TEHRAN, Nov 6 – A function was held at the Pakistani Embassy in Tehran on Tuesday to commemorate the occasion of Kashmir Black Day, which marked the 65th anniversary of the Indian occupation of Jammu and Kashmir.
In his address to the gathering, the Pakistani ambassador to Tehran, Khalid Aziz Babar, spoke about the suppression of the Kashmiri people and stated that Pakistan is committed to finding a just and peaceful solution of the issue.
Tehran Times journalist Hamid Golpira also delivered a speech at the event, in which he stated that Kashmir will be liberated when the Islamic ummah becomes united.
He also stated that different types of media should be used to get the message out about Kashmir and to reach a wider audience.
Following are excerpts of his speech:
The Islamic ummah must look in solidarity to the people of Kashmir, even the people of the world who are not part of the ummah should look in solidarity. All people should be in solidarity with those who are oppressed if they want to be real.
It’s an important issue. It’s a very important issue. After all these 65 years that the Kashmiris have not had the right to self-determination. It’s a very long time of suffering and struggle. Perhaps over 90,000 people were killed, according to some accounts, in this long struggle, most of them in the last 23 or 25 years or so.
Sometimes the same strategy does not work… if you want to be successful in Kashmir, to work toward the liberation of Kashmir, the final complete liberation of Kashmir, you have to see how to be successful.
And what do successful people do? Successful people change their strategy when it doesn’t work. Even a simple soccer or football team, if you always attack on the left side and the defense is strong there, and then you go for a goal on the right side. If you always have four midfielders and two forwards, sometimes you switch it around, you try a different strategy, you mix it up, you don’t repeat the same old things, and also you analyze what went wrong.
A major point of the Kashmir issue is that it is not enough in the news, it is not enough in the media, it is not enough in the minds of people, in the Islamic world or elsewhere. And it’s a very important issue. It’s an extremely important issue.
When you think that South Asia is a very big part of the world… about a billion and a half people is in many ways disrupted mostly because of the Kashmir issue. If the Kashmir issue is resolved, you see, more than 90 percent of the dispute between India and Pakistan will be resolved, more than 90 percent, maybe 99 percent. And this is an important part of the world. This is a very important part of the world, this is a large part of the world.
We have to see what’s gone wrong. Why are these ideas not going around in the media? Why are they not in the ideas of the people? Just to give you an example, some months ago I was in Indonesia, and I was talking with one young Iraqi guy, about 24 years old. We were talking, and I said, “Palestine is a serious issue. The liberation of Palestine is important. And he says yeah.” And I said to him, “Also Kashmir is an important issue.” And he said, “What is Kashmir? Where is Kashmir?”
This is not acceptable. This is not acceptable at all. He’s just one person, but this is not acceptable. We are not getting the message out. It’s necessary to get the message out. If the ummah is one family, then know where the ummah is, know where Kashmir is, know where Niger is, know where Senegal is, know where all are, and know the problems of the people, and work together. Be ready to work together. Don’t say you help me, and I won’t help you in your time of trouble. This is not unification. This is not ummat al-Islam ummah wahad, which means the ummah of Islam is one ummah.
And to talk on different strategies and different issues, one means of getting ideas out there is through various kinds of media. Everything isn’t the news media. Every medium is different. Some mediums have more power, more energy. We can make a film about Kashmir and not just a documentary film. Not that a documentary is bad, a documentary is good, but make a feature film about Kashmir, a dramatic film about Kashmir.
There are films about other historical issues. Why is there not one somewhat popular film about Kashmir? It would attract attention. This is an issue to do. You know, this is an issue to make a film about this or to go into other media. Make art about it. Make music about it for instance.
Music is in many ways the most powerful medium. Many people don’t read a newspaper article, they don’t read books, they don’t go to conferences, they don’t come to lectures and demonstrations for Kashmir, they don’t watch the evening news, but they listen to the radio and they listen to songs. Make a popular song about the liberation of Kashmir.
You can plant a seed in the people’s minds by just using all different mediums, and that’s part of the thing I’m trying to say about having different strategies.
Encourage musicians to sing songs about this. It’s an important issue, and it’s something that will catch the attention of people. When you have 90 percent of the people listening to songs, radio, or music, and 10 percent of the people reading serious books or articles, OK, what is more efficacious or effective? You must reach a mass audience, and it’s necessary to reach a mass audience. And I’ve realized that music is one of the ways to reach a mass audience.
