Kashmiris in US question Obama's silence on Indian brutalities    

Kashmiris in US question Obama's silence on Indian brutalities    

WASHINGTON: (APP) Kashmiris living in the United States have expressed their disappointment over the silence of the Obama administration on the ongoing brutalities in the Indian held Kashmir and termed its insistence on Kashmir being a bilateral dispute between Pakistan and India as "unfortunate".

"It is quite unfortunate that the Obama administration and the United Nations both have chosen to adopt India's view that this is simply a bilateral issue," Dr Ghulam Nabi Fai, Secretary General of the US-based group World Kashmir Awareness in a statement here.

"Unfortunately, it is the big lie, and an extremely dangerous one. As long as India continues to blame Pakistan for problems in Kashmir, India and Pakistan remain on the verge of war with each other, and this is a threat to international peace," the Kashmiri leader said.

He said when the two nuclear powers were facing each other for 70 years on the issue that was not a bilateral issue. "That has the making of the world war."

The Indian-held Kashmir is in the grip of intense violence triggered by the killing of a young Kashmiri leader Burhan Wani in July. A wave of protest has since swept the valley and more than 70 people have been killed as Indian forces tried to suppress the protests which are now calling for freedom from the Indian yoke.

Demonstrations have occurred across the globe by non-resident Kashmiris and other human rights activists. The curfews and clashes have now been sustained for over five weeks, with limited or no access to the basic necessities of life, including food, power and fuel.

On August 30, non-resident Kashmiris submitted a letter to US Secretary of State John Kerry in which they expressed their disappointment over US silence on the atrocities in Kashmir.

"This latest situation has been met with inexplicable silence by the United States. This has given a sense of total impunity to India to exercise the use of unprecedented force on unarmed Kashmiri civilians," they wrote in the letter.

"It has also created the impression that the United States is selective about the application of the principles of human rights and democratic values. What is the significance of an alliance between the great democracy (USA) and the so-called largest democracy in the world (India), when universal principles, democratic values, and human rights are knowingly ignored?" they questioned.

Instead of reprimanding India, Dr Fai referred to a recent mutual defence compact agreeing to share bases, resources and logistics in the Far East. "At the same time, human rights and what was at least a semblance of being the symbol of democratic freedoms has seemingly all but disappeared from the US agenda."

He said there had not been a word mentioned by President Obama or other US officials that would indicate that some pressure is being applied toward India to exercise restraint in Kashmir and permit an airing of grievances by the angry population.

"The familiar cries of Azadi (freedom) and 'Go India Go Back 'continue to fall on deaf ears, not only in India but upon those in the US administration, who undoubtedly know the truth on the ground, but instead have chosen to play politics with the facts," he added.

He said trade and commercial deals were important but not at the expense of the high moral ground American exceptionalism had always claimed. "Moral values and human rights are the very essence of even being called civilized."

"Nothing else demands international attention like such a threat, and it greatly behooves the United States, the United Nations and other allies to sit up and take heed," he said.