Washington: An eventful function was held in Northern Virginia to express deep gratitude to dozens of local leaders for their commitment and dedication to the freedom of Kashmir and for their willingness to be the true ambassadors of the people of Occupied Kashmir in Washington metropolitan area and beyond.
A special tribute was paid to Sardar Zarif Khan for being nominated by the President of Azad Kashmir to be his special Advisor in the Nation’s Capital – Washington, D.C. The speakers highlighted the selfless contribution of Sardar Zarif Khan towards the Kashmiri and Pakistani American community.
Sardar Zarif Khan has been a role model for Kashmiri American youth, said Dr. Pir Syed Ali Raza Bukhari, a parliamentarian from Azad Kashmir; Chairman, International Sufi Peace Forum and the Chief Guest of the event.
Sardar Zarif Khan thanked the community for their love and affection that they have shown towards him since he landed in the Washington area decades ago. We are positioned at one of the most important capitals of the world – Washington, DC, Zarif added. Our youth and students must be motivated to become trendsetters for the cause of Kashmir. They can mobilize social media, organize seminars, symposiums, lectures on university campuses and elsewhere. They can play an exceptional role in educating the American public square about the Kashmir conflict.
Dr. Pir Ali Raza Bukhari emphasized that the deteriorating situation in Indian occupied Kashmir is a challenge to the conscience of the civilized world. The presence of 900,000 Indian soldiers has made it largest military occupation on earth. Today the Valley of Kashmir, once known as paradise, has become the killing fields for its habitants.
The people of Azad Kashmir do feel the pain and suffering of the persecuted civilian population of our compatriots but that is not enough. It is our moral and legal responsibility to become the true ambassadors of the people of occupied Kashmir.
Dr Pir Ali Raza Bukhari added that India is implementing her nefarious plan which encompasses massacre of innocent civilians and more importantly issuing domicile certificates to millions of Indian citizens to change the demography of Kashmir. The world needs to know that the issue of Kashmir is both a human rights issue and also the issue of the right of self-determination which was pledged to the people of Kashmir by the United Nations as early as 1948.
Dr Pir Ali Raza Bukhari emphasized that Kashmir needs professionals and specialists with diplomatic expertise. The people of Indian occupied Kashmir have given unprecedented sacrifices, and the leadership of Azad Kashmir will never let them down.
Dr Ghulam Nabi Fai, Secretary General of World Kashmir Awareness Forum, said that the nation of Kashmir is facing an existential threat and the passivity and inaction of the world powers will unwittingly pave the way for India to execute this evil intent. The most important and poignant aspect of the situation in Kashmir Dr Fai added, is uncertainty, unpredictability, and anxiety of unknown. Thousands have been brutally killed or cling to life in hospitals, in jails, in secret torture cells. These Kashmiris are victims of a reign of terror by India’s 900,000 strong military and paramilitary forces. Yet, despite a faint murmur of protest in international circles and an occasional report in the world press, India has felt no pressure whatsoever to desist from its genocidal campaign.
Dr. Fai told the audience that an Indian delegate will be speaking at the United Nations General Assembly on September 26, 2023. Will he tell the world body that Narendra Modi has made Kashmir hell for its people? Will he tell the world body that Kashmir is at the brink of genocide? Will he tell the world body that the news media in Kashmir is at the brink of extinction, Dr. Fai asked.
Sardar Zulfiqar Roshan Khan, special guest who returned to the United States after a long stay in Azad Kashmir was also given a warm reception by the community members. He narrated the long history of working together with his colleagues – Zarif, Zubair, Liaqat Sahib and others for organizing peaceful protests, arranging seminars and conferences and meetings. The time for deception is gone, Sardar Zulfiqar Khan warned. Kashmir needs tangible strategy, and it needs it now.
Sardar Zubair Khan thanked the participants for their willingness to be a part of this important event on Kashmir. The people of Indian occupied Kashmir have lot of expectations with the Kashmiri American diaspora, and we need to become their eyes and ears in the most important Capital of the world – Washington, DC
Shoaib Irshad, main emcee of the event highlighted the long list of activities that Kashmiri American community has initiated in Washington and beyond for the cause of Kashmir. The time demands that we need to redouble our efforts to make the situation in Kashmir better known in America, Shoaib Irshad added.
In the end, all speakers, including Dr. Pir Ali Raza Bukhari urged the participants to attend the peaceful rally that will be held in New York during the speech of the Indian delegate to the United Nations on September 26 at 9.00 a.m.