Washington, D.C. August 4, 2020.
On August 5, 2019, the Government of India laid bare its naked ambition extant since partition in 1947 to brutally colonize the territories of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K). On that date, it threw away any pretense of acknowledging the J&K’s right to self-determination as outlined by the United Nations’ Security Council and agreed to at that time by the Government of India 72 years earlier.
The events of August 5, 2019 are consistent with the ruthless occupation and suppression the people of Kashmir have suffered under the unpopular Indian rule. As is widely acknowledged and documented internationally, this brutal occupation has led to 150,000 civilian deaths, more than 8000 individuals missing or disappeared, and thousands of Kashmiri women raped. This does not even begin to account for the tens of thousands tortured, maimed, and permanently injured men, women and children by the Indian security forces during their 72-year reign of terror.
But despite this persistent and pernicious tyranny, the people of Kashmir never have nor ever will give up their right to be free. It is based on this internationally recognized, and principled stand the Kashmiri diaspora and its allies worldwide stand in solidarity with J&K’s people. We stand in support of their unyielding struggle to resist occupation and achieve their right to self-determination. We stand with them in their struggle to stop the Indian government from dehumanizing them and completing their settler-colonial project to remove them culturally, politically, and ethnically from the face of the earth.
Since, August 5, 2019, the Indian government, in order to crush any resistance to their illegal occupation, has instituted new draconian measures. First, they unilaterally removed any relics of initial recognition of their occupation by abrogating Articles 370 and 35A of the Indian Constitution, imposed a total military lockdown and complete communication blockade in anticipation of the protest and resistance these measures would inevitably cause. In a ruthless campaign they imprisoned politicians, journalists, and civil society members, to intimidate and suppress any form of dissent.
Since then, they have unleashed a well-designed imperialist plan that seeks to forever change the political nature of the Kashmir dispute through demographic changes, political maneuverings, and administrate machinations. These alterations to J&K’s disputed nature were recently capped by new domicile laws that would entitle people from outside of J&K to obtain domicile certificates as a first step toward granting them the right to buy land and compete for local jobs. The Indian rulers have sought to shamelessly disregard that these unilateral changes made to the UN-recognized international dispute’s status are a clear violation of International Law.
The consequences of these actions have been dire with the people of J&K being essentially forced to be locked in their homes, terrorized by the Indian military and paramilitary forces with no recourse against this oppression. According to a recent report –spanning first six months of 2020 –prepared by the J&K Coalition of Civil Society (JKCCS), and the Association of Parents of Disappeared Persons (APDP), the army action has resulted in 229 killings, including three (3) underage children and two (2) women. During the brutal Cordon and Destroy Operations (CADOs), the occupying forces have destroyed hundreds of civilian dwellings, rendering their occupants homeless. Amnesty International has reported that disappearances, torture, and rape against Kashmiri Muslims are frequent. Genocide Watch has identified the actions of the Government of India as precursor to a likely genocide of the Kashmiri people.
It is with this in mind that we appeal to all peoples of conscience and the international community to raise their voices against the brutal oppression the people of Jammu and Kashmiri are suffering under the occupying forces of the Government of India. We urge them to demand that India:
1. Immediately lift the yearlong military siege, restore all internet connectivity and communications links, and release all political prisoners including underage children, journalists, and civil society members.
2. Allow unfettered access to monitor and report on human rights violations by credible international bodies including Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, International Federation for Human Rights, World Organization Against Torture (WOAT), Doctors without Borders, Physicians for Human Rights, and, UN Special Rapporteur on Torture and other UN thematic rapporteurs.
3. Halt and rescind all laws, such as the Domicile Laws, that have been instituted to speed the demographic changes and promote the ethnic, cultural, and political cleansing of the people of Jammu and Kashmir
4. Disarm and withdraw all Indian military and paramilitary personnel from the occupied territories so that all the people in Jammu &Kashmir can exercise their unfettered right of self-determination through a free and fair referendum as agreed to by both the Governments of India and Pakistan as well as the United Nations Security Council as early as 1948.
For more information, please contact:
World Kashmir Awareness Forum
1750 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W. # 28002
Washington, DC – 20038, USA
List of 59 endorsing Kashmiri diaspora organizations from five continents in an alphabetical order
1. Australian Forum for Kashmir, Australia
2. British Kashmiri Women and Youth Council, U.K.
3. British Kashmiri Women Council . U.K.
4. Daughters of Kashmir, U.K.
5. Free Kashmir Organization, Germany
6. Friends of Kashmir, Canada
7. Friends of Kashmir, Dallas, Texas, USA
8. Global Peace Mission, Malaysia.
9. International Kashmir Peace Forum, Spain
10. Jammu and Kashmir Council on Human Rights, UK
11. Jammu and Kashmir Overseas Community, Saudi Arabia
12. Jammu Kashmir Forum, France
13. Jammu Kashmir Human Rights Movement, U.K.
14. Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front, London, U.K.
15. Jammu Kashmir Self Determination Movement International, UK
16. Justice and Freedom party, New York, USA
17. Justice For Kashmir, Los Angeles, USA
18. Justice Foundation, UK
19. Kashmir American Welfare Association, USA
20. Kashmir Awami Society, Kuwait
21. Kashmir Awareness Forum of Canada
22. Kashmir Campaign Global, U.K.
23. Kashmir Civitas, Middle East
24. Kashmir Committee, Saudi Arabia
25. Kashmir Council Europe, Brussels. Belgium
26. Kashmir Counci, U.K.
27. Kashmir Foundation of America, Los Angeles, USA
28. Kashmir Global Network, Colorado, USA
29. Kashmir House, Maryland, USA
30. Kashmir Humanitarian Task Force, USA
31. Kashmir Institute of International Affairs, U.K.
32. Kashmir International, Moscow, Russia
33. Kashmir Mission USA, New York, USA
34. Kashmir Overseas Solidarity Council, U.K.
35. Kashmir Peace Forum, Hague, Netherlands
36. Kashmir Scandinavian Council, Norway
37. Kashmir Solidarity Council, Canberra, Australia
38. Kashmir Solidarity Council, Chicago, USA
39. Kashmir watch, Brussels. Belgium
40. Kashmir Women Council, U.K.
41. Kashmir Working Group, Turkey
42. Kashmiri Association of South Pacific, New Zealand
43. Konya for Kashmir, Konya, Turkey
44. Let Kashmir Decide, U.K.
45. Malaysian Consultative Council of Islamic Organizations
46. Muslim Youth Movement Malaysia (ABIM)
47. Nida-e-Kashmir, Spain
48. Sada-e-Rus, Russia
49. Sonny Wattan Gilgat Baltistan USA
50. South African Kashmir Action Group, South Africa
51. Tehreek-e-Kashmir, Europe
52. Turkish Kashmir Solidarity Society, Istanbul, Turkey
53. United4Kashmir, U.K.
54. United Kashmir Freedom Movement, U.K.
55. Voice of Kashmir, U.K.
56. World Kashmir People’s Movement, Virginia, USA
57. World Kashmir Awareness Forum, Washington, DC, USA
58. World Kashmir Freedom movement, UK.
59. World Peace Forum, San Francisco, USAGES