WASHINGTON: In a display of protest against Narendra Modi’s visit to Washington, digital advertising trucks sponsored by the World Kashmir Awareness Forum (WKAF) circulated around the Capitol Hill and the White House, besides across other federal buildings and foreign embassies. The trucks exhibited message to Biden Administration that urgency must replace complacency in Kashmir. Time for subterfuge is over.
The electronic screens on the mobile digital trucks carried messages such as: “Fascist Modi Does Not Belong to White House”; “Modi Guilty of Crimes Against Humanity in Kashmir”; “Stop Modi Now: Free Kashmir”; ”Indian Democracy Dead in Kashmir”; “Kashmiris Reject Indian Occupation: UN Resolutions Only Solution”; “Trade With India Is Not Fine: When Human Rights Are On Decline”; “Decolonize Kashmir”; “Kashmir At The Brink of Genocide (Genocide Watch)”; “Kashmir for Kashmiris”.
“Digital advertising trucks have proved to be the most powerful way in the past to disseminate a message as the brightly lit words on the screens catch attention of the spectators and observers, said Dr. Ghulam Nabi Fai, Chairman, World Forum for Peace & Justice.”
Dr. Fai cautioned that Narendra Modi will never tell President Biden what Dr. Gregory Stanton, Chairman, ‘Genocide Watch’ has said that ‘Kashmir was at the brink of genocide,” and what ‘Committee to Protect Journalist’ has said, ‘News media in Kashmir is at the brink of extinction’; and what internationally acclaimed Indian human rights defender, Arundhati Roy has said, ‘Kashmir is the largest militarized zone in the world.”
Dr. Fai added that the longer the status quo of death and brutality continues in Kashmir – the longer the international community led by the United States remains inactive – the stronger possibility of nuclear disaster in the region of South Asia. By its passivity and inaction, the world powers are pushing Kashmir to the breaking point, sending it into a downward spiral of violence which is not acceptable to the people of Kashmir.
Dr. Fai asked, should India get away with the flouting of international agreements and should India be granted license for genocide? President Biden can prevent Kashmir becoming next Rwanda and the intervention of President Biden can stop genocide in Kashmir.
Dr. Ghulam N. Mir, President, World Kashmir Awareness Forum said that few leaders are as guilty of trespassing the fundamental rights of their people in the last five years as Narender Modi. Unquestionably one of the most barbaric rulers with a penchant for hateful speech, incitement to violence against minorities, against its Muslim, Dalit, Christian and Sikh population.
Dr. Mir added that today Mr. Modi has gotten himself invited to the Capital Hill for his second address to the joint session of the US Congress. It is very ironic that a sworn Nazi fascist is being ushered on to the prestigious stage in the US Capital at a time when back home he is being seen increasingly for what he is- a failing despotic leader with lots of blood on his hands, starting from the state of Gujarat in 2002 when as the Governor of the state he oversaw the Muslim pogroms in which 2,000 local Muslims were massacred. Mr. Modi was then band for nearly a decade from entry into the US.
On August 5, 2019, Mr. Modi was at it again. This time he had much bigger and more nefarious plans up his sleeve. He unilaterally abrogated the autonomy of Jammu and Kashmir. There are no laws and there is no due process for political and human rights victims and prisoners. As Mr. Modi’s is speaking 10,000 miles away from his capital of New Delhi about the lifesaving blessing of yoga in Washington DC, a million of his barbaric military and paramilitary troops are murdering, raping, and holding in jails thousands of innocent Kashmiri civilians.
Dr. Mir warned that Muhammad Yasin Malik, one of the most revered Kashmiri politicians is currently serving life sentence in New Delhi. Not quenching his blood thirsty intelligence agency, NIA’s thirst he is being retried by a Delhi High court this August for the death sentence. We demand that justice be served in Kashmiri prisoners and families of over hundreds of thousands of Kashmiri victims under Modi and his predecessors.
Sardar Sawar Khan, former Advisor to the Prime Minster of Azad Kashmir highlighted the human rights violations being committed by Indian troops in occupied Kashmir. The people of Kashmir do not know ‘peace, security and rule of law’. And it is this universal aspiration of mankind which the people of Kashmir hope to achieve. He demanded an end to the disputed state’s occupation.
Javaid Kousar, a well know journalist reminded the participants of the rally that addressing the Kashmir issue was ‘addressing a human tragedy.’ At the same time, over the years, the issue had ‘got converted into a mind-boggling tangle.’ He expressed deep concern over the harassment and imprisonment of journalistic fraternity in Indian occupied Kashmir and demand their immediate and unconditional release.
Johnny Bashir, one of the prominent community leaders in Washington metropolitan area maintained that the aspirations of the people of Kashmir do not vary from people in other international conflict zones. The people of Kashmir want freedom of expression to decide their future as promised by the United Nations Security council and agreed by both India and Pakistan. The denial of self-determination has brough death, destruction, and devastation to the hapless people of occupied Kashmir.
Sardar Zarif Khan, main Emcee of the event noted that the ‘egregious violations of humanitarian norms’ had induced a culture of crisis and urged that the inalienable right to self-determination of peoples of Jammu and Kashmir, as it stood on 14 August 1947, should be recognized and instituted.
Sardar Zubair khan said If international laws were applied evenhandedly in Kashmir, an international war crimes tribunal would have been established years ago to try the scores of Indian civilian and military leaders guilty of crimes against humanity and aggression. What Slobodan Milosevic did in Kosovo and Bosnia pales in comparison to what Indian civilian and military grandees have done in Kashmir for 76 successive years, something resembling genocide on the installment plan.
Shoaib Irshad of KAWA highlighted that the heart of the matter is that Kashmir is an occupied country. Its sovereignty and right to self-determination is being ignored. But the people of Kashmir will not rest unless they achieve their ultimate objective which is exercising right to slef-determiantion.
Raja Razazak, New York said that India wants Kashmir issue to be buried under the rug when the issue is raised in the international community by alleging that it is a bilateral issue between India and Pakistan and no one else’s business. It could be strictly a bilateral issue if forthrightness was involved. Fact of the matter is that Kashmir is an international issue.
Sardar Sajid Sawar said that seeming conspiracy of silence over gross affronts to the UDHR in Indian occupied Kashmir – an occupation which itself violates still binding Security Council resolutions dictating a self-determination there under international and impartial supervision – is worrisome.
Zafar Iqbal, well known community leader said that if international laws were applied evenhandedly in Kashmir, an international war crimes tribunal would have been established years ago to try the scores of Indian civilian and military leaders, including Modi guilty of crimes against humanity and aggression.
Akram Butt said that the non-violent struggle has been painful, but the Kashmiris cannot give up on it. You only have to see the resolve on their faces. They are conscious of the sacrifices of the tens of thousands of people. They cannot let their compatriots down.
Kami Butt said that in 1948, the United Nations has passed resolution declaring Kashmir a disputed territory and calling for a free and fair plebiscite to decide Kashmir’s final status. We must galvanize both Muslim and interfaith community to help us in resolving Kashmir dispute.
Shamshad Chaudhary, former advisor to Chief minister said that Indian army is responsible for the death of more than 100,000 Kashmiri civilians.
Others who spoke include Akbar Choudhary, best known community leader, Sardar Wajid Sawar, Moazzam Sahi, Raja Bilal, Raja Waqas and others.
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