WASHINGTON: On the completion of three years to the Narendra Modi-led fascist Indian government’s illegal and unconstitutional move of repealing the special status of Indian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir, the Washington-based World Kashmir Awareness Forum (WKAF), exhibited painful message of human rights violations committed by 900,000 Indian troops in the occupied territory.
These messages were carried on digital advertising trucks in Washington, DC across the federal buildings, foreign embassies, shopping centers and busy intersections. The demand displaced on the digital truck was simple that the United Nations intervention is a must to stop genocide in IIOJK. The digital trucks carried the messages: “Hold India accountable for war crimes”, “Kashmir under siege: Knocking at world conscience”, “Stop demographic terrorism in Kashmir”, “India stop state terrorism in Kashmir”, “India criminalizes press freedom in Kashmir”, “End Indian colonization in Kashmir”, “Implement UN resolutions on Kashmir”, India – allow international NGOs in Kashmir” and “Indian army out of Kashmir”.
Dr Ghulam Nabi Mir, President of WKAF, called upon India to end its annexation of IIOJK, restore civil liberties, and let the Kashmiri people decide their future. “Since, August 5, 2019, the Indian government, in order to crush any resistance to their illegal occupation, has instituted new draconian measures. First, they unilaterally removed any relics of initial recognition of their occupation by abrogating Articles 370 and 35A of the Indian Constitution, imposed a total military lockdown and complete communication blockade in anticipation of the protest and resistance these measures would inevitably cause. In a ruthless campaign they imprisoned politicians, journalists, and civil society members, to intimidate and suppress any form of dissent,” he said.
We stand in fierce opposition to India’s actions against the people of Kashmir and condemn any restriction of free speech and expression throughout the region, Dr Mir said. World powers must stop the Indian government’s attack on free speech in the region and urge the Indian government to ensure that rights activists, political leaders, and local journalists are allowed to work freely and without harassment. Our thoughts are with all political prisoners and their family during this unlawful arrest, he said.
“Right of free speech and free movement, particularly international travel is limited and, in some cases, completely denied. Kashmir is going through an untenable existential crisis and must be stopped by international intervention. Kashmiri political prisoners must be set free, and the reign of terror must be stopped,” he maintained.
Dr Ghulam Nabi Fai, Secretary General of WKAF said that on August 5, 2019, the Government of India laid bare its naked ambition by brutally colonizing the Jammu and Kashmir. On that date, it threw away any pretense of acknowledging the Kashmiri’s right to self-determination as outlined by the United Nations’ Security Council resolutions and agreed to at that time by the Government of India 72 years earlier.
Dr Fai said that the events of August 5, 2019, are consistent with the ruthless occupation and suppression the people of Kashmir have suffered under the unpopular Indian rule. As is widely acknowledged and documented internationally, this brutal occupation has led to over 100,000 civilian deaths, more than 8000 individuals missing or disappeared, and thousands of Kashmiri women raped. This does not even begin to account for the tens of thousands tortured, maimed, and permanently injured men, women and children by the Indian forces during their 72-year reign of terror.