Home / Pakistan Affairs / Kashmiri Americans demonstrate near White House

Kashmiri Americans demonstrate near White House

Kashmiri Americans demonstrate near the White House to call for freedom & Justice in Kashmir

Mail From Washington, DC.  by Dr Ghulam Nabi Fai

Hundreds of  Kashmiri Americans and friends of Kashmir staged a huge demonstration in front of the White House. Raising slogans: “Indian Forces: Out of Kashmir”, “No justice: No Peace” , “Freedom for all: Freedom for Kashmir”, “India State of Fear: Not Fair”, demonstrators urged the United States to help persuade India and Pakistan to initiate peace process along with the leadership of the people of Kashmir.

Dr. Ghulam Nabi Fai, Secretary General, World Kashmir Awareness Forum said that it is clear that resolving Kashmir dispute requires a careful evaluation of its many points of contention and addressing them one by one in a carefully drawn out process in which coming to an agreement on each, sets the stage for moving on to the next. The most basic set of principles must be established and adhered to regarding human rights, the interests of the Kashmiris themselves, and the preservation of vital interests that both India and Pakistan have at stake, and then to proceed with steps toward objectives that result in a win-win solution for all. Fai paid glowing tribute to Afzal Guru and Mohammad Maqbool Bhat. He said that Maqbool Bhat was an iconic and charismatic leader who struggled tirelessly for the right of self-determination of the people of Jammu & Kashmir.

Bhat’s selfless contribution to the cause of Kashmir will inspire generations to come. Fai quoted Arundhati Roy who wrote in ‘The Daily Guardian’, on 10 February 2013, “now he (Afzal Guru) has been hanged, I hope our (India’s) collective conscience has been satisfied. Or is our cup of blood still only half full?”

Barrister Sultan Mehmood Choudhary, former Prime Minister of Azad Kashmir said that the resolution of Kashmir issue could have enabled both Pakistan and India to spend their finite resources more on the development of their people rather than on defense expenditure. He expressed his admiration to the Pakistani and Kashmiri American community for being the ambassadors of peace in the United States for the cause of Kashmir. Given a chance, Kashmiris could be instrumental to encourage peace and stability not only in the subcontinent but in Afghanistan as well. As many experts of international relations now publicly say that the key to peace and stability in Afghanistan lies in Kashmir.  Barrister added one cannot deal with the tensions between India and Pakistan without simultaneously addressing the bone of contention of these tensions – that is Kashmir. He said that the United States has a moral responsibility to persuade both India and Pakistan to settle the Kashmir conflict through meaningful dialogue.

Kashmiri Americans demonstrate near White House
Kashmiri Americans demonstrate near White House

Professor Imtiaz Khan, President, Kashmiri American Council said, “People of Kashmir gave a resounding rebuff to Narendra Modi during his recent visit to Kashmir. He was greeted with empty streets and shuttered shops, which was even reported by Indian press.  Total closure was observed to convey to him the feelings of people of Kashmir. This clearly showed that people of Kashmir have rejected Indian occupation and expressed unequivocally their desire to take their struggle to its logical conclusion. Khan also emphasized that Kashmiris are giving huge sacrifices for attaining freedom and it is the obligation of the diaspora and all other people who share their sentiments to educate the masses in United States and other countries about Kashmir problem and ongoing atrocities in that region.” Ali S. Khan, Executive Director, Kashmiri Scandinavian Council said that Kashmir’s painful situation is a rebuke to the world powers for their passivity. The world powers need to know that unless India accepts the realities known to the entire world outside the dispute will fester; and that any solution must satisfy democratic principles, the rule of law, and security for every inhabitant of Kashmir.

