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Only Western EVER Allowed in Indian-Kashmir Speaks: Prof Baker [Interview Excerpts]
by Saima Alvi
26 May 2002 12:07 UTC
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Professor William Baker, Director of CAMP (Christians And Muslims for 
Peace), is the Only Western EVER Allowed in Indian-Occupied Kashmir, and he 
talks in great detail of the Kashmiri people, their struggle and their 
leaders; Indian atrocities; Pakistani involvement; the need for UN & US 
mediation; and much more.......  


"They have a separate cemetery for children martyrs because they are so may 
killed. I tell you, on one of the cemeteries there is a famous 
inscription, 'Don’t forget that we have given our today for your 
tomorrow.' " PROFESSOR BAKER. [See below for details]

                             INTERVIEW EXCERPTS

1. About the struggles of the Kashmiri people as seen in his trips to 
Indian Occupied Kashmir:

Kashmiri people: Its one of the least known disputes in the whole world and 
of course one of the least known geographic places on earth. I have met 
very few people who know where Kashmir is located, what hemisphere etc. 
also in which continent. Kashmir is known for centuries as “The Happy 
Valley of The Happy People”. 

Kashmiri people much like the Palestinian indigenous people in Palestine 
fighting with the Israelis, they are happy, non-warring and peaceful 
people. They had no organized army no organized militia- Nothing! They had 
been occupied on and off for centuries by the Mongols, my book details 
that. But no one occupied them and brutalized them to the point that it 
forces them to pick up guns to defend their lives, their families and their 
faith: Islam. And indeed this is the difference, as I told the Vice 
president. I said, “This is not the situation. That beautiful idyllic happy 
valley has turned into the valley of death and its death for the Kashmiri 
people. They are dying by the thousands and tortured. I documented of 
course for the fifteen days I lived on a houseboat. I had to secretly enter 
the country because it is sealed. 

The Indian Government allows no one in and out of there without someone who 
is going to parrot the official position of India on Kashmir. Or should we 
just say a pro-Indian perspective? I was able to get in there for 15 days 
and survive coming close many time to being arrested and loosing my own 
life and being beaten to death. I documented with the camera and still 
shots hundreds of photographs, and probably 15 roles of film on a high aid 
video camera. I was able to document women who had been raped pregnant with 
Indian solders children. I documented children who had been shot, 
assassinated and killed. I photographed their bodies. I photographed dead 
children, these infants being burried in a martyred cemetery. There are so 
many cemeteries actually. They have a separate cemetery for children 
martyrs because they are so may killed. I tell you, on one of the 
cemeteries there is a famous inscription, “Don’t forget that we have given 
our today for your tomorrow.” 

I saw that in many places just as a little remembrance for those children. 
Also the young Kashmiris that have been killed defend their families, soil 
and Kashmir itself against the Indian forces. I witnessed this over and 
over and over. Again, do not forget that, we have given our today- in other 
world their lives – for your tomorrow. That is on the cover of the back of 
my book in bold letters. I promised those people after the fifteen days 
that I was able to get out by the help of the love or God himself, or I 
would have never have made it out myself alive. I was able to get out and 
bring these things out. 

I immediately went to the US congress and petitioned the senators and 
congressmen as well as the Vice president and president telling them of 
what I saw, documenting it; speaking to congressional committees and just 
doing everything that I promised the Kashmiris, “if God permits me to live 
and get me out of here and back to America, I promise you you’ll have a 
voice and my voice will be your voice. The world will not forget you and I 
will speak for Kashmir.” Indeed that is what I have done; I wrote the book 
I put photos in the book. The publisher said that the photos I wanted to 
put in the book were so terrible that he asked if he could at least put 
them in black and white and not in color because it is awful. So I did say 
ok, but even people who read it now…and you and our listeners have probably 
looked at the book at least on the cover there is the dead body with bullet 
holes of Dr. Abdul Haq Guruh. 

He was a wonderful man who spoke wonderful English well educated in the 
west: A heart specialist in Shirinagar. He helped me so many times into the 
homes of the people who had been injured, shot, maimed and raped. He told 
me he knew they would kill him one day. He was a non-violent man, he had 
never raised a hand in anger, never carried a gun or knife or anything. He 
was a classic Kashmiri really: World-renowned surgeon and the only one for 
13 m people. And indeed they did assassinate him and I have photographs of 
his funeral cortège being attacked by Indian soldiers; His son-in-law, Atiq 
Hussain, who was trying to burry him and getting shot, and laying there 
next to the casket of Dr. Guruh, both of them dead on the street. I tell 
you…these are the things that I saw; I saw things that I have never seen 
anywhere else in the world. I promised those people, “I will speak if God 
saves my life; I will speak for you”, and I am still doing it.

