Dr. Abdul Qader Tash in his January 23 Arab News article (Kashmiris deserve our support) has rightly warned that the world should not leave Kashmiris “to the mercy of their oppressors”. He has also shown hope “for a peaceful settlement to the issue” by urging “the Indian intellectuals to pave the way to that.”
As a special envoy of Indian Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee is arriving Riyadh on Sunday to acquaint the Saudi officials with the Indian position on the crisis. I hope that the following concerns will be presented to visiting delegation to seek an end of this 54 years old human tragedy.
1)It is a just cause, no matter what the Indians say. The graves of 70,000 martyred Kashmiris, who lie buried in Indian-held Kashmir, is living testimony of the fact that the Kashmiri freedom struggle has been an indigenous movement. India’s guilt in Indian Held Kashmir will continue to compel India to portray the Kashmiri freedom struggle as a terrorist movement and Pakistan as a supporter of terrorism.
2)If the Kashmir freedom movement is indeed engineered entirely from across the border, surely it would help the Indian cause to allow international observers and media men to enter the valley and assess the situation first-hand?
3)The LoC is simply a military ceasefire line and not a border by any definition. India should not be reluctant to have international monitors to assess the level, if any, of infiltration from Pakistan and AJK.
4)Currently the Indians are making frantic efforts to join the exclusive club of the permanent members of the Security Council. Is it not ironic that they are desperately seeking the membership of a body whose resolutions on Kashmir Plebiscite are termed obsolete by the Indian establishment and not honoured.
5)Moreover, why does India fight shy of third-party mediation, given the rigid postures of the two parties to the dispute? Surely a referee would help take the resolution process forward. President Musharraf has already asked for International Mediation.
I hope the delegation will not hesitate to request Saudi Arabia to play the mediator role to resolve this nuclear flashpoint dispute between two neighboring countries.