A Roadside Roundtable was conducted outside the United Nations in Geneva parallel tothe 39th Session of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC), to raise awareness  about Indian Occupied Kashmiris living with uncertainty. The event highlighted the indefinite cruelty, torture, blinding, rape & gang rapes, killing and the inhuman, degrading treatment and punishment meted out to Kashmiris living under Indian Occupation. The Roundtable was organised by a group of Non Governmental Organisations including IHRAAM, ICHR and SACFPHR.

Presiding over the Roundtable, Barrister A Majid Tramboo of IHRAAM stressed the need to end the endless gross human rights atrocities being committed in Kashmir by Indian armed forces, who are being protected by illegal laws that provide impunity to the crimes committed by the Indian state. Barrister Tramboo further stated that in Kashmir, the subjection of people to alien subjugation, domination and exploitation means the denial of self-determination, which constitutes to a denial of fundamental human rights.

“This roundtable is an attempt to invite international concern towards the appalling scenario in Indian Occupied Kashmir, remembering Incredible India’s – Incredible terrorism, and start a proactive approach through the United Nations preventive diplomacy”, Barrister Tramboo declared.

Prof Nazir A Shawl, chair of SACFPHR described Kashmir as a graveyard of human rights, where the dimensions of oppression and suppressions are vast and wide. The sufferings of the people are multiplied day by day whilst the Indian oppressor remains in a state of denial and continue to prevent the right to self-determination for the people of Kashmir.

Conveying the pain and suffering to the international community, he appealed to the United Nations to intervene in the long-standing conflict and the oldest dispute on its agenda.

Altaf Wani of KIIR emphasised that the solution to peace in South Asia could only come if India accepts the invitation from Pakistan for dialogue to resume with the inclusion of Kashmiris. He added that the extreme force India uses in Indian Occupied Kashmir has not gone unnoticed by the world community, in particular the United Nations that has recently raised serious concerns about the violence being perpetrated by the Indian apparatus. He appreciated the efforts by human rights organisations and reports published exposing the crimes being committed against the people of Indian occupied Kashmir.

Syed Faiz Naqshbandi, convenor APHC detailed the violations of the Indian forces such as rape, murder, enforced disappearances, mass graves, illegal detentions and the use of pellets on peaceful protestors. He further elaborated that such weapons are not used anywhere in India but reserved for the people of Indian Occupied Kashmir, blinding and crippling young Kashmiris permanently. In his concluding remarks Syed Naqshbandi stated that the resistance leadership have been under detention without reprieve whilst  clamping down on online activists, epitomising the Indian attitude to peaceful political dissent.

Michael Rosenbaum, a student in Geneva expressed his admiration and support for the Kashmir cause for the right to self-determination, sharing his own families experience of political activism resulting in exile from Russia.

Muzzammil Ayyub Thakur, president WKFM and spokesperson of KYA appreciated the encouragement from the organisers, involving the next generation of Kashmiris to carry on the legacy of those who have given sacrifices for the Kashmir cause. He pledged that young diaspora Kashmiris would continue to represent the aspiration of the people of Kashmir and work diligently under the guidance of the Kashmiri leadership.

Yasir Ahmed, general secretary of KYA vowed that the sacrifices of the people of Indian Occupied Kashmir would not go in vain, particularly of those young people who have suffered at the hands of brutal illegal Indian occupation forces using the worst forms of violence.

Zubair Awan, chair KYA pledged that young Kashmiri diaspora would raise the issue of Kashmir on every platform available and create a new generation of activists to lobby the Kashmir cause. He stressed upon the need for youth to be educated about the Kashmir crisis and announced a campaign across the UK and Europe to engage students and young professionals with Kashmir and instill the same passion for activism they have for other causes around the world.

Shamim Shawl of IMWM addressing the Roundtable highlighted the violence against women and children perpetrated by the Indian Military and Paramilitary forces and the other Government functionaries. She raised the issue of 8 year old girl Asifa Bano who was gang- raped and brutally murdered and the BJP politicians attempted to save the culprits.

Chaudhry Parvaiz Ashraf, former minister of AJK criticised the world community’s blind eye to Kashmir, stating that ignoring Indian oppression in Kashmir is criminal silence. He demanded an end to human rights violations and reminded that justice delayed is justice denied.

Sardar Mahmood Iqbal of Belgium affirmed solidarity with the people of Indian occupied Kashmir, noting that the only way forward is to take guidance from the leadership of Indian Occupied Kashmir and represent the true voices of the people.

Raja Sikander Khan of United Kingdom expressed his anguish on the substantive inaction of the World Community to stop the Indian Government in continuing its state terrorism in Indian Occupied Kashmir.

Leon Siu of Hawaii reflected on the Hawaiian demand for the right to self-determination and lent his support to the people of Kashmir, recognising that both causes have similarities of occupation and that states striving for the same purpose must firmly stand together to achieve their goals.

Ronald Barnes compared the Alaska situation with the occupation of Kashmir, maintaining that there is no justification or space for imperialism and that the United Nations must actively seek to end all forms of occupation, subjugation and violence against those who strive for justice, peace and the right to self-determination, all aspects guaranteed under the United Nations charter.

The Roundtable was held next to the famous broken chair, representing anti mines campaign, in the United Nations squire in which a large number host and media community participated.

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