‘Freedom for Kashmir’ slogans outside White House as Modi meets Trump


Hundreds of Kashmiri-Americans (Non resident Kashmiris-NRKs) chanted slogans in favour of “Azadi, justice and freedom” in front of the White House during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s meeting with United States President Donald J Trump.

Dr Ghulam Nabi Fai, Secretary General of World Kashmir Awareness Forum (WKAF) said on the occassion, “now is the time that President Trump listen to Candidate Trump who said on October 17, 2016 that he would be honored to address the ‘very, very hot tinderbox’ of Kashmir between India and Pakistan.”

State Department of the United States on Monday designated Kashmiri militant leader and Hizb-ul-Mujahideen supreme commander Syed Salahuddin as a “Specially Designated Global Terrorist” (SDGT) and imposed sanctions on him.

The development came just hours ahead of the scheduled meeting between visiting Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Donald Trump.

“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 added.

In his speech, Fai referred to “India is blinding young Kashmiri protesters – and no one will face justice” and “India’s crackdown in Kashmir: is this the world’s first mass blinding?” – The Guardian reportage on Kashmir uprising.

PM Narendra Modi and US president Donald Trump arrive at a joint presser after the duo hold bilateral meeting on June 26, 2017 in Washington DC.
PM Narendra Modi and US president Donald Trump arrive at a joint presser after the duo hold bilateral meeting on June 26, 2017 in Washington DC.

“India wants Kashmir issue to be buried under the rug when the issue is raised in the international community by alleging that it is bilateral issue between India and Pakistan and no one else’s business. It could be strictly a bilateral issue if forthrightness was involved. India’s saber rattling at this delicate moment is indicative of its design to divert international attention from the realities of the Kashmir dispute and the principle of a healthy and viable international order. This is the time that President Trump can persuade both India and Pakistan to initiate a meaningful dialogue with the leadership of the people of Kashmir for the sake of international peace and security,” he said.

Dr. Imtiaz Khan, President, Kashmiri American Council (KAC) stated that President Donald Trump should impress upon Prime Minister Modi to fulfill the commitment of right of self determination that was promised to people of Kashmir and is part of United Nations Charter.

“Also President Trump should draw the attention of gross human right violations inflicted upon by Indian armed forces on the people of Kashmir,” he said.

“The cycle of brutal killings and human right violations need to stop. Youth of Kashmir have been driven to wall for asking what is their legitimate right. It is high time that President of United States takes a leadership role and facilitates a dialogue between India and Pakistan and also takes into consideration the aspirations of the people of Kashmir. Failure to do so may prove to be an unmitigated disaster, which will have serious ramification for not only the region but whole world. Both Pakistan and India are nuclear powers and unabated skirmishes on the border due to Kashmir issue could snowball into nuclear exchange,” Khan added.

Professor Abdul Rashid called on India to accede to international law in Kashmir, to cooperate in holding a referendum administered by a neutral agency, and to welcome third party intervention or mediation to solve any prickly details.

Dr A R Meer said, “India itself would benefit by the vast savings in military and paramilitary force in Kashmir, and by the more favorable investment environment that would follow on the heels of peace in Kashmir.”

Raja Liaqat Kiyani said that peace process between India and Pakistan will not yield positive results “unless the genuine leadership of the people of Jammu & Kashmir is included in the talks”.

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