Digital ads trucks in Washington flash messages demanding release of Kashmiri leaders jailed by India

WASHINGTON, Jun 23 (APP): The World Kashmir Awareness Forum, a Washington-based advocacy body, has rented digital advertising trucks that are displaying around this capital city sharp messages calling on India to unconditionally release Kashmiri leaders — Yasin Malik and Khurram Pervez — as well as all other political prisoners.

The electronic screens on the trucks carry messages such as: “Free Yasin Malik” (Chairman of the Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front), “Free Khurram Parvez” (Coordinator of Jammu Kashmir Coalition of Civil Society), and “Stop Genocide in Kashmir”.

Digital advertising trucks are considered to be the most effective way to spread a message as the brightly lit words on the screens catch attention of the people walking on the streets and those coming in and out of government and commercial buildings.

Dr Ghulam N. Mir, President of the Forum, condemned at a rally here the continued detention of Khurram Parvez, reminding that he was recognized as one of the 100 most influential people of the world by TIME Magazine in 2022.

Dr. Mir also slammed the life imprisonment handed down to Yasin Malik on fabricated charges and without a credible due process of law.

He urged the United Nations to use its influence with India for the release of Yasin Malik and Khurram Parvez.

Dr. Ghulam Nabi Fai, Secretary-General of the Forum, said, “Our aim was to target the policy makers in Washington as well as the passersby to let them know that crimes against humanity are being committed in the so-called largest democracy – India – and that the Biden Administration is giving preferential treatment to India because of its commercial interests.

“The continuous illegal detention and life imprisonment by India’s kangaroo court of the most prominent leader – Yasin Malik – is flagrant disregard of international law.”

Fai added that for years, Khurram Parvez’s voice has been crucial in bringing light to the situation of human rights in Kashmir. The documentation work of Khurram was central to the first-ever report issued by the UN High Commissioner on Human Rights.

Dr Imtiaz Khan of George Washington University said that Yasin Malik was not represented by lawyer and his pleas against the trumped up charges were not heard. “The ultimate goal of the fascist Indian government is to eliminate him in the notorious Tihar jail where he is lodged.”

Javaid Kausar, the main organizer of the rally, thanked the participants for coming from distances despite the hot weather and possibility of a thunderstorm.
He said, “On one hand, we cannot ignore Muslims and minorities of India, and at the same time, we cannot afford to ignore the crimes being committed against the civilians in Kashmir”.

Dr. Zahid Bukhari of ICNA (Islamic Circle of North America)/Council on Social Justice, said that Hindutva has become a huge problem not only for the Muslims of India but also for other minorities, including Christians and Dalits. Dr. Bukhari said that Kashmir cries for international intervention and “we can make it happen provided we realize our responsibilities.”

Dr. Zafar Iqbal Noori, President, International Peace Mission, Sardar Zarif Khan and Saeed Khan also spoke on the occasion.