Indo-Pak Affairs

Massive demos over forcible confiscation of Kashmiri land

WASHINGTON: Dr. Ghulam Nabi Fai, Executive Director, Kashmiri American Council/Kashmir Center said that the massive rioting and protests, throughout Kashmir is in response to the Indian Government’s attempt at confiscating 100 acres of Kashmiri territory for the development of Indian settlements. He said that these protests are the largest demonstrations in recent years and are reminiscent of the massive peaceful civilian marches in the early 1990’s. The Kashmiri American Council strongly condemns the unforgiving and brutal repression of the Kashmiri people and expresses its deepest condolences to the hundreds injured, tortured and detained.

In addition, Dr. Fai emphasized that the Kashmiri people’s explosive frustration, is unrelated to religious bigotry, but, rather, their monumental revulsion against the land-grab, the grotesque violations of their basic human rights including the recent unearthing of mass graves and the Indian Government’s brutal rejection of their aspirations for self-determination.

More specifically, the KAC believes that this recent land grab, clearly, is attempting to change the demographics of Kashmir and ferociously follows the Indian army precedent of occupying thousands of acres of Kashmiri land. Dr. Fai emphasized that the movement is not and cannot be communal because the majority community provided basic necessities to the Yatris while they were heading home during this unrest in the Vale of Kashmir.

Dr. Fai clearly and unequivocally calls for all Kashmiris to support Mian Abdul Qayyum, President of the Action Committee Against Land Transfer (ACALT), both Kashmiri leaders of the United – All Parties Hurriyat Conference Syed Ali Geelani & Mirwaiz Umar Farooq; and Mohammad Yasin Malik, Chairman, JKLF who are peacefully but firmly resolved to achieve the basic rights of the people of Kashmir to self-determination.

Currently, he emphasized, the Kashmiri leadership has achieved a significant milestone by reaching-out to work with one another in a more consolidated manner. Moreover, the KAC believes that this unanimous, cross-religious Kashmiri outpouring against the illegal land-grab is directly related to popular enthusiasm for their leadership becoming more united. However, he cautioned, the Kashmiri leadership must always be conscious of its ultimate responsibilities which focuses on the people and ignores personal sentiment. Also, Dr. Fai stated that attempts at trickery, which are nothing more than feeble, weak and desperate Indian attempts to pacify Kashmiri passion, will fail miserably.

The KAC is committed to finding a just and lasting peace to the disputed territory of Kashmir through tripartite peaceful negotiations between Governments of India, Pakistan and the genuine leadership of the State of Jammu & Kashmir. It fully endorses the call by Mian Abdul Qayyum of the ACALT, for a major, unprecedented peaceful demonstration on Tuesday, July 1st, 2008 that will include Kashmiri men, women and children of all racial, cultural and religious persuasions.-SANA

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Rubab Saleem

Rubab Saleem is Editor of Pakistan Times

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  • … Oh, I wish I could be there for the mass peaceful demonstration today (July 1). India needs to come quickly to its senses about Kashmir. – tommy