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Kashmiris hold big rally at UN headquarters, demand world body action

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NEW YORK: In yet another step to express concern over the stepped up India anti- human steps in the occupied Kashmir, hundreds of Kashmiri Americans held a peaceful protest in front of the United Nations headquarters in New York during the current session of the General Assembly.

Prime Minister Azad Jammu and Kashmir Sardar Attique Ahmed Khan while addressing the protesters said Kashmir was situated at the heart of three nuclear powers of the world, India, Pakistan and China, which makes it the most dangerous place on the earth.

He reminded the participants that the presence of over 700,000 Indian military and paramilitary forces had made Kashmir the largest army concentration anywhere in the world. He said the European Parliamentary delegation had said that Kashmir was the most beautiful prison on the earth. “It is in the very national interest of world powers including the United States to find a lasting solution to the Kashmir problem,” he added.

He thanked the Secretary General of the United Nations for taking cognizance of the grave situation in Indian occupied Kashmir.

“It is the responsibility of the Secretary General as the custodian of human rights and under the Charter of the United Nations to take urgent steps to resolve this long-standing dispute in accordance with the wishes of the people of Kashmir as envisaged in the relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions,” he maintained.

Speaking on the occasion, the Executive Director of Kashmir Center Washington, Dr Ghulam Nabi Fai said the Kashmir issue had been pending on the agenda of the Security Council since 1948. He said at that time, an agreement took place between India and Pakistan, endorsed by the United Nations and supported by the international community guaranteeing the right to self-determination to the people of Jammu and Kashmir.

“The people of Kashmir who have never lost hope in the United Nations have since then been seeking to freely exercise their right to self-determination. This denial of the United Nation Charter and thus the denial of the right of self-determination have lead to bloodshed, pain, rapine and sufferings in Kashmir,” he said.

Dr Fai emphasized that the situation in occupied Kashmir had been met with studied unconcern by the United Nations. “This has given a sense of total impunity to India. It has also created the impression that the United Nations is invidiously selective about the application of the principles of human rights and democracy,” he added.

The Executive Director said, “What is anguishing and dumbfounding to me is not that the United Nations resists sending its forces to Kashmir to vindicate self-determination at the risk of warring with India. What is frustrating and confounding is that the United Nations withholds even the moral boost of officially proclaiming the right of self-determination for 15 million people of Jammu and Kashmir in accordance with Security Council resolutions it heartily approved and has never disavowed.”

Sardar Sawar Khan, leader of Jammu and Kashmir Peoples Muslim League said that the conflict in Indian occupied Kashmir had acquired a new dimension. “Since, July this year, Kashmiri youth have taken the lead to press for their inalienable right to self-determination, a right guaranteed by the United Nations,” he stated. Sawar Khan further said that the youth had been taking to streets, paralyzing the unlawful local administration, adding, “Now, there is no turning back. This is a do or die phase of our long struggle for freedom after decades of the oppressive Indian rule.”

Tariq Mahmood Khalid Advocate said that the Kashmiris expected from the United Nations Secretary General, as the custodian of human rights and fundamental freedoms, to speak up and pressurise India to implement the framework laid down in the UN Security Council’s resolutions for a free and impartial plebiscite to determine the wishes of the Kashmiri people.-SANA

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