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Kashmiri council seeks Obama's intervention

By Onkar Singh
July 20, 2010 11:26 IST

'The tragic situation in Kashmir demands the urgent attention of US President Barack Obama,' says a petition sent to the White House by the Kashmiri American Council.

The petition, drafted by council member Ghulam Nabi Fai, has signatures of nearly 1400 persons from the Kashmir Valley. However, not one Kashmiri politician has signed it.

'We, the undersigned, have been deeply moved by reports of the entire adult population of major towns in Kashmir coming out in the streets with their demand for speedy implementation of the pledge solemnly extended to them by India and Pakistan and the United Nations -- the pledge that they would be allowed to decide their future through an unrigged and uncoerced vote under impartial auspices,' the petition said.

The council claimed that a 'just settlement of the Kashmir dispute

had the potential to eliminate the ground for militant extremism in South Asia and of the arms race between India and Pakistan'.

The petition outlined these points for immediate action:

  • The immediate and complete cessation of military and paramilitary actions against the civilian population in Jammu & Kashmir;
  • Withdrawal of military presence from towns and villages, dismantling of bunkers, watch towers and barricades;
  • Release of all political prisoners
  • Annulment of¬†various repressive laws;
  • Allowing freedom of press and expression;
  • Restoring the rights of peaceful association, assembly and demonstrations.
Onkar Singh in New Delhi