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KASHMIR: Regional and international dimensions conference

Two-days International Kashmir Webinar was organised by Faculty of Letters, Department of Urdu, Istanbul University on June 29 – 30, 2020.

The participants unanimously adopted the following declaration at the end of the conference:

1. That there must be an early, just and durable resolution to the Jammu & Kashmir dispute in accordance with the United Nations Security Council resolutions.

2. The United Nations Security Council had clearly enunciated that on the basis of the agreement concluded between India and Pakistan, “the final disposition of the state of Jammu and Kashmir will be made in accordance with the will of the people expressed through the democratic method of a free and impartial plebiscite conducted under the auspices of the United Nations.”

3. The participants welcome the statement of Mr. Antonio Guterres, the Secretary General that the position of the United Nations is to settle the Kashmir dispute according to the United Nations Charter and available Security Council resolutions.

4. They also welcome the reiteration of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan that “Turkey is in favor of resolving the Kashmir issue by taking into consideration the expectations of our Kashmiri brothers, through dialogue based on UN resolutions. Turkey will continue to stand by justice, peace and dialogue in the resolution of the Kashmir issue and Turkey will continue to raise its voice against the oppression.”

5. They further welcome the report of the UN High Commissioner of Human Rights that India “fully respects the right of self-determination of the people of Kashmir as protected under international law.”

6. They condemn the Indian government’s recent attempts at changing the demographic status by introducing the tendentious and politically motivated ‘Jammu and Kashmir Grant of Domicile Certificate (Procedure) Rules 2020.” Its aim is to alter the demographic character of the Muslim-majority territory at a time when the world’s attention is focused on the worst public health and economic crises of our times because of Covid 19.

7. The participants condemn the serious crimes against humanity committed by the Indian military and paramilitary forces in Jammu & Kashmir. These crimes include genocide, massacres, extrajudicial killings, reprisal killings, arbitrary detention, torture, use of rape as a weapon of war, burning of houses, etc.

8. The participants condemned the efforts to muzzle the press and further expressed need to restore the right to assemble and freedom of expression.

9. They demand that the Thematic Rapporteurs on Torture and Extrajudicial Killings and the Chairmen of the Working Group on Disappearances and Arbitrary Detention be allowed to visit Jammu & Kashmir to ascertain and report on gross and consistent violations of human rights there.

10. They demand the repeal of draconian laws, like, the Indian Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSAPA), Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA), Public Safety Act (PSA), etc.

11. They demand the release of all political prisoners languishing in jails, interrogation centers and detained under emergency laws.

12. They call on the United Nations Secretary General to appoint a special envoy on Kashmir and initiate a process of mediation to pave the way for the holding of a plebiscite in Jammu and Kashmir as laid down by the UN Security Council resolutions.

13. They also call on the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to renew to the Government of India its offer of sending its fact-finding and good offices missions to Jammu and Kashmir.

List of speakers in the International Kashmir Webinar:

Professor (Dr.) Halil Toker, Chief Organizer & Head, Department of Urdu, Istanbul University

Professor (Dr.) Mahmut Ak, Rector, Istanbul University

Professor (Dr.) Hayati Develi, Dean, Faculty of Letters

Hon. Ali Sahin, Member of Parliament, Turkish Grand Assembly

Hon. Sardar Masood Khan, President, Azad Jammu & Kashmir

Hon. Shibli Faraz, Federal Minister of Information & Broadcasting, Pakistan

Hon. Lord Nazir Ahmed, Member, British House of Lords, U.K.

Dr. Ghulam Nabi Fai, Secretary General, World Kashmir Awareness Forum

Mr. Zafar Ahmed, Chairman, Kashmir Campaign Global, U.K.

Mr. Javid Siddiq, Resident Editor, Nawa-e-Waqat, Islamabad

Mr. Salman Khan, Founding Chairman, South African Kashmir Action Group

Dr. Imtiaz Khan, Professor at George Washington University Medical Center

Ms. Merve Sebnem Oruc, Daily Sabah, Turkey

Dr. Ghulam Nabi Mir, President, World Kashmir Awareness Forum

Mr. Riza Yasar, ON4Television, Turkey

Hon. Bilal Khan Pasha, Consulate General of Pakistan, Istanbul

Dr. Farooq Adil, Journalist & Writer, Islamabad

Dr. Mubeen Shah, Former Chairman Kashmir Chamber of Commerce, Srinagar

Dr. Khalid Rehman, Executive President, Institute of Policy Studies, Islamabad

Dr. Waleed Rasool, Professor, International Islamic University, Islamabad

Mr. Muhammad Tahir Tabassum, President, INSPAD, Islamabad

Mr. Raja Muhammad Sajjad, Chief Editor, Kashmir Today, Muzaffarabad

Mr. Ghulam Muhammad Safi, Representative, Tehreek-e-Hurriyet, Islamabad

Professor (Dr.) Muhammet Savas Kafkasyali, Institute of Strategic Thinking, Turkey

Mr. Atif Ozbey, kanal 5, Genel Yaayin Coordinator, Turkey

Mr. Emre Tuna, Bolgesel Kalkinma Uzmani, Turkey

Mr. Ismail Bendiderya, Arastirmaci Yazar, Turkey

Professor (Dr.) Zekai Kardas, Istanbul University

Dr. Ashraf Jamal, Istanbul University

Mr. Ahmet Tekin, emcee of the Conference, Istanbul

Mr. Onur Kilicer, Organizing Committee, Istanbul

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