A special event to commemorate Kashmir Black Day was organized today in the Embassy of Pakistan, Washington, D.C.
Each year, October 27th is observed as Kashmir Black Day to mark protest and resentment by Kashmiris around the world in commemorating the forced occupation by Indian security forces of the Jammu & Kashmir valley.
At the start of the program, a special video message by President Azad Jammu and Kashmir, Sardar Masood Khan was screened, which condemned Indian atrocities against innocent Kashmiris and highlighted various aspects, including the international legal and human rights dimension, of the Kashmir dispute. While putting things in the right perspective, the President clarified the perceptions about the dubious instrument of accession by Maharaja of Kashmir and myth about the India’s claims that the onus of demilitarization of the valley, solely lies on Pakistan.
A documentary showing the struggle of the Kashmiri people in the face of atrocities being perpetrated by Indian occupation forces was also played. Participants observed a minute of silence to honor Kashmiris martyred by the Indian security forces in the last 70 years of struggle.
Guest speakers, including Amb. Touqir Hussain – former Ambassador and Adjunct Professor at Georgetown University, Dr. Imtiaz Khan – Professor at School of Medicine & Health Services at George Washington University, and Sardar Zulfiqar Khan – prominent Kashmiri American leader, spoke on the occasion. Each speaker shed light on various aspects of the Jammu & Kashmir dispute, particularly the plight of the innocent Kashmiri civilians.
In his remarks, Amb. Ali Jehangir Siddiqui cited the recent UN OHCHR report which highlighted the oppressive legal measures used by India to justify its brutality in Kashmir. He also summarized specific instances of violence mentioned in the UN report that have been perpetrated by Indian security forces in Kashmir including torture, killing, forced disappearances and sexual violence.
He urged the American people to discuss the Kashmir issue and appealed to them to take cognizance of the human plight of the Kashmiri people.
Amb. Siddiqui also reaffirmed Pakistan’s continued and unflinching moral, political and diplomatic support to the people of Indian Occupied Kashmir.
The event was attended by a large number of Pakistani Americans, Kashmiri community members and different segments of American civil society including students from Washington-based Universities and Capitol Hill staffers.