PM Imran, US Senator Sanders call attention to India's 'unacceptable' actions in occupied Kashmir

Published September 1, 2019
Prime Minister Imran Khan and US Senator Bernie Sanders on Sunday raised the plight of Kashmiris, who have been living under a lockdown for four weeks in occupied Kashmir, in their separate address at the 56th Convention of ISNA. — File photos
Prime Minister Imran Khan and US Senator Bernie Sanders on Sunday raised the plight of Kashmiris, who have been living under a lockdown for four weeks in occupied Kashmir, in their separate address at the 56th Convention of ISNA. — File photos

Prime Minister Imran Khan and US Senator Bernie Sanders on Sunday raised the plight of Kashmiris, who have been living under a lockdown for four weeks in occupied Kashmir, while separately addressing the 56th Convention of Islamic Society of North America (ISNA).

Speaking at the event, Sanders, a Democratic presidential hopeful for the US Elections 2020, termed India's move to annex occupied Kashmir as "unacceptable".

"I am also deeply concerned about the situation in Kashmir where the Indian government has revoked Kashmiri autonomy, cracked down on dissent and instituted a communications blackout.

"The crackdown in the name of security is also denying the Kashmiri people access to medical care. Even many respected doctors in India have acknowledged that the Indian government-imposed restrictions on travel are threatening the life-saving care that patients need," he said.

"The communications blockade must be lifted immediately and the United States government must speak out boldly in support of international humanitarian law and in support of a UN-backed peaceful resolution that respects the will of the Kashmiri people," the senator stated.

Prime Minister Imran in his address, via video link, spoke about the need to understand the Hindu nationalist Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) party — said to be a parent organisation of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

"I am trying my best but from ISNA's platform you have to make the concerted effort to make people understand this phenomenon which has taken over India. You have to make the Western societies understand the RSS."

He said that the RSS party believed in the racial supremacy of the Hindu civilisation and the ethnic cleansing of Muslims from India, and urged people to research and find out about its origins.

"After the recently won elections by the BJP, they have come back as a stronger force. We are talking about a country of over a billion people with nuclear weapons taken over by an extreme ideology.

"What the Nazi party proved was that a small, highly organised ideologically motivated group could actually take over a country.

"That is what has happened in India. An extreme ideology has taken over India.

"The BJP government [...] wants to change the demography; change a Muslim majority province into a Muslim minority province by bringing in outsettlers to come in and change the demography. This is a violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention Article 49. You cannot change the demography of an occupied land."

"We believe what is happening in Kashmir is that RSS goons have been let loose amongst the population," the premier said, urging ISNA to raise awareness about what was happening in occupied Kashmir.

"I am afraid that this ideology is not going to stop here; they have let out a genie out of a bottle. It is not going to go back in; this genie of hatred, of Hindu supremacy.

"It's not just Muslims who are going to be at threat.

"We fear in Pakistan that we are not dealing with a rational government in India," Prime Minister Imran stated, adding: "We believe that the sort of oppression they will do in Kashmir and are already doing, they will need to divert the world's attention to Pakistan and we believe as they did in February, they will take some sort of an action, an attack in Pakistan."

Prime Minister Imran said that he had asked the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to play its role. Additionally, he said he would raise the issue at the United Nations General Assembly.

He urged ISNA to make people aware of what was going on in India.

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