Tuesday, June 22, 2010

FREE KASHMIR - IT IS LONG OVERDUE

 
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In 1947, India, Great Britain and the United Nations promised Kashmir a free plebiscite to determine her own destiny.
 
Lord Mountbatten, on July 25, 1947, told the princes of the Indian States that, "the Indian Independence Act releases the States from all their obligations to the Crown. The States have complete freedom - technically and legally are independent."
 
Mr. Nehru pledged a plebiscite for Kashmir on November 21, 1947. He said, "I have repeatedly stated that as soon as the raiders have been forced out of Kashmir or have withdrawn and peace has been established the people of Kashmir should decide the question of accession by plebiscite or referendum under international auspices such as those of the United Nations"
 
For sixty years, India has repeatedly found excuses to prevent the plebiscite and the United Nations has repeatedly found reasons not to discuss Kashmir.
 
On June 21, 2010, we are once again hearing about "rebels" in "Indian Kashmir". Kashmir is not Indian. When I did my research on Kashmir in the 1960's, ninety percent of Kashmiris were Muslim, and it was reported that Hindus who lived there were getting along well with their Muslim neighbours.
 
The Turks and Mongols of Central Asia ruled India for 800 years. Their culture and influence have left their effects on the people of the region. Eight centuries of foreign rule inevitably led to the diffusion of foreign cultures in India.
 
Kashmir's geographical location - like Israel's - is of strategic interest to her neighbours - India, Pakistan, Russia and Afghanistan. Jammu and Kashmir borders on Tibet and Sinkiang Province of China. Anyone can see how vulnerable and how valuable Kashmir is to other nations.
 
The two main rivers of Kashmir, the Chenab and the Jhelum flow to Pakistan. Those rivers are a great potential source of hydro electric power, and the mountains of Kashmir are rich with precious minerals. No wonder India will not let go.
 
THE PROMISE OF PLEBISCITE
 
The Kashmir Question; A.G. Noorani, 1964, P.C. Manaktalas and Sons,. Private Ltd., Bombay, India
 
Mr. A.G. Noorani was a practising lawyer at the Bombay High Court and a well know political commentator and author. In his introduction to this book, Shri V.B. Karnik writes:
 
"There is no attempt (on the part of the Government of India) even today, to tell the people the truth. They are still being fed slogans, half truths and lies ."
 
"The fact of the situation, however, is that what Sheikh Abdullah is stating happens to be largely the truth. The truth is that the problem of Kashmir is not solved. The truth is that the people of Kashmir never had the opportunity to express their views on the issue of accession. And the truth is that there will never be peace and stability in Kashmir as long as India and Pakistan continue to quarrel over the issue."
 
Unlike Quebec, where separatists continue to agitate for a state of their own, Kashmir does not exist in the midst of a free and democratic country. Kashmir is a captive land that has been torn apart by marauding hordes and covetous neighbours for hundreds of years and kept in chains by India since 1947.
 
The indifference of the western world is Kashmir's enemy. We should be promoting their right to choose their own destiny.
 
India, Great Britain and the United Nations have promised Kashmir a free plebiscite for sixty years. Free Kashmir. It is time.
 
See - A PORTRAIT OF ASGAR AND THE PLIGHT OF KASHMIR
on  PHYLLIS CARTER'S JOURNAL  at http://phylliscartersjournal.blogspot.com
 
 

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