India Using Women As A Weapon Of War: George Galloway

13 June 2011

By Ahmed Abdullah

Geneva, June 09 (KMS) The British parliamentarian, George Galloway, a veteran campaigner on Kashmir, has said that India is using rape as a weapon of occupation in occupied Kashmir. He was addressing a seminar at the UN in Geneva, entitled, "Defending the Democratic Processes." The seminar was a parallel activity, organised by International Educational Development and co-sponsored by IIFSO, IHRAAM and WMC.

The seminar was a parallel activity, organised by International Educational Development and co-sponsored by IIFSO, IHRAAM and WMC. The seminar presented the views of persons involved in some of the situations where the will of the people has prevailed, as well as persons involved in situations where the will of the people has been frustrated.

Galloway sketched the role of "Perfidious Albion" the British Empire in the creation of the Kashmiri suffering and compared it to the situation in Palestine, another British crime. Galloway said the suffering of the Kashmiris was even greater. Eighty thousand had died in the more than twenty years freedom struggle, uncountable numbers had been wounded and maimed, mass imprisonment and exile and even the use of rape as a tool of occupation had been the lot of the Kashmiris said Galloway.

And yet he said the only demand of the occupied people of Kashmir was for the right to vote. The same right the west claims to support in the Arab Spring, for the Libyans and the Syrians for example.

All Kashmiris want is what was promised to them by the UN he said. A simple plebiscite. Recalling the promise made by the great Indian Prime Minister Mr. Nehru to abide by this UN resolution, Galloway called on what he described as the great India to solve this issue by keeping Mr. Nehru's promise.

Galloway hailed Arundhati Roy who was visiting London whilst he was in Geneva and her powerful messages to India on the issue of Kashmir. Listen to one of your greatest daughters, he said. She is not a Kashmiri and she is not a Muslim. She is though a jewel in the crown of India. She too is crying out for justice for the people of occupied Kashmir. And she too is saying that Kashmir was never the part of India.

Dr. Ghulam Nabi Fai, Executive Director, Kashmiri American Council Kashmir Centre, said that 2011 has proved to be one of the most dramatic periods in recent history, and it is only half finished. The citizens in a number of countries (Tunisia, Egypt and Yemen) have protested long-entrenched oppressive regimes and have toppled them to restore democracy and governance of the will of the people. Citizen participation and engagement has also increased in established democracies, as people demand fair labour standards, transparency, and basic rights. There are several current struggles against oppressive regimes that are still ongoing, with varying levels of international action.

Fai said that there are several situations where protest against long-standing occupation and oppression remains frustrated in spite of the rights inherent with the right to self-determination and the will of the people as the basis of political power.

He warned that some nations have exploited the war against global terrorism to deny democratic processes and democratic values to its people. The global campaign against terrorism should not have led us into a war to defend the tyrant regimes and dictatorial governments. Yet, that is exactly what is happening. Many countries are misusing their support to the United States in her war against global terrorism by persecuting human rights defenders, and by terrorizing human rights activists. One such example is that of India in Occupied Kashmir.

He reiterated that on one hand, the world powers denounced Iraq's occupation of Kuwait as it was against the norms and the principles of international relations. But they are silent over the occupation of Kashmir by India which is a share violation of international norms and United Nations Security Council resolutions. If Iraq's occupation of Kuwait was not justified and did not stand, similarly the India's occupation of Kashmir is not justified and should not stand, Fai added.

Kashmir dispute cannot and must not be resolved militarily. It is a political issue and needs to be resolved only through peaceful political means. So, the first step is that there has to be a cease-fire from all sides that must be followed by negotiations. Negotiations cannot and should not be carried out at a time when parties are killing each other. Kashmir must be demilitarised, on the one hand, and de-terrorized on the other, Fai said.

Altaf Wani, a representative of the All Parties Hurriyet Conference, said that the principles of democracy and self-determination are related on more than just a philosophical level. The practice of self-determination usually requires a democratic process to determine the choice of a people when exercising that right.

He emphasised that the people of Jammu and Kashmir were given the right to self-determination by no less an authority than the United Nations Security Council. The denial of the right to self-determination has led to a regime of human rights violations, rape, torture, enforced disappearances and arbitrary arrests are every day affair in Indian occupied Kashmir. And India has maintained the policy of repression and subjugation and intimidation.

"The conspiracy of silence over gross affronts to Universal Declaration of Human Rights in Jammu and Kashmir itself violates still binding United Nations Security Council resolutions. The silence of world powers has emboldened India to a chilling campaign of human rights atrocities against innocent Kashmir's" Wani concluded.

Dr. Karen Parker, an IED delegate to the United Nations, Dr.Marjan Lucas, Global Affairs expert from Netherlands, Dr. Suaad Alfitouri, Libyab expert from Britain, Alfitouri and Ms. Khanien Latif of Iraq also spoke on the occasion.



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