‘Kashmir’s Million March’ Held in the US

KL NEWS NETWORK

SRINAGAR

Kashmir Million March

Million-Man-March of Kashmiri-Americans was held in New York on Sunday to press for a just and durable resolution of the longstanding Kashmir dispute.

The march was initiated from the Indian high commission office and concluded at the United Nations building.

Thousands of people attended the march which was led by former ‘Azad’ Kashmir Prime Minister Barrister Sultan Mahmood Chaudhry.

Chaudhry, who has been visiting various cities across the United States to mobilise people, said that he had found “tremendous response” among the Kashmiris and supporters of the Kashmir cause.

He said, “the march was taking place at a time when the world community was seriously concerned about the grave situation in Kashmir which can lead South Asia to a major crisis.”

The world powers, including the United States, he said, were trying to persuade both India and Pakistan to resume the peaceful negotiation to settle all disputes.

Dr Ghulam Nabi Fai, Secretary General of the World Kashmir Awareness and chairperson of the event, said, “Kashmir was not a bilateral issue between New Delhi and Islamabad, but an internationally recognised dispute; therefore, dialogue process should include all three parties – India, Pakistan and Kashmiri people.”

He added, “in order to grant the Kashmiris what they demand, India must be persuaded to initiate a meaningful dialogue without any preconditions.”

Dr Fai emphasised that “Kashmir was the flash point as two nuclear-armed countries – India and Pakistan – were in a state of confrontation over the issue”.

Sardar Sawar Khan, former advisor to the Prime Minister of ‘Azad’ Kashmir, said that it was “our duty to support Kashmiris who are struggling for their right of self-determination. Our objective of ‘Million-Man-March’ is to draw attention of the world powers to the situation in Kashmir and to exert pressure on the government of India and to resolve dispute over Kashmir and help stop human right violations in Indian occupied Kashmir”.

Dr Taqdees Gilani, a renowned scholar from ‘Azad’ Kashmir, said, “the resolution of Kashmir issue could have enabled both Pakistan and India to spend their finite resources on development of their people rather than on defence expenditure.”

She expressed her admiration to the Pakistani and Kashmiri American community for being the ambassadors of peace in the United States for the cause of Kashmir. She said, “it is indubitable that the Indian army has committed thousands of human rights violations in Kashmir.”

Dr Asif Rehman, a prominent Pakistani American physician, explained the role of Pakistani American physicians in mobilising the community to volunteer free healthcare clinics for all, irrespective of their religious affiliations. Dr Rehman said, “the United Nations has a moral responsibility to persuade both India and Pakistan to settle the Kashmir conflict through meaningful dialogue.”

Ishtiyaq Hameed, representative of the All Parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC), said, “the way the Kashmiri youth is confronting Indian forces and turning the entire Kashmiri movement into a peaceful resistance not only impresses the people of Jammu and Kashmiri but also international community.”

He added, “today the mantle of freedom struggle of Kashmir has successfully been passed on to the younger generation.” (The Nation)

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