Kashmiri Diaspora meet in Washington, DC.

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Washington, D.C: A productive and useful get-together of like minded friends and colleagues was hosted by Sardar Zarif Khan, Advisor to the President of Azad Kashmir at his residence. Sardar Zulfiqar Roshan Khan who is visiting his family in Washington metropolitan area was the chief guest. Mr. Shafi Khan, a well-known community leader presided over the meeting.

 Sardar Zarif Khan said that it is a fact that the leadership of all political parties in Azad Kashmir have exhibited strong sensitivity to the cause of Kashmir, however, the contemptible plan of Modi Administration to change the demographic character of Kashmir needs very serious strategic planning by Azad Kashmir leadership at this crucial stage in the history of Kashmir.

Sardar Zarif added that we may belong to different political parties in Azad Kashmir but in Washington we belong only to the nation and people of Kashmir. We want to be the voice of voiceless people of occupied Kashmir in the corridors of power, be it Washington, New York, or else.

 Dr. Ghulam Nabi Fai, Chairman, World Forum for Peace & Justice said that it is a fact that the situation in Occupied Jammu and Kashmir has dramatically changed, particularly since August 5, 2019, and it will not be an exaggeration to say that the people of occupied land are facing an existential threat. Indian colonialist rulers have put their machinery in motion which is fast moving to accelerate the process of genocide they have systematically put in place through their proxies since October 27, 1947.

 Dr. Fai added that Kashmiri Diaspora leadership not only has to maintain its narrative, but narrative should be equally coherent. We do not need to invent it. It is already there with international sanctity. In approaching a Kashmir resolution, the sole non- negotiable issue should be respecting the consensus of the people of all five regions of the state of Jammu & Kashmir with whom sovereignty resides.

 Dr. Fai pleaded that Kashmiri global diaspora leadership is a bouquet of flowers. It’s time to see all the flowers in a bouquet together, working together, gleaming brightly in the sunlight of Kashmiri beauty. It’s time that we fill that vase with all the flowers that Kashmir has to offer, the people. It’s time that the global Kashmiri leadership gives all that flows from its heart, because it is only then that the people will respond with theirs and demonstrate the power of their love for their country, Kashmir – the paradise on earth. 

 Sardar Zulfiqar Roshan Khan said upon his return to Azad Kashmir, he will try to contact intellectuals, scholars, journalists, and academics of Azad Kashmir, who have deep, and thorough understanding of Kashmir issue and these individuals should keep themselves well acquainted about the day-to-day happenings in occupied Kashmir. Their job will be to mobilize the public opinion among the civil society and the foreign diplomatic corps in Islamabad.

 Sardar Zulfiqar added that soon after the election in Pakistan, a person will be appointed to be the Chairman of the Parliamentary Kashmir Committee. The function of this committee and the framework under which they function has always been highly ambiguous. Its role needs to be clearly defined. Sardar Zulfiqar emphasized that he will lobby that the Chairperson of the Parliamentary Kashmir committee should be an individual who has strong understanding about Kashmir history, current situation in the realm of international scenario. This person should be very energetic, endowed with excellent communication skills and have freedom to include former well reputed diplomats in the committee as advisors.

 Sardar Zubair Khan said that Kashmir is facing worst kind of persecution unleashed by 900,000 Indian military and paramilitary forces. Civilian population is being killed, maimed, incarcerated, tortured and humiliated by the occupational forces which has total immunity given under draconian laws of India.

  Shoaib Irshad, Joint Secretary, Kashmir American Welfare Association (KAWA) stated that the people of Azad Kashmir have always stood by the Kashmiris in this endeavor, and other countries of the world should take note of the atrocities committed by India against the Kashmiris.

 Sardar Aftab Roshan Khan emphasized that Modi administration is using all available military might to suppress the peaceful political resistance movement of Kashmir. But, Kashmiris, regardless of their political affiliation or ideology, are determined not to accept any solution for Kashmir other than the right to self-determination.

 Maqsood Chughtai drew the attention of Biden Administration to the grave human rights situation in Kashmir and urged the United States to intervene in facilitating a meaningful tripartite dialogue between India, Pakistan and genuine leadership of Jammu & Kashmir.

Hamid Malik, prominent community leader said that it was well documented that hundreds of thousands of Indian armed forces have made Kashmir the largest occupation on earth.  The conditions in Kashmir have become so ugly with rapes, beatings, shootings and other crimes inflicted by the occupation forces that we are condemned as a lot in the eyes of the world to be ignored and forgotten because, aside from any intentional bias in the press, no one wants to think about it. Kashmir has almost become a forgotten land, a forgotten people.   

Finally, the participants demanded the releasing of all political prisoners in Indian occupied Kashmir, including Yasin Malik, Masart Aalam, Shabir Ahmed Shah, Aasia Andrabi, Khurram Parvez, Irfan Mehraj, Fahad Shah, Sajad Gul, Asif Sultan, and others. They also demanded the repeal of various special repressive laws; and demand that India restore the rights of peaceful association, assembly and demonstrations.

 The meeting was concluded with Du’s for the martyrs of Kashmir.

 Others who were present included: Tariq Khan; Zeeshan khan; Tariq Nazir: Mustafa Khan; Tariq Chughtai; Hayat Khan; Farooq khan. Raja Liaqat Kiyani, President Kashmir House could not attend because of prior commitment.

 

Dr. Ghulam Nabi Fai is the President, World Forum for Peace & Justice. He can be reached at: WhatsApp: 1-202-607-6435.  Or.  gnfai2003@yahoo.com

 

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