Kashmiris in US question Obama administration’s silence on Indian brutalities


WASHINGTON, Sept 1 (APP): Kashmiris living in the United States  have expressed their disappointment over the silence of the Obama  administration on the ongoing brutalities in the Indian held Kashmir  and termed its insistence on Kashmir being a bilateral dispute  between Pakistan and India as “unfortunate”.

“It is quite unfortunate that the Obama administration and the United Nations both have chosen to adopt India’s view that this is  simply a bilateral issue,” Dr Ghulam Nabi Fai, Secretary General of  the US-based group World Kashmir Awareness in a statement here.

“Unfortunately, it is the big lie, and an extremely dangerous one.

As long as India continues to blame Pakistan for problems in Kashmir,  India and Pakistan remain on the verge of war with each other, and  this is a threat to international peace,” the Kashmiri leader said.

He said when the two nuclear powers were facing each other for  70 years on the issue, that was not a bilateral issue.

“That has the  making of the world war.”

The Indian-held Kashmir is in the grip of intense violence
triggered by the killing of a young Kashmiri leader Burhan Wani in  July.

A wave of protest has since swept the valley and more than
70 people have been killed as Indian forces tried to suppress the  protests which are now calling for freedom from the Indian yoke.

Demonstrations have occurred across the globe by non-resident  Kashmiris and other human rights activists. The curfews and clashes  have now been sustained for over five weeks, with limited or no  access to the basic necessities of life, including food, power and  fuel.

On August 30, non-resident Kashmiris submitted a letter to US  Secretary of State John Kerry in which they expressed their  disappointment over US silence on the atrocities in Kashmir.

“This latest situation has been met with inexplicable silence by  the United States. This has given a sense of total impunity to India  to exercise the use of unprecedented force on unarmed Kashmiri  civilians,” they wrote in the letter.

“It has also created the impression that the United States is
selective about the application of the principles of human rights and democratic values. What is the significance of an alliance between  the great democracy (USA) and the so-called largest democracy in the  world (India), when universal principles, democratic values, and human rights are knowingly ignored?” they questioned.

Instead of reprimanding India, Dr Fai referred to a recent
mutual defence compact agreeing to share bases, resources and  logistics in the Far East. “At the same time, human rights and what  was at least a semblance of being the symbol of democratic freedoms  has seemingly all but disappeared from the US agenda.”

He said there had not been a word mentioned by President Obama  or other US officials that would indicate that some pressure is  being applied toward India to exercise restraint in Kashmir and  permit an airing of grievances by the angry population.

“The familiar cries of Azadi (freedom) and ‘Go India Go Back’
continue to fall on deaf ears, not only in India but upon those
in the US administration, who undoubtedly know the truth on the  ground, but instead have chosen to play politics with the facts,” he added.

He said trade and commercial deals were important but not at  the expense of the high moral ground American exceptionalism had  always claimed.

“Moral values and human rights are the very  essence of even being called civilized.”

“Nothing else demands international attention like such a
threat, and it greatly behooves the United States, the United
Nations and other allies to sit up and take heed,” he said.