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Kashmiri activists protest outside EU HQ in Brussels

Islamabad, Oct 23 (IANS) Activists of the Kashmir Council-EU protested with ‘prison bars’ outside the European Commission headquarters in Brussels to demand release of all political prisoners in Indian Kashmir, a Pakistani paper reported Saturday.

The activists demanded that India release all leaders and protesters picked up during the over four-month-long spell of agitation in the Kashmir Valley and sought to focus the attention of the EU and European countries on the struggle of the Kashmiri youth, the Urdu daily Jang said best collaboration tools.

Led by Kashmir Council-EU chairman Ali Raza Syed, the activists Friday displayed the mock-ups of ‘prison bars’ to passers-by and shouted slogans against ‘Indian oppression’ in the Valley.

Speaking to reporters, Syed said they chose this form of protest so as to draw the attention of the international community, and the European Union in particular, to the issue of ‘innocent youth’ lodged in jails in Indian Kashmir and the ‘killing of defenceless Kashmiris’ by Indian security forces.

He said they would continue their protest until the EU takes up the case of the detenus in Indian Kashmir and India’s human rights violations.

Can LoC disappear like Berlin wall?

By Gowhar Geelani

Angele Merkel, who grew up in East Germany, is today the chancellor of united Germany, both East and West. Twenty years ago, the world witnessed this reunification.

Confident Chancellor says, “the united Germany has started to reap the benefits of the reunion,” which became possible in October, 1990. In November, 1989, that is eleven months before the reunification; the historic fall of Berlin Wall took place. It was the same year an armed rebellion against the Indian rule erupted in Kashmir.

Berlin, the German capital, is always abuzz with celebrations on the anniversaries of the fall of the Wall and the reunification. Distinguished world dignitaries attend grand celebrations and important related events at Berlin’s famous Brandenburg Gate. People here celebrate the union as ‘Deutsche Wiedervereinigung’ (German reunification).

America had played a crucial role in the fall of the Wall and the subsequent reunion of East and West Germany. Angele Merkel, in her maiden speech in the US Congress in 2009, had thanked America for the same.

In a speech at the Brandenburg Gate on June 12, 1987, the then American president Ronald Reagan had challenged Mikhail Gorbachev, then the General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, to tear down the wall as a symbol of increasing freedom in the Eastern Bloc. Here is what the 40th President of the United States had said: “We welcome change and openness; for we believe that freedom and security go together, that the advance of human liberty can only strengthen the cause of world peace. There is one sign the Soviets can make that would be unmistakable, that would advance dramatically the cause of freedom and peace. General Secretary Gorbachev, if you seek peace, if you seek prosperity for the Soviet Union and eastern Europe, if you seek liberalization, come here to this gate. Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate. Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!”

Just a word of caution though. Here, no attempt is being made to draw comparisons between the cold war and Kashmir dispute. But, lessons can always be learnt from those significant pages of history that change the world for good. Fall of Berlin Wall is one such historic event nations and people can learn great lessons from!

Many South Asians living here in Germany had also seen the fall with their own eyes. Some had watched it on the television screens and few others had listened to this great news on their radio sets.

Amjad Ali, a renowned broadcaster, was one among them. Ali, originally from Lahore, Pakistan, recalls when in his apartment in the colourful city of Cologne, he saw the footage on television. “All I could utter was ‘unbelievable!’” he says. He had come to Germany in 1982 for studies. Before moving to Cologne he had been studying in West Berlin for many years. “The Wall was a symbol of terror and fear. I could touch it [the Wall] from the West side,” Ali tells me. Modern-day Berlin bears few reminders of the concrete walls, barbed wire, observation posts and the ‘death strip’ which ran through its centre until 20 years ago.

For many the existence of East Germany and West Germany was a reality. Nobody had believed or ever imagined that this will change; but it did.

Arunava Chaudhuri, a German national of Indian descent, was 13 at the time of the fall and was studying in Kolkata, India. His parents, who live in Germany, broke the news to him on phone. “Even as a child, I was politically very conscious. I made it a point to record the news of the fall of the Iron Curtain on my school note-book,” he recalls.

Had the world really changed after the fall of Wall? Well, Germany had changed for sure. “When I came back to Germany in 1990 there was a different mood here. A feeling that we are united and sort of invincible and unbeatable,” says Chaudhuri.

In an interview with ‘Der Spiegel’ Online, Mr Lech Walesa, the man who led ‘Solidarnosc’ (the first non-communist trade union movement) had said that the collapse of European Communism actually started in the Polish shipyards and that it was good that Mikhail Gorbachev was a ‘weak politician’. Mr Walesa later went on to become the president of Poland.