2. About death toll of the Kashmiris?

Since 1988 there is upwards of 40- 45,000 at least. The death toll that you 
hear quoted [of 25,0000] is the one in which they can document the bodies, 
thousands upon thousands are missing, and have never been recovered. They 
have been taken away they have been executed in mass graves somewhere. As 
our listeners might know that is a massive area in the Himalayas. There is 
a lot of area there; a lot of huge areas where bodies can be placed in mass 
graves. The usual method over there that I have witnessed, you notice right 
away that there are no men, no young men or even middle aged anywhere. They 
have all either been taken or hiding for fear or left the area. Many men; 
missing men, no word is given on why they were arrested; they are taken 
away at night. Many times they are walking along the road and they are 
taken. Their families never see or hear from them again. Sometimes they 
show up in the Jehlum River, which is the river down near the capital 
center of Shrinagar. 

Usually the bodies are left there floating in sacks or something and I have 
photographs of the bodies. Their families hear about it. They go down and 
pull them out of the water and you can just see the desecration of the body 
parts. I have a color photograph of an old grandfather probably in his late 
70’s or early 80’s, his whole right arm has been torn off. He’d been 
stabbed and his whole chest has been ripped open. This is how they find 
their loved ones if they ever find them. There are literally thousands of 
Kashmiris, who no one has seen again. I smuggled out a list of those 
people. A list from Justice Farooqui who kept it all these years hoping 
that someone will come in some day from the west and will be able to get it 
out. And I was able to get those out and turn them over and testify in 
Geneva, the Human Rights Commission, Amnesty international and other human 
rights organization. It’s a terrible story. 

3. About insinuations about the Kashmir struggle begin perpetrated by 
Pakistan, or the “Talibanization of the Kashmir struggle”? 

Well, it’s not true at all. I say it very pointedly and very plainly. I was 
there. I am neither Indian nor Pakistani. I am Christian, not a Muslim, 
although I certainly love the Islamic people and have written a book about 
it: the common ground between myself as a Christian, and Islam. But still…
what I saw when I visited the camps of the Kashmiri Mujahideen up in the 
mountains: the resistance struggle fighters, and I must tell you they were 
all Kashmiris. I never saw Pakistanis there. What I did see was one million 
Hindu Indian soldiers: Armed to the teeth at every single block and every 
junction of every square of every city block and every street there is an 
Indian with an automatic weapon and sand bags and machine gun behind it. 
Every bridge has a machine gun emplacement on both: front and back as you 
exit and start on there. I mean there are guns on you every second of your 
life. Yet I hear, “Pakistan is this and Pakistan is that”, “Pakistani 
agents” and “Talibanization” as you say. This is Nonsense and nonsense 
means that there is no sense to it. That is what nonsense is! These are 
Kashmiri kids, Kashmiri people living, struggling and fighting and they are 
dying, not for Pakistan, they are dying for Kashmir. They are dying to be 

You know there is a great statement that John F Kennedy made, certainly an 
icon hear in America people will always remember him. John F Kennedy said 
hat the most powerful force in the world today is neither communism, nor 
capitalism nor the H-bomb or guided missiles. He said its Man’s eternal 
desire to be free. That is the summation of what I found in the Kashmiri 
people, there is no Taliban mentality. 

In fact the Hurriat conference, which is an organization of all of the 
resistance groups that came together and said, “we’ll meet with India, 
we’ll have a tri-part type meeting with Pakistan, India and the Kashmiri 
group. Lets all meet together and work this thing out.” This is not 
fundamentalist/ extremism, it’s not a fundamentalist extremist who fights 
for his country and his family to protect his wife from being raped and his 
children form being tortured. There is a non-existent education. The 
schools are closed, the universities are closed and there are no jobs, no 
income and no cash flow. It’s a country completely cut off and being 
strangled by the Indian government and isolated. This is the tragedy of it. 
So the answer is: Absolutely not! The young men that I was with and I saw 
them form one end to the other: all Kashmiri. 

4. Should the US or the UN have more of a role in this struggle? 

I am very concerned that if we continue to ignore the Kashmir issue, the 
subcontinent and Pakistan and India. Indeed there are those on both sides 
who feel they can loose thirty or forty million people: Mumbai, Karachi; 
that’s doable we’ll survive the rest of us- that’s a horrible way to think. 
I really believe the nuclear flash point of he world is not the Palestinian 
Israeli conflict, its not Sadam Hussain, its certainly not Osama Bin Laden 
it is Kashmir. The west needs to pay attention o start delving into this t 
get in there and promote peace with justice and especially first and 
foremost justice for the Kashmiri people. Convening a tripartite and this 
is all they have to do, the US is doing it in the Middle East its doing it 
in Afghanistan, its doing it in everywhere in the world even in Somalia, 
why can’t we do it Kashmir. 

