Chicago US (by/Afzal Sodagar): The Consulate General hosted a Seminar to commemorate the Kashmir Solidarity Day in Chicago. The event was attended by a large number of people including US Human Rights Activists, community leaders, Kashmiri activists, journalists, academia, and civil society representatives.
Messages of the President, Prime Minister, and Foreign Minister of Pakistan were read out on the occasion. A special documentary featuring the history and significance of the Jammu & Kashmir dispute and depicting the plight of Kashmiris in IIOJK was also screened.
An eminent panel of speakers took part in the event. They included Consul General Tariq Karim, US-based prominent Human Rights activist Mr. Andy Thayer, Chairman Kashmir Solidarity Council Mr. Javed Rathore, Chancellor East-West University (Chicago) Dr. Wasiullah Khan, former President APPNA & lifelong Kashmiri sympathizer Dr. Muhammad Murtaza Arain, US-based civil society representative Ms. J. Becker, community activist Raja Yaqoob, and Students’ representative Ms. Izzah Shah. The speakers expressed serious concern over the worsening humanitarian situation in IIOJK under unabated repression and illegal occupation. They also reiterated their solidarity and unequivocal support to the people of IIOJK in their just struggle for the right to self-determination. The event also had a segment of a panel discussion in which participants exchanged views on various dimensions of the J&K dispute.
Speaking on the occasion, Consul General Tariq Karim reiterated the strong resolve of the government and people of Pakistan to continue extending moral, political, and diplomatic support to the Kashmiri brethren in their just struggle for the right to self-determination. The Consul General highlighted various dimensions of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute and the aggravating human rights and humanitarian situation in IIOJK following India’s illegal and unilateral actions of August 5, 2019, which were in blatant violation of international law and relevant UNSC Resolutions. To perpetuate its illegal occupation and suppress the voice of Kashmiris, India resorted to draconian measures, including military siege and communication blockade, extrajudicial killings, and collective punishment while pursuing policies aimed at changing the identity and demographic structure of the occupied territory. He stated that India’s illegal and unilateral actions have been rejected by the people of IIOJK, Pakistan, and the international community.
He highlighted that the international community has a responsibility to act to alleviate the sufferings of the people of IIOJK and settle the Jammu & Kashmir dispute in accordance with the UN resolutions and the wishes of the people of Kashmir. He also lauded the role played by the Pakistani-American community in highlighting the gross human rights violations in IIOJK and echoing the voice of innocent Kashmiris.
Earlier, the Consulate organized a 3-day Photographic Exhibition from February 3-5, 2022. Pictures highlighting various dimensions of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute were put on display and the Exhibition was visited by a large number of people.
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