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, 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.
— Times of lsIamabad (@TimesofIslambad) September 2, 2019
“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.
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.”
IMRAN KHAN at isna con https://t.co/tvBmEQioKz
— ISNA (@ISNAHQ) September 1, 2019
Khan added that the RSS believes 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 more than 1bn 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 prime minister said. “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,” Khan said.
“We believe what is happening in Kashmir is that the RSS goons have been let loose amongst the population,” the premier said, urging the ISNA to raise awareness about what was happening in Indian-administered Kashmir.
“I am afraid that this ideology is not going to stop here; they have let out a genie out of a bottle,” Khan warned. “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.”
He added: “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.”
Meanwhile, the Organisation of Islamic Co-operation (OIC) has called for immediate lifting of curfew, restoration of communication and respect for fundamental rights of people in Indian-administered Kashmir.
In a statement published in media yesterday, the OIC has reaffirmed the internationally-recognised status of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute.
The organisation recognised the centrality of the issue of Jammu and Kashmir dispute between Pakistan and India, and the need for seeking its durable and just solution according to the UN Security Council resolutions.
The OIC General Secretariat stressed the need for resumption of dialogue process between Pakistan and India, which is a prerequisite for development, peace and stability in South Asia.