KASHMIR : A team of highly committed and dedicated members of the Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front led by Sardar Rauf Kashmiri, beating Kashmir winds and weather reaches Muzaffarabad, the capital of Azad Jammu Kashmir.

Over a two dozen freedom fighters set off by foot two weeks back from Bimber District bordering the Punjab province of Pakistan. From Bimber, they walked via Mir Pur, Kotli, Poonch and finally reached Muzaffarabad where they submitted a Memorandum to the UN representatives to be passed on to the United Nations Secretary General. The following is the text of the Memorandum.

Jammu Kashmir is a long-standing unresolved issue at the United Nations. On August 13, 1948, the UNCIP suggested the withdrawal of troops by India and Pakistan which forcibly entered JK on 27 and 22 of October respectively. This was a precondition to a plebiscite, which in turn was a precondition to a resolution and also suggested the transfer of power to local authorities (government).

Both India and Pakistan agreed in writing to give the people of the state the right to decide their future according to their will and intentions but in the opinion of JKLF R (Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front – Rauf) who is submitting this memorandum; just a few months later – the UNCIP passed a resolution on 5 January 1949 which restricted the right of the citizens of J & K to their birthright of freedom. By effectively imposing these restrictions on the local inhabitants, the issue of J & K was changed and the United Nations left the people of the state at the mercy of the occupying countries. Consequently, over a hundred thousand innocent civilians have been brutally killed in Indian-occupied J & K. Hundreds of women have been raped as a weapon of war and a significant number of mass graves have been discovered in the process.

Meanwhile, Pakistan has closed the land routes between Gilgit Baltistan (GB) and Azad Jammu & Kashmir (AJK) since 1947. This enforced separation has led to gross misunderstanding between the inhabitants of these two entities. The Pakistani government furthermore suspended the state subject rule (SSR) – which prevented outsiders from obtaining land and immoveable property in the region – and thus paved the way for demographic change. Overall, the political and economic rights of the citizens of GB and AJK have been severely violated.

Honourable Secretary General

As you would be well aware that the UN Security Council Resolution 91 of 30 March 1951 followed by re-affirmation in UN Security Council Resolution 122 of 24 January 1957 affirmed that any assembly (or parliament) in any part of J & K cannot accede to any country on its own accord or be annexed in any manner. Further, that the future of the State of J & K should be decided through the process of a simultaneous plebiscite throughout the State.

These resolutions in the opinion of Dr. Nazir Gilani (a jurist and leading authority on the UN framework in this territory) guarantee the dignity of the state and territory of J & K and that no decision would be made by either State (India or Pakistan) without a reference to the people. Further, these resolutions make clear that neither India or Pakistan has sovereign authority on any part of J & K.

Yet, on August the 5th 2019 – India – in defiance of all international laws and written agreements at the United Nations, annexed Indian-occupied J & K into the Indian Union, by use of sheer military might reported to now amount to over 900,000 in total. They imposed a total lockdown of the territory and the manner in which the United Nations and the international community have remained silent on these heinous human rights violations – in the opinion of JKLF (R) is a dark chapter in the history of this region.

This seemingly unilateral action by India also emboldened Pakistan to act in a similar fashion to integrate (annex) GB and AJK into its own provinces of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) and Punjab. It is preparing to make amendments in its constitution to further solidify these intentions.

Honourable Secretary General

Post the 5th of August 2019, Chinese forces have also advanced south in Ladakh and captured further parts of the State of J & K, in addition to the 17% of territory it already held. Now, in aggregate there are calculated to be about 1.2 to 1.4 million armed forces of India, Pakistan and China in our territory, without the local people’s reference, which all have promised in some shape or form since 1947. Thus, the state of J & K has become the largest (open air) prison in the world, effectively imprisoning over 20 million state citizens.

Now that these occupiers are trying to finalise and give permanent shape to their respective occupations, these citizens have been totally ignored. It seems as if the world doesn’t consider us to be humans but merely animals without an opinion.

On the one hand, the civilised world is exercising the ideals of the right of access to information while the aspiring citizens of the State of Jammu & Kashmir are not even able to exercise their basic fundamental rights, of which their birthright to freedom is most precious. This mass atrocity being perpetrated on the 20 million people of this territory is occurring in the era of the ‘global village’ and it appears that the United Nations and the rest of the civilised world are mere silent spectators.

Honourable Secretary General

The time has come for the United Nations to play an active role in redressing the atrocities committed over the past seven decades against the 20 million citizens of the State of Jammu & Kashmir and to recognise the inhabitants here as humans according to the ideals set out in the UN charter. A free and fair referendum is their basic birthright in this regard.

If the United Nations leaves the citizens of this State at the mercy of the occupying countries and allows them to divide us according to their wishes – as opposed to allowing us to re-unify according to our wishes – this will be a black mark on the forehead of the civilised world, including the United Nations.

We are writing this memorandum while arriving at the climax of our 300 kilometre walk from Bhimber in the south of AJK (Pakistani-administered Kashmir as described by the outside world) to AJK’s capital Muzaffarabad. This walk began on the 15th of October 2021 and was initiated by the Rauf Kashmir faction of the JKLF and it involved on average 20 participants. Other factions of the JKLF including other nationalist political parties and civil society welcomed and accommodated the people engaged in this walk at each juncture. They are also conducting a ‘public referendum’ before, during and after this activity (target sample: 1 million) with 3 questions to ascertain the public’s opinion on the unilateral, bilateral and multilateral steps being taken by India, Pakistan and other members of the international community to permanently divide the State of Jammu & Kashmir – without the people’s reference – which was the supposed condition for their presence here.