CHICAGO, Feb 6 (APP): Speakers at an event organized by Pakistan’s Consulate General in Chicago to express solidarity with the oppressed people of Indian occupied Kashmir pledged to stand by them until the realization of their “sacred” right to self-determination.
They denounced the large-scale human rights violations taking place there and urged the international community to help resolve the decades-old Kashmir dispute in accordance with the aspirations of the Kashmiri people and protection of their fundamental rights.
Attending the meeting were prominent members of Pakistani-American and Kashmiri-American communities, scholars on South Asia from various universities and Kashmiri activists.
Speaking on the occasion, Consul General Faisal Niaz Tirmizi said that India had turned Kashmir into the world’s most militarized disputed territory. Even after the passage of more than seven decades, he said, the people of Jammu & Kashmir continue to be deprived of the fundamental right of self-determination, despite the promise made to them by the international community through the United Nations Security Council Resolutions.
Indian occupation forces were resorting to state terrorism, war crimes and grave human rights violations to suppress the just struggle of the Kashmiri people, Consul General Tirmizi said. The inhuman use of pellet guns had blinded more than 200 people, including women and young children depriving them of any chance of leading normal lives.
He paid tributes to the valiant struggle of Hurriyat leaders, specially Yasin Malik who wrote an open letter to Ms Sushma Swaraj, the Indian external affairs minister, reminding her of Indian hypocrisy: While she repeatedly refers to the alleged mistreatment of Indian spy Kulbushan Jadhav, India itself was guilty of torturing many Muslims of Kashmir detained in Indian jails. Even Yasin Malik was tortured in the Indian jails whereas several Kashmiri freedom fighters had been hanged without due process of law.
The consul general reiterated Pakistan’s resolve to extend its moral, political and diplomatic support to the people of Kashmir for a peaceful settlement of the dispute. He urged the community leaders to spread the account of the plight of Kashmiris in their respective communities so that a narrative could be built against Indian high-handedness to build a global opinion against Indian oppression.
Other speakers included Kashmiri-American activists — Dr Rizwan Kadir and Babar Rathor — who apprised the audience of historical facts about the Kashmir dispute swell as the plight of Kashmiri people under Indian occupation.
A young Pakistani-American Mohammed Ibrahim, who has been accepted in Yale University on full scholarship, spoke about Kashmir’s linkages with Pakistan.
Hifzur Rehman, a retired Pakistan Army major, gave a presentation about military aspects of India Occupied Kashmir. While criticizing the human rights violations being committed by the Indian Army, he said its troops were professionally demoralized.
Dr Tipu Siddique, a scholar, said there are many commonalities between Kashmir people’s struggle for self-determination and Jacksonians’ concepts of freedom.
A specially prepared documentary depicting the deteriorating human rights situation in Kashmir was screened on the occasion.