.......I call for that in my book: a UN buffer zone to move in now, to move 
into this line of control as it is called, it is really a cease fire line 
and there really is no ceasing of fire. There is still exchanging of 
artillery and small arms almost daily. People are dying between India and 
Pakistan. So why can’t the UN begin right now and say, we’ve passed these 
resolutions as a world body, we want to come in, we are going to come in 
and now which side is going to drag it’s feet? This is of course the test 
to the rest of the world which government would not really want the UN to 
come and enforce these resolutions, which they agreed to themselves by the 
way. Both parties are signatories to these resolutions: India and Pakistan. 
Why not then the UN should come forward. The reason is because it’s 
political, the reason is because you have old friends in the UN, 
ambassadors who say listen you give us that on Kashmir and we will vote for 
you on the other issue. That’s what happens, it is not their will. If you 
had in the UN average hardworking people, just for representing their 
countries, like the Kashmiris should be there, if we had these kinds of 
people in the UN these kinds of resolutions would be passed. 

This is the same problem with the US government. The new partner that they 
are discovering in the world is India, and we are trying to play with India 
and China both at the same time. China has no use for India, there is going 
to be a grudge match some day between those two. China leans towards 
support for Pakistan. The US like the UN has ignored the Subcontinent and 
the issue of Kashmir. It is sort of like what they did with Sadam Hussain 
on the Issue of Kuwait. When he asked the ambassador one week before he 
moved his forces into Kuwait what the US official position was. The 
ambassador wired the state department and got the answer she read it to 
him, I have a copy of it, it read we view the issue of Iraq and Kuwait to 
be an Arab to Arab issue and its not ours. So do what you want in other 
words, you have a green light, we don’t care. As soon as he moved across 
the border we’ve got our president drawing a line in the sand and drawing a 
war on Iraq. This is the foolishness and nonsense of politicians and 
political agendas. They always lack human rights and justice and if 
everyone can put away their pettiness and political aspirations and say, 
what can we do to stop the killing and the suffering of the Kashmiri people 
and by the way enhance the economies of Pakistan and India.

....I hope to live long to see these countries have the Kashmiri people 
free and having no occupation forces, being Kashmiri and speaking Kashmiri 
if they wish and dealing with countries, having families in both countries 
and trade and open borders with both countries, and then I’d really like to 
see the relations between India and Pakistan, because the relationship is 
there the roots are deep; the associations are very very long term between 
the Indian people and the Pakistani people. But they can never come 
together with the generations being raised with animosity and hostility 
towards each other’s countries over Kashmir. It just doesn’t need to happen 
if we can just seek justice, everybody gets together in one room and say 
lets put away ourselves, lets talk about justice for Kashmiris how can we 
heal this land and people, and the by product will be a healing for the 
whole region. 

5. Solid reasons why India has prevented and deferred and delayed a 
plebiscite in Kashmir, does not want to discuss the Kashmir issue at all 
and also doesn’t want mediation on the Kashmir issue?? 

The Indians of course say, well all of India can unravel if we allow 
Kashmir to get away from us then we cannot stop the other states of our 

The problem is that all the other states got to decide and vote weather 
they wanted to be part of India or not. The Sikhs in Punjab and so on who 
want an independent area themselves and states want to be independent from 
India, that’s an internal problem. By the way that is going on now weather 
Kashmir is given its right for a plebiscite or not. India is fragmenting 
anyway. They need too just pay attention to why are the Sikhs looking to 
get out of this democracy and not wanting to be part of this nation. Why do 
three other states want to withdraw? They need to deal with those issues 
and it has nothing to do with Kashmir. It is a matter of pride, it is a 
matter of saving face as you know and as many of our listeners might know 
saving face is such a foolish thing, but it’s everywhere in the world. Its 
here in America, its in the west. Politicians saving face by doing this or 
doing that even if it is wrong, even if it’s silly even if it perpetuates a 
war and death on people. We have the same thing in the subcontinent. To 
save face India says we don’t want anybody to negotiate this issue because 
this is our issue- Well, its really not. They signed on for intervention as 
did Pakistan and frankly as I say in the book, they have to adhere to the 
very solutions that they agreed to weather its saving face or not. This 
concern for hegemony of - nobody is going to tell us, we’re going to do 
what we’re going to do- that isn’t true, the world has shrunk since 1948 
and prior to that since the dive for independence. We are a small world 
today and its getting smaller everyday. 

