Istanbul, December 30, 2022 (tarkeen e watan) “I had spoken with Dr. Mubeen Shah and seen a few nice pictures of the Kashmir House Istanbul earlier this month before leaving for Turkiye with Dr. Fai, Secretary General of the World Kashmir Awareness Forum. I was eagerly looking forward to visit and see this beautiful small, four-story building in one of the most fascinating spots in Istanbul’s magical historic spot within easy walking distance from the Hagia Sophia and the Blue Mosque (Sultan Ahmet Mosque). But I had to hold my emotion back a little because we had to first fly to Ankara for the International Kashmir Congress, organized by the ‘Kashmir Legal Forum (KLF) under the leadership of Advocate Nasir Qadri,’” observations made by Dr. Ghulam N. Mir, Chairman, Kashmir Diaspora Coalition and President, World Kashmir Awareness Forum (WKAF).
Dr. Mir added, “On returning from Ankara, we were able to visit the Kashmir House for multiple meetings between the leadership of Kashmir House, WKAF and the newly established Kashmir Diaspora Coalition, senior leadership of the All Parties Hurriyat Conference from Islamabad and leadership from prominent Turkish think-tank ESAM (Economic and Social Research Center). The Kashmir House is based on the concept of self-sufficiency and financial independence. It incorporates a business model with a coffee shop at the ground level, a Kashmir crafts retail shops and meeting rooms for advocacy of human and political rights of the people of Indian Occupied Kashmir. Being conveniently located in the heart of the bustling city of Istanbul, the leadership of Kashmir House under the leadership of Dr. Mubeen Shah should serve the Kashmir cause well.”
Dr. Mir explained that besides being a Physician Dr. Mubeen Shah has served as the Chairman of Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and a liaison between the Chamber of Commerce and the largest and most authoritative civic-political alliance of Jammu and Kashmir. After Modi’s regime abruptly abrogated the internal autonomy of the State of Jammu and Kashmir, stripping millions of Kashmiris of their freedoms Dr. Mubeen Shah was arrested and jailed in India before the regime had to yield under foreign pressure and release him. He sought refuge in Malaysia and finally gained citizenship in Turkey. He has now dedicated his life to the cause of freedom of Kashmir and was elected Senior Vice-Chairman of the Kashmir Diaspora Coalition in October 2022 in Baku, Azerbaijan. The coalition is composed of six Kashmiri diaspora advocacy organizations based in the US, UK, EU, Canada, Turkiye and the Middle East. We all congratulate the Kashmir House for working hard to establish the center. It also provides a peaceful venue for Kashmiri diaspora to peacefully commiserate while away from home, busy with work and study for a better future.
Dr. Ghulam Nabi Fai, Chairman, World Forum for Peace & Justice said that he has visited Kashmir House (KH), Istanbul more than dozen times. Every time he visits the KH, he gets enthused while talking to the team of KH which is headed by physician turned into successful businessman, Dr. Mubeen Shah. Dr. Shah has been able to create successful partnership with like-minded NGOs in the area. It is always a joy, Dr. Fai said to discuss the history of Kashmir and more importantly the strategy of plan of action with Dr. Mubeen Shah. As the time-honored adage goes, ‘Behind every successful man there stands a woman.’ Asifa Jan is that person who has sacrificed equally for the cause by leaving her motherland – Kashmir: Paradise on earth. Asifa Jan is a gracious person who always welcomes guests with sincere affection and generosity.
Dr. Fai added that Dr. Shah’s formula for Kashmir is simple but powerful. He has the clarity of vision about the future of Kashmir…the aspirations of the people of Jammu & Kashmir must be respected and ultimately ascertained. Dr. Mubeen Shah consistently stresses that Kashmiri diaspora must get united on one single agenda item, i.e., right of self-determination, no ifs and no buts. Isn’t this an idea worth pursing, Fai asked?