Project Reports

Report of RTD on International Human Rights Day and Issues of Palestine and Kashmir


Research Think Tank MUSLIM Institute organized a Round table discussion on “International Human Rights Day and Issues of Palestine & Kashmir” in Islamabad.

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Sahibzada Sultan Ahmad Ali
Chairman MUSLIM Institute

Chairman MUSLIM Institute, Sahibzada Sultan Ahmad Ali while dilating upon the objective of organizing this RTD said that 10th December is observed as International Human Rights Day whereas the human rights of people of Palestine and Kashmir are being violated for last sixty years. The issues of both Palestine & Kashmir are of human rights whereas these are not presented and discussed at international level from this perspective. Although we have emotional feelings with these issues but these need to be highlighted as cases of human rights violations. Unfortunately, world pays heed to false propaganda of Israeli people while whatsoever they are doing brutally with people of Palestine is completely ignored by international forums. Kashmir is only discussed as political issue between Pakistan and India whereas this should be seen as a case of human rights violations. In Sixty years, People of Kashmir haven’t accepted the Indian occupation so this should be considered that there is something for which they haven’t yet accepted that.

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Muhammad Rafiq Dar
Spokesman of Jammu & Kashmir Liberation Front

Muhammad Rafiq Dar, Spokesman of Jammu & Kashmir Liberation Front said that there are UN’s dozen resolutions on Kashmir which give the right of self-determination to the people of Kashmir. These have been accepted by India but their implementation has been totally neglected by India. Kashmiris are struggling for their self-determination and that is their basic Human Right. He mentioned about the three phases of Struggle of Kashmiri for self determination. First from 1947 to 1988; this was peaceful struggle and mainly focused on highlighting the issue on international forums. Second from 1989 to 1994, the armed struggle by youth of Kashmir against India when they felt that India was indifferent to peaceful demands of Kashmiris. Hundreds of thousand people of Kashmir came out on roads to support the armed struggle of Mujahideen for their self-determination, and Indian army opened fire and killed many of them. After 9/11, third phase was started as any armed struggle was considered as terrorism by international powers. Then Kashmiris converted their struggle in non-violent movement based on dialogues. After 2006, the non-violent struggle has been stepped up by Kashmiris who want international community to ensure their basic human rights so they should play their role to resolve the issue.

At present there are four major movements in Kashmir; two All Parties Hurriyat Conferences, one is headed by Syed Ali Gillani and other by Mir Waiz Umar Farooq. There is a United Jihad Council headed by Syed Salahuddin who have militant struggle movement and forth is Jammu & Kashmir Liberation Front headed by Yaseen Malik. All groups struggling in Kashmir are agreed and united on the issue of right for self-determination of Kashmiris for the resolution of Kashmir issue.

Various forms of state terrorism have been part of a deliberate campaign by the Indian army against Muslim Kashmiris, especially since 1989. It has been manifested in brutal tactics such as crackdowns, curfews, illegal detentions, massacre, targeted killings, sieges, arson, torture, disappearances, unnamed graves, rape of Muslim women and killing of persons through fake encounters. He further informed that on this year’s International Human Rights day i.e., 10th December 2013 all leadership of these movements was house arrested. People in Kashmir were on roads for demonstrations where Indian forces opened fire and more than 56 were injured while 2000 people including Syed Ali Gillani, Mir Waiz Umar Farooq and Yaseen Malik were arrested.

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Mr. Husni Abu Gosh
First Secretary of Palestinian Embassy in Pakistan

First Secretary of Palestinian Embassy in Pakistan, Mr. Husni Abu Gosh said that Palestine is the land of Prophets and it is sacred for Muslims, Jews and Christians. For the protection of rights of Muslims in Palestine we need more Salahuddins in this time. In 1897, the Zionist movement started in Switzerland and they organized to get place in Palestine and many Jews came from Europe and started acquiring lands in Palestine. In 1948 with the help of British they got success in making Israel on the land of Palestine. Israel forced Palestinians to leave their lands and homes so many of them went to neighbor countries like Sirya and Lebanon etc. There were wars with Israel in 1965, 67, 73 and 82 wherein Israel was supported by West and America and because of their full support Israel is surviving.