Good news is that not only Germany, but today entire Europe is a different world. People move, travel and trade freely in European Union (EU). There are no borders, no restrictions, no physical barriers! In Euro zone, an economic and monetary union of sixteen EU member states, a single currency, Euro; has been adopted.

But the news from South Asia is not so pleasant. In 1989, when the world saw the end of European Communism, the end of the Cold War, the fall of the Iron Curtain, and barriers and borders vanishing, Kashmir witnessed an armed uprising against the Indian rule.

Twenty years hence, not much has changed. Instead of celebrations, there are killings in Kashmir! There is a daily drama of death and destruction going on. The Line of Control (LoC), dividing two parts of Kashmir, remains there very much intact. Tall claims and big promises were made to make it irrelevant.

In April 2005, after a yawning gap of 58 years, the trans-Kashmir Srinagar-Muzaffarabad road was re-opened and the ‘historic’ bus service started to ensure that divided families could meet; but the pace of peace process between India and Pakistan tested people’s patience official site. All three Ps seem to be missing at the moment. There is no peace, no peace process and no patience.

Critics say that Mumbai blasts have contributed to the already tense relationship between India and Pakistan. The tensions are running high between the arch-rivals since.

In Kashmir, the Srinagar-Muzaffarabad bus service has been reduced to a mere ‘symbolic gesture’. Will the time ever come when like Berlin Wall, all curtains and barricades, including the Kashmir’s LoC, dividing a son from his mother, a daughter from her father and a brother from his sister will vanish and become irrelevant to make this world more peaceful and prosperous?

Barack Hussein Obama, the 44th President of the United States, is visiting India in November. Can he play the role Ronald Reagan, the 40th President of America? Can Obama create history by impressing upon India and Pakistan to make divided Kashmir’s Line of Control irrelevant in the real sense of the word? It is difficult but not impossible. Important and brave decisions are taken by great leaders. Leadership is all about taking decisions.

Can Kashmiris unite the way East and West Germans did in 1990? Let’s not stop dreaming. Let’s not be pessimists. Let’s remain positive. No bullet can kill a thought, no missile can dash a dream, no bomb can destroy a hope, no skullduggery can kill an aspiration and no wicked state-craft can destroy a genuine sentiment!

I’m ending this write-up on this famous German proverb:”Wir sollen die Hoffnung niemals aufgeben [We should never surrender hope]!”

Eid Mubarak from World Kashmiri Diaspora Alliance

On behalf of the World Kashmiri Diaspora Alliance I wish you the very best Eid. In the timing of grief, I hope that every Kashmiri is celebrating Eid with a bleeding heart. World Kashmir Diaspora on this occasion shares the pain and grief with the families of all those who have lost their dear ones in the ongoing just and peaceful struggle in Kashmir. Today we stand in prayer and show our solidarity with them and with the valiant people who are injured and recuperating in hospitals, we also remember those who are languishing in various prisons and jails within the state of Kashmir and outside state. At the same time, we renew our decision that we shall keep fighting until we force the Indian government to honour its own words to the ‘Jammu and Kashmir inhabitants, the people of the Internationally Disputed Areas as declared by the United Nations Security Council Resolution of 1948, will decide their future by a ‘Plebiscite or Self Determination’, under the auspices of the United Nations peace monitoring forces. The occupying intruder’s forces of the Indian government must:

(i) Declaration of ceasefire immediately,

(ii) Suspension of curfew and showering of bullets by the armed personnel on the ‘stone-throwing’ youngsters and females

(iii) Withdraw all its armed, police and civil service personnel, i. e., every single Indian personnel from the Jammu and Kashmir territories and let the people of Jammu and Kashmir before the United Nations forces start work for the ‘Self Determination’ to decide the Kashmir people’s destiny and the future of their present and future generations, with immediate effect why not try these out.

With regard to “Mr. Singh ([Manmohan] as statement (The Times of India), “I can’t pull a rabbit out of the hat. The country and the people must be patient.” You don’t have to do anything, Mr Sinh (Singh) except follow the United Nations Security Council Resolution of 1948 [if you are sincere in your intentions to resolve the matter of the ‘Land of Kashmiri people]”

The Kashmiri people mean business. The business which the Indian administration(s) has been ignoring and putting off, since the Kashmir-Jammu issue was taken to the United Nations.

Issued by: Habib Yousafzai, Spokesperson
Tel: 647-889-2829

India’s PM says China’s territorial ambition must be challenged

Full Article: India’s PM says China’s territorial ambition must be challenged

He was speaking against a background of growing tensions between the world’s two fastest growing economies and a number of diplomatic incidents relating to their long-standing border dispute online collaboration tools. The two countries fought a war in 1962, and China still claims parts of Indian-controlled Jammu and Kashmir and Tawang district in Arunachal Pradesh.

India has become increasingly concerned in recent months at China’s growing influence in neighbouring Burma, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Pakistan.