Successful people are the ones who try everything. You don’t try one of five strategies and give up. These are the people who fail. These are the movements that fail. The ones who are successful are the ones who are persistent to the end and keep trying over and over again, and try many different pathways, many different strategies, and have good spirit, and don’t become discouraged. And if they have iman, belief in Islam, we should have yaqin, we should be certain. We should be certain of the victory, we should be certain of the blessings of Allah because if you don’t have yaqin, in some ways your belief is somehow lacking. It has not reached the higher stages because to have yaqin is in the higher stages of iman or belief.
To be certain of the blessings of Allah, to be certain of the help of Allah that will come, to not be doubting because doubting is bad, to use every different strategy, to use all media, all methods, all styles, the whole spectrum of things, the whole spectrum of ways to communicate with people, that’s what communication is, to use the whole spectrum of communication, to use all means at our disposal, to get this message out. Just this will lead to success, and to not give up, and to have a strong strategy, and to be determined, and to be ready to make sacrifices.
The greater the goal, the greater the sacrifice. If people are not willing to make sacrifices, we will not be successful.
If the ummah is not unified, we are self-defeating. We should not talk about the enemy and say, “The enemy is doing this, the enemy is doing that.” The enemy is not forcing you to not be united. The enemy is not the one that’s forcing you to be divided in the ummah by sect of Shia and Sunni or Arab and Kurd and black and brown and white or color or race or any of that stuff.
The people themselves are making this decision. The people themselves. Even in the Holy Quran, in one place it says people are going to the hellfire and they say that Satan told us to do bad and Satan says, yeah, I told them to do bad, but they acted on their own.
If somebody constantly advises you to be bad or to not act in solidarity, or Satan does, or a human, or a jinn, or whatever, we ourselves, each individual… decides to do good or bad.
We should work for the solidarity of the ummah, and Kashmir is a part of the ummah. And if we don’t work for the solidarity of the ummah, we can say we are self-defeating. We should march forward to victory but through unification, through feeling of solidarity, through the sense of brotherhood and sisterhood and family of the ummah, that the ummah is one.
And if the ummah is one, Kashmir will be liberated. Maybe Kashmir will be liberated on the day that the ummah is one. So let us change our way of thinking and move forward to victory for the liberation of the ummah, for the liberation of Kashmir, for the liberation of all oppressed people, and for the liberation of this planet, where most of the people are hungry.
Following are excerpts of the text of the Pakistani ambassador’s speech:
The Kashmir dispute is discussed every year in international fora since 1948. The Fourth Extraordinary Session of the Islamic Summit Conference, comprising 56 countries, held in Makkah-al-Mukarramah on 14-15 August this year reaffirmed its solidarity with the Kashmiri people and accorded full support to the people of Jammu and Kashmir in addressing their challenges.
Earlier, the Eleventh Session of the Islamic Summit Conference held in Dakar, Republic of Senegal, reaffirmed its support for the people of Jammu and Kashmir for their legitimate right to self-determination, in accordance with the relevant UN resolutions. It called for the full implementation of the recommendations contained in the report of the OIC Mission led by the Secretary General’s Special Representative on Jammu and Kashmir to Pakistan and Azad Kashmir.
The Eleventh OIC Summit endorsed the recommendations of the OIC Contact Group on Jammu and Kashmir. It took note of the Memorandum presented by the True Representatives of the Kashmiri people and reaffirmed OIC’s commitment to promote the just and peaceful solution of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute, in accordance with the wishes of the Kashmiri people.
The Eleventh OIC Summit also appreciated Pakistan’s flexibility in moving forward towards the resolution of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute through sincerity, flexibility, and courage.
Similarly the United Nations adopts a resolution every year on the right of self determination of the people of the world.
However, despite a lapse of more than six decades, adoption of numerous resolutions every year in international fora as well as the loss of hundreds and thousands of innocent lives, the Kashmir dispute remains unresolved. With half a million security forces, Jammu and Kashmir is today one of the most militarized areas of the world.
The history bears testimony to the fact that legitimate aspirations for freedom may be suppressed for some time, but cannot be denied forever.
Kashmiris are destined to exercise their inalienable right to self-determination, however difficult this proposition may seem at present.
Pakistan, for its part, will continue to stand by the Kashmiri people, in their just cause. We urge the international community, to take stops for safeguarding, the human rights of the Kashmiri people. Pakistan is committed to finding a just and peaceful resolution of the issue of Jammu and Kashmir, in accordance with the relevant UN resolutions, and wishes and aspirations, of the Kashmiri people. Pakistan is also ready, for a constructive, sustained and result-oriented dialogue on the Jammu and Kashmir dispute.