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Kashmiri diaspora group opposes Pak talk of 'reviving' autonomy, 'accepting' LoC

By Our Representative
A top Kashmiri diaspora group based in Washington, DC, has opposed the main theme of a conference organised in Islamabad under the auspices of a Pakistani organization called Indian Atrocities in Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) – challenges for restoring “peace and autonomy” of Kashmir, stating it ran against aspirations of the people of J&K.
Taking strong exception to the move, the World Kashmir Awareness Forum (WKAF) said autonomy is not what people want, regretting, the organizers of the conference “placed autonomy on the front burner”, and “the right of self-determination of the people of Kashmir is nowhere to be seen.”
In an email alert, Dr Ghulam Nabi Fai, general secretary, WKAF said, “One is left with the feeling that, well, okay, the issue of self-determination won’t be brought up just now but maybe later, in some future universe, at a yet unscheduled webinar, which they will remain ‘prepared for’, as agreed, just in case. I mean, after all, it isn’t constructive to try to bring up all the issues at one time, let us take the soft ones first.”
Dr Fai said, “By not explicitly naming right to self-determination as a ‘core demand’, organizers unwittingly allowed India to slip away from any commitment and gave her an excuse to discuss in future only the non-existent issue of autonomy.”
“The revival now of autonomy has again been raised as a solution that offers the most promise of hope to those who have grown weary of the struggle and are willing to accept serious compromises in the interest of alleviating some suffering”, Dr Fai said, claiming, the talk of autonomy has no meaning amidst “carnages” having reached “genocidal proportions” in Kashmir.
Charging the Pak organisers of relying on “a provision of the Indian Constitution”, which was “amended” on August 5, 2019, the diaspora group said, the conference appeared to be quite in line with that what the country's prime minister Imran Khan told Nancy Lindborg, President of United States Institute of Peace (USIP), on July 23, 2019 -- revival of what came to be known as the Musharraf formula, which was rejected, among others, by Syed Ali Geelani.
According to Dr Fai, “The Musharraf Formula says that borders cannot be withdrawn. That is a very loaded phrase. That means that the Line of Control (LoC) should in fact be established permanently as an international border. Such an option is an insult to the intelligence of the Kashmiri people.”
He believed, “Offering the LoC as an international border is an absolute fallacy to begin with. One cannot imagine a better formula for sowing a minefield in South Asia that will lead them to a nuclear disaster. Kashmiris revolted against status quo, and how can status quo becomes an option?”
Dr Fei stated, “Kashmiris wish to emphasize that no settlement of their status will hold unless it is explicitly based on the principles of self-determination and erases the so-called line of control, which is in reality the line of conflict”, pointing out that the talk of autonomy is not dissimilar to what National Conference leaderr Farooq Abdullah’s move: “Let there be no doubt that the Gupkar Declaration leads us to one conclusion: that the autonomy is the only option.”

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