Beijing has funded a number of strategic roads and deepwater ports in these countries, known as the “String of Pearls”. The Asian rivals most recently clashed over Beijing’s refusal to grant a visa to an Indian general from Kashmir, which it regards as disputed territory. New Delhi is also alarmed by Beijing’s support for road and power projects in Gilgit-Baltistan in the Pakistan-controlled part of Kashmir which is claimed by India.
Retired intelligence chiefs believe China has become more aggressive as India’s economy has grown, and following predictions that it will overtake China as the world’s fastest growing economy by 2020.

Pakistan must raise current human rights abuses by Indian forces to the United Nations Security Council

By Habib Yousafzai
In conformity with the stated stand of Pakistan of moral, diplomatic and political support for Kashmir, it is imperative that Pakistan should take steps to raise the issue of continued Human Right Abuses in Indian Held Kashmir and ask the Security Council to:

1) Condemn the Indian government for indiscriminate use of force which has resulted in killing of innocent people in Indian Held Kashmir 2) Release all the prisoners that are held in Indian jails. 3) Revoke all draconian Laws which are in contravention to international laws and remove all its forces from civilian areas so that steps for peaceful settlement of Kashmir can begin through Dialog, based on the inalienable right of Kashmir`s self determination as guaranteed by the United Nation Charter.

This was stated by Habib Yousafzai, Spokesman for World Kashmir Diaspora Alliance in Toronto in a statement issued for the press project collaboration tools. Habib Yousafzai further said that while the flood has ravaged Pakistan, Kashmiri’s have all the sympathy for the people of Pakistan, who are going through one of the toughest times in their history. It is also important that Pakistan must not be oblivious of what is happening in Kashmir. The Spokesman added that Farooq Papa who heads the World Kashmir Diaspora Alliance will be attending a three day seminar from 14th September in European Parliament on Kashmir which is titled “Beauty of Kashmir, Preserved Past and Bruised Present.” The Spokesman Said the Seminar is hosted by renowned Parliamentarian Mr. Sajad Karim who heads the friends of Pakistan forum in European Parliament along with Kashmir Council EU and IKV Pax a European NGO.

China’s latest assessment of Kashmir issue

<a href="http://www team collaboration tools.southasiaanalysis.org/papers12/paper1181.html”>Full Article: Latest assessment of Kashmir issue

The assessment on Kashmir issue, given by Chen Yiwu, the Pakistan based correspondent of the People’s Daily (Online Chinese language edition, Dec 1 &2,2004) for the benefit of readers in China, is notable for its significance, as views expressed in the authoritative paper invariably reflect the Chinese official stand.

Taking note of the resumption of India-Pakistan peace talks since November 29,2004 and giving a historic account of the circumstances surrounding the Kashmir issue, the article described the issue as a ‘time bomb’ in India-Pakistan relations. Hinting that Pakistan’s stiff anti-India position on Kashmir is linked to its inability to take over Hyderabad and Junagarh at the time of partition, the article highlighted the fact that both India and Pakistan accepted the January 20,1948 UN Security Council resolution for a ceasefire, demilitarization and a step by step solution on the accession issue by holding a ‘plebiscite’. It added that in the fifties, India considered Pakistan as an aggressor in Kashmir and demanded for full withdrawal of latter’s troops before a ‘plebiscite’ could be held. Pakistan, on its part, asked for withdrawal of troops of both the sides from Kashmir prior to such a plebiscite.

Observing that Pakistan’s joining the SEATO in 1954 and later the Baghdad Pact were aimed at resisting India’s strength, the write-up indirectly criticized India for announcing the irrelevance of the plebiscite principle on the pretext of Pakistan’s joining such military blocs. It pointed out that in the 15 years since the beginning of armed attacks in the Indian controlled Kashmir in 1989, 45000 people were killed. Though the accession of Kashmir is basically a legacy of India-Pakistan partition, the subsequent changes in the international situation and the continued uncertainty in India-Pakistan relations, brought other factors like security and political strategy of each side into focus, making the issue further complicated, the People’s Daily item remarked.

LA Times: Kashmir on edge amid violence

LA Times – Indian Kashmir on edge amid violence

The latest murky cycle of violence in Indian-held Times: Kashmir began late Monday in the Gangbugh neighborhood of Srinagar. Residents say paramilitary officers chased Muzaffar Ahmad Bhat, 17, and two 11th grade friends, possibly fired shots in their (強心/養肝/降血糖) direction — the details were not clear. The frightened youths jumped into a drainage canal to get away.

Bhat, who could swim, failed to return home and the community mounted a search. At dawn, his body was found floating in the canal.

As word spread to Tuesday morning of the drowning, angry residents gathered to protest. Within 24 hours, they say, two more people had been killed by security forces.