Washington, DC: The World Kashmir Awareness Forum (WKAF) is distressed by and condemns the Indian government's recent attempts at changing the demographic status of Jammu & Kashmir by introducing the tendentious and politically motivated rules in the occupied territory, at a time when the whole world is grappling with a pandemic of epic proportions.
Under a bizarre and illegal 'Jammu & Kashmir Reorganization Order, 2020', the citizens of India will now be able to settle in and compete for jobs in the disputed territory of Jammu & Kashmir. A Kashmir based human rights activist, Khurram Parvez, has highlighted that "By virtue of this order, outsiders are… going to be the claimants of jobs in Jammu and Kashmir, which already has a huge unemployment problem. This is an act against the interests of unemployed youth."
In a wanton display of disregard for the aspiration of the Kashmiris, the Indian government is about to introduce an undemocratic delimitation measure which aims at constitutional entrenchment of a Hindu majoritarian agenda to dispossess the people of Kashmir.
The aim of this revisionist and motivated rewriting of history is to alter the demographic character of the Muslim-majority territory at a time when the world's attention is focused on the worst public health and economic crises of our times. These cynical attempts to seize the opportunity and take advantage of the prevailing global circumstances are reflective of the toxic and fascist mindset of the Hindutva regime in New Delhi.
The fascist government has deliberately chosen the timing: On the one hand, Kashmir is under the internet blockade, and India is under a 3-week lockdown. On the other hand, world attention is sharply focused on battling the global scourge of the coronavirus.
In one voice, the Kashmiris across the globe have rejected these reprehensible attempts to change the demographic character of our nation, and, resolved to counter India's bigoted settler colonialism through peaceful resistance.
The United Nations must remind India of the disputed nature of the occupied territory, and the need to fulfill the UN Security Council Resolutions on the issue. The BJP rulers in New Delhi must be reminded that their actions are in direct conflict with the Geneva Conventions and international law. The world community and the people of conscience must impress upon India that in a democracy, legitimacy flows only from the freely given consent of the governed.
In his August 8, 2019 response to India's actions regarding abrogation of Article 370 of the Indian constitution, the UN Secretary-General had noted that the "the position of the United Nations on this region (Kashmir) is governed by the Charter of the United Nations and applicable Security Council resolutions." Therefore, it must to be emphasized that the 'Reorganization Order' contravenes UN resolutions #122 and #126 adopted on January 24, 1957, and December 2, 1957, respectively. These resolutions prohibit any unilateral action targeted at changing the disputed nature of the State of Jammu and Kashmir.
On February 16, 2020, the UN Secretary-General declared, "We have taken a position that UN resolutions (on Kashmir) should be implemented, there should be ceasefire (on LoC), and human rights should be respected."
We, the people of Kashmir across the globe, appeal to the Secretary-General of the United Nations to once again impress upon India the disputed nature of the occupied territory, India's longstanding commitments on this issue, and, the urgent need to fulfill umpteen UN Security Council Resolutions regarding Kashmir.
Meanwhile, The World Kashmir Awareness Forum (WKAF) is outraged and condemns the terrorist attacks that has targeted the Karte Parwan Sikh Gurudwara in Kabul, Afghanistan, killing 25 innocent human beings. We are deeply saddened by the loss of life and our hearts go out to the bereaved families and friends. We ask that the Afghanistan government set-up an impartial Commission to investigate this heinous crime and bring the culprits to justice.
The world community in general, and the Sikh community, in particular, have not forgotten the Chittisinghpura massacre on March 20, 2000, on the eve of President Bill Clinton's visit to India. An internal investigation instituted by the Indian government under international pressure revealed that the massacre was the handiwork of the Indian agencies. These revelations by Lt. Gen. K. S. Gill, who was part of the investigation, that the personnel of the Indian army, along with the Indian government's hired gunmen in Kashmir, were directly involved in the massacre were initially hushed up by the Indian government.
According to Mr. Gill, their singular aim was to smear the Kashmir freedom struggle to enlist the sympathies of the then U.S. president toward the Indian government's narrative on Kashmir. President Clinton has repeatedly refused to accept the Indian government's contention that the massacre was the work of Pakistani groups.
Similar cynical attempts by the Indian intelligence agencies and their collaborators in the Afghan intelligence network, in the past, have invariably aimed at implicating Pakistan and the Kashmiris in such acts of violence against civilians. These agencies relentlessly aim to achieve the twin goal of tarnishing the images of both Pakistan and the Kashmiris freedom movement and simultaneously sow a division among the Kashmiris and the Sikhs. Such despicable attempts by the Indian government have failed to create a wedge between the Muslim and Sikh communities. The rank and file, and leadership of the two communities across the globe are united in friendship.
The WKAF expresses its solidarity with our global Sikh community at this moment of tragedy and demands from the Afghan government an impartial inquiry into the massacre with the assistance of international agencies such as Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and United Nations High Commissioner on Human Rights.