Candle Light Vigil of Kashmiri American at the White House
Washington, D.C. September 30, 2014. “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,” said Dr. Ghulam Nabi Fai, Secretary General of the World Kashmir Awareness. 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. Fai added that unresolved Kashmir dispute is 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. 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 Kashmir said that the presence of over 700,000 Indian forces has made Kashmir the largest military concentration anywhere in the world. He said that our demand is simple, let the people of Jammu and Kashmir determine their own future without any external coercion and intimidation. Sardar Sawar said that Prime Minister Modi needs to be reminded that India must fulfill its pledge given to the people of Kashmir at the Security Council before its candidacy is considered for its permanent membership. Ignoring that fact will be a rebuke to the conscience of the world powers.
Mr. Ishtiaq Hameed of All Parties Hurriyet Conference said that Kashmir is recognized by the United Nations as a disputed territory whose status is yet to be determined by its people. And as president Bill Clinton said that ‘Kashmir is the most dangerous place in the world.’ Its resolution will guarantee peace and stability in the region of South Asia.
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.” She said that let there be no doubt that Kashmir is 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 testifies that the bilateral talks between India and Pakistan have been always fruitless. So Kashmiris need to be included in the talks.
Sardar Tahir Iqbal said, although there are three parties concerned with the Kashmir dispute: India, Pakistan and the people of Kashmir. But the primary and principal party is the people of Kashmir, because it is ultimately their future, the future of 18 million people of Jammu & Kashmir that is at stake.
Gulfaraz Inqilabi said that the Kashmir dispute is 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 & Kashmir the right to decide their future. He added that no solution would be acceptable to the people of Jammu & Kashmir unless the negotiations include the Kashmiri leadership.
Sardar Imtiaz Giralavi spoke about the mass graves which have been discovered in the Valley of Kashmir. 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 demands the unity of action among the leadership not only in Azad Kashmir but in Indian Occupied Kashmir as well. He said the world powers should respect the wishes and aspirations of the people of Kashmir which is the elementary right of every human being in any civilized society.
Sahibzada Imtiaz Zafar spoke about the huge sacrifices given by the people of Kashmir in seeking their birth right of Azaadi. He said that the sacrifices of the people of Kashmir will not go in vain.
Sardar Zubair Khan highlighted the presence of 700,000 Indian military and paramilitary forces which has made Kashmir virtually the hell for its inhabitants. He said that the United States has a moral responsibility to come to the rescue of the oppressed people of Jammu and Kashmir.
Johnny Bgood said the sacrifices of the people of Kashmir demand that the Government of Pakistan, irrespective of its political affiliation must support the people of Kashmir at the diplomatic front. He said there is a consensus is Pakistan that the right of self-determination of the people of Kashmir is a legitimate right which needs to be supported at all cost.
Sardar Imtiaz Khan, New Jersey said that Kashmir is not a border dispute but an international conflict that demands just and fair settlement to the satisfaction of all patties concerned. Mr. demanded that the rights of peaceful association, assembly and demonstrations in Indian Occupied Kashmir must be respected.
Sardar Niaz Hussain, New Jersey reiterated that the people of Jammu & Kashmir were promised the right to determine their future status through consecutive United Nations resolutions in 1948 and 1949. This was agreed upon by both India and Pakistan but was never honored until today.
Sardar Zahid Khan, New York emphasize that the action by the United Nations is urgently needed to address the grave human rights situation in Kashmir.
Sardar Sabir of New York said that Prime Minister has forgotten that it was non other than India which brought the issue of Kashmir to the United Nations. India has to honor its international obligations toward the people of Kashmir.
The following slogans were chanted during the three hours long ‘Candle Light Vigil.’
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.