IN what could be called a significant and welcome development, the New York State Assembly marked 5th February as Kashmir American Day by adopting a resolution, which also appreciated courage and perseverance of the Kashmiri people and recognised their unique cultural and religious identity. The resolution underscored that the State of New York endeavours to champion human rights including the freedom of religion, movement and expression for all Kashmiri people.
New York has become the first US state to pass such a resolution. This would not have been possible without years of efforts of the American Pakistani Advocacy Group (APAG), a non-profit social service and advocacy organisation, and one expects that such a voice will also echo in other US states in the days to come. India has used all sorts of tactics including communication blockade to cover its crimes in the illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir. Nonetheless, the passage of the resolution is a clear manifestation that voices of Kashmiri people are being heard where it matters the most. There is no denying that Kashmir dispute stands internationalised today like never before. In recent times the EU and UK parliaments have also voiced serious concerns over blatant human rights violations in occupied Jammu and Kashmir.
Similarly, the OIC has also been forthcoming in strongly denouncing the Indian acts against innocent and armless Kashmiri people. It is important to sustain this momentum by further activating our Diaspora abroad. Many of our expatriates are holding important positions and they need to be approached to become the voice of oppressed Kashmiri people. There is a need to further sensitise the people in the western as well as Muslim countries about what is going on in occupied Jammu & Kashmir. The public opinion can also be built by engaging with international academia and seats of higher learning. It is only the public pressure that will compel western governments to rise above their political and economic expediency and hold India accountable for its crimes against humanity. The evil plots and acts of India stand totally exposed and we have no doubt in saying that while Kashmiri people will soon see the dawn of independence, those who unleashed brutalities and oppression against them, will also be indicted for war crimes by the International Criminal Court.