Kashmir digital trucks appeared in Washington on July 4th during the Independence Day celebrations

Jul 9, 2024 | Kashmir Coverage (General News)

By Tarkeen-e-Watan

Washington, D.C. July 4, 2024 (TW) __The World Kashmir Awareness Forum (WKAF), a Washington-based advocacy body, rented digital advertising trucks that were displaying around the capital city sharp messages demanding right to self-determination to be given to the people of Kashmir.

The digital led trucks in Washington were operational today as Americans celebrate the Independence Day. The route of digital trucks in Washington included: National Mall where tens of thousands of visitors were gathered to celebrate the Independence Day, the Capitol Hill; The Washington Monument; The White House; Museums; and various embassies.

The electronic screens on the trucks carried messages such as: “Americans Celebrate Independence Day: Kashmiris Treat Indian Occupation with Dismay;” “No Election, No Selection: UN Resolution the Only Solution;” “Freedom of Kashmir only Solution: Enslavement Not an Option;” “Indian Forces on Killing Spree: Kashmir Need to Be Set Free;” “Kashmiris Reject Indian Occupation: UN Resolutions Only Solution;” “Kashmir Facing Existential Threat: United States Needs to Act;” “India Involved in Genocide: Kashmiris Demand Plebiscite;” “Freedom For All: Freedom for Kashmir.”

Dr. Ghulam N. Mir, President, WKAF said that July 4th is celebrated as the American day of Independence by the proud and patriotic Americans of diverse backgrounds living here at hope or elsewhere in the world as expats, migrants or diaspora.

This day marks the historic date of July 4, 1776, when America declared its independence from the colonialist British rule. With this declaration the United States of America proudly declared that the American colonies were tired of being ruled by the Great Britain even though most of them shared their values with the British imperialist rulers.

Dr. Mir added that we Americans of Kashmiri ancestry are grateful to the United States of America for having rendered moral and diplomatic support at the international level in its struggle against Indian occupation sine 1947. July 4th is especially relevant to Kashmiri Americans as we continue to relish the fruits of complete freedom here in the US. Our people back in the colonized Kashmir keep encouraging us here in this great country to cherish its independence while they resist to exist under a dehumanizing regime.

Dr. Ghulam Nabi Fai, Secretary General, WKAF said that American core values are freedom, equality, and justice. Americans also cherish the freedom of speech, freedom of the press, and freedom of religion. Dr. Fai added that President Obama is on record to have said, “It is these international principles that helped constrain bigger countries from imposing our will on smaller ones…On this basis, we see some major powers assert themselves in ways that contravene international law.” And Ban Ki-Moon, former Secretary General of the UN said on 28 September 2015. “What counts now is translating promises on paper into change on the ground.”

The whole world knows that Indian army is committing crimes against humanity in Kashmir. And today Kashmir is at the brink of genocide. Dr. Fai voiced his frustration by asking who prevents these world leaders to use their moral authority to persuade the violators of the international laws to abide by these principles.

Perhaps international arms sales and the general military industrial complex that seems to have a firm grip on foreign policy priorities might offer a clue, and when world leaders are complicit, it is rather difficult for them to hold any high ground in any moral prerogative that might be addressed toward one’s partners.

Today, on its Independence Day, the United States should support the right of self-determination of the Kashmiri people as it is in conformity with the statement made at the United Nations General Assembly by President John F. Kennedy on September 25, 1961 “That continuing tide of self-determination, which runs so strong, has our sympathy and our support…My Nation was once a colony, and we know what colonialism means; the exploitation and subjugation of the weak by the powerful, of the many by the few, of the governed who have given no consent to be governed, whatever their continent, their class, or their color.

Dr. Imtiaz Khan, Kashmiri American scholar said that Americans of Kashmiri origin, though limited in numbers are also part of the Independence Day celebrations and consider themselves extremely fortunate to be the citizens of this great land. We feel highly indebted to this country for the magnanimity in providing fair opportunity to succeed and realize our dreams. But while we are enjoying the benefits of freedom of expression in USA, we are pained by the repression and gross injustice in Indian occupied Kashmir, that is the place of our origin.

Despite UN resolutions that place continues to be under Indian occupation and the armed forces are subjecting the citizens to the brutality never witnessed before. Peace loving people of occupied Kashmir are subjected to brutal killing, rapes and maiming of young children on daily basis. Since beginning of year 1990 more than 100,000 youth have been massacred, 11,300 women gangraped and 25,000 Kashmiris are missing. Furthermore, mass graves have been discovered and teenaged children have been blinded due to injuries from the pellet wounds.

Dr. Khan added that since year 2019, when Indian government by act of parliament abrogated article 370 and 35A, sinister design to change the demographics of the region is being actively pursued. Hundreds of thousands of fundamentalist Hindus from India are being provided domicile certificates and settled in the region. The goal is to change the Muslim majority character of Kashmir that can lead to outcome in their favor down the road, in case plebiscite is held.

Dr. Khan said that we, the Kashmiri Americans are beseeching freedom loving population of our country to raise voices against these acts of savagery perpetrated by the Indian establishment. We urge them to contact their elected representatives to impress upon Indian government to fulfill her commitment to the international community. While we congratulate our countrymen on this auspicious occasion, we remind them not to forget the sufferings and atrocities inflicted on the people of other parts of world, like occupied Kashmir.

People of Kashmir have great expectation from the United States and its subjects and believe that the country will play an active role in ameliorating their sufferings. Let us not belie those hopes. Happy Independence Day and may God bless America.

Sardar Zulfiqar Roshan Khan said the killings of innocent civilians in Indian occupied Kashmir must shake the conscience of all peace-loving people. He condemned the efforts to muzzle the press and called for restoring the right to assemble and freedom of expression in Indian occupied Kashmir. He urged the Biden administration to place Kashmir on its radar screen as India and Pakistan are nuclear-armed countries. The suffering and misery of the Kashmiri people continues each day a peaceful resolution is deferred.

Sardar Shoaib Irshad, Joint Secretary, Kashmir American Welfare Association (KAWA) said, our objective is to draw the attention of the world powers to the situation in Kashmir and to exert pressure on the government of India and to resolve dispute and help stop human right violations in Indian occupied Kashmir. He urged the community of nations to seize this opportunity to promote an initiative towards bringing about conditions necessary for settlement of the Kashmir dispute.

Sardar Zubair Khan said the people of Kashmir have suffered long and needlessly because of this brutal conflict. They demand and they deserve peace. Peace in the region of South Asia would remain elusive until the Kashmir dispute is resolved. He added that Kashmir’s painful situation is a rebuke to the world powers for their passivity.

Dr. Fai is also Chairman, World Forum for Peace & Justice.
He can be reached at: WhatsApp: 1-202-607-6435 / gnfai2003@yahoo.com