Kashmir’s right of self-determination: ‘Launch global awareness movement’ – Seminar by YFK


Kashmir’s right of self-determination: ‘Launch global awareness movement’ – Seminar by Youth Forum for Kashmir in Islamabad.

World Minorities Alliance convener J Salik speaks at the seminar

ISLAMABAD: While expressing solidarity with the people of Indian Kashmir, former foreign affairs secretary general Akram Zaki asked the Pakistani youth to launch a worldwide movement to support Kashmiris’ right to self-determination.

“Contacting youth throughout the world through different means of communication including social media to mobilise support for the people of Kashmir could be a useful exercise,” Zaki said while addressing a daylong seminar arranged by the Youth Forum for Kashmir (YFK) in Islamabad on Wednesday.

The former Pakistani diplomat was of the view that each youth should join YFK to express their solidarity with the people of Kashmir.

Other speakers including Shireen Mazari of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf ( PTI ), Sardar Khalid Ibrahim of the Jammu and Kashmir Peoples Party, Dr Abdus Samad Pirzada, Anwarul Haq Kakar, former federal minister J Salik, Qudsia Mashhadi, Brig(retd) Simon Samson Sharaf, Mariah Atiq of National Defense University   and YFK Executive Director Ahmed Qurashi also spoke.

Qureshi was of the view that the seminar should be taken as the first step by the youth of Pakistan and Kashmir to initiate lobbying for the people of Indian Kashmir. He said Pakistan cannot ignore Kashmir because it is a geographical extension of Pakistan. “Kashmir cannot be put on the backburner because Pakistan’s national security is directly linked to Kashmir.”

Ibrahim was critical of suggestions to separate the Kashmir issue from trade with India. “If trade guarantees prosperity…why do Calcutta and Dhaka continue to be the poorest cities in the world despite the open trade regime between India and Bangladesh?” he asked.

Mazari said Kashmir defines the relationship between Pakistan and India. She said the ‘culture of resistance’ was missing in the Kashmir struggle in terms of arts and culture. She said only indigenous freedom movements can survive and can be successful, and that Kashmir freedom struggle survived for six decades despite ups and downs. “It is important to realise that Kashmir is not an integral part of India and that it is a dispute between Pakistan and India awaiting resolution.”

J Salik said Pakistani Christians are ready to play their role in promoting the Kashmir cause worldwide. He said Christians played a crucial role in passing the Pakistan Resolution in the pre-Independence Punjab Assembly and that they were ready to play a role in Pakistan’s most important cause.

Published in The Express Tribune, February 7th, 2014.

Pakistan’s pro-Kashmir group organises seminar on Kashmir Solidarity Day


Pakistan’s pro-Kashmir group organizes seminar

Islamabad: Pakistan’s first pro-Kashmir lobbying group, Youth Forum for Kashmir [YFK], organized a National Seminar on Kashmir Solidarity Day titled, ‘To Kashmir: We Stand By You’.
Keynote speakers included Dr. Shireen Mazari, Anwar ul Haq Kakar, Sardar Khalid Ibrahim, J. Salik, Brig. Simon Samson Sharaf, M. Akram Zaki, Syeda Qudsiya Mashahdi, and Syeda Mariah Atiq.
Ahmed Quraishi, Executive Director of Youth Forum for Kashmir, said Pakistan cannot ignore Kashmir because Kashmir is Pakistan’s geographical extension. Kashmir cannot be put on the backburner because Pakistan’s national security is directly linked to Kashmir.

He said it was wrong to link Kashmir to trade with India. Bilateral trade between Islamabad and New Delhi was progressing normally and the impression that Kashmir is an impediment was wrong, he said. Quraishi said trade with India does not mean sidelining Kashmir. He said any pact with India on trade, like the most-favored nation status, can be derailed any time if situation worsens on the Line of Control in Kashmir.

Dr. Syed Abdul Samad Pirzada, Head of History Department at International Islamic University Islamabad, said the cases of East Timor and Kashmir were similar and the West practiced double standards by supporting the former and ignoring the latter. He said any decision by Pakistan government to grant Most-Favored Nation status to India would be a betrayal of the struggle of the Kashmiri people.

Syeda Qudsiya Mashhadi, editor of Voice of East and a member of YFK, said all Pakistanis need to work on three levels to promote Kashmir internally and internationally at the level of the State, media and the youth. The Quaid-e-Azam, in a visionary statement, declared Kashmir a ‘jugular vein’ of Pakistan and no nation can survive for long with its jugular vein under the sword of the enemy. She said the hearts of Pakistanis beat along with the Kashmiris, and that the sooner the political parties and the media realize this fact the better it would be for the solidarity of the Pakistani nation.

