UNITED NATIONS – A group of political and human rights activists protested New Delhi’s reign of repression in the Indian-held Kashmir as they demonstrated outside the United Nations while Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh addressed the General Assembly
Carrying placards and banners, people from both sides of Kashmir living in the United States, raised slogans for the inalienable rights of the people of Jammu and Kashmir as pledged under the UN Security Council resolutions.
The demonstrators included men, women and children as they chanted slogans “We Want Freedom From India” and condemned the Indian forces’ violation of human rights in the Kashmir valley and other parts of the region, where some 100,000 people have died in the uprising for freedom from New Delhi’s rule in the UN-recognized disputed area.
Sardar Sawar M Khan, a former member of the Kashmir Council, and Sardar Zahid Khan, a political activist from Azad Kashmir, said in their speeches that the unresolved Kashmir dispute demands immediate attention of the world body.
“This dispute has made South Asia a nuclear flashpoint and we are reminding the UN of its obligation towards fulfillment of Kashmiris’ right to self-determination,” Sardar Sawar said.
Speakers rejected Indian prime minister’s claim that Kashmir is an integral part of India and said the relevant UN resolutions explicitly state that it is a disputed area and that the people of Jammu and Kashmir should be given the long-denied right to determine their future.
The demonstrators also submitted a resolution to the UN Secretary General’s office, expressing appreciation for Ban ki-Moon’s offer, during a visit to Pakistan in August 2013, that he was ready to take steps to resolve the decades-old Jammu and Kashmir dispute should India and Pakistan agree to your mediation.
“As always, it fell on deaf ears in India, which claims that Kashmir is its ‘integral part’. In this context, we are of the firm view that your responsibility to secure for the Kashmiri people their inalienable right to self-determination, as mandated by Security Council resolutions, does not end by making a conditional offer to settle the dispute.”