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Kashmir: Memorandum

Memorandum submitted by the leadership of Kashmiri Americans to Mr. Ban Ki-Moon, the secretary General of the United Nations

KAC, New York, September 30, 2008

"The Kashmir question is one of the oldest unresolved international problems in the world. The experience of nearly six decades has shown that it will not go away and that an effort is urgently required to resolve it on a durable basis.  'Durable', in this context is synonymous with 'equitable'.  It is imperative, whatever be the rights and wrongs in the equation as far as arguments go, real populations with a pronounced sense of identity of their own, with their suffering and their aspirations rather than just legal title and merit are involved," this was stated in a memorandum submitted by the leadership of the Kashmiri Americans to Mr. Ban Ki-Moon, the Secretary General of the United Nations. The memorandum was jointed signed by Dr. Ghulam Nabi Fai, Mr. Shaheen Bhat, Dr. Ghulam Nabi Mir, Mr. Raja Muzzaafar, Mr. Aftab Shah, Hafiz Muhammad Sabir, Mr. Abdul Rashid Bhatti, Mr. Azim Dutt, Sardar Sawar Khan, Sardar Niaz Khan, Mr. Nadeem Malik, Sardar
Mohammad Arshad Khan, Mr. Jvaid Rathore and Mr. Junaid Mattu.

The memorandum emphasizes that there are certain characteristics of the situation in Kashmir, which distinguish it from all other deplorable human rights situations around the world. It prevails in what is recognized - under international law and by the United States - as a disputed territory.  According to the international agreements between India and Pakistan, negotiated by the United Nations (through a commission set up for the purpose) and endorsed by the Security Council, the territory's status is to be determined by the free vote of its people under U.N. supervision.  The unresolved dispute caused two wars in the not-so-remote past between India and Pakistan.

It further reads that it is a paradoxical case of the United Nations being deactivated and rendered unable to address a situation to which it had devoted a number of resolutions and in which it had established a presence, though with a limited mandate.  The United Nations Military Observers Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP) is one of the oldest peacekeeping operations of the U.N.; the force is stationed in Kashmir to observe the cease-fire between India and Pakistan.

The memorandums further says that if a response to the gravity of the situation is intended, we firmly believe that the following measures are essential:

1. There must be an immediate and complete cessation of military and paramilitary action by Indian forces against the people of Jammu & Kashmir;

2. All bunkers, watch towers and barricades set up by the Indian military and paramilitary forces in towns and villages must be immediately dismantled;

3. All those imprisoned in connection with resistance to the Indian occupation must be unconditionally released;

4. The draconian laws must be repealed immediately;

5. The right of peaceful association, assembly and demonstration must be restored to the people.

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