Here the disputes must be solved, not ignored
SHAMIM SHAWL BY HORIZONS
Switzerland is a beautiful country. Geneva is an internationally known place. United Nations special rapporteurs, working groups along with 10,000 employees are based here to address the issues concerning the world at large.
Here the powerful nations are subverting the realities their own way. The big powers usually behave as big bosses and continue to violate United Nations human rights charter. In spite of their prowess they fail to address the pain and agony of the people of different countries especially in the conflict areas of Palestine and Kashmir. The reason being, that these areas are not a priority for them and count nowhere in their geo-strategic plans. To them their own interests matter.
NGOs are doing a wonderful job by developing awareness about the human suffering with commitment and dedication. We come across multiple standards of the powerful countries operating almost all the time. East Timor is a case in point. Some issues receive attention and some others are neglected. A special rapporteur is appointed for Darfur while places like Kashmir where there is human rights crisis, is ignored. The reason is that India puts a blanket cover on happenings in Kashmir by blocking the international media and not allowing them to visit the valley. Most of the countries and non governmental organisations are aware of inhuman behaviour of Indian authority. But they prefer to remain silent. This silence is a speaking testimony about the standards of practice. In spite of this apathetic attitude and double speak we have no option but to knock on all the doors, in New York, in Vienna and in Geneva. The United Nations charter guarantees us our basic right of self determination. We have paid a high price for our freedom so far and we are still paying high costs of the blood of our youth, but we firmly have faith that freedom can be achieved through hard work, unity and dedication.
Geneva, it may be said, has its own importance. Human rights became the pivot in the debate at East Timor and on the same lines Darfur is becoming a big issue. In this 13th session of the human rights council, some of the issues related to the Kashmir situation came up for debate inside the council and also on its side lines. The discovery of mass graves and the issues of disappeared people received great importance and were widely discussed. It also needs to be noted that the issue of killing the innocent school going children by Indian military and paramilitary also got high attention by NGOs and members of the working group. We were promised that communications were to be sent to India to allow access to the members of the council to examine the ground situation. The silence of international community on this issue raises some grave concerns. The people of Jammu and Kashmir expect the world powers to revisit their policies on these human right issues viza- viz India.
On the side lines of the human rights council, in a seminar Dr Angana Chatterji, an Indian civil society activist, made a presentation and also provided some evidence on the mass grave issue through well documented facts. Her documentary on unknown and unidentified mass graves made everyone weep. Courageous human rights activists like Angana Chatterji are doing great service to humanity by exposing injustice and inhuman behaviour. Through her efforts what was once unknown is gradually becoming known to those who respect humanity, we hope they will come forward to help unarmed, unsupported and helpless people of Kashmir.
As the documentary on mass graves was unfolding, my memories carried me back to my home and homeland; the land of flowers and fragrance, love and hospitality and a land of peace loving people., who continue to suffer all forms of violations physically, mentally and psychologically. I suddenly remembered Hafiz Shah his wife and their two children Jimmy and Vicky. This family of four was brutally killed by Indian forces at Palhalan Pratta, in their car. This horrible memory continues to dance before my eyes. The perpetrators of this unjust execution still roam free.
I also remembered Mosadiq, Adil, Fayaz Marshall and many others who disappeared without leaving a trace behind. Old parents are waiting for their children to return. It is the responsibility of every Kashmiri wherever he or she is, to devote some time to highlight the human dimension of this problem. Although it is clear, in the United Nations resolution of 18th December 1992 as a body of principles to all states that human beings have the right to recognition before law, but the right to know the truth of those who disappeared is also not possible for family and friends. Working groups are sometimes helpless when countries are not supportive. This type of systematic practice is a grave crime against humanity.
We are stressing on the international community to address the Kashmir issue and have a peaceful solution according to the wishes of the people. Geneva human rights council is not a conflict resolution authority; however people from different places come here to expose the ugly faces of the government. There are NGOs who do a painstaking work to highlight the trauma of the suffering people. Government activists who visit Geneva do the work of their agencies and only contribute in creating confusion.
This international forum has a duty and responsibility to see that human life is restored the dignity it deserves. They must rise above petty regional or national interests and work for the general welfare of humanity.
Lastupdate on : Mon, 5 Apr 2010 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Mon, 5 Apr 2010 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Tue, 6 Apr 2010 00:00:00 IST
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