Washington: The Global Kashmiri Pandit Diaspora (GKPD) and other community organisations held a protest rally in front of the Embassy of Pakistan in Washington to mark the 73rd anniversary of Pakistan’s first brutal cross-border aggression in Jammu and Kashmir.
Wearing masks and following social distancing norms, the protesters on Thursday used digital truck and car displays to mark Kashmir’s Black Day, the dawn of Pakistan’s cross-border terrorism.
Mohan Sapru, the rally organiser and Washington DC GKPD coordinator, said, “The protesters gathered to voice their strong condemnation of Pakistan’s 73-year long perpetual policy of cross-border terrorism and covert operations in Kashmir, which have targeted the minority communities, i.e., Kashmiri Hindus, Sikhs, Christians and Buddhists.
“Cross-border aggression against peaceful Kashmir by Pakistan-trained and sponsored militia called Kabalis on the fateful day of October 22, 1947 marked the birth of the Kashmir problem.
“The brutality of cross-border Islamic terrorism has continued unabated and resulted in the genocide and forced exodus of indigenous Kashmiri Hindus during the dark period of 1989-1991. World communities need to be honest in calling out the menace of Islamic terrorism worldwide, recognise the Kashmiri Hindu genocide and acknowledge the human rights violation of this minority community.
“For true peace to return to Kashmir, the menace of Islamic terrorism needs to be uprooted, and perpetrators of rape and murder of Kashmiri Hindus must be brought to justice. There is still no comprehensive viable plan in sight for the safe return to the Valley of indigenous Kashmiri Hindus, who have become refugees in their own country. The agony and hardships of a few hundred Kashmiri Hindu families, who continued to live in the Kashmir Valley, still remain largely unaddressed.”
Activist Sidarth Ambardar recalled Father George Shanks’s account of murder of nuns by the invading Kabali militia in October 1947, and desecration of the Chatti Padhshahi Gurdwara.
He said: “Pakistani invaders in 1947 terrorised, looted and killed the locals and Zanana, Zar and Jehad (women, booty and holy war) motivated them.”
Swapna Raina, another rally participant and a Kashmiri Hindu community activist, said: “We will keep seeking justice and not let the world forget the massacre of indigenous Kashmiris by Islamic terrorists.”
Utsav Chakrabarti, a local community activist, said: “There is so little that is known about the dark days of October 22, 1947. Every Indian should remember to share this with the wipes, so it’s never repeated again.”
Journalist and local Pashtun resident Pir Zubair said: “Pakistan had brainwashed and seduced tribesmen into invading and committing atrocities on Kashmiris in the name of jihad. And what Pakistan did to Kashmiri Hindus and Sikhs in 1947, it is now doing the same to the tribesmen in Waziristan and other Pashtun-populated territories. Pakistan’s role in using others to either perpetuate terror or as targets of terror is the real cause of geopolitical problems in the region.”