Hundreds gathered at the UN demanding freedom from Indian occupation

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“The right of self-determination which was promised to the people of Kashmir by both India & Pakistan and was endorsed by the UN Security Council needs to be fulfilled. The Kashmir dispute has no military solution. It can only be resolved through peaceful negotiations between all parties concerned – India, Pakistan and the people of Jammu & Kashmir,” this was stated by Barrister Sultan Mehmood Chaudhry, newly elected President of Azad Jammu and Kashmir at a rally organized by Washington-based World Kashmir Awareness Forum and supported by US Council of Muslim Organizations (USCMO), Majlie As Shura, New York and ICNA/Council for Social Justice. The protest was organized against prime minister, Narendra Modi as he was addressing the UN General Assembly.
Barrister Choudhary said that the international attention is now focused on Kashmir, and he called for unity among people as they push for freedom from the Indian yoke. He said that the world powers have the moral duty to intervene to bring justice and peace to the people of Kashmir who are being systematically brutalized by the Indian fascist regime.

Holding banners and placards in their hands inscribed with “Wake UP Wake UP UN WAKE UP” “Indian Army Out of Kashmir” “WE Demand Human Rights” “India: Free Kashmir” the participants expressed total solidarity with the oppressed people of Jammu and Kashmir.

Dr. Ghulam Nabi Mir, president, World Kashmir Awareness Forum (WKAF) said, “We are here today specifically to protest the visit and the speech of the Hindu Nationalist Prime Munster of India, Mr. Narender Modi. With all due respect to the office of the Prime minister of India, we believe he and his government do not deserve to be speaking at this august forum representing 193 countries of the world. We further believe that the region of South Asia faces an existential threat from the aggressive Hindu Nationalist regime which is based on Hitler and Mussolini’s Nazi ideology. We believe his regime is a threat to its neighbors and world peace.

“World leaders would be ill-advised to ignore the danger posed by the Hindu Nationalist regime led by Narendra Modi, just as it was a grave mistake to ignore the warning signs of Adolph Hitler’s threat in 1940s. The world knew Mr. Modi supervised Muslim pogroms in Gujarat and Delhi. He is now doing the same in Assam. His military and paramilitary forces are actively engaged in massacres and forced demographic change in the state of J&K. We urge the leaders of the US and the world to hold PM Modi and his associates’ feet to fire for the grave abuses of the fundamental rights Kashmiris,” Dr. Mir added.

Dr. Ghulam Nabi Fai, Secretary General, (WKAF) said that the president of the General Assembly, Abdulla Shahid, must know that the Prime Minister Modi, who spoke on Saturday, was declared as ‘butcher of Gujarat’. Within the past two years, Fai said, Modi has made Kashmir a hell for its people. The people of Kashmir have always been hostile to the presence of India’s troops on their soil and have resisted to such oppression, and over hundred thousand Kashmiris have died within the past 30 years alone. 

“The world powers and the saner elements in both India and Pakistan need to realize that the participation of Kashmiri leadership in the dialogue process with India and Pakistan is the sine qua non that will help to achieve the lasting peace and tranquility in the region of South Asia,” D. Fai added.

Imam Saffet Catovic, former, Bosnian Diplomat and Board Member, Muslim Alliance in North America (MANA) said, “Someone asked me, what are you doing here, you are not from Kashmir or Pakistan or other Asian nation.  I replied, yes that is true, my background is from Bosnia and Herzegovina in Europe.  I am here because as a Muslim and person of faith I am commanded by God in the Quran to stand for justice and against tyranny and oppression (Quran 4:135). Beginning in 1992 our Bosnian people were the target of ethnic cleansing and genocide, orchestrated by religiously driven ethnic chauvinists and ultranationalist who sought to erase our historic presence and very existence from the face of Europe, not unlike what has been happening to the Kashmiri people for far too long, under Indian occupation, even more so now than ever before under this Modi regime. By the grace of God, the just nature of our cause and through our heroic struggle and the support of allies and people of conscience across the world we survived and became free and independent and so shall the courageous people of occupied Kashmir!  as God reminds us in the Holy Quran (3:139) “Do not loose hope nor despair for you shall be victorious if you remain true to who you are and your faith” 

Dr. Imtiaz Khan, Professor George Washington University Medical Center said, The presence of Narender Modi at United Nations compromises the sanctity of this august body which was created to establish a fair world order. Modi terrorizes his neighbors and has subjugated people of Kashmir. Under his watch atrocities against Kashmiris have increased manifold. Occupation forces enter the housed of inhabitants with impunity. They kill the youth, molest the women, and steal the valuables before raising the houses to the ground. “Kashmiris want to express their sincere gratitude to PM Imran Khan for exposing the human right abuses by Indian forces,” Dr. Khan said.

