Act now to prevent war between Pakistan and India
CAIR is calling on Muslims and other people of conscience to contact their elected representatives and request that they do all they can to prevent war in South Asia by promoting an even-handed approach to the current conflict between Pakistan and India and supporting self-determination for the people of Kashmir.
"The issue of Kashmir has long been a flash-point for instability in the region," said CAIR Board Chairman Omar Ahmad. "This seemingly unending conflict can only be resolved when the occupation of Kashmir comes to an end and the Kashmiri people have the unfettered right to determine their political future.
"To accomplish this goal, U.N. resolutions should be implemented and all parties must agree to resolve their disputes through negotiations based on justice and international standards of human rights. The United States can play a critical role in diffusing tensions in the region through even-handed diplomacy and respect for the right to freedom," said Ahmad.
Ahmad added that international media and NGOs must be allowed to enter Kashmir to report on the realities of life there and to assist in humanitarian relief. He said American officials should avoid prejudicial statements that arbitrarily assign blame for the conflict.
CAIR endorsed a letter sent to President Bush by Dr. Ghulam Nabi Fai, executive director the Kashmiri American Council, which read in part: "Current reports indicate that the age-old tension between India and Pakistan over the disputed territory of Kashmir has reached an explosive point. The deployment of over 1 million troops at and around the Cease-fire Line has caused tens of thousands of Kashmiris to flee their homes.
"Prime Minister Vajpayee's recent address to Indian troops stationed in Kashmir has provoked the test firing of three missiles by Pakistan. Similarly threatening statements emanating from India's Home Ministry have drawn the response from President Musharraf that Pakistan will not let itself be overwhelmed by India's superiority in conventional arms. Given the acknowledged nuclear capabilities of the two countries, I need hardly stress the devastation of large segment of the human race that would result from a war between them.
"It is in this situation that I urge you to impress upon the Governments of the two countries to immediately initiate efforts not merely to reduce tensions but to put the Kashmir issue on the road to a just and durable settlement.
"A credible and rational resolution of this issue in accordance with the wishes of the people of the territory would usher in a new era in which the South Asian Subcontinent would at last begin to fight its real foe, which is poverty. It is essential that the United States, the sole remaining superpower, exert its unquestioned influence in seeking an immediate negotiated settlement of the Kashmir issue."
IMMEDIATE ACTION REQUESTED: (Use the TALKING POINTS above.)
1) EDUCATE YOURSELF about the conflict over Kashmir.
The Conflict in Kashmir: Click Here
Q & A: Flashpoint in the Heavens: Click Here
Kashmiri American Council: Click Here
India and Pakistan: Click Here
2) CONTACT your elected officials to demand that they take action to diffuse tensions in the region and support self-determination by the Kashmiri people.
TO SEND A LETTER, GO TO: http://capwiz.com/cair/home/
COPY all correspondence to firstname.lastname@example.org and to:
President George W. Bush
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500
TEL: 202-456-1414, Press 1
Secretary of State Colin Powell
U.S. Department of State
Washington, D.C. 20520