Hundreds came out in support of Kashmiris’ right to self-determination in Spain’s Barcelona on Saturday
“The basic reason why human rights violations are happening in Indian Illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIoJK) is because of denial of UN-granted right to self-determination to them,” said British lawmaker Afzal Khan addressing a demonstration held in Barcelona to mark “Kashmir Exploitation Day” in view of India’s illegal and unilateral actions taken on August 5, 2019.
“And who is a hurdle in implementing the UN resolutions Kashmir,” he asked. “Only one country and that is India.”
Hundreds of Kashmiri and Pakistani diaspora members and their allies gathered in Barcelona on the call of Tehreek-e-Kashmir Spain to demonstrate against belligerent Indian actions aimed at erasing Kashmiri identity.
Khan, who has been a champion of defending human rights in Kashmir both in and outside of the British parliament, said: “now is the time that European civil society puts pressure on their governments to intervene and help broker peace in the region and that starts with upholding UN resolutions.”
Fahim Kayani, president of Tehreek-e-Kashmir UK, while thanking the hosts for organising an important event with regard to Kashmir, said this demonstration of support for Kashmir shows the Europeans are waking up to the reality that India is a farce democracy.
“It is a matter of relief for people in IIOJK that their voice is being heard,” Kayani said.
He added that such progress is the outcome of untiring efforts of Kashmiri diaspora groups.
“These efforts will yield results. The next step for Kashmiri diaspora groups is to forge unity of purpose and action,” he said.
The Tehreek-e-Kashmir UK leader said such unity will “cement our efforts for the sacred cause of freedom of Kashmir.”
Kayani said the European nations “will no longer be misled by Indian propaganda as Kashmiri and Pakistani diaspora have been able to put their efforts together which has awakened Europeans that there cannot be double standards on human rights,” he added.
Kayani said it has also “sent a strong message to people in IIoJK.”
Turgay Evren, Turkish lyricist and composer known for his groundbreaking songs on the Kashmir freedom movement, told the demonstration that people of consciousness still live on the surface of the earth.
“It is unfortunate that mere commercial and geo-political interests have made powerful nations dumb on Kashmir,” Evren said, adding: “But people of conscious still live in this world and the biggest power in any country is it’s people and it is important for Kashmiris to reach out to these common people who in turn will pressurize their governments to take a stand on Kashmir,” he added.
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The Turkish lyricist said the Kashmir freedom struggle was strong as it is backed by the UN resolutions.
“These UN resolutions are the bedrock of Kashmiri struggle for the right to self-determination and there is utmost need to make people aware of these resolutions,” Evren explained.
Shafiq Tabasam, president Tehreek-e-Kashmir Spain, while welcoming the guests who came from outside Spain to attend the Kashmir rally, said the battle for Kashmiri freedom movement against illegal Indian occupation “cannot end because fascist Indian military regime has imposed graveyard silence in IIoJK.”
“Indian military regime may attack, target, wound, arrest, jail and kill innocent Kashmiris in IIoJK but voices of conscious people around the world will make it hard for India to mislead the global community on Kashmir,” Tabasam said.
Lauding the efforts of Tehreek-e-Kashmir Spain members for putting the event together, Tabasam said: “such things are possible due to coordination and unity in ranks and file of diaspora.”
In a joint statement on the occasion, Kashmiri activists Asif Rehman, Sana Tariq, Aima Chaudhary, Abdul Rafia and Hasnain Ibrar pointed to illegal arrests of Kashmiris by fascist Indian military regime in IIoJK.”
“Whole Kashmiri resistance leadership representing All Parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC) have been put in jails because India is a coward and it cannot even face unarmed Kashmiris,” they said.
Calling for urgent release of APHC Chairman Masarat Alam, Muhammad Yasin Malik, Shabir Shah, Asiya Andrabi, Nahida Nasreen, Fehmeeda Sofi, Dr Qasim Faktoo, Ayaz Akbar, Ghulam Muhammad Bhat, Peer Saifullah, Nayeem Khan, they said: “the international community cannot close its eyes to barbaric measures taken by India in IIoJK.”
“These arrests are aimed to create a gap between Kashmiris and the APHC leadership but it will fail miserably,” they added.