Protest At Pakistan Embassy USA: Gilgit Baltistan And Azad Kashmir Demand Justice

Protest At Pakistan Embassy USA: Gilgit Baltistan And Azad Kashmir Demand Justice

3 June 2013
Institute for Gilgit Baltistan Studies
Senge H. Sering

Washington DC: Memorandum of ProtestProsecute Murderers of Sardar Arif Shahid and Ensure Freedom and Democracy in Pakistan controlled Kashmir (AJK) and Gilgit-Baltistan Presented by the communities of Gilgit Baltistan and Pakistan controlled Kashmir on Wednesday May 29, 2013 to the Pakistani authorities at the Embassy of Pakistan at 3517 International Ct NW, Washington, DC, 20008 Against the brutal extrajudicial murder of senior political leader Sardar Arif Shahid who was the President of Jammu & Kashmir National Liberation Conference and Chairperson of All Parties National Alliance. He was shot dead in the Pakistani city of Rawalpindi on May 13, 2013.We Urge the Pakistani government to uphold its promise to the United Nations Organization of protecting honor, life and assets of the people of disputed regions of Pakistan controlled 'Azad' Kashmir (henceforth referred to as AJK) and Gilgit-Baltistan We Reiterate thatAJK and Gilgit-Baltistan are UN declared disputed regions and remain in the temporary control of PakistanThe people of AJK and Gilgit-Baltistan demand the right of self-determination to decide about their political future The people of AJK and Gilgit-Baltistan deserve freedom of speech, political activity, religion, culture and movement as enshrined in the Universal Declaration of the Human Rights; and that the Pakistani government as a signatory to the UN HR declaration is bound to grant such rights to the residents of AJK and Gilgit-Baltistan at all times Being the signatories of the UN HR Declaration, both the governments of India and Pakistan are bound to ensure free movement to the citizens of AJK and Gilgit-Baltistan who desire to cross the Line of Control to visit Indian controlled Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh Government of Pakistan is bound to respect the UNCIP resolutions; therefore it must ensure genuine autonomy and uphold the State Subject Rule in AJK and Gilgit- BaltistanGovernment of Pakistan as a signatory is bound to respect the UN HR Declaration on freedom of movement and therefore must ensure free travel between AJK and Gilgit-BaltistanGiven that both AJK and Gilgit-Baltistan are the victims of the long standing dispute over the former princely State of Jammu & Kashmir, it is essential that political leaders and workers of both regions should be encouraged to communicate freely and coordinate political activities to promote harmony and understanding That AJK and Gilgit-Baltistan are UN declared disputed areas; that Pakistan lacks sovereign rights over AJK and Gilgit-Baltistan; that the citizens of AJK and Gilgit-Baltistan are not the citizens of Pakistan and therefore are not obligated to show loyalty to the Pakistani State; that in the light of the above claim, it is requested that the Pakistani government must refrain from charging political workers of AJK and Gilgit-Baltistan with sedition especially those who choose not to declare loyalty to the Pakistani State or the government That Pakistan must not exploit the land and resources of AJK and Gilgit-Baltistan for promoting terrorism and militancy We BelieveThat Sardar Arif Shahid, a senior political leader of AJK, stood for these principled demandsThat Arif Shahid was the voice of oppressed and voiceless people of AJK and Gilgit-Baltistan.That Sardar Arif Shahid was shot and killed because he refused to compromise with the authorities; that he opposed terrorism and militancy; and that he championed the rights of the citizens of AJK and Gilgit-Baltistan That Sardar Arif Shahid, Murtaza Ali and Muiz Ahmed were innocent citizens of AJK and did not commit any crime to deserve cold blooded murderWe RemindThat death of Sardar Arif Shahid will not discourage us from our just struggle of freedom, secularism and democracyThat we will continue his mission and he will be remembered through our words and actions that will bring us closer to our fundamental right of self-determination That if the Pakistani authorities fail to arrest and prosecute the murderers of Sardar Arif Shahid, Murtaza Ali and Muiz Ahmed; then it will be seen as facilitating and encouraging the murderers and obstructing justice That if the government of Pakistan fails to ensure protection of life, honor and assets of the people of AJK and Gilgit-Baltistan, then the citizens of both disputed regions will have no choice but to urge the UN officials to intervene to ensure such fundamental rights To avoid further unrest in AJK and Gilgit-Baltistan, We Demand That the murderers of political workers of AJK and Gilgit-Baltistan must be arrested and prosecutedThose officials assisting target killings of political workers in AJK and Gilgit-Baltistan should be brought to justiceThe authorities must arrest and prosecute the culprits involved in killings of Shias and other minorities in AJK and Gilgit-Baltistan Pakistan must ensure freedom of speech, political activity, movement, religion and culture in AJK and Gilgit-BaltistanThe authorities must remove sedition charges and release all the political prisoners belonging to AJK and Gilgit-Baltistan The government officials involved in gang rapes, sexual torture, extrajudicial detentions and target killings in AJK and Gilgit-Baltistan must be brought to justiceBoth Pakistan and India must revive travel between Ladakh, Gilgit-Baltistan, Kashmir and BadakhshanPakistan must re-instate State Subject Rule in Gilgit-Baltistan and ensure genuine autonomy in both regionsPakistan must not use the land and resources of AJK and Gilgit-Baltistan to promote terrorism and militancyParticipating Organizations in SolidarityThe Diaspora of Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan in the United StatesDated: Wednesday, May 29, 2013