No man and country lives by itself and to itself anymore. India has a big 
partner that it needs to start dealing with to resolve the Kashmir issue 
with Pakistan, we’ll focus on that, it’s called China. China is emerging as 
a super power, it already is and even more so in the near future. China 
doesn’t want this on its border, china doesn’t want Kashmir to be a 
possible nuclear exchange flashpoint and as I said they certainly won’t 
want in the wings and watch the fireworks form Beijing. They would enter 
into it. The fear of what you hear form the Indian government that it would 
unravel our whole country, there country is already. Those areas that are 
troubled are troubled, the Sikhs and so on, you need to deal with them, the 
Tamils that they created, they need to deal with them. They need some 
honesty and some integrity in their system and justice, and Pakistan the 
same way. The generals who in may cases are guided correctly; they mean 
well to save the country form slipping this left or right. They also need 
to understand the people cannot continue to sustain the militarism 
indefinitely for the sake of education of their children, for economic 
growth stimulation and survivability of families. 

[India's attitude towards Pakistan also flows from..]...a naive view...also 
associated with that same attitude of ‘Pakistan how dare you leave us when 
we become India, a country in the partition’ And they said well, you’ll 
never make it, you’ll never last on your own’. The fact that it has and it 
continues to survive. IT comes back to what we talked about quiet a bit 
earlier in our discussion, the element of saving face and national pride 
and political pride of ‘Oh My Gosh they cannot govern without us’ and they 
have and continue to. 

6. About Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front?

The JKLM is a genuine front. I am met both leaders- Yasin Malik and Aman-ul-
Haq and many others. Of course there was Dr. Abdul Haq Guruh. Dr. Abdul Haq 
Guruh was a leading spokesman for the JKLF. It is not a terrorist 
organization. I mean here is Dr. Haq Guruh who has never even owned a 
knife, except a surgical knife. He was the most peace full man I have met 
all over the world: A loving, kind, compassionate, super educated and 
gentle soul. 

This is not a terrorist, this is a man who truly was a freedom fighter who 
lost his life and gave it as a Muslim. Inshallah he said he believed it and 
it happened. Again the people who are carrying out the issues, who are 
dying are the youth as it always is in every war. Everywhere I went there 
were JKLF people weather they were educators, weather they were religious 
leaders they were all promoting the JKLF. I felt that that, that was a very 
legitimate representation collectively of the Kashmiri people. I met Jamat-
e-Islami, I met them all but the JKLF was in the forefront in Newspapers in 
educating the public and the world attempting to portray the realities of 
the occupation and what they were going though. 

Much of what I say is from my notes and my memory from Kashmiris 
themselves. I mean men of stature like Abdul Ghani Lone, Ali Ghilani, Abaas 
Ansari and of course Abdul Haq Guruh and more. These are the people who 
have the right to speak for the Kashmiri people and these are their words, 
much of what you’ve heard me say. They are not property to be owned by 
either country. They wanted to trade, to care and be part of both at the 
same time and the only way of course is neutrality or an independent 
Kashmir with open borders to both Pakistan and India. 

Of course I was blessed and fortunate while I was in Kashmir to meet all of 
these wonderful and outstanding leaders. I met the young mujahids of the 
JKLF of the Jamat-e-Islami I met them all. [Mr. Gillani] stood out and 
still does, I remember him saying, “ The Indian’s are trying to eradicate 
our culture but culture is tied to Islam, they attack Islam and we will 
continue to preach and educate Islam as a way of life and Law. We shall 
never give up our faith and our struggle to be free.’ And another quote, 
and I love this because I am a Christian, “ It is time for all believers in 
one God to join hands and oppose all the evils of the evil doers in the 
world. We Kashmiris have been in the clutches of India since 1947. When the 
British left the empire to two nations and two religions, Hindus and 
Muslims, India and Pakistan, we will never surrender or cease in our 
struggle for freedom not only to practice our religion Islam but of self-

7. Farooq Abdullah, the chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir??

It’s power it’s political materialism, he doesn’t represent the Kashmiri 
people. A true leader of the Kashmiri people doesn’t need to be defended by 
Indian Guards and troops. You follow me? …A leader who is loved and 
respected by his people anywhere on earth doesn’t need that, the fact that 
he is one of the most despised person in Kashmir...It’s obvious he wants to 
be a member of Indian congress and feather his own nest where he has a 
plush plump position as a laky for the BJP, Advani and the rest. Anytime 
they need some statement about Kashmir he gives it dutifully. This is 
outrageous. Let the people of Kashmir have an honest vote and see if the 
Kashmiri people would vote for him or his party. You would see in an 
instant he would be no more. He is a strictly a front person for the wishes 
and whims of the Indian government. 

