NEW YORK, Aug 07 (APP): In a big show of solidarity with the people of occupied Kashmir, Kashmiri-Americans — along with their supporters, including women and children — Sunday staged a rally gathered at New York’s iconic Times Square, to denounce India’s widespread human rights abuses in the disputed territory.
The rally was jointly organized by all Kashmiri-American Diaspora organizations to mark the fourth anniversary of India’s brutal siege of Jammu and Kashmir.
Protestors raised anti-India and pro-freedom slogans, waving placards and banners reading: ‘Decolonize Kashmir’, ‘UN Wake UP’, “Release Yasin Malik’, ’Kashmiris Reject Indian Occupation’, ‘Kashmiris Demand Human Rights’, and ‘Kashmir for Kashmiris.’
Sardar Haleem Khan, Chairman of the Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front, North America, who was the emcee of the rally made a passionate appeal to the peace-loving people and nations of the world to pay attention to the pain and suffering of the people of occupied Kashmir.
Mohmmad Yasin Malik, Haleem Khan added, is the undisputed leader of Kashmiri political resistance movement. “We demand the unconditional release of all political leaders, including Yasin Malik.”
Dr. Ghulam Nabi Fai, Secretary-General of the World Kashmir Awareness Forum said that August 5, 2019, was one of “the darkest chapters” of Kashmir’s history when ” fascist” Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi abrogated Article 370 and Article 35A that paved the way for Domicile Law designed to change the demography of Kashmir.
India’s claim of being the ‘largest democracy’ is an illusion, he asserted, but it definitely is a modern form of “settler colonialism.”
Dr. Fai went on to say that the Modi administration suffered a setback in its attempt to project normalcy in Kashmir by holding the G20 tourism meeting in Srinagar. China, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Oman and Egypt boycotted as the meeting was taking place on a disputed territory.
Dr. Fai appealed to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to invoke Article 99 of the Charter to intervene in Kashmir as Dr. Gregory Stanton, Chairman of the Genocide Watch, has warned that ‘Kashmir was at the brink of genocide.’
Dr Imtiaz khan, Professor at George Washington University Medical Center, spoke about the escalation of human rights abuses in Indian occupied Kashmir.
Killings of youth and molestation of women continues in an unabated manner, he said. Hundreds of thousand militant Hindus and army personnel have been provided domicile certificates and allotted land that has been grabbed from local Muslim population in an attempt to change the demographic character of the state.
Almost hundred percent of top-level bureaucracy and police officials are Hindu outsiders who implement oppressive measures on the people of Kashmir.
“The final objective is to deprive people of their livelihood, convert Muslim majority to Hindu Majority and restrict the local population to ghettos,” Imtiaz Khan added.
Sardar Sawar Khan, former member of Azad Kashmir Legislative Council narrated the history of the broken promise made to the people of Kashmir.
“We are asking for nothing more than what was achieved through the intervention of the United Nations in East Timor, Southern Sudan, Namibia and elsewhere — by implementing the right of self-determination.
Tariq Rehman of ICNA (Islamic Council of North America) said that the issues of Kashmir and Palestine constituted a wound on the body of Ummah, and called for collective efforts to end the occupations.
Sardar Zarif Khan, Honorary Advisory to the Prime Minister of Azad Kashmir and the Secretary general of Kashmir American Welfare Association (KAWA) , urged US President Joe Biden to tell Modi to stop genocide in Kashmir and to give the people of Kashmir their right to self-determination which India and Pakistan had pledged in 1948.
Khalid Awan, President of PPP America, narrated the historic role that his party’s leadership has played for decades in internalizing the issue of Kashmir. The people of Pakistan will never let the sacrifices of the people of Kashmir go in vain, Khalid Awan added.
Also addressing the crowd were: Raja Razak, prominent Kashmiri leader; Raja Mukhtar, Senior Vice President of JKLF; Maqbool Gujjar, a former minister of Azad Kashmir; Sardar Taj Khan, Vice Chairman of Kashmir Mission, USA; Sardar Imtiaz Geralvi, Secretary-General of the Kashmir Mission, USA; Saghir Khan, President of the Kashmiri American Alliance; Sardar Sajid Sawar, a Kashmiri youth leader; Sardar Aftab Roshan Khan; Farooq Mirza, President 4thpillar media watchdog; Muhammad Manzoor of Dunya News; Zahid Shahbaz of Pak Watan TV; Amna Habib, a woman lrader, and other activist Dr. Shafique Khan and Shahid Comrade of the Pakistan-USA Freedom Forum; Rizwan Hameed, Thaseen Hussain, Owais Munsif, Faisal Qureshi, Raja Hameed and Vilesh Pratap.