Kashmiris Worldwide Endorse Peaceful Protest on July 13: Dr. Fai

Washington, D.C. July 13, 2011. In recognition of all those who have laid down their lives so that the people of Kashmir may live with their heads held high, Kashmiri Americans join the worldwide Kashmiri community in solemn recognition of July 13th - 'Martyrs Day'. It fully endorses the call given by All Parties Hurriyet Conference (APHC) for a peaceful protest towards the Martyrs Graveyard on, July 13th, 2011 that will include Kashmiri men, women and children of all cultural persuasions.

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." Now, 'Martyrs Day' memorializes all those innocent victims, nearly 100,000, who have been forcibly silenced since 1989 by the Indian military and paramilitary forces.

Dr. Ghulam Nabi Fai, Executive Director of Kashmiri American Council/Kashmir Center expressed concern over tragic situation because all available evidence testifies that human rights violations in Kashmir are systematic, deliberate, and officially sanctioned. Far from seeking to rectify its atrocious human rights record, India has legalized its state-sponsored terrorism in Kashmir. It has given its occupation forces powers to shoot to kill and the license to abuse the people of Kashmir in whatever ways they like in order to suppress the popular movement for basic human rights and human dignity.

"The studied unconcern by the United Nations 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," Fai stressed.

Fai reminded that Amnesty International (AI) report, " A Lawless Law: Detention Under the Jammu and Kashmir Public Safety Act (PSA)" dated March 2011 says that 'It is widely understood amongst legal community in Srinagar (Capitol City of Kashmir) that confessions and disclosure statements made in police custody are a result of torture and other ill-treatment.'

Fai added that India should listen to one of it's prominent novelists, Ms. Arundhati Roy who said 'It's (Kashmir) not ever been really a part of India, which is why it's ridiculous for the Indian government to keep saying it's an integral part of India. But that armed struggle claimed the lives of 68,000 people, because India today has 500,000 troops manning that little valley. It's the highest, most militarized zone in the world.'

Ms. Roy added 'India has done everything wrong there. Apart from a military occupation, it has completely rigged elections. It has changed that valley into a little sort of puddle, a little pool of spies and informers and intelligence networks and torture chambers.'

Fai referred to a noted academics, Prof. Angana Chatterji who said 'for over two decades now, egregious human rights violations, enacted with impunity by the Indian military and paramilitary, have been integral to the policy of the Indian state in Kashmir. The use of torture, disappearances, sexualized violence, and massified killings by institutions of the Indian state have been utilized as strategies in militarization.

Dr. Fai appealed to President Obama to intervene in this tragic situation and reminded him of his pledge which he gave 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?

Fai discounted the United States hopes that the Kashmir dispute could be settled through bilateral peaceful talks between India and Pakistan. He recounted the litany of failed bilateral efforts and said that the people of Kashmir have steadfastly maintained that tripartite talks are the only way to resolve the Kashmir issue. The people of Kashmir are committed to finding a just and lasting peace to the disputed territory of Kashmir through negotiations between Governments of India & Pakistan and the accredited leadership of the State of Jammu and Kashmir.

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