Statement by Sardar Masood Khan, President AJK, at the Annual Coordination Meeting of the OIC Foreign Ministers
Mr. Chairman, Secretary General OIC, Excellencies, and Distinguished Delegates.
I am grateful to the OIC Foreign Ministers Annual Coordination Meeting for opening its doors to the delegation of Jammu and Kashmir. The people of Jammu and Kashmir are 20 million living in a territory which is 220,000 square kilometers. This land is called “Paradise on Earth”; but for its people it has been turned into a living hell by India.
You know it all. In the past seven weeks, Kashmir has been invaded, bifurcated, annexed and colonized. The people of Kashmir are living in a cage and India says Muslims of the State would be reduced to indentured citizens and its land would be turned into a 21stcentury colony. A genocide has started in Kashmir. Thousands are being detained and tortured. People’s houses have no sanctity. In midnight raids people are harassed, persecuted, tortured and killed. Women’s bodies are treated as spoils of war by the conqueror. Yet the world merely looks on as if there is no law, no international law; as if there is anarchy and might is right; and the life in Kashmir is short, brutish and nasty, as Hobbes would have described.
For decades we have been knocking on the doors of the OIC Ministerial Meetings and Summits but to no avail. We have been pleading with the UN Security Council to give justice and peace to the Kashmiris but this has been denied because of inaction. We have been going to the Human Rights Council and earlier to the Human Rights Commission, year after year after year, but we have been left at the mercy of Indian occupation forces and exposed to their terrorism, euphemistically called human rights violations. The world is aware of the culture of impunity in the Indian Occupied Kashmir.
After August 5, the international media has been clamoring about India’s genocidal campaign and crimes against humanity in IOK and the rise of Indian fascism in the form of Hindutva. But the most powerful nations on earth are counting their dollars and cents in India. They think Kashmiris’ blood is cheap being shed on another planet, not on this earth. The occupier is being recognized and rewarded and the victims are being consigned to the dustbin of history.
By a strange manipulation of international law, the inherent right of the people of Jammu and Kashmir to individual or collective self-defense has been taken away and the 14 million unarmed Kashmiris have been left exposed to the atrocities and depredations of 900,000 strong occupation forces. A firewall of siege has cordoned off the entire occupied territory of Jammu and Kashmir in a way that nobody can come to the rescue of the defenseless Kashmiris; and these unarmed civilians have been barred from protecting themselves.
This crime against humanity is the biggest blot on the world conscience. It highlights how the post-world war order symbolized by the United Nations is being crippled with abandon by mainstreaming and legitimizing double standards, partiality and selectivity. Are Kashmiris not global citizens? While Kashmir is burning and cries and wails of the traumatized Kashmiris are rising from every hearth and home, where are the champions of Responsibility to Protect (R2P) and humanitarian intervention? Why are Kashmiris being tuned out?
I come here today to appeal to each member of the OIC and, through the OIC, to the United Nations to raise their voice for Kashmir before it is too late. Today it is Kashmir; tomorrow it could be you. Set aside expediency and rescue humanity in Kashmir.
We appeal to the UN Security Council to convene a series of sessions to weigh in on India to stop its aggression, massacres, blockades and colonization of Kashmir; and stem a swift drift towards war in South Asia triggered by India. We request the Secretary General to unconditionally offer his good offices and appoint a Special Envoy on Kashmir even if India does not concur. We also urge the OIC to leverage its collective strengths and bilateral clout of its members to put pressure on India to stop brutalizing the Kashmiris and repudiate the illegal steps taken by it. We also urge OIC members to start a Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement as recommended by its own Independent Human Rights Commission.
Above all, we appeal to all nations of the world to establish a humanitarian corridor to provide rescue and relief to the Kashmiris.
My final message: save Kashmiris, save Kashmir and save the world from the scourge of war.