Friday Jan 26, 2018
LONDON: Kashmir Campaign Global has launched “Free Kashmir” campaign on a section of London transport network ahead of India’s Republic Day today, which is observed as “Black Day” by Kashmiris and Sikhs all over the world.
Zaffar Quraishi, chairman of Kashmir Campaign Global who hails from Indian-occupied Kashmir (IoK) but lives permanently in London in exile, told this scribe that a series of campaigns will be launched across UK and other parts of the world throughout the year to create awareness about the Kashmir issue.
At least seven vans were seen driving around the British Parliament carrying signboards titled “Free Kashmir” in reference to the occupation of a large part of Kashmir valley by Indian forces. India occupied this part at the time of partition and has so far killed over a 100,000 Kashmiris for demanding their right to freedom.
Vans with banners in favour of an independent homeland for Sikhs carried slogans “Khalistan Zindabad!” and “Raj Karega Khalsa”, sponsored by the Council of Khalistan, were also seen in London.
“It has been 70 years since India, Pakistan, and international world promised a free and impartial referendum in occupied Jammu & Kashmir,” Quraishi said. “During the last 30 years alone, India has been ruling and subjugating the rightful aspirations of the people, as promised by the international community through 17 UNSC resolutions, by using the draconian laws such as AFSPA (Armed Forces Special Powers Act) and PSA (Public Safety Act).”
He said that these black laws have given immunity to Indian security forces and agencies since 1990 and as a result, over 95,000 people have been killed, 10,000 are missing and thousands of unidentified graves are littering across the border of occupied Jammu & Kashmir.
“8,000 half-widows have been waiting for their husbands with no answers from the government whether they are dead or alive after being picked by the security agencies, over a thousand human rights violations daily, and yet the world seems to have turned a deaf ear and blind eye to the atrocities committed by the occupying Indian forces,” Quraishi said, explaining why he was launching the campaign.
The vans carrying pictures of Kashmiri children and women called on Indian occupation forces to leave Kashmir and let the Kashmiris decide their fate. The campaign against Indian brutalities has been supported by a group called “British Friends of Kashmir.”
The vans were seen passing from outside 10 Downing Street, Trafalgar Square, Westminster Abbey and Waterloo Bridge. A source told Geo News that the vans will run in London’s various parts for a month and then the campaign will be initiated in Birmingham, Bradford, Glasgow and Manchester.
In the UK, Kashmiris have planned dozens of events across the country to protest against India’s continued denial of Kashmiris’ right to self-determination.
Kashmiri groups have said that this day will be marked with protest outside Indian High Commission in London and Indian consulates in Birmingham, Manchester and Bradford. The protesters will hold a demonstration outside the Indian High Commission for two hours on Friday afternoon.
Quraishi said that the vans will run around London to draw attention towards the human rights abuses in Kashmir and he will be leading the campaign.
South Asia Solidarity said it will hold a vigil “Stand Together Against Modi’s Violence and Hate!” outside Indian High Commission on India’s “Republic Day.”
Over the weekend, at least 500 Dalit campaigners marched through London against barbaric treatment of their caste in India by extremist Hindutva groups and support to these groups by the Indian government