Sardar Sawar Khan, former Advisor to the Prime Minister of Azad Kashmir called on the U.N. to decisively move towards implementing its resolutions that pledged the right of self-determination to Kashmiris. The nation of Kashmir is at the brink of extinction due to the demographic changes taking place in the State which needs world attention. “History testifies that all international conflicts were ultimately resolved through negotiations, including Afghanistan, Kashmir should be no different,” Sarwar Khan added.

Dr. Amerjit Singh, President, Khalistan Affairs Center said, ‘India’s Modi led regime is based on RSS ideology which is inspired by Nazi ideology of Hitler’s Party. Sikhs, Muslims, Christians & Dalits are being subjected to worst kind of persecution. UN should intervene & implement UN Security Council Resolutions on Jammu & Kashmir. Sikh Nation is also struggling to free itself from Indian yolk & establish an independent Sovereign Nation of Khalistan.

Dr. Atif Nazir said that ICNA/Council for Social Justice strives to systematically facilitate assertive Muslim involvement in the field of human struggle for the rights of the poor and oppressed in the United States and across the globe. He said that ICNA/CSJ initiated various campaigns in last few years for the oppressed people of Kashmir, like, “India end the communication blockade and the curfew on Kashmir,” “India end the occupation of Kashmir” “India grant aazadi (freedom) to Kashmir,”. Dr. Atif said that ICNA/CSJ will be always there whenever people of Kashmir, Palestine, Myanmar, elsewhere need them.

Ejaz Sabir, Esq. said, “The Indian establishment has lost its moral and political grip to establish the writ of State. It is evident from Indian commandos burglarizing the home of the Late Syed Ali Shah Gilani and taking away his dead body, kicking, punching, and leaving his wife bleeding. 

Ejaz Sabir reiterated that the international community, especially the UN must take note that Mr. Modi is following up a fascist agenda of a fascist organization, RSS.  I do appreciate UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’s foresight that the US and China should not involve themselves in the cold war. Secretary Guterres absolutely missed the core issue -the credibility of the UN. When the UN failed to enforce or adjudicate its own oldest resolutions number, (47, 122, 123, and 126) then how can the UN talk about world peace. It’s like one fails to learn the basic alphabet but stands up to present a thesis. UN must enforce its resolutions.

Ghazala Habib, President, Friends of Kashmir, International from Texas said, “We demand the implementation of the United Nations resolution on Kashmir so that the people of Kashmir can exercise their right to self-determination. The world must intervene and stop the extreme human rights violations being committed by Indian army against innocent people of Kashmir. We also demand unconditional release of all political prisoners in Kashmir.

Saleem Qadri, representative of Masarat Alam said that Kashmir issue needs to be resolved as soon as possible for the sake of international peace and security. He emphasized that the people of Kashmir have instilled confidence in the leadership of Masarat Alam who have been wrongfully jailed for over 27 years. But Masarat Alam has remained determined in seeking a peaceful resolution of Kashmir.

Sardar Niaz Khan, President JKPP said, “We demand the UN to pressurize Narandra Modi to stop the atrocities committed by Indian occupation army in Kashmir and allow the children to go to school and have the citizens of Kashmir acquire the necessities of life. We also demand the UN to implement the 18 UN resolutions that were put fourth 74 years ago.

Amjad Nawaz, PTI leader said that whole Pakistani nation is standing with the oppressed people of Jammu and Kashmir and will keep exposing the atrocities and brutalities of Indian fascist PM Narender Modi. We, as a nation will keep standing with the people of Jammu and Kashmir till the day of their independence.

