Kashmiri Americans along with friends of Kashmir staged a huge rally at historic Times Square, New York, despite heavy rain, to record its protest in connection with the third anniversary of the abrogation of Article 370 & 35 A and subsequently enactment of Domicile Law by the RSS-led Modi government in India.
The participants condemned the Indian government’s attempts at changing the demographic status of Indian occupied Jammu & Kashmir by introducing politically motivated laws. They also condemned the life imprisonment sentence of Indian special court in New Delhi against Muhammad Yasin Malik.
The participants were demanding United Nations to assure right of self-determination to the people of Jammu 7 Kashmir. They raised slogans like “Indian Forces: Out of Kashmir” “Demilitarize Kashmir” “U.N: Implement Resolutions on Kashmir” “India: Stop Genocide in Kashmir,” “Wake Wake: UN Wake Up”; “We demand justice for Yasin Malik”; “India: Release all political prisoner.”.
The protest rally was initiated by JKLF, North America and endorsed by all political, civil and social organizations.
Sardar Haleem Khan, Chief Organizer of the rally and President, JKLF, North America said that the abrogation of Article 370 and 35A was in violation of all United Nations Security Council resolutions.
Dr. Ghulam Nabi Fai, Secretary General, World Kashmir Awareness Forum thanked the participants for expressing their solidarity with the people of Kashmir. He said that it is one thing to deny a people their right to freedom of speech and the freedom to vote. It is another thing to deny them the right to live. Fai added that there is no freedom in Kashmir. Only death, destruction and oppression.
Fai emphasized that Kashmir is facing worst kind of oppression unleashed by Indian army. Innocent people are being killed, maimed, blinded, incarcerated, tortured and humiliated by the occupational forces. India is using its military might to crush the peaceful resistance movement of Kashmir. And this all is being done with impunity. Fai expressed his sadness that no civilized nation, not even the United States seems to be concerned with the human rights atrocities being committed in this unfortunate land. Not a single word has been uttered by them against human rights violations taking place in Kashmir.
Fai said that Kashmiri Americans still hope that the Biden administration can help the people of Kashmir to achieve peace, freedom and self-determination by initiating a peace process which will be all inclusive -India, Pakistan and Kashmiri leadership.
Sardar Niaz Khan warned that the Kashmiri youth, who had laid down their arms to pursue their struggle by peaceful means, were again becoming restive and the prevailing tensions in occupied Kashmir might explode and lead to a conflict. He therefore urged the international community to resolve the Kashmir dispute for the sake of peace and stability in South Asia.
Sardar Imtiaz Khan of New Jersey suggested that it is better for Indian authorities to shun its stubborn approach and resolve this long pending issue.
Others who addressed the event included Manzoor Hussian, Sardar Haleem, Aftab Shah, Sardar Taj Khan, Sardar Sajid Sawar Khan, Dr. Shafiq, Raja Mukhtar, Shahid Comrade, Shahbaz Syed and students Zainab Taj and Sobia.
Prominent among those who participated in the protest were Sardar Vakil Akhtar, Haji Mohammad Shafi, Sardar Imtiaz Garalavi, Khawaja Zafar, Iftikhar Choudhry, Mehmood Bhatti, Ashraf Gulshan, Rashid Mehmood, Suhail Anwar, Mushtaq Khan, Raja Ahmed, Sardar Asim, Fazal Baig, Khan Saghir, Farooq Mirza, Khalid Awan, Mushtaq Ali Butt, Farooq Balouch, Sardar Zahid Khan, Mohammad Sabir Khan, Mehmood Akhtar Khan, Saghir Khan, Chowdhary Bilal, Mushtaq Butt and Khalid Mughal.—KMS