8. Confidence building measures?

The confidence building will have to be lead by the west. I am sorry to 
say. I believe the two parties; India and Pakistan are feeling that they 
cannot move forward towards making any kind of proposal or compromise or 
even to talk together about the issue of Kashmir, to convene the 
tripartite. They cannot comfortably do this with the population uneducated 
about the realities of Kashmir. I find people in both countries who don’t 
even know the background of how Kashmir became the Issue that it is. You 
know there is a lot of non-education in both countries and illiteracy is 
very widespread in both countries. 

So here are the facts we have, 465-mile line of Control that sees about 10-
15 deaths per day. There was hope that perhaps Pakistan could convince the 
US to mediate on the Issue. 

The US can go to the UN if it wanted to. This is what I have solicited the 
congressmen and senators to do and will continue to do so. When I have the 
opportunity to meet the Presidents and Vise Presidents, I say the exact 
same thing. It’s in America’s interest to have peace in that part of the 
world. The new economic openings for India, this 1 Billion people and China 
on the border, you want relations with Pakistan who is always going to be a 
player in that part of the world not only geographically but also because 
of it’s military and again it’s priorities for it’s own security on it’s 
boundaries. It’s in America’s interest to take the lead again; I say that 
in the conclusion of the book. I don’t just write books and say here’s a 
terrible situation and here are some terrible photographs. 

I spent a lot of my time in that last chapter talking about solutions. What 
India must do, what Pakistan must do, what UN must do and what the rest of 
the world must do. And then what America must do. Right now America must 
take the lead like it does anywhere when it wants to. We’ve got there UN 
resolutions on the table for 53 years, lets get a UN force in here, We know 
India’s not going to like it, we know Vajpayee and Advani, you’re not going 
to like it but you know what, we’re going to do it because you signed on. 
Just because there is another regime in power doesn’t make null and void 
the signatures of your former president and parliament. You were both 
signatories to these resolutions we are going to bring it in. Now I don’t 
believe Pakistan would argue that much. 

I don’t know if I should give an opinion here but, I’ll try and be detached 
and speak as a Pakistani student, most of us are of the view that Kashmiris 
right of self -determination must be addressed, weather they choose to be 
Independent or they choose to be with India or with Pakistan, that it’s 
suffered too much and I think that has been the official position of 

Well it hasn’t been, I have to say. When Ms. Benazir Bhutto was Prime 
Minster she did voice opinion with me in Cyprus and elsewhere publicly. She 
started including and using the term, “or the right to be an independent 
country”. I had to break through quiet a wall. I don’t know how successful 
I have been in Pakistan as we are talking about Pakistan, because as I said 
I addressed many secessions of members of parliament and members of the 
senate as well; The president, Farooq Leghari and others. I was probably 
the first, as I said I spoke for the Kashmiri people. In Islamabad at the 
holiday Inn, when we had the president and foreign ambassadors there I 
said, Ladies and gentlemen, you leaders of Pakistan must stop using the 
1948 furbish of ‘Kashmir has a right of plebiscite to choose us, Pakistan 
or India.’ There is a new element they fought and bled and died for and 
that is Independent belonging to neither one. This is their plan and it has 
been drafted, it’s known that they want a relationship with both countries, 
like I said open borders. To anwer your question weather the political 
leadership of Pakistan has finally adopted as a profile public statement 
includingthe term, “or the right of self-determination of an independent 

It definitely should, and I hope that everyone has got that message through 
what you’ve said today. I hope all listeners, weather they are upset or 
angry, that’s ok, at least we got you thinking of this subject. I’d like to 
encourage everyone listening to this program to get a copy of my book. Not 
to make money, not at all. If I wanted that I wouldn’t be writing books on 
Kashmir or anything like this. I would like them to read the subject to be 
honest, objective and analytical, try to forget what they were taught at 
home by families and the usual lies of their countries, but to consider 
just the merit of the Kashmiri people: Their struggles to be free people. 
If they do that they will come up with the right decision and they’ll come 
down on the right side of this issue. 

9. Contact to get in touch with you regarding the book?

I would be happy to correspond with anybody, If they’d like to follow up 
and get the book they can order it through there. The main thing is to get 
the message out as you have done today. Getting these facts out, because 
it’s one of the least known areas and it’s the most dangerous nuclear 

POSTED FROM http://www.paknews.com/articles.php?id=1&date1=2002-01-04

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