Diaspora playing important role in highlighting Kashmir dispute: Sultan

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President of Azad Jammu Kashmir Barrister Sultan Mahmood Chaudhry has said that Kashmiri Diaspora is playing an important role in mobilizing the global public opinion in favor of the situation in Indian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir.

Barrister Sultan Mahmood Chaudhry was addressing a public gathering organized by ‘Kashmir House’, Washington, DC. He said that the Kashmiri Diaspora had maintained that the rise of fascism was a clear threat to the minorities in India and the rise of Hindutva fascism calls in question India’s assertion to be a secular democracy. Gone are the days when India used to be called the land of Gandhi, he added.

Barrister Sultan said Kashmiri Americans are best suited to educate Biden administration to have its understanding to intervene in Kashmir and persuade both India and Pakistan to go back – yes to go back – to the point of departure – and allow the people of Kashmir to exercise their right to self-determination as guaranteed under 18 substantive United Nations resolutions.

He thanked the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), the second largest forum after the United Nations, which has once again reiterated its stance and has appointed a special envoy on Kashmir. He was giving the details of his interaction with the members of OIC Kashmir Contact Group, including his meeting with Hussein Brahmi Taha, the Secretary General of the OIC.

Dr. Ghulam Nabi Fai, Chairman, World Forum for Peace & Justice said, “Let the world powers know that Kashmir is at war that India cannot win, like Vietnam for the United States. The hearts and minds of the overwhelming majority of Kashmiris have been irretrievably alienated, as indicated by the necessity of making the territory the most densely soldiered on the globe.

He said the situation in Kashmir is a living proof that the people will not compromise, far less abandon, their demand for self-determination which is their birthright and for which they have paid a price unparalleled in the history of South Asia.

“Today, the challenge before us is that a new generation in Kashmir has been raised with blood and tears for which death no longer poses a threat for what death can do that life has not done before: their suffering is freeing them from fear. Kashmiris’ fearlessness has led to the powerful protests and the largest demonstrations in recent years,” Dr. Fai added.

Fai suggested a ‘Kashmir Quartet’ should be established that includes Kashmir, Pakistan, China, and India. Moreover, outside intervention and facilitation should include the United Nations. The chairmanship of the Kashmir Quartet facilitation should be undertaken by a person of international stature, such as Kjell Bondevik former Prime Minister of Norway or Mary Robinson, former President of Ireland, he maintained.

Irfan Yaqoob, a local humanitarian, said the people of IIOJK have demonstrated through their utmost sacrifices that there is no point of return from the cry of azadi. He said the nation and the people of Pakistan have given a lot of sacrifices for their brethren in Kashmir and they are ready to do that till the people of Kashmir are free from Indian occupation.

Sardar Zubair Khan said the human rights abuses in the occupied territory are deteriorating day by day. The Indian army, which is immune from any accountability, has shattered the lives of innocent people of Kashmir, but it has failed to win over them in any shape or form, he added.

Shoaib Irshad highlighted that the facts on the ground in Kashmir testified that the struggle of people of Kashmir would continue despite unimaginable atrocities committed by over one million Indian military and paramilitary forces on the unarmed civilian population of Kashmir.

Sardar Aftab Roshan Khan warned that there were confirmed reports that Indian government had issued more than 4.2 million domicile certificates within the past two years, and it was being done to change the demography of Kashmir so that the Muslim majority community was converted into a minority.

Professor Saeed Khan said that Kashmir was the most dangerous place on earth. It is the only region in the world which shares borders with three nuclear powers – India, Pakistan, and China, he deplored. Aftab Shah of New Jersey stated the role of the people of Azad Kashmir is to be the ambassadors of the people of IIOJK. Let us be the voice of the voiceless people of our brethren all over the world, he maintained.

Farooq Ahmad Khan, Executive Director, Cholistan Development Council, said the people of Pakistan must mobilize public opinion not only globally but also locally. “There needs to be a consensus in Pakistan on the policy and plan of action when it comes to the issue of Kashmir. We cannot let the suffering of brethren in Kashmir continue forever,” he added.

Raja Ali said, “We need to educate American policy makers about the situation in Kashmir. Our meetings with the Members of Congress must be our routine. They must become our advocates in the United States Congress.”

Shafiq Shah, well known human rights activists, said that the world powers, in general, and the United Nations, in particular, had the leverage to bring immense moral and political influence to bear on initiating a peace process which will lead to a speedy, just and honorable settlement of the dispute and restore to the people of Kashmir their inalienable right to self-determination.

Razauddin Siddiqui of Makki Masjid, New York, urged the audience to interact with the faith-based organizations. He said the people of Kashmir have been under occupation for more than seven decades. “It is our responsibility to bring their situation to the attention of God-fearing people here in the United States,” he maintained.—NNI

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