Anwar-ul-Haq Kakar, a PMLN politician, flew in from Quetta, Balochistan, to attend this national seminar. He said for Pakistan there is emptiness without Kashmir. He said Pakistan should not put Kashmir in the backburner because of trade with India. He questioned the idea whether trade with India is crucial for Pakistan’s economy. He was of the view that nurturing a knowledge-based economy in Pakistan would diminish the need for trade with India.

Dr. Shireen Mazari, Central Information Secretary of PTI, said Kashmir defines the relationship between Pakistan and India. She said a culture of resistance was missing in the Kashmir struggle in terms of arts and culture. She said only indigenous freedom movements can survive and can be successful, and that Kashmir freedom struggle survived for six decades despite up and downs. It is important to realize that Kashmir is not an integral part of India and that it is a dispute between Pakistan and India awaiting resolution.

Sardar Khalid Ibrahim, member of Jammu and Kashmir People’s Party, said if trade guaranteed prosperity, as the proponents of sidelining Kashmir argue, then why Calcutta and Dhaka continue to be poorest cities in the world despite open trade regime between India and Bangladesh?

He said Pakistan and India cannot overcome the trust deficit between them until they resolve the Kashmir dispute in accordance to the will of Kashmiris.

J. Salik, former federal minister and rights activist, said Pakistani Christians are ready to play their role in promoting Kashmir cause worldwide. He said Pakistani Christians played a crucial role in passing Pakistan Resolution in pre-Independence Punjab Assembly. He said Pakistani Christians were again ready to play a role in Pakistan’s most important cause.

Senator Akram Zaki, former Secretary General of Pakistan Ministry of Foreign Affairs and former ambassador of Pakistan to China and the United States , said if the world needs evidence on what the Kashmiris want, all it should do is look at what Kashmiris do on 14 and 15 August each year. On the 14th, Pakistan Independence Day, Pakistan’s Green and Crescent flag can been seen all over Srinagar under the watch of India’s occupation army. And on the 15th, the Indian independence day, Kashmiris boycott all efforts by Indian army to celebrate the event. He revealed that Kashmiris in Indian-occupied Kashmir follow Pakistan Standard Time.

Other speakers in the national seminar included retired brigadier Samson Simon Sharaf, and Syeda Mariah Atiq from National Defense University.

Courtesy: http://kashmirwatch.com/news.php/2014/02/05/pakistan-8217-s-pro-kashmir-group-organises-seminar.html

Why mark India’s Republic Day as a Black Day in Kashmir and rest of Pakistan


A message of peace for the young of Kashmir, Pakistan, India and the world. 

By Ahmed Quraishi

As a Pakistani, I wanted to wish my #Indian friends well on their country’s Republic Day today. But then I saw this picture sent to me from India. I have to stop and join this young Kashmiri boy who wrote this message in the sand on Mumbai beach [see picture].

A Kashmiri boy wrote 'Free Kashmir' on the beach of Mumbai, India's largest city.

A Kashmiri boy wrote ‘Free Kashmir’ on the beach of Mumbai, India’s largest city.

This is a strong message that has reverberated across six decades of brutal Indian military invasion and occupation of Kashmir.

Pakistanis are a hospitable people. We are generous, certainly more than the Indian government [see this http://j.mp/1hZy9rX].  No Indian visitor to our country has ever been harassed, even during wars. We are not phobic about Indian content on Pakistani screens, or books printed in India sold here. [Compare this to visiting Pakistani artists and sportspeople routinely threatened by Indian extremists. Even pigeons and stray dogs crossing the border into India are stopped and searched by Indian border security. So much paranoia and hate inculcated by the Indian government and political elite against Pakistan.]

So, today, January 26, is India’s Republic Day. I wanted to wish my Indian friends well. But my conscience tells me to stand by Kashmiri people as they mark the day as a Black Day.

Today, the world’s largest democracy has imposed a total ban on Internet and cell phones in Kashmir. They want to stop young Kashmiris from giving any interview to any international news organization that would show the world how Kashmiris are unanimously boycotting the Indian Republic Day celebrations and that they reject the invasion, occupation and the forcible merger of Kashmir into India.

This young Kashmiri in Mumbai had the courage to speak his mind, not fearing brutal Indian reprisal. All peace-loving Indians should stand by him, especially the younger generation of India. Stand by peace. Stand by Kashmiris. Don’t let hate and oppression pass on to another generation. Let’s stop it here because we can.

Young Kashmiris can’t speak up today because India has banned internet and cell phones. Therefore, it is the responsibility of all young Pakistanis, Indians and all the young of the world to step up and be the voice of young Kashmiris today. They are not alone. Spread the word.


یوتھ فورم برائے کشمیرکا قیام – الطاف حسین وانی


youth forum baraye kashmir ka qayam