KARACHI: Chairman of the All-Party Hurriyet Conference Syed Ali Geelani has thanked Prime Minister Imran Khan for his efforts to push for the Kashmiri cause before the global community.
In a letter to the premier, a copy of which is exclusively available with The Express Tribune, Geelani said it may be his last communication as "ill health and issues of old age may not allow" him to address again. "Allah (SWT) decides as he wills on our lives and deaths."
The letter comes as lockdown in the Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir nears 100 days. Days before revoking IOJ&K special autonomy, the Narendra Modi government imposed an information and communication clampdown and placed the occupied region's political leadership under arrest. International media has since reported human rights violations and censured New Delhi for the lack of transparency.
Addressing PM Imran, Geelani said: "The way you [Imran] spoke at the UNGA against the Indian decision to illegally change the disputed status of Jammu and Kashmir, and in favor of the oppressed people of this region, is praiseworthy."
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"The struggle for the freedom of Kashmir from Indian occupation and tyranny has seen many phases right from 1947. But, since that date, the struggle of Kashmiri men, women and children for liberation has continued and remained alive. In this ceaseless struggle 1988, 2008, 2010 and 2016 remain as landmarks. It is the cumulative people's resistance that has ensured that India has been unable to crush this freedom struggle."
"India's attempt to force this illegal decision on the people has seen a widespread curfew in the region," he said. "All forms of communication, including phones and internet have been cut off.
Thousands of people, including children, old men, teenagers, traders, lawyers, students, doctors, the Hurriyet leadership and their relatives, have been detained and arrested and locked in various jails in India. Hundreds of young men have been subjected to savage torture."
Geelani said the Indian forces continued to used pellet guns, blinding the Kashmiri youth. "Molestation, sexual harassment and even sodomy have also continued to be used as state policy to subjugate people. Indian occupation forces are still molesting women after barging into their homes. Parents are being asked the ages of their young girls and the occupying forces are telling people that their intention is to dishonor Kashmiri Muslim women."
"Many people have been threatened that they will be thrown out of their homes and notices are being issued that people's houses will be taken over."
He added that the "Muslims of Ladakh have also been left at the mercy of brutal Indian forces, as the people of that region are also opposing this illegal Indian action".
Geelani said the August 5 decision is against the UN resolution that guarantees the right to self-determination. "India has also unilaterally ended all the bilateral agreements with Pakistan, including the Tashkent, Shimla and Lahore agreements."
He said the occupying forces were attempting to 'snatch' the Kashmiri land from Kashmiri people. "This is exactly like Israeli grabbing of Palestinian land and creating settlements whose residents then further terrorize the Palestinian people while exercising control over the territory."
"In the name of development, land will also be transferred to Indian institutions," he continued. "All this is meant to turn Kashmiri Muslims into a repressed minority in their own land.
In the name of development and democracy, our resources will be further exploited and Kashmiris will be made to suffer second class status through a grass-root system of occupation."
"India's action is also meant to be a death blow for Pakistan's integrity and security," he warned. "This will also severely affect Pakistan's economy, its water resources and almost every other aspect of existence."
He urged PM Imran to take critical decisions and suggested actions on government level.
"It should also be made clear that this Indian action of changing the status of this disputed territory, and all further that aim at establishing a new scenario and increased killings and oppression in Kashmir are tantamount to a declaration of war. Pakistan should act according to this declaration of a state of war."
"The people of Jammu and Kashmir are prepared for any eventuality," he added.
"Since India has unilaterally ended all bilateral agreements, Pakistan should also announce a withdrawal from all aspects of the Tashkent, Shimla and Lahore agreements."
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"Pakistan should also re-designate the LoC as the ceasefire line, since India has now taken the situation back to the status as existed in 1947-48. All possible measures should therefore also be taken to change the status of the fence that separates the divided sides of Jammu and Kashmir."
Hw concluded saying that if India continues to refuse this demand, Pakistan should press for due measures and sanctions against India.
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