, stability and prosperity in South Asia will be the establishment of a just and lasting peace in Kashmir through dialogue and cooperation between India and Pakistan.” The mention of Kashmir conflict by President Erdogan at the UN General Assembly has been very well received by the oppressed and persecuted people of Kashmir including the global Kashmiri diaspora. This statement is the source of great inspiration at a time when Kashmiris are facing existential threat, perhaps during the darkest days in the history of Kashmir.
To resolve the Kashmir conflict through dialogue and negotiation has been the consistent policy of Turkey during Erdogan’s administration and we remain deeply grateful. We remember that he also raised the issue at the 2022 General Assembly speech stating, “India and Pakistan, after having established their sovereignty and independence 75 years ago, they still haven’t established peace and solidarity between one another. This is much unfortunate. We hope and pray that a fair and permanent peace and prosperity will be established in Kashmir.”
In September 2021, he said, “We maintain our stance in favour of solving the ongoing problem in Kashmir for 74 years, through dialogue between the parties and within the framework of relevant United Nations resolutions.”
And again, President Erdogan said at the 2020 United Nations General Assembly that “The Kashmir conflict, which is also key to the stability and peace of South Asia, is still a burning issue…We are in favour of solving this issue through dialogue within the framework of the United Nations resolutions, especially in line with the expectations of the people of Kashmir.”
At the 2019 United Nations General Assembly, he stated, “In order for the Kashmiri people to look at a safe future together with their Pakistani and Indian neighbors, it is imperative to solve the problem through dialogue and on the basis of justice and equity, not through clashes.” President Erdogan also raised deep concerns about the residents of the region stating they are “virtually under blockade with 8 million people, unfortunately, unable to step outside of Kashmir”.
I recall His Excellency, President Joseph Biden, expressing the sentiments of hundreds of millions of Muslims when he stated during the Presidential campaign, “Hadith from the Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) instructs, whoever among you sees wrong, let him change it with his hand. If he is not able, then with his tongue. If he is not able, then with his heart. So many of you are living this teaching in your own communities every day, joining your faith and principals. The American principals are consistent, actions that make life better for your families for your neighbors, through service, advocacy work and preaching peace. You deserve to have a president and an administration who will work with you and support you in these efforts.” Who knows it much better than President Biden that Modi has made Kashmir hell for its people. But, unfortunately, today, when he had an opportunity to say something at least ‘with his tongue’ about the pain and suffering of the people of Kashmir, he chooses to remain silent.
Dr. Fai can be reached at” 1-202-607-6435. Or. email@example.com