Truth about Kashmir! Letter from Indian Canadian citizens of Windsor-Essex

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I’m a Canadian Citizen and a resident of Windsor-Essex. It has been brought to my attention that some misinformed people in Windsor-Essex participated in a rally against India citing human rights violation in Kashmir, India.  Please allow me to provide you some background on the reality of the situation. While it is true that the movement of people and goods is temporarily restricted in India, this has been done to save lives due to the constant threat of violence instigated by terrorists supported by Pakistan.

The recent ulterior motive of the Pakistan supported rally organizers was to defame India, the world’s largest democracy that has upheld democratic values and Institutions since independence.  India is home to approx. 1.36 Billion Citizens of which over 200 Million are Muslims, making it the Country with second largest Muslim population in the word.  In fact, this year’s elections saw more Muslims voting for the Prime Minister Mr. Modi than in the last election. One of the first acts of the Modi government was to ban the unfair practice of triple-talaq that caused undue hardships to Muslim women. Muslims, just as all minorities, from all over India have achieved unprecedented success in all spheres of life. Contrast this to Pakistan that has not had a credible democratically elected government since its independence and where minorities have been persecuted and forced to change their religion. From 23% in 1947, Pakistan’s minorities today constitute a mere 3-4% of the population, as per Farahnaz Ispahani, media advisor to the president of Pakistan from 2008 to 2012 in her book “Purifying the Land of the Pure: Pakistan’s Religious Minorities”. It is also well known to the entire world that Pakistan actively supports terrorist organizations and some of World’s most dangerous terrorists.  Several of these terrorists have been banned by United Nations and other organizations. Paris based Financial Action Task Force ( FATF) has placed Pakistan on FATF’s “grey” monitoring list since last year, after a campaign by the U.S. and European nations to get the country to do more to combat militancy and cease financial support to terrorist groups.

The criticism leveled on India is that the minorities are being persecuted. The reality is that the 1990s saw the Kashmir region ethnically cleansed of all Hindus. It is, sadly, one of the most shameful ethnic cleansing campaigns in the world with many multi-generational Hindu Kashmiris killed, women raped and forced to leave their homes overnight. Approximately 500,000 Kashmiri Hindus have been forced to leave their homes in Kashmir.

The demonstrators had some unfounded criticism of abrogation of Article 370. There is no basis for their criticism. Several progressive Indian court rulings and laws passed by parliament did not apply to Kashmir due to Article 370. These included the prevention of child marriages, the rights of Dalits (formerly untouchables), attempts to eliminate discrimination against women and the LGBTQ community, and the prevention of corruption, among many others.

Article 370 was also deeply patriarchal. Any Kashmiri woman who would marry a non-Kashmiri would lose her status as a Kashmiri and become ineligible to inherit property – a practice which is illegal in the rest of India.

The 2008 Mumbai attacks were a series of terrorist attacks that took place in November 2008, when 10 members of Lashkar-e-Taiba, a terrorist organisation based in Pakistan, carried out 12 coordinated shooting and bombing attacks lasting four days across Mumbai. The attacks, which drew widespread global condemnation, began on Wednesday 26 November and lasted until Saturday 29 November 2008. At least 174 people died, including 9 attackers, and more than 300 were wounded

From the 2001 terrorist attack on the parliament in New Delhi to recent attacks in Pathankot and Pulwama. In Pulwama terrorist attack a convoy of Central Reserve Police where 44 people were killed. Hundreds of innocent lives have been lost due to this senseless cross border terrorism. Recently, the former U.S Secretary of Defense, Jim Mattis stated that he considers Pakistan the most dangerous country in the world. 

For the reasons mentioned above, the World should be more concerned about a rogue state like Pakistan rather than a democratic, peace loving country like India. It is time concerned citizens & politicians across the world wake up to this reality and take a stand to defeat terrorism and their supporters throughout the world. This world will be a much safer place. A Rally to mislead few people cannot mislead the world.

Truth will always prevail!