Oppressed people of Kashmir remembered at Iftaar dinner in Washington

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World Kashmir Awareness Forum (WKAF) organized an Iftaar dinner to express its appreciation to the brethren of Azad Kashmir ancestry, Pakistani Americans and friends of Kashmir for their continued support.

The board has experienced their dedication, commitment, and generosity over the years to strengthen the cause of Kashmir in corridors of power here in Washington, DC, New York and beyond.

The event was held at Namak Mandi Restaurant, Falls Church, Virginia where the leadership of Kashmiri and Pakistani community was in attendance. Umer Khalil recited the verses from Quran and Javaid Kousar, a well-known journalist in DC metropolitan area offered salutation on Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).

Imam Naeem Baig, National Coordinator, “Religions for Peace USA’ highlighted the importance of Ramdhan. He said, “We thank Allah, subhanahu wa ta’ala, for blessing us with another Ramadan so that we become closer to Him, our Creator. This month-long training program that we know as Ramadan is to intensify our relationship with Allah, subhanahu wa ta’ala. We abstain, which is the literal meaning of Sowm from eating, drinking and spousal intimacy from dawn until sunset because Allah has commanded us to do so. That is what Ramadan is all about, learning the art of abstaining from committing haram, learning how to control and discipline ourselves from not harming others with our words, actions and/or behavior.

Imam Naeem added that one of the name of Allah, is As-Samad, The Self Sufficient, that means that Allah is not in need of anyone but everyone needs Allah. Imam Al Ghazali, says that fasting produces a semblance of the divine quality of samadiyyah (freedom from want) in a human being. And we build in ourselves this quality of serving others, standing up for their rights if they are being oppressed and persecuted. So let us strive for the freedom of our brothers and sisters in Kashmir and Palestine. Let us stand against oppression and fight for Justice and Peace.

Dr. Ghulam N. Mir, President, World Kashmir Awareness Forum thanked the guests of this special Iftar dinner in this holy month of Ramadan. He said that to tonight we want to thank a very special and unique relationship between the people of Azad Kashmir and the Indian Occupied Kashmir. No two communities in the world enjoy such a loving relationship. People in the Occupied Kashmir are ever so grateful to the people of Azad Kashmir and the Islamic Republic of Pakistan for standing shoulder-to-shoulder with the people living under Indian tyranny. Together we will continue our peaceful struggle for freedom and Indian decolonization of the occupied Kashmir. We need to redouble our efforts.

Dr. Ghulam Nabi Fai, Secretary General of WKAF also thanked the audience for their support and guidance during the past more than four decades in the United States. We salute your selfless commitment & dedication to the cause of Kashmir, he said. Today, the world powers do not utter a word to stop brutality and viciousness prevailing in the Vale of Kashmir – once known as paradise on earth. Therefore, we feel compelled to knock the corridors of power in Washington, and elsewhere and urge them to explore all humane and reasonable avenues to deliver the people of Kashmir from a suffering that has lasted now for more than seven decades. We cannot do it without the support of our Azad Kashmir brothers and sisters, Fai added.

During his remarks, Mowahid Hussain Shah, Attorney-at-Law, of Counsel to late US Senator James Abourezk, highlighted the significance of never giving up and the dangers of a defeatist mindset which can lead to indifference and inaction. Mowahid said despite heavy odds the spirit of Kashmiri resistance movement is unbroken. Its struggle is essentially a relentless striving for Fairness in that Right is Might.

Dr Imtiaz Khan, Professor at George Washington University Medical Center stated that Indian government has substantially increased the level of terror unleashed on the people of IIOJK.

Mongi Dhaouadi, President, Tunisian United Network emphasized the need to remember our brethren in Palestine, Myanmar, Kashmir, and beyond.

Dr. Zahid Bukhari, National Director, ICNA Council for Social Justice said that we must stand to promote global awareness of this situation and the acceptable solution of the Kashmir issue.

Dr. Akbar Khawaja, Strategist and Educator said India is oppressing the people of Kashmir for decades and spreading violence to stop them from demanding fundamental rights of freedom. Sardar Zubair Khan said that Kashmiris on both sides of the Ceasefire line are like brothers and sisters and wish to maintain that national kinship here at the United States. Shoaib Irshad, General Secretary, Kashmir American Welfare Association (KAWA) thanked the participants. Sardar Zarif Khan, Emcee of the program applauded the role of the leadership of Kashmiri & Pakistani American community.

Those who among others attended included Malik Hamid, Shoaib Irshad, Sardar Zubair Khan, Moazzam Aftab, Akram Butt, Aftab Roshan Khan, Gul Sher, Johhny Bashir, Rana Saadat, Mohammad Akbar, Mazhar Chugtai, Ziaul Hussain, Raja Liaqat Kiyani, Shafiq Shah, Umer Khalil, Syed Adeeb, Atif Raja, Shahbaz Shaw, Shahid Abbasi and representatives of the media fraternity.

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