Widespread support for Kashmiri self determination cause applauded

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Dr Ghulam Nabi Fai, Chairman, Washington-based ‘World Forum for Peace & Justice’, applauded the widespread support for the Kashmiri self determination cause on Solidarity Day.

The participants, gathered in front of the Indian Embassy in Washington, DC in sub-zero temperature, expressing solidarity with the people of Kashmir – drew world attention to the situation in Indian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir and urged the United Nations to fulfill its promise to help resolve the lingering dispute.

Holding banners and placards in their hands inscribed with “Freedom For All: Freedom for Kashmir” “WE Demand Human Rights” “Wake up wake up UN wake up ” “Indian Army Out of Kashmir” “India: Free Kashmir,” the participants expressed total solidarity with the oppressed people of Jammu and Kashmir. The protest was organized by World Kashmir Awareness Forum & ICNA/Council for Social Justice.

India’s claim to be the world’s largest democracy but its actions in Kashmir speak otherwise. Rather than seeking to rectify its human rights record, India has legalized its state-sponsored terror in Kashmir. The draconian laws enacted by the Government of India in Kashmir provide the enabling environment that encourages and even rewards human rights abuses by India’s military and paramilitary forces. These laws, Dr. Fai stated, empower the Indian army to commit human rights atrocities with total impunity.

Despite the growing international awareness of India’s heinous crimes, India has kept on murdering and torturing innocent civilians in Kashmir. The reports of various international NGO’s show that the killing fields in Kashmir continue to be sown with the blood of women, children and young boys, Fai added.

Mr. Antonio Guterres, the Secretary General of the United Nations – the custodian of human rights – cannot simply stand by and allow India to continue to kill, torture and maim the people of Kashmir in this way. This must not stand. It is incumbent upon the United States as the leader of the free world, to take a leadership role in resolving the Kashmir conflict. No one else is in a position to resolve the conflict, Fai said.

Dr. Zahid Bukhari, Executive Director, ICNA/Council for Social Justice said that his organization has always supported the Kashmiri struggle for freedom against Indian occupation. “We are here today, on February 5th., to demonstrate our unwavering solidarity with Kashmiri people who are living in the largest open prison under the Indian military rule. The below freezing temperature of Washington, DC demands us to focus on the following three items with our boiling energy:

1- We have to use the word “Azadi” with Kashmir so persistently that it should become the English language word as the words “Intefada, and Insha’Allah” were accepted in the English language.

2- We should regularly contact our elected officials on Kashmir issue at all levels — city, county, state, and federal — including the congress members and Senators. The main talking point should be that Kashmir is more than a human right issue, it is a freedom struggle for 23 million Kashmiris. They are demanding their self-determination right according to the UN resolutions.

3- We should also appraise the Indian policy makers that it would be impossible for India to become a big-league player with its continuous cruel occupation of Kashmir. India may only achieve its dream if the Kashmiris enjoy living as free people.”

Professor Imtiaz Khan of World Kashmir Awareness Forum said that the Indian army massacred more than 100,000 Kashmiri civilians who were engaged in peaceful demonstrations against Indian occupation. Thousands of Kashmiri women have been gangraped. Over 10,000 missing persons and mass graves have been identified. These atrocities intensified manifold after August 5, 2019, when article 35 A and 370 which gave Kashmir, a special status was abrogated by Indian parliament.

Professor Khan added that Indian army is brutalizing and terrorizing Kashmiris to instill utmost fear so that they cannot even whisper about right of self-determination. Indian army patrol the areas, destroy the localities if they meet even a semblance of resistance and capture the youth whenever and wherever they find them.

Indian government is changing the demographic character of Kashmir by providing domicile certificates so that Muslim majority character is changed. Lot of Indian Hindus and some of them are taken to Kashmir and plan is to settle them there. Long-term design is to restrict local Muslim population in ghettos, snatch their livelihood so that they are at the mercy of these foreigners, Khan warned.

Dr. Khan warned that the whole Kashmir has been converted into a concentration camp. Any voice of dissent is met by long-term imprisonment or even death. Thus, it is exigent for the diaspora to disseminate these atrocious stories to the world and question their criminal silence over this important issue which has potential to jeopardize the existence of one fifth of the total human race.

Saleem Qadri called on India to accede to international law in Kashmir and cooperate in holding a referendum. India itself will benefit by the vast savings in military and paramilitary force in Kashmir, and by the more favorable investment environment that would follow on the heels of peace in Kashmir. He demanded the unconditional release of all political leaders, including Masarat Alam.

Sardar Imtiaz Khan (New Jersey) said that the truth is that the people of Kashmir have always been hostile to the presence of India’s troops on their soil and have resisted such oppression, and over hundred thousand Kashmiris have died within the past 32 years alone. Long-standing agreements in place have in fact afforded the Kashmiri people the right to determine their own destiny.

Sardar Imtiaz added that the way to a peaceful settlement of the Kashmir issue lies in tripartite negotiations between India, Pakistan and the genuine Kashmiri leadership. He said that it was absolutely necessary to have third party mediation because history shows that bilateral arrangements have never worked out as India is always insincere.

Ziaul Hussain said: Why, after 75 years of dispute, is the question of Kashmir still lurking in the shadows of international relations, still unresolved, despite its seemingly relative unimportance to global interests in matters of resources and international trade? The lives and hopes of Kashmiris should not be snuffed out by a ‘might-makes-right’ approach to international relations and morality, Ziaul Hussain added.

Tariq Bhatti expressed serious concern over the silence of the world powers over the semi genocidal situation in Kashmir. He said that Genocide Watch has testified before the US Congress that there is a potential of genocide both in India as well as in Kashmir.

Mazhar Chugtai explained that 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.

Ms Aisha Khan said that the international attention is now focused on Kashmir, and she called for unity among people as they push for freedom from the Indian yoke. She 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.

Sardar Ashiq Khan warned 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.

Sardar Zubair Khan said that the 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 the 1940s. The world knew Mr. Modi supervised Muslim pogroms in Gujarat and Delhi. He is now doing the same in Assam and elsewhere. His military and paramilitary forces are actively engaged in massacres and forced demographic change in IIOJK.

Sardar Aftab Roshan Khan demanded 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 the Indian army against innocent people of Kashmir.

Naeem Butt said that the 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.

Akram Butt 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 the right to self-determination.

Khurram Zulfiqar 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 have been blinded by pellet gun wounds. The silence of the world powers cannot be explained.

Gul Sher Sahi expressed his unconditional moral support to the people of Kashmir for a just and peaceful struggle. He said that he would like to see a humane resolution of all international conflicts including that of Jammu & Kashmir. He added that the killings of innocent civilians in Indian occupied Kashmir must shake the conscience of all peace-loving people.

15-year Asva Nazim emphasized that the brutalities of the 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. Our aim should be 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 the UN High Commissioner of Human Rights.

Ali Raza said that the only solution to all major problems in the region lies in the peaceful resolution of Kashmir. And that bilateral talks between the two nations have never taken off and direct involvement of the USA is needed if they are serious to achieve tangible results.

Malik Hamid sent a message from his hospital bed and urged the Biden administration to place Kashmir on its radar screen as India and Pakistan are nuclear-armed. He said that Kashmir has a special place in the hearts of the people of Pakistan and the issue cannot be ignored by them.

Sardar Zarif Khan, main organizer of the rally said, Modi terrorizes his neighbors and has subjugated people of Kashmir. Under his watch atrocities against Kashmiris have increased manifold. Occupation forces enter the houses of inhabitants with impunity. They kill the youth, molest the women, and steal the valuables before raising the houses to the ground.

Sardar Shoaib Irshad, co-organizer of the rally said, “We ask the people of the world to stand up and speak up for the freedom of Kashmir. Our appeal to the 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.

The participants of the rally urged the Secretary General of the United Nations to persuade India to rescind Domicile Law which is designed to change the demography of Kashmir; release all political prisoners, repeal all special repressive laws, restore the rights of peaceful association, assembly, and demonstrations and create condition to allow the people of Jammu & Kashmir to exercise their right to self-determination.

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