T h e

K a s h m i r

T  e  l  e  g  r  a  p  h

Second Edition

A Kashmir Bachao Andolan Publication

June 2002

I N S I D E



In The Groove    B Raman

Editorial

Straight Face Romeet Watt

To The Point Bashir Manzar

And Them           S N Gilani

Fundamentals    Praveen Swami

InsideTrack       Romeet Watt

Firing Line          B Raman

PersonalJournal G N Fai

Special Report   

May Edition



A b o u t  U s

F e e d b a c k

D i s c l a i m er

C o p y r i g h t s

 

 P ER S O N A L  J O U R N A L

 

Prof. Abdul Gani Lone: An Obituary

Dr. Ghulam Nabi Fai


Prof. A G Lone has been a commanding figure in Kashmiri politics for decades. His consistent advocacy of Kashmiri freedom, and his personal sacrifices, had earned him the respect of all factions of the Kashmiri resistance movement. His sparkling career features elected service in the Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Assembly, appointment to cabinet rank in the State Government, resignation to protest manipulation of Kashmir's political affairs, and imprisonment and torture for voicing his self-determination convictions. Since his release in 1992, Mr. Lone had charted a course of peace through negotiations between genuine Kashmiri leaders, India, and Pakistan, mediated by a third party or a person of high international stature.

I cannot agree more with General Colin Powell, Secretary of State when he said that “this [Mr. Lone’s assassination] is a direct attack on hopes for a fair political process in Kashmir. His killers are clearly among those who oppose a peaceful political resolution there.”

 

In the annals of Kashmir politics, Mr. Lone stands tall. He was brilliant, articulate and courageous to a fault. He was an exciting and gripping personality because of his deep involvement in the Kashmiri freedom struggle. He was unswervingly devoted to a peaceful settlement of the Kashmir dispute that has ensued when the problem has been perceived as bilateral, to the exclusion of the 13 million Kashmiri people whose sovereign destiny and fundamental human rights are at stake. 

 

Mr. Lone was a great personality blessed with great talents not only as a politician and thinker but also as a deep caring person. We can best honor his killing by continuing to carry the flag of Kashmir cause without fear or fatigue. Some hope may be glimpsed on the horizon. We urge the people of Kashmir to gain strength from this tragedy. I am hopeful if we remain true to the lofty vision of Mr. Lone, steadfast in the unity and leadership of the APHC, and unstinting in personal sacrifice, then Kashmir cause may trump occupation and subjugation in our lifetime. 

 

His assassins took refuge in guns and bullets because they could not defeat his inexhaustible fortitude and unanswerable advocacy. 

 

Mr. Lone was in Washington early this month to explore the support of the United States to settle the long-standing issue that has remained the underlying cause of all tensions between India and Pakistan. I experienced the good fortune of lengthy meetings with him during his last visit. We explored a variety of issues of mutual concern and focused on avenues for a just and lasting peace in Kashmir. He was sleepless and selfless in all his pursuits for the people of Kashmir. 

 

He told me that given the chance, the Kashmiri people could be instrumental in providing a “way out” of the cycle of violence and brutal killings in that unfortunate land. We have, he said an experience in democratic governance. We have a skilled workforce. Kashmir itself is rich in natural resources including an abundance of fertile land and vast waterways, which could produce enough hydroelectric power to support not only Kashmir, but parts of India as well. He said that Kashmiris are not the problem – they are the solution. Will the Indian Government recognize this? Will they work with APHC to find a peaceful way out? Or will they continue to believe that they can terrorize the people of Kashmir into submission? He believed that the United States holds unique powers of moral suasion in facilitating enlightened solutions to acute divisions, whether in East Timor, Middle East, Kosova, or Kashmir. He wondered why such actions were forthcoming in the case of East Timor and not Kashmir. Was the suffering of the Kashmiri people any less than that of the East Timorese? He also rejected partition of Kashmir as a solution comparing it to accepting a disease as the remedy. Any such “solution” would be temporary and would be rejected by the people, he warned. 

 

Mr. Lone told me that he had always maintained that dialogue and negotiations are the route to peace and stability in the region of South Asia. The dialogue, he said, can be held at four different levels: (a). between the leadership of all regions of Kashmir; (b). between India and APHC; (c). between India and Pakistan, and (d). finally between India, Pakistan and Kashmiri leadership to settle the dispute once for all. 

 

The killing of this brave and courageous leader must be investigated by any neutral and impartial agency and the culprits must be brought to justice.

 

The author is the Executive Director of the Washington-based Kashmiri American Council (KAC)

The views and the opinions expressed should not be attributed to Kashmir Bachao Andolan as an organisation unless expressly stated so.

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