Kashmiri separatist leaders, under the banner of Joint Resistance Leadership, on Monday said they have written to United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres ahead of his visit to India. Guterres’ three-day visit to India begins from Monday.
“As you embark on your trip to India, we in the state of Jammu and Kashmir take this opportunity to draw your attention towards the urgency of the need to resolve the dispute over it,” the letter said.
The letter was jointly signed by Hurriyat Conference chief Syed Ali Shah Geelani, All Parties Hurriyat Conference Chairperson Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front chief Yasin Malik.
The Joint Resistance Leadership said they felt that India’s refusal to hold dialogue was doing “unimaginable harm not only to Kashmir, but to the entire South Asian region at a time when “interconnectedness culturally, economically and politically is the driving force in international relations”.
The letter also sought to draw Guterres’ attention to alleged human rights violations committed by the Indian Armed Forces. “The lack of sustained attention by the international community to this aspect of the disputed conflict and not calling India to account on this score, has only succeeded in emboldening its armed forces...,” the letter said.
It said Jammu and Kashmir is not a “territorial dispute between India and Pakistan”. “We would like to assert that it is primarily a question of the rights of the people of the state of J&K...,” the letter said.
During his visit, Guterres will attend several events in Delhi and meet President Ram Nath Kovind, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj, and Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan.