November 12, 2017. New York. “It was an honor to have an hour-long meeting with Ambassador Yusuf Buch at his residence in New York City,” said Dr. Ghulam Nabi Fai, Secretary General, World Kashmir Awareness Forum. While paying homage to Ambassador Buch’s life in exile, Fai said: “Ambassador Yusuf Buch born in Srinagar (Capitol City of Kashmir) was along with few other promising and brilliant youth exiled from the state in 1947 for his political beliefs. Mr. Buch was the Senior Advisor to the United Nations Secretary General for 20 years. His contribution to Kashmir cause has been legendary ever since Kashmir dispute was brought to the United Nations by India in 1948. Working in tandem with Kashmiri diaspora, Ambassador Buch had added vibrancy to the Kashmir cause. The nation of Kashmir salutes his commitment and dedication, and pay tribute to his inspirational spirit. Ambassador Buch is undoubtedly, a living encyclopedia on Kashmir.”
“Only on paper has humanity yet achieved glory, beauty, truth, knowledge, virtue, and abiding love.” George Bernard Shaw
It is tragic that civilized nations have fallen from their lofty calling: namely, human rights for all mankind. There is a sad commentary on the state of human rights all over the globe. It seems to me that until there evolves a generally accepted moral duty among peoples and nations to assist all victims of widespread human rights violations by force or other stiff retaliation, human rights enforcement mechanisms will operate haphazardly and whimsically for reasons unrelated to the harm to the victims or the villainy of the perpetrators. It is the job of all human rights defenders to jump-start that moral evolution.
New York, October 1, 2017. In a memorandum submitted to Mr. Antonio Guterres, the Secretary General of the United Nations, Dr. Ghulam Nabi Fai, Secretary General, World Kashmir Awareness Forum and Barrister Sultan Mehmood Choudhary, former Prime Minister of Azad Kashmir highlighted the following:
We are writing to urge a leadership role of the United Nations in resolving the 70-year-old Kashmir conflict that has inflicted pain, agony, and injustice on a scale that makes East Timor, and Southern Sudan pale in comparison: more than 100,000 killings in the past two decade alone, and routine rape, torture, mutilation, plunder, disappearances, arbitrary detentions, and ruthless punishment of peaceful political dissent.
Washington, D.C. August 21, 2017. “The conflict in Indian Occupied Kashmir has acquired a new dimension. Since, July of last year, Kashmiri youth have taken the lead to press for their inalienable right to self-determination, a right guaranteed by the United Nations. The youth has taken to streets, paralyzing the unlawful local administration. They have made it abundantly clear that there is no turning back – this is a do or die phase of the long struggle for “Azadi” (freedom) after decades of the oppressive Indian rule,” said Barrister Sultan Mehmood Choudhry, the former Prime Minister of Azad Kashmir during a press conference in Washington Metro-Politian area.
Washington, D.C. May 22, 2017. Hundreds of Kashmiri Americans – men, women and children – from various states in the United States staged their huge rally in front of the White House. They were demanding United Nations – assured right of self-determination.
Raising slogans of: “Kashmiri Lives Matter Too” “Kashmir in Pain: India in Shame” “Indian Forces: Out of Kashmir” “Demilitarize Kashmir” “U.N. Implement Resolutions on Kashmir” “Stop Forced Disappearances and Torture in Kashmir,” the marchers held candle light vigil on the sidewalk of the White House.
Syed Ali Geelani, ‘the Keynote Speaker’ called on the world leaders to persuade India and Pakistan to initiate a meaningful dialogue with the Kashmiri leadership to settle the Kashmir dispute once and for all. He suggested that it is better for Indian authorities to shun its stubborn approach and resolve this long pending issue. “The Indian army is unleashing a new wave of terror, killing dozens and maiming hundreds of unarmed protesters, utilizing bullets and lethal pellet-guns aimed to kill and maim” emphasized Mr. Geelani. He hoped that a new dawn of prosperity, peace and stability will be guaranteed when the Kashmir dispute is resolved to the satisfaction of the people of Kashmir.
Baltimore, Maryland. April 17, 2017. Dr. Ghulam Nabi Fai, Secretary General of ‘World Kashmir Awareness Forum’ voiced his continuing belief that the conflict over Kashmir cannot be resolved through military means. Kashmir is a political issue and has to be resolved through political means by involving all parties to the conflict – the Governments of India & Pakistan and the legitimate leadership of the Kashmiri resistance. He was speaking on the subject of Kashmir at the 42nd Annual Convention of ‘Islamic Circle of North America’ at Baltimore Convention Center. More than 20,000 people participated in this year’s convention. Other panelists included: Mr. Adem Carroll, Dr. M. A. Dhar, Dr. Nakibur Rahman and Bro. Tariq Rehman.
The issue of ‘universal development agenda’ is the issue of the twenty-first century. Never before have so many suffered amidst liberty and luxury for the few. The wealth of single individuals exceeds the wealth of many nations. In highly developed countries, the number of persons living past 80 years is soaring. In deprived and convulsed countries, the average longevity is but half that age. While citizens of some African and Asian countries are starving, the rich countries are beset with obesity. Discrepancies of these types are morally disturbing. The United Nations is ideally suited to ending these shocking inequalities because it hosts all the nations of the world and endows each with identical voting power in the General Assembly. The poorest and the weakest are equal to the richest and the strongest.
If we were to judge the UN based upon its history of involvement in efforts to resolve international conflicts, the simplest answer is that it has been an enormous failure. The UN of course is a far more complex organization whose work covers such a wide range of activities that conflict resolution is really only a small aspect of its work. Nevertheless, if we consider the fact that its fundamental mission in being created was to be a means of preventing global catastrophes like the Second World War, then conflict resolution would have to be considered Job One. In addition, the word “conflict” in the phrase “conflict resolution” was defined as conflict among or between sovereign nations. As Chapter I, Article 2, stipulates, ” Nothing contained in the present Charter shall authorize the United Nations to intervene in matters which are essentially within the domestic jurisdiction of any state or shall require the Members to submit such matters to settlement under the present Charter;”
“It is also true that there is no peace and sustainable development without respect for human rights.” Antonio Guterres, Secretary General- elect of the United Nations
“Mankind must put an end to war or war will put an end to mankind.” President John F. Kennedy
It has always been a challenge to exchange views on conflict prevention and the summoning into being a peaceful and prosperous world. The intellectual debate is great, but the stakes are even greater. Men and women have yearned for peace and prosperity for ages. President Abraham Lincoln in his second inaugural address declared, “Fondly do we hope, fervently do we pray, that this mighty scourge of war may speedily pass away.” Winston Churchill brilliantly recognized that it is invariably better to jaw-jaw than to war-war.
“No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.” Article 5, Universal Declaration of Human Rights
The statement of Mr. Ban Ki-moon – UN Secretary General deserves an appreciation who wants to console people by saying: “On Human Rights Day, let us recommit to guaranteeing the fundamental freedoms and protecting the human rights of all.”
The 1948 United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) on its 68th anniversary needs to be applauded. Everyone knows that fundamental human rights are universal. That is the tacit assumption of the Declaration.