In 1993 Peace agreement was signed between Palestine & Israel but the conflict is worsening since then. Still 7000 Palestinians are in Israeli Jails. West Bank, the area where administrative offices of Palestine are, is completely occupied by Israeli forces and no Palestinian can go there without Israeli permission. Palestinians are being given Identity Cards of Israel with this thought that after some time their next generation would forget about the Palestinian identity. Palestine has less water and Israel has taken the rights of water from Palestinians. Every Jew settler can use water ten times more than one Palestinian.

In the question answer session, Rafiq Dar said that Kashmiris should be involved in any process of negotiations between India and Pakistan. Regarding the wall being constructed by India on Line of Control, he said the Line of Control term was first time used in Shimla agreement in 1965 whereas this is only line where ceasefire was made between the Indian and Pakistani forces in 1948 as per resolutions of United Nations so this wall has no value. Regarding expected future government by BJP in India, he said that for Kashmiris India’s any government has same position, be it of BJP or Congress. Even in Congress government the inhuman laws have been implemented to empower Indian forces with brutality against the people of Kashmiris. However, the face of Moodi could be more dangerous as his hands are stained with the blood of large number of Muslims in Indian Hyderabad.

While responding to a question, Husni Abu Gosh said that Wall built by Israel is 600 km long with height of 10 meters on which billions of dollars have been spent by Israel. It is not the boundary but is separation wall made by Israel and while constructing the wall, many houses of Palestinians have been divided as some part of house is on one side of wall whereas remaining is on the other side of wall. In 2011, Prime Minister of Israel has announced this as boundary between Israel and Palestine.

He said about the recent visit of Foreign Minister of US, John Kerry to Palestine that this is not something new as they have been using such practices for 60 years. They come and listen Palestinians but after that they show their support to Israel so there are no hopes from them for the People of Palestinians.

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Senator Akram Zaki
Former Secretary General Foreign Affairs

In the concluding remarks, Former Secretary General Foreign Affairs Akram Zaki said that with reference to struggle of people & human rights violations, in 1948 on 10 December Universal declaration was adopted. Our first charter for Human Rights was given by Holy Prophet Muhammad SAWW and summarized in His Last Khutba (Address). First charter of Human Right declaration is about no discrimination between white & black color which is still violated on daily basis even in USA. If Kashmiris or Palestinians suffer it doesn’t matter for America but if any U.S citizen suffers then Human Rights declaration is used very strongly. After First World War, Pakistan Muslim League also adopted the cause of Palestinian movement. On 23 March 1940, a resolution for Pakistan was passed by Muslim League and on that day in same meeting another resolution was passed for the Palestine, and it was said that Israel will not be accepted.

He said that there are many similarities between the cases of Palestine and Kashmir. In June 1947 British decided to distribute the Palestinian state in Israel and Palestine. In our case Kashmir was occupied by Indian forces. In 1965 there was war between Pakistan and India, whereas after two years in 1967 there was war between Palestine and Israel. In 1971 Pakistan had again a war with Indian and after two years in 1973, there was again war between Palestine and Israel. France, Britain and America always supported Israel.

Regarding wall by India on LOC he said that when Pakistan planned to build wall with Afghanistan, we were pressurized by U.S not to build the war but now India has not been stopped from building the wall on LOC in Kashmir.

International silence on human rights abuses by the occupied forces in Palestine and Kashmir needs to be broken through widespread condemnation of aggressions by India and Israel. Rulers of majority of Muslim countries are more concerned about their personal interests or of families and that’s why the issues of Muslims are not being taken up properly at the international level. For the success in any such dispute, he said, resistance, negotiations and support to resistance all three are important. For the resolution of challenges faced by Muslims worldwide, he emphasized on the study, reflection and research, and for that he appreciated the serious efforts of MUSLIM Institute.

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