Washington, DC. February 4, 2024.
February 5th is observed as Kashmir solidarity Day all over the world. The Kashmiri Americans and Pakistan American community along with friend of Kashmir held a peaceful protest in front of the Indian Embassy in Washington, D.C. Participants were carrying the placards and banners which read: “Modi Guilty of Crimes Against Humanity in Kashmir” ” India : Guilty of Genocide in Kashmir” ”Kashmiris Reject Indian Occupation: UN Resolutions only Solution” “Kashmir Deserves World Attention” etc.
Dr. Imtiaz Khan, Professor at George Washington University Medical Center said today we are commemorating the sacrifices made by people of Indian held Kashmir in their struggle for independence. The people of this region for decades have been facing unabated atrocities inflicted by occupation forces, but flame of freedom continues to kindle in their hearts. Notwithstanding, the acts of barbarism committed by the occupation forces the yearning for attaining the right of self-determination becomes stronger with every passing day.
Dr. Khan added that Kashmiris cannot forget the brutal killing of human right activists like Jalil Andrabi who was kidnapped by an army major, brutally tortured, murdered and his body thrown on banks of Jehlum. Kashmiris will continue the remember the victims of Kunan pashpora village where 87 women were gang raped by soldiers of Rashtra Rifles. India is living in fool’s paradise if it thinks that by this continued horrific behavior Kashmiri population will be forced to submission and they will abandon their struggle.
“India is encouraged by the criminal silence of the international agencies on their human right abuses in the occupied Kashmir. Non-resolution of Kashmir increases that danger every day and conflagration between the two countries can lead to holocaust that will not only engulf the region but annihilate one third of world population. India has to be cognizant of these realities and realize that world should not and will not for long tolerate its irrational, stubborn and obstinate attitude, Dr. Khan warned.
Dr. Ghulam Nabi Fai, Chairman, World Forum for Peace & Justice said that the case of Kashmir is simple: a large country bullying a small nation into submission in violation of not only their right to sovereignty but international agreements and two dozen UN resolutions giving them the right to determine their own political fate. The purpose of hundreds of thousands of troops stationed in this small country is for no other purpose but blatant oppression. Their presences make Kashmir the largest army concentration anywhere in the world.
Dr. Fai added that for over 77 years, the people of Jammu & Kashmir have been peacefully struggling for their right to self-determination through a fair and impartial plebiscite under the auspices of the U.N. While India has systematically enacted laws, like Domicile Law to integrate Kashmir into India. These laws are designed to change the demography of Kashmir which are in violations of 18 substantives United Nations resolutions adopted by the Security Council on Kashmir. India’s refusal to implement these resolutions calling for such a plebiscite is at the heart of the problem, and she has chosen the path of death and destruction, instead of negotiations and peaceful resolution to the conflict.
“The truth is that the people of Kashmir themselves 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 32 years alone. The U.N. has the ability to change this miscarriage of justice and to put an end to the violence,” Dr. Fai stressed.
Sardar Zarif Khan, Advisor to the President of Azad Kashmir and main organizer of the event said, “Peace has eluded Kashmir for more than 77 years ever since the partition of British India into India and Pakistan. Reason: The denial of self-determination that has been enjoyed by countless other peoples in comparable circumstances, most recently in East Timore, Montenegro, Southern Sudan, etc. The uncertainty over Kashmir will lead not only India and Pakistan to disaster but it will also destroy any possibility of bringing peace and stability to the region.
Sardar Zubair khan of KAWA said that India has reneged on her promise to allow the people of Kashmir to exercise their will. It has also unleashed a reign of terror on the civilian population that has been reported by reputable international BGO’s.
Sardar Shoaib Irshad Khan of KAWA said that human rights violations in Kashmir perpetrated by 900,000 Indian military and paramilitary troops with legal immunity dwarf in scale the violations that provoked international humanitarian action in Kosovo, East Timor, Southern Sudan: tens of thousands indiscriminately slaughtered and countless rapes, abductions, custodial disappearances, arbitrary detentions, arsons, and brutal suppression of peaceful political protest.
Sardar Aftab Roshan Khan said that the presence of Indian occupation forces have made Kashmir the hell for its inhabitants. People are not allowed to have peaceful protests. Those who do come to the streets are lodged under draconian laws and sent thousands of miles away in the jails of India.
Malik Hamid, a well-respected community leader urged the Biden administration to place Kashmir on its front burner, not the back burner, because of the American and international consensus is that Kashmir pinched between nuclear-capable India and Pakistan is the most dangerous place on the planet.
Dr. Maqsood Choudhary, a well-known, interfaith scholar urged the world powers to intervene in Kashmir to end the bloodshed and suffering there. He added that the involvement of world powers will have a direct positive effect on international security by eliminating regional fighting, national tensions, and the risk of a nuclear war between India and Pakistan.
Raja Liaqat Kayani, the President of Kashmir House said that it is in everyone’s interest to settle the Kashmir conflict peacefully without further delay. We don’t want to see the horrific nightly scenes from Kosovo and Bosnia replaced by an even greater catastrophe in Kashmir.
Mr. Shafiq Shah emphasized that the global community has a long and proud tradition of upholding the causes of human freedom and dignity. Kashmir calls urgently for initiatives in accordance with that tradition.
Zia Ul Hassan, leader of Pakistani American community said that Kashmiris will resist India’s colonial occupation for as long as necessary to enjoy their right to self-determination as prescribed by international law, and a long series of United Nations Security Council resolutions that were agreed upon by both India and Pakistan, negotiated by the United Nations, endorsed by the Security Council and accepted by the International Community.
Gul Sher Sai of Pakistan Farm House warned that India’s illegal military occupation of Kashmir has already sparked two wars between India and Pakistan, and a third could occasion a harrowing exchange of nuclear volleys between the South Asian nations.
Speaking at the rally, Javaid Kousar, a well-known journalist from Washington metropolitan area reminded the audience of the injustice, tyranny and inhumanity of the Indian military as it occupies Kashmir. However, he cautioned that at this moment in our historic struggle for self-determination, the Kashmiri people with poise, confidence and unity are taking their inalienable struggle in a new direction of peaceful agitation.’
Yamin Khan elaborated that we must mention here that even by today’s violent world, the behavior of the Indian occupation regime in Kashmir is singular in as much as it has enjoyed total immunity. Not a word of condemnation has been uttered at the important capitols of the world, not even in Washington, DC.
Maqsood Chughtai said that although the human rights situation in Kashmir is depressing but we must hail the resoluteness of the people of Kashmir in carrying forward their struggle for pursuing their cherished goal of freedom.
Waseem Zahid asked: Doesn’t the world community recognize the double standards? On one hand the world is consumed with human rights situation in Ukraine and genuinely so but when it comes to Kashmir, the world powers close their eye.
Khalid Faheem hoped that the world powers in general and the United States in particular will not continuance any attempt to ignore the wishes of the people of the State of Jammu and Kashmir and bypass the expression of those wishes.
Sardar Zeeshan Zarif Khan, youth representative said it beautifully that it is our collective responsibility to intensify our activities for peace and just that should lead to the lasting and durable settlement to the Kashmir dispute.
Other persons who participated in the rally included: Asif Manghat; Mnasar Kashmiri; Ashfaq Shah; Sheraz Hayat; Ilyas khan; Imran Aslam; Adnan Tahir; Farukh Shahand others.
Dr. Fai is also the Secretary General, World Kashmir Awareness Forum. He can be reached at: WhatsApp: 1-202-607-6435. Or. firstname.lastname@example.org www.kashmirawareness.org