Khalid Awan, President, People’s Party, USA said, Fascist Modi government is committing genocide of Kashmiris and the Indian army is fabricating stories of oppression and barbarism and the civilized world does not utter a word of condemnation. The nation of Kashmir has proved that Indian barbarism cannot kill their desire for right to self-determination.

Sardar Imtiaz Khan (New Jersey) said, “We ask the people of the world to stand up and speak up for the freedom of Kashmir. Our appeal to Biden Administration is to seriously engage India, Pakistan, and legitimate representatives of Kashmir in a results-oriented peaceful resolution of this most serious conflict of the world that is Kashmir.

Sardar Taj Khan said that the atrocities committed on the peace-loving people of Kashmir are continuing unabated. Thousands of women have been gang raped, not to talk of mass graves and children who been blinded by pellet gun wounds. The silence of the world powers cannot be explained.

Dr. Bena Akrm Khan expressed her unconditional moral support to the people of Kashmir for a just and peaceful struggle. She said that she as a physician would like to see a humane resolution of all international conflicts including that of Jammu & Kashmir. She added that the killings of innocent civilians in Indian occupied Kashmir must shake the conscience of all peace-loving people.

Sardar Zulfiqar Roshan Khan said that the only way the world powers can bring peace to the region of South Asia is by initiating a peaceful dialogue that will lead to the resolution of Kashmir. And that bilateral talks between the two nations have never taken off and direct participation of Kashmiri leadership is needed.

Raja Mukhtar emphasized that there is absolutely no doubt that Modi administration is not only dominated but also controlled by fascist ideology of RSS. It needs to be exposed before the world community. He said that despite all these atrocities committed on the innocent people of Kashmir, the people of Kashmir have never resigned to the military occupation of India.

Amna Habib said that the people of Kashmir have suffered long and needlessly because of the endless brutalities committed by Indian army in Kashmir. The people of my homeland demand nothing but peace – peace for Kashmir and peace for the region.

Ms. Tayyiba Khan emphasized that the brutalities of Indian government cannot and should not go unnoticed. It is the responsibility of the Kashmiri diaspora to be the voice of voiceless people in the corridors of powers all over the world.

Sardar Shoaib Khan said that it was the duty of all peace-loving people of the world to support the people of Kashmir who are struggling for their right to self-determination. Our aim is to draw the attention of the United States to the situation in Kashmir and help stop human right violations which have been reported by all major international NGO’s including UN High Commissioner of Human Rights.

Raja Razzak appealed to the international community to use its diplomatic, moral and economic leverage with  India to fulfill its commitment of the right of self-determination to the people of Jammu and Kashmir according to the United Nations Security Council  resolutions of 1948 and 1949.

Sardar Zarif Khan said “The people of Jammu & Kashmir have not forgotten the pledges made at the United Nations. Instead, pressure from the Kashmiri people to exercise their right to self-determination has grown. Each time Kashmiris have renewed their demands, Indian army has answered with renewed repression. These acts of repression have now turned into a systematic ‘reign of terror’ in the Vale of Kashmir, and it must end and end now.”

Sardar Haleem Khan, Emcee of the event and the President of JKLF, USA said that the people of Kashmir have made it clear that the final solution of the Kashmir disputes is not possible without the participation of the Kashmiri leadership in the future negotiations. He appealed to the world leaders to persuade India to release all political prisoners, including Mohammad Yasin Malik who is facing a life and death situation in notorious Tihar Jail of New Delhi, India. He is suffering from multiple ailments and his health was deteriorating with each passing day in the solitary cell of the jail.

Others who spoke included: Shams Zaman; Naseem Gilgati; Mahmood Akbar; Zahid Khan; Irfan Tasadduq; Shafiq Shah; Sardar Aftab Roshan Khan; Ms. Amna Habib; Choudahry Shaban; Ms. Farida Khan, PPP; Ms. Saima Jafri; Naheed Bhatti; Azra Dar; Iram Malik; Iram Javed; Ms. Shamim; Safoora Bibi; Neelam kaur; Begum Sattar; Aurungzab; Aslam Dhallo; Sagheer Khan; Daud Maqsood; Zafar

The protest lasted for over four hours, and protestors dispersed after making prayers for martyrs of the world, including Kashmir.

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Disclaimer: Hundreds gathered at the UN demanding freedom from Indian occupation - Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not necessarily reflect point-of-view

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