Digital advertising trucks flash Kashmir freedom messages In New York, Washington
Jan 10, 2023 | Kashmir Coverage (General News)
Associated Press of Pakistan
NEW YORK, Jan 06 (APP):: The World Kashmir Awareness Forum (WKAF), a Washington-based advocacy body, rented digital advertising trucks — one in New York and the other in Washington — that displayed razor-sharp messages calling on the United Nations to implement its fulfill its resolutions pledging to the people of Jammu and Kashmir their right to self-determination, as they moved around the two cities.
The electronic screens on the trucks carry messages such as: “UN obligated to implement its resolutions on Kashmir”; “Land grab operation in Kashmir is economic terrorism”; “Freedom for all: Freedom for Kashmir”; ”Stop Indian military & demographic terrorism in Kashmir”; “Indian occupied Kashmir: Most densely militarized settler colony” and “Hold India accountable for war crimes in Kashmir”.
The trucks appeared on the roads of New York and Washington on January 5, the ‘Right to Self-Determination Day’.
“Digital advertising trucks are considered to be the most effective way to spread a message as the brightly lit words on the screens catch attention of the people walking on the streets and those coming in and out of government and commercial buildings,” Dr. Ghulam Nabi Fai, Chairman of the World Forum for Peace & Justice, said in a statement.
The route of digital truck in Washington included: All federal buildings, including the State Department; the Capitol Hill; Library of Congress; The Washington Monument; The White House; foreign embassies, various Museums; Lincoln Memorial; Washington National Cathedral; the Indian Embassy; the World Bank and IMF. And in New York, The United Nations headquarters, offices of various UN Missions, Freedom Tower, Indian Mission; Battery Park, Central Park, and Times Square.
Dr. Ghulam N. Mir, Chairman of the Kashmir Diaspora Coalition (KDC) and President of the World Kashmir Awareness Forum expressed solidarity with Kashmiris across the globe holding rallies on Thursday, to mark the Day, demanding implementation of the resolution adopted on January 5, 1949. That resolution mandates a free and unfettered plebiscite in Kashmir. The denial of the right to self-determination, Dr. Mir added, has brought both India and Pakistan to the brink of nuclear catastrophe.
In his remarks, Dr. Ghulam Nabi Fai said that on this Day, the United Nations Commission for India and Pakistan (UNCIP) worked out the concrete terms of settlement in close and continuous consultation with both India and Pakistan. As both governments formally accepted the commission’s proposals, they constituted an international agreement as binding as a treaty.
A ceasefire was immediately enforced. The Commission then started negotiations to draw up a plan for the withdrawal of Indian and Pakistan armies from the State in a manner and sequence that would not cause disadvantage to either side or imperil the freedom of the plebiscite.
Progress towards a solution was, however, blocked, Dr. Fai added, by India’s refusal to accept that the withdrawal of forces on the two sides should be balanced and synchronized. Recognizing that its people would never freely vote accession to India, it contrived excuse after excuse to frustrate a plebiscite.
Dr. Fai said pending initiation of peace negotiations between India and Pakistan with the leadership of the people of Jammu & Kashmir, several measures should be taken to ease the misery and tensions of the people of Jammu & Kashmir.
Human rights organizations should be given greater access; India’s occupation forces should be thinned; all political prisoners should be released; emergency laws which give India’ army immunity for human rights crimes should be repealed, and domicile law ,designed to change the demography of Kashmir should be revoked, he added.
Dr. Imtiaz Khan, Professor at George Washington University Medical Center, said that under the 1949 UN resolution it was agreed that the question of accession of the State of Jammu and Kashmir to India or Pakistan will be decided through democratic method of a free and impartial plebiscite. Subsequently, UN Security Council reiterated the right of self-determination of Kashmiris in various resolutions, including those of 1951 and 1957.
“To break the will of Kashmiris struggling for the exercise of their UN-pledged right of self-determination, India has deployed over 900,000 soldiers fully armed and with unlimited powers under the draconian Kashmir specific laws, Dr. Imtiaz Khan said.
They have wreaked havoc in the region, including mass killing of youth, gang rapes and blinding children with pellet guns. The atrocities inflicted on the hapless Kashmiris have been documented by Indian and international human rights organizations, like Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and others.
On August 5, 2019, he said, Indian government thumped the nose of UN Security Council by abrogating the autonomous character of Kashmir. The state was transformed to a Union territory and thousands of youths were imprisoned and till now they are languishing in Indian Jails.
The leadership of the Kashmiri political resistance movement and human right activists are incarcerated on frivolous charges and lodged in notorious prisons under sub-human conditions. There are well planned attempts to change the demographic character of the state by providing permanent residency and land to extremist Hindus.
“The ultimate goal is to convert Kashmir into a Hindu majority state with a long-term plan to achieve favorable outcome in case plebiscite is held in the future,” Dr. Khan added.
“The silence of international community over this long-standing issue is heart breaking,” he said, urging the UN secretary-general to use his mandate to bring parties concerned – India, Pakistan and the leadership of the people of Jammu & Kashmir — to the negotiating table so that this conflict which poses a serious threat to world peace is amicably resolved.
Sardar Zarif Khan, main organizer of the event said that India had made Kashmir the largest militarized zone in the world. Every independent human rights organization that has surveyed the Kashmiri landscape has expressed horror and outrage at the human rights violations in Indian occupied Kashmir.
Sardar Zubair Khan, co-organizer of the event said that the deplorable situation in Kashmir is unacceptable. “Kashmir is the most dangerous nuclear hotspot on the planet — It has already sparked two wars between the two nations, and a third would be a global catastrophe,” he said.
“Kashmir is not an integral part of any country,” Zubair Khan said, referring to India’s claim the disputed territory part of India.
Sardar Taj Khan, organizer of the event in New York, called upon the UN chief to impress upon the parties concerned to create an atmosphere for a free and impartial plebiscite in Kashmir that will guarantee peace and prosperity in the whole region of South Asia.
Sardar Taj added that RSS extremist ideology has become a huge problem not only for the Muslims of India but also for other minorities, including Christians and Dalits.