"The Million-Man-March” on Kashmir Announced in Washington, DC
Springfield, Virginia: “The Million-Man-March (MMM) will focus on the political climate of the region of South Asia and the role of the United Nations and the United States in facilitating a lasting peace and stability in the region and will provide an opportunity for a peaceful settlement of the Kashmir dispute,” said Barrister Sultan Mehmood Chaudhary, former Prime Minister of Azad Kashmir. MMM will take place on Sunday, October 25 th, 2015 at 12.00 p.m. in front of the United Nations in New York. It will be a joint platform of all Kashmiri American expatriates and friends of Kashmir, irrespective of their political beliefs, religious affiliations and linguistic limitations, Barrister Sultan added.
Barrister Sultan informed the audience that the leadership of All Parties Hurriyet Conference (APHC) from Indian-Occupied Kashmir would be invited to participate in the march. “We want the United Nations and the United States to know that a political leadership exists in Jammu & Kashmir, with broad popular support, which seeks a peaceful and negotiated settlement. That leadership is APHC. APHC is ready to negotiate the final settlement of Jammu and Kashmir with the Governments of India and Pakistan. The Government of Pakistan has shown eagerness to accept APHC as an equal partner. The only question is whether the Government of India will join them at the peace table or opt for repression over dialogue," Barrister Sultan warned.
Dr Ghulam Nabi Fai, Secretary General, World Kashmir Awareness, said, “We firmly believe that the only way to achieve a peaceful and lasting solution to the Kashmir crisis is through dialogue and negotiations. There can be no solution to the conflict without the participation of the leadership of the people of Jammu & Kashmir.” "The Million-Man-March will help the efforts of the Kashmiri expatriates to educate policy makers on the current situation in Kashmir and to focus attention on efforts to bring all parties concerned – Government of India, Government of Pakistan and Kashmiri leadership -- to the negotiating table to explore all possible options to settle the dispute once and for all,” Fai added.
Dr Fai reiterated that it is but a statement of fact that Jammu & Kashmir is not the integral part of any member state of the United Nations. In this regard, we appreciate the statement of Mr Peter R. Lavoy, Special Assistant to President Obama on South Asian Affairs who said on August 20, 2015 that “Jammu and Kashmir is a disputed territory. I think, it's up to them to address these issues together. I expect that they probably will.” “The time has come for the world powers and in particular the United States to recognize the people of Jammu & Kashmir as the central party to the dispute,” Dr. Fai emphasized.
Junaid Bashir welcomed the audience for attending the important event. "Kashmir deserves the attention of the world powers and we will mobilize the public opinion to make it happen," Junaid Bashir added.
Speaking on the occasion Sardar Gulfaraz Inqilabi said, “We will seek the support of the United States to help the people of Jammu & Kashmir end the destruction in their nation and begin a dialogue with Indian and Pakistan authorities.”
Sardar Zulfiqar Khan, another speaker said, “The people of Kashmir are a peace-loving people. They are not the problem – they are the solution. They are looking to the United States for moral and political leadership – to help them persuade India and Pakistan to engage in serious negotiations.”
Rana Saadat said that India is responding to the efforts of Kashmiri leaders by trying to silence them. The leadership in Kashmir has been placed under house detention for months and they are not allowed to move outside their houses.
Mr Iqbal Chand Dody said that the support of the United States in persuading India to join APHC and Pakistan at the peace table and seek a peaceful settlement will be critical.
Mr. Sharafat Shah moderated the event.
Other speakers included Mr Zahoor Galyati; Mr Sheikh Waqas and Mr Yasir Buhter.