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Thursday, March 30, 2023

Kashmiris congratulate UNGA president-elect Volkan Bozkir

World Kashmir Awareness Forum congratulated Turkish UNGA President-elect Volkan, and expressed hope that the Kashmir issue may be resolved with him at the helm. While no one has managed to successfully solve the issue, can Volkan make history?

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The Kashmiri diaspora in the US has congratulated a Turkish top official on being elected president of the 75th session of the UN General Assembly, saying they trust he will promote justice for Kashmiris during his tenure.

Addressing his remarks to Ambassador Volkan Bozkir, Ghulam Nabi Fai, secretary-general of the World Kashmir Awareness Forum, wrote Thursday: “If the people of Indian-occupied Kashmir had the freedom to express their sentiments, you would no doubt have heard their loud voice rejoicing at the fact that the distinguished representative of brother country – Turkey – is presiding this year over the parliament of nations.”

Bozkir is the first Turkish national to head the General Assembly. He will take office in September and hold the post for a year.

Kashmiris congratulate UNGA president-elect: hope for resolution on Kashmir

Citing the UN Charter and Security Council resolutions on Kashmir, Fai requested Bozkir to “exercise your good offices to mediate between Pakistan and India for promoting a solution of the Kashmir dispute in accordance with the resolutions of the Security Council.”

There are 20 UN resolutions on Jammu and Kashmir that include seeking a plebiscite in the disputed region to decide its political future.

Read more: The bloodshedding in Kashmir must end

Fai said the resolutions were “meticulously” negotiated between the parties — India and Pakistan — and accepted by each, adding: “They thus embody a solemn international agreement.”

He added: “They were endorsed repeatedly by the Security Council and by successive United Nations representatives.”

Fai, an advocate for Kashmir for four decades, said the UN resolutions “explicitly recognize the right of the people of Kashmir to determine the future status of their homeland.”

Kashmiris congratulate UNGA president-elect: hopeful for the future

He thanked Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan “for giving hope” to Kashmiris.

“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,” he said.

Read more: Pak’s lacklustre response to Indian aggression in Kashmir must change

He said he trusted Bozkir would bring his “immense influence to bear on initiating a peace process, which will lead to a speedy, just, and honorable settlement of the dispute and restore their inalienable rights to the people of Jammu & Kashmir.”

Kashmir: no-man’s land 

Kashmir is a pressing Human Rights issue of the 21st century, and is a bone of contention between nuclear armed Pakistan and India. It is a problem created by the faulty Independence plan, crated by the British in 1947, as they beat their retreat from India. Both countries claim the region fully, Pakistan on account of the region’s Muslim majority, and India on account of a faulty Instrument of Accession that was supposedly signed by the ruler of Kashmir shortly after independence in 1947.

Kashmir is held by India and Pakistan in parts but claimed by both in full. A small sliver of Kashmir is also controlled by China. Since they were partitioned in 1947, the two countries have fought three wars — in 1948, 1965 and 1971, two of them over Kashmir.

Read more: India martyrs four in Kashmir shelling: Pakistan

Some Kashmiri groups in Jammu and Kashmir have been fighting against Indian rule for independence or unification with neighboring Pakistan. Thousands of people have been killed and tortured in the conflict since 1989, according to several human rights organizations.

On Aug. 5 last year, India scrapped the region’s limited autonomy under Article 370 of the Indian constitution, downgraded the status of the disputed region and also divided it into two centrally-administered territories.

Anadolu with additional input by GVS News Desk

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