In glorious recognition of all those who have laid down their lives so that the people of Kashmir may live with their heads held high, Kashmiri American community joins the global Kashmiri diaspora community in solemn recognition of July 13th – ‘Martyrs Day’. This somber day commemorates the ultimate sacrifice made by 22 unarmed Kashmiris who were ruthlessly slaughtered by the illegitimate Dogra regime on July 13, 1931. July 13th is forever scarred in the collective minds of the people of Kashmir as the day when the freedom movement was greeted with bullets,” this was stated by Dr. Ghulam Nabi Fai, Chairman, Washington-based World Forum for Peace & Justice.
Fai added that the fate of Kashmiris changed for the worse, as it has been replaced by tyrannies of successive Indian regimes with various garbs of democracy. But the tyranny in Kashmir under the Hindutva nationalists, led by Narendra Modi, has reached a new and unprecedented level of inhumanity. No one will be allowed to venture out on July 13th, 2022, to commemorate the event and pay tribute to the heroes of Kashmir’s history. But global Kashmiri diaspora community will observe the solemn day to reaffirm their resolve to continue their struggle for self-determination, and to pay homage to over 100,000 innocent men, women and children who have and continue to sacrifice their lives for freedom of their beloved land since 1989.
“In the annals of history, ordinary people make extraordinary contribution by inspiring people for well-defined objectives and high moral ground. Those unsung heroes are our martyrs. The people of Kashmir will never forget the selfless contribution and the tireless efforts of these martyrs. Their efforts will remain forever a milestone in the history of the freedom struggle of Kashmir,” Fai reiterated.
The people of Kashmir clearly have little faith in or respect for the so-called Indian democracy, and India hasn’t the slightest idea how to earn it. It’s solution to the anger of people crying for freedom and a respite, at the very least, from the terror of 900,000 troops, is to clamp down even harder, adding to the death toll of such a policy that now approaches the six-figure range. Fai suggested that India should listen to one of India’s prominent journalists, Vir Sanghvi who wrote in Hindustan Times, “If you believe in democracy, then giving Kashmiris the right to self-determination is the correct thing to do.” Even the latest United Nations report recommends to the Government of India to, “Fully respect the right of self-determination of the people of Kashmir as protected under international law.”
Fai warned that the desire for self-determination is the one very big “element” India should be concerned about yet continues to pretend to the world that it does not exist. However long India refuses to acknowledge it, the decades-old movement in Kashmir will not simply die out.
Fai expressed concern over the ongoing tragic situation in Kashmir because all available evidence testifies that human rights violations in Kashmir are systematic, deliberate, and officially sanctioned. India has given its forces powers to shoot to kill and the license to abuse the people in whatever ways they like in order to suppress the popular movement for basic human rights and self-determination.
Moreover, Fai emphasized, ‘India trembles at any attempt to resolve the Kashmir crisis, frightened by its outcome, and prudence dictates the international community recognize this and apply diplomatic persuasion to initiate a peace process, with the Kashmiri leadership.’ When a former Defense Minister, Krishna Menon, was questioned as to why India would never hold a free self-determination election in Kashmir, he confessed that all of India’s political leaders knew it would lose. And would 900,000 soldiers be needed in Kashmir if the main opponents to India’s occupation were but a handful of militants.” The question answers itself.
Fai explained that the U.S. is in fact declaring, though inadvertently that Kashmiris have no fundamental rights and do not deserve them. Otherwise, how can you explain it to a Kashmiri when President Biden says, “The United States must lead not just with the example of power, but the power of our example.” Vice President Kamala Harris said during her election campaign “We have to remind the Kashmiris that they are not alone in the world. We are keeping a track on the situation.” President Biden & Vice President Harris may take a leaf from President Obama who said on July 10, 2009, at L’Aquila, Italy, “We don’t want stronger nations bullying weaker nations. On the other hand, where you have nations that are oppressing their people, isn’t there an international responsibility to intervene?
There is still time that the United States can persuade India (1) To have an immediate and complete cessation of military and paramilitary action by Indian forces against the people of Jammu & Kashmir; (2). To release unconditionally all those imprisoned in connection with resistance to the Indian occupation; including Yasin Malik, Khurram Parvez, Shabir Shah, Masarat Aalam, Aasia Andtrabi and others; (3). To repeal the draconian laws, including Jammu Kashmir Armed Forces Special Powers Act; (4). To rescind the Domicile Law which is designed to change the demography of Jammu & Kashmir; (5). To restore the right of peaceful association, assembly, and demonstration to the people of the State of Jammu & Kashmir.