Hindu American, Kashmiri Pandit Groups Urge U.S. to Take Action Against JeMTop Stories

February 23, 2019 16:42
Hindu American, Kashmiri Pandit Groups Urge U.S. to Take Action Against JeM

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The Hindu American advocacy group and an organization of Kashmiri Pandits have urged the United States to take action against the Pakistan-based terror outfit Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) and its leader Masood Azhar and to condemn the alleged role of China, Pakistan, and Saudi Arabia in providing physical and diplomatic cover to such terror organizations. 

The move came days after a deadly terror attack on the convoy of Central Reserve Police Force personnel in Pulwama district of Jammu and Kashmir. A Pakistan-based JeM suicide bomber drove his explosives-laden vehicle into a CRPF bus on February 14, killing over 40 security personnel.

The two groups handed over a letter, jointly signed by them, to the U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom Sam Brownback calling on the Trump Administration to take action, both at the domestic and international levels, to condemn the terrorist organization.

"We call upon the U.S. government to condemn in all international fora the role played by Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and China in providing physical and diplomatic cover to terrorists like Masood Azhar that have wreaked havoc in Kashmir," said the letter, signed jointly by the Indo-American Kashmir Forum (IAKF) and the Hindu American Foundation (HAF).

The IAKF represents the Kashmiri Pandit community residing in the U.S., whereas the HAF is a non-profit advocacy organization for the Hindu-American community.

The letter was read in full before Brownback and the participants of the International Religious Freedom held at the U.S. Capitol on Tuesday, by Vijay Sazawal, the international convener of the IAKF.

Sazawal said, "there is a cultural genocide happening in Kashmir".

"The environment of intolerance at the grassroots level only feeds into the ecosystem which breeds terrorists like Masood Azhar who then carry out such transnational attacks in Afghanistan and India," said Jay Kansara of the HAF.

In the meantime, another organization of Kashmiri Pandits said it would host a virtual conference to highlight the paradigm shift which has occurred within the community globally.

"The conclave will be an opportunity for the global audience to hear the perspectives of speakers' (from Jammu and Kashmir) and policy positions on the theme of the conference in the light of the present-day developments," the Global Kashmiri Pandit Diaspora (GKPD) said in a statement.

The Kashmir Hindu Foundation, in a separate statement, has condemned the February 14 terror attack, saying these attacks in Kashmir show beyond doubt that the radical jihadi mindset has entered profoundly into the head and contaminated the minds of a major population of Kashmiri Muslims in the Valley.

-Sowmya Sangam

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