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Kashmiri Americans hold candle light vigil at the White House

Washington, October 01, 2014 (PPI-OT): A candle light vigil was held in front of the White House during Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi’s meeting with the US President, Barack Obama against India’s illegal occupation over Jammu and Kashmir.

The vigil was attended by a large of number of Kashmiri leaders and activists including Dr Ghulam Nabi Fai. The participants raised various slogans including:

Modi, Modi don’t you see, all we want is to be free
Modi, Modi don’t you note, even Scots got the vote

Ban Ki-moon, Ban Ki-moon, we want plebiscite very soon
Hey-hey, ho-ho, the occupation has got to go

What do we want? Freedom! When do we want it? Now!
What do we want? Plebiscite! When do we want it? Now!

Kashmir drowned, Modi got crowned
Indian democracy is hypocrisy

1, 2, 3, 4, we don’t want this bloody war
5, 6, 7, 8 let Kashmiris decide their fate

Addressing the demonstrators on the occasion, Dr Ghulam Nabi Fai, Secretary General of the World Kashmir Awareness, said, “The presence of hundreds of Americans of Kashmiri heritage in front of the White House is the expression of solidarity with the oppressed people of Jammu Kashmir.”

“Our message is loud and clear that the people of Kashmir demand what was pledged to them by both India and Pakistan and guaranteed by the Security Council, with the unequivocal endorsement of the United States, namely demilitarization of Kashmir and a free vote organized impartially to ascertain popular will,” he added.

Dr Fai maintained that unresolved Kashmir dispute was a rebuke to the international community for its inaction. The United States paved the way for freedom around the world and the United States can help the people of Kashmir achieve peace, freedom and self-determination, he reminded. Dr Fai quoted Jonathan Tipperman of Newsweek who said, “The Road to Kabul Runs Through Kashmir”.

Sardar Sawar Khan, former Advisor to the Prime Minister of Azad Jammu and Kashmir, said that the presence of over 700,000 Indian troops had made Kashmir the largest military concentration anywhere in the world. He said that the Narendra Modi needed to be reminded that India must fulfil its pledge given to the people of Kashmir at the Security Council before its candidacy was considered for its permanent membership. Ignoring that fact will be a rebuke to the conscience of the world powers, he added.

Hurriyet leader, Ishtiaq Hameed, said that Kashmir was recognized by the United Nations as a disputed territory whose status was yet to be determined by its people. He said that even the former US President, Bill Clinton, had termed Kashmir as the most dangerous place in the world. He said resolution of the dispute would guarantee peace and stability in South Asian region.

Ms Naseema Wani of Srinagar reminded President Obama of his pledge that he made on October 30, 2008. “We should probably try to facilitate a better understanding between Pakistan and India and try to resolve the Kashmir crisis,” Obama had stated.

She said that let there be no doubt that Kashmir was a disputed territory and not an integral part of any member state of the United Nations.

Sardar Zulfiqar Khan reminded that the history of past sixty-six years testified that the bilateral talks between Pakistan and India had been always fruitless, so the Kashmiris needed to be included in the talks to make the dialogue process meaningful and result-oriented.

Sardar Tahir Iqbal said that although there were three parties concerned with the Kashmir dispute: India, Pakistan and the people of Kashmir, but the primary and principal party was the people of Kashmir, because it was ultimately their future, the future of 18 million people of Jammu and Kashmir that was at stake.

Gulfaraz Inqilabi said that the Kashmir dispute was one of the oldest issues on the agenda of the United Nations Security Council. The United Nations has passed resolutions that have given the people of Jammu and Kashmir the right to decide their future, he said, adding that no solution would be acceptable to the people of Jammu and Kashmir unless the Kashmiri leadership was included in the negotiations.

Sardar Imtiaz Giralavi spoke about the mass graves, which have been discovered in the occupied Kashmir Valley. He quoted Indian journalists who spoke about the latest discovery of more than 6,700 mass graves in Kashmir.

Sardar Taj Khan said that the Kashmiri resistance demanded unity of action among the leadership not only in Azad Jammu and Kashmir but in occupied Kashmir as well. He said that the world powers should respect the wishes and aspirations of the people of Kashmir.

Sahibzada Imtiaz Zafar spoke about the huge sacrifices given by the people of Kashmir in seeking their birthright. He said that the sacrifices of the people of Kashmir would not go in vain.

Sardar Zubair Khan highlighted the presence of 700,000 Indian military and paramilitary personnel who had made occupied Kashmir virtually the hell for its inhabitants. He said that the United States had a moral responsibility to come to the rescue of the oppressed people of Jammu and Kashmir.

Johnny Bgood said that the sacrifices of the people of Kashmir demanded that the Government of Pakistan must keep supporting the people of Kashmir at the diplomatic front. He said that there was a consensus in Pakistan that the right of self-determination of the people of Kashmir was a legitimate right, which needs to be supported at all cost.

Sardar Imtiaz Khan of New Jersey said that Kashmir was not a border dispute but an international conflict that demanded just and fair settlement to the satisfaction of all patties concerned. He demanded that the rights of peaceful association, assembly and demonstration in occupied Kashmir must be respected.

Sardar Niaz Hussain of New Jersey reiterated that the people of Jammu and Kashmir were promised the right to determine their future status through several UN resolutions. This was agreed upon by both India and Pakistan but was never honoured until today, he added.

Sardar Zahid Khan of New York emphasized that the UN needed to take urgent action to address the grave human rights situation in occupied Kashmir.

Sardar Sabir of New York said that the Indian Prime Minister had forgotten that it was none other than India, which brought the issue of Kashmir to the United Nations. India has to honour its international obligations toward the people of Kashmir, he stated.

For more information, contact:
Kashmir Media Service
Email: info@kmsnews.org
Phone: 92-51-4435548, 4435549
Fax: 92-51-4861736

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