Kashmiri origin woman Sameera Fazili, who is the part of the team of newly elected US President, Joe Biden, has a connection with the Kashmiris’ ongoing Self-Determination struggle.
Sameera Fazili is a cousin of Mubeen Shah, who along with thousand others was detained under the draconian Public Safety Act (PSA) in Indian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir after India scrapped the special status of Jammu and Kashmir.
Mubeen Shah’s mother and Fazili’s father are siblings and the family had tapped into their Washington and Delhi connections to help secure his release, media reports said.
Fazili was picked by the new US President as Deputy Director of the National Economic Council (NEC), a policy body that is part of the White House. She had been a senior advisor in the NEC during the Obama Administration.
Fazili’s sister Yousra Fazili, a human rights lawyer, was among the Kashmiris who testified at the November 2019 US Congressional hearing on the situation in the Valley. She spoke in detail about her cousin’s sudden arrest, his health condition and how members of her Srinagar-based family had gone from jail to jail in Srinagar trying to find out where he had been taken.
She said she could describe how closely knit the entire family was.
In her testimony, Yousra added that she and Fazili had dialed friends in the State Department on learning about Mubeen Shah’s arrest on August 8, 2019. And that they were only able to confirm he was imprisoned in Agra after the State Department placed an informational request with the Indian government on his status.
“My cousin Mubeen has been made an example of. His imprisonment sends a strong signal to the people of Kashmir that money, family and status mean nothing in the face of Indian capriciousness,” she said in her testimony, going on to talk about how Indian armed forces are conducting night raids on homes and pulling young men and boys from their beds into military custody” in Kashmir.
Shah, who is based in Malaysia and owns a crafts business, was arrested when visiting Kashmir along with his wife.—KMS