SRINAGAR: Hundreds of Kashmiri Americans – men, women and children – from various states in the United States staged their rally in front of the White House. They were demanding United Nations – assured right of self-determination, Kashmir separatist Ghulam Nabi Fai reported.
They held candle light vigil on the sidewalk of the White House.
Syed Ali Geelani is reported to have addressed the rally on phone. He has called on the world leaders to persuade India and Pakistan to initiate a meaningful dialogue with the Kashmiri leadership to settle the Kashmir dispute once and for all. Besides, he has suggested Delhi to shun its stubborn approach and resolve this long pending issue. He hoped that a new dawn of prosperity, peace and stability will be guaranteed when the Kashmir dispute is resolved to the satisfaction of the people of Kashmir, the statement said.
Mohammad Yasin Malik also spoke to the gathering. He has said that Kashmir is facing worst kind of oppression in which people are being killed, maimed, blinded, incarcerated, tortured and humiliated. Malik has expressed his sadness that no civilized nation, not even the United States seems to be concerned with the human rights atrocities being committed in this unfortunate land. Not a single word has been uttered by them against human rights violations taking place in Kashmir, Malik was quoted saying by the statement.
From the other side of the divide, Barrister Sultan Mehmood Choudhary spoke to the gathering insisting that the Kashmiri youth, who had laid down their arms to pursue their struggle by peaceful means, were again becoming restive and the prevailing tensions in Kashmir might explode and lead to a conflict. He urged the international community to resolve the Kashmir dispute for the sake of peace and stability in South Asia.
Fai, who had organised the event, also spoke to the fathering, according to the statement he released.
Dr Imtiaz Khan, President, Kashmiri American council supported dialogue process between India and Pakistan to settle the Kashmir dispute, but emphasized that the leadership of the people of Kashmir must be made integral part of the process. He urged President Trump to listen to P Chidambaram, former Home Minister of India who said on February 25, 2017 that India has lost Kashmir. Dr. Khan said that Yashwant Sinha, former foreign minister of India said on January 27, 2017 that India has failed Kashmiris and Kashmiris claim that they have lost faith in India.
Others who spoke included: Dr M A Dhar, Javaid Rathore, Sardar Taj Khan, Sardar Imtiaz Khan Garalavi, Choudhry Shaban, Gulfaraz Inqilabi, Sardar Sajid Sawar, Raja Liaqat Kayani, Malik Hamid, Zeeshan Haider, Choudhry Zahoor Akhtar, Sardar zahid khan, Asgher khan, Pro Abdul Rashid, Raja Mukhtar, Wajid Ali Shah, Sardar Afzal khan, Sabar Khan, Sardar Tahir, Ghulam, Syed Mukhtar Shah, Amana Habib, Ms Farah Sawar, Ms Mumtaz Kosar, Ms Khalida Perveen.