New York, May 22, 2023: (Source World News TV and Dr. Fai); Kashmiri American diaspora held a peaceful protest in front of the United Nations headquarters in New York city to convey to G20 countries including the United Nations that holding a G20 meeting in disputed territory of Kashmir is meant to engineer a façade of normalcy in Kashmir. The digital trucks were also rented which displaced the messages: “G20 risks legitimizing India’s illegal occupation of Kashmir” “G20 in Kashmir violates UN resolutions” “G20 in occupied Kashmir enables genocide” “Say NO to G20 in Kashmir” ”Modi: face of Fascism”, “ “End the Occupation: Free Kashmir”, “Demilitarize Kashmir”, “India: Release All Political Prisoners.”
A memorandum was submitted to the office of UN Secretary General, demanding among other issues, the unconditional release of human rights defenders and political prisoners, such as Khurram Parvez, Muhammad Yasin Malik, Shabir Ahmed Shah, Masarat Aalam, Aaasia Andrabi and various journalists, like Irfan Mehraj, Asif Sultan, Sajad Gul, Fahad Shah, Gowhar Gilani, etc
“India is holding the third G20 working group meeting on tourism today in disputed territory of Kashmir. Such a meeting is in contravention of more than 16 substantive resolutions of the United Nations Security Council. These resolutions which were agreed upon by both India and Pakistan remain still unfulfilled. By holding G20 meeting in Kashmir, India would like to give an impression of normalcy and the presence of G20 countries in Kashmir will unintentionally provide the seal of approval to reckless and thoughtless decision of Modi Administration,” said Dr. Ghulam Nabi Fai, Secretary General, Washington-based World Kashmir Awareness Forum.
Dr. Fai appealed to the G20 countries to listen to Professor Fernand de Vareness, United Nations Special Rapporteur on Minority Issues, who warned the G20 countries that “By holding a G20 meeting (in Kashmir) the Government of India is seeking to normalize what some have described as a military occupation by instrumentalizing a G20 meeting and portray an international ‘seal of approval’, despite what Volker Turk, the UN High Commissioner for Human rights, told the UN Human rights Council a few weeks ago was a @worrying human rights situation in the Kashmir region.”
Sardar Sawar Khan, former Member, Kashmir Council and main organizer of the peaceful protest hoped that the G20 countries, as signatories to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Geneva convention, and other International Human Rights Instruments will adopt a definitive pro-people stance. The credibility of G20 countries is on the line and we urge the G20 countries to stand firm and refuse to be weaponized in the disempowerment and subjugation of a hapless people.
Raja Mukhtar of Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front said that the G20 meeting in Kashmir will send a wrong signal that these countries are willing to sacrifice moral values and universal principles for commercial gains and business interests. Raja Mukhtar added that “the people of Kashmir are dismayed by the lack of action by the world powers to help stop the carnage and by their virtual indifference to the situation in occupied Kashmir. The demand of the people of Kashmir is simply to exercise the unfettered right of self-determination to decide the future of the state of Jammu and Kashmir.
Sardar Taj Khan, Senior Vice Chairman, Kashmir Mission, USA said that the people of occupied Kashmir still have confidence that world powers will realize that what is at stake in the dispute is not only the survival of the people of Kashmir, but peace in the populous region of South Asia and also the basis of a civilized worldview.
Sardar Zarif Khan, Secretary General, Kashmir American Welfare Association asked: How long will the world watch in silence as India carries out the genocide of the people of Kashmir? Zarif appealed to the Secretary General to persuade Government of India to stop the killings, end its repression and fulfill its promises so that a new era of goodwill, peace and prosperity can dawn in the Subcontinent – home to one-fifth of total human race.
Sardar Imtiaz Khan Garalvi, Representative, Jamaat-e-Islami, Azad Kashmir said that Antonio Guterres, the Secretary General of the UN has not let his moral weight serve the cause of peace, prosperity, and democracy in Kashmir as of now. We were heartened when he said that the Kashmir issue should be resolved under UN Charter and under applicable UN Security Council resolutions.
Raja Razzak said that Kashmiri people are being devoid of their property and armed Hindu militants are being settled on these properties. All of these steps are being taken under well planned scheme to change the demography of Jammu and Kashmir.
Mirza Farooq of 4th Pillar TV drew the urgent attention of the Secretary General to the situation in Indian Occupied Kashmir. Mirza Farooq added that atrocities on a massive scale are being remorselessly perpetrated by 900,000 Indian military and paramilitary forces on unarmed men, women, and children. He warned the world powers that the status quo in Kashmir, if left unchanged, will only result in a growing spiral of death and even greater regional instability. The UN must take an active role in finding a peaceful and permanent solution to the crisis.
Sardar Sajid Sawar demanded three points:1 End the occupation of Kashmir now; 2. Demilitarize Kashmir on either side of the Ceasefire line; 3. Let the people of Kashmir be given the right of self-determination to decide their future.
Choudhary Muhammad Ishaq appealed to the United Nations to take practical measures that will dissuade India to Indulge in gross human right abuses against innocent Kashmiri population and sway them to participate in tripartite negotiations involving Pakistan and genuine leadership of Kashmir.
Zahid Shahbaz, PAK WATAN TV deplored the state of human rights and democratic values in Indian Occupied Kashmir. Kashmir issue is about honoring the political and human rights of the people of Kashmir in accord with international law, justice and morality. Zahid Shahbaz added that the issue of Kashmir is by no definition a border dispute between India and Pakistan. It is a problem that includes 23 million people of the erstwhile State of Jammu & Kashmir.
Sardar Mehmood reminded the Biden Administration that as early as 1948, the United States took the stand that the future of Kashmir must be decided by the people of Kashmir, yet US does not intervene to make it happen. Sardar Mehmood added that India’s war crimes in Kashmir are notorious. Its army kills civilians with impunity.
Ms. Aita Shahnaz said that there is brutality, cruelty, suffering and pain everywhere in Kashmir. An iron-fisted military rule has prevailed there, featuring a staggering 900,000 Indian military and paramilitary forces. She expressed her solidarity with voiceless people of Kashmir and added that Kashmiri diaspora have the resources to knock the doors of important members of Congress to educate them about the situation in Kashmir.
Choudhary Rashid Masud that India is using rape as a weapon of war, yet the world powers do nothing to ease the pain and agony of the oppressed of people of Kashmir.
He expressed his anguish for the silence of the world powers, including G20 on the continuing deteriorating situation in Indian occupied Kashmir.
The protest concluded after making special prayer for markers of Kashmir.
Dr. Ghulam Nabi Fai is also, Chairman, World Forum for Peace & Justice.