Saleem Bukhari of Srinagar said, Hurriyet Conference rejects any settlement within the framework of the Constitution of India but binds it to accept an alternative negotiated settlement among all the three parties – India, Pakistan and Kashmiri leadership – provided it reflects the will and aspirations of the people of the State. Sardar Imtiaz Khan, New Jersey said were India to allow a referendum in Kashmir, it would prove to the world that it too is a great democratic country, and not the persistent and militaristic oppressor that it has become. Sardar Taj Khan said Kashmiris are a nation with their distinctive culture and civilization. They have sacrificed over a hundred thousand lives for the liberation of their homeland, nobody should even think of ignoring them. Amna Habib said that the people of Kashmir  believe that human rights are cheapened when enforcement is selective. Therefore, they demand an impartial investigation so that culprits are brought to justice. Such an investigation has to be done by a neutral and international agency, like the United Nations. Tooba Niaz said that the United States must understand that Kashmiris crave only what every American covets: human rights, democratic values, peace and justice, and believe that the United States successes elsewhere could be duplicated in Kashmir with persistence, moral suasion, and statesmanship. Sardar Zubair Khan said that the Kashmiri people could be instrumental in providing a way out of this cycle of violence and period of uncertainty, only if they can be trusted.

Sardar Zarif Khan said that India has defied United Nations Security Council resolutions for more than 71 years because she knows Kashmiris will never vote in her favor. It is time for Pakistan and India both to get serious about talks. Iqbal Chand Doddy said we firmly believe that the only way to achieve a peaceful and lasting solution to the Kashmir crisis in through dialogue and negotiations. There can be no solution to the conflict without the participation of the leadership of the people of Jammu & Kashmir. Raja Liaqat Kiyani welcomed the audience for taking trouble to come from distances to attend this important event. Kashmir deserves the attention of the world powers and we will mobilize the public opinion to make it happen.

Sardar Sajid Sawar Khan said Kashmir dispute is about the right of self-determination of the people of Jammu & Kashmir. The people should be the makers of their destiny and not an alien power – India.  Sardar Zahid Khan said that the  Indian army is responsible for many untold atrocities but one thing is quite clear that she could not break the will of the people for their right of self-determination. Imtiaz Malik believed that freedom of expression and transparency to international human rights monitors are the most practicable steps that India might be urged to undertake in Kashmir to deter human rights violations and to develop a culture of restraint within the military forces.

Sardar Zukfiqar Roshan Khan who was the emcee emphasized that Kashmir was the flash point between the two nuclear countries of India and Pakistan which deserves the attention of the world powers. He added  that it was our duty to support the people of Kashmir who are struggling for their right to self-determination. Others who spoke included: Haji Shafi, Raja Mukhtar, Mushtaq Khan, Sardar Younis, Raja Sabir, Aftab Shah, Shafiq Shah, Sikender Sahib, Mrs. Tayyiba, Sardar Zahoor Khan, Kabir Khan, Sardar Zahid Khan, Sardar Asghar Khan, Akram Butt and others. Dr. Fai can be reached at: 1-202-607-6435  or  gnfai2003@yahoo.com

About admin

Check Also

Swami Aseemanand Acquitted!

Seeing the pattern of justice delivery system of India currently it seems getting justice, punishing the guilty is not easy. The judgments come as an outcome of the evidence produced by the executive, police in front of the magistrates. The attitude of the ruling dispensation matters a lot in matters of the crimes related to the ideology being propounded and defended by the ruling party. Sometimes the assertion and strength of the ideologies, which are dominant but not in power also influence the delivery of justice. Times and over again this cruel fact has been staring at our face. In Mumbai violence of 1992-93 nearly one thousand persons was done to death, not too many convictions took place related to the heinous crimes committed during this carnage. In the aftermath of this carnage the bomb blasts took place, orchestrated by the underworld . In these blasts nearly two hundred people died. In these cases some have been hanged to death for the crime, many have got life imprisonment and many others got other punishments. This is what should happen in a democracy. The most glaring case has been the contrast between Rubina Memon who is in prison for life for being the formal owner of the car which was used In Mumbai blasts, while Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur, whose motor cycle was used for Malegaon blast got the bail. All this comes to one’s mind yet again when the NIA Court has acquitted Swami Aseemanand in case of Samjhauta Express blast in which 68 people (43 of them from Pakistan) died. Incidentally Swami was granted bail in the Mecca Masjid blast case earlier and the factors influencing justice delivery became obvious as the main file, a key document containing the disclosure by Aseemanand, went missing from the Court’s custody. With this the question comes up who is responsible for the death of those 68 people, as usual it seems nobody did the blast leading to Samjhauta express tragedy! What we are witnessing is a sustained effort to undermine the process of justice in pursuit of sectarian nationalism.

Leave a Reply

Your e-mail address will not be published. Required fields are marked *