The All Party Parliamentary Group for British Hindus, the Kashmiri Pandit diaspora, and allies marked 33 years of the Kashmiri Pandit genocide in the United Kingdom on Wednesday, January 25th. The event was held at the Houses of Parliament in London and was hosted by Bob Blackman, the Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group for British Hindus.
An Early Day Motion (EDM) was also tabled to commemorate the genocide of Kashmiri Pandits and was signed by cross-party MPs, reminding them that justice was yet to be done. The EDM serves as a reminder that the world must never forget the atrocities committed against the Hindu community in Jammu and Kashmir.
Bob Blackman reiterated his support for India and the Kashmiri Hindu community during the event. He reminded the attendees that it was Pakistan's invasion of Kashmir that led to the former Maharaja acceding to India. On October 26th, 11,000 people in Baramullah were killed by the invaders. In response, Maharaja Hari Singh requested armed intervention from India to calm the situation and suppress the invasion.
Also read | China claims Covid wave has past its peaked
The Instrument of Accession was signed by Hari Singh and Jammu and Kashmir acceded to India. The Indian army airlifted its troops to Kashmir on October 27th and stopped the invaders within two weeks. The National Conference also supported the Indian army in driving out the Pashtuns.
Bob Blackman also spoke about the recent documentary against Prime Minister Narendra Modi shown by the BBC, describing it as a "hatchet job." He emphasized that efforts must be made to dispel widespread ignorance about the truth of the matter within the UK and the world.
MP Jonathan Lord, Woking, also spoke at the event, stating that just as we must never forget about the Holocaust, we must not forget this genocide. Sarvjeet Sudan, First Secretary (Political, Press & Information), Indian High Commission, saluted the spirit of the Kashmiri Pandits as he recalled his own memories after the exodus. He further said that the sacrifices of the people must be remembered, and their stories must be heard.
Also read |EU ministers discuss challenges of migration from third countries
MP Theresa Villiers sent a message to be read at the event, expressing her commitment to changing the narrative on Kashmir so that the voice of Hindus can finally be heard and stating that it is time for the world to recognize the grave injustices committed against Kashmiri Hindus. Messages from around the world were shared, including from Surinder Kaul GKPD, Dr Agnishekhar, Panun Kashmir, Dr Dileep Kaul, Director, Jonaraja Institute of Genocide & Atrocities Studies (India). A message was also shared by Bitta ji Bhat, father of Rahul Bhat, who was murdered in 2022 by terrorists.
The event served as a reminder to the world that Hindus in Jammu and Kashmir were persecuted and forced to flee their state in 1989-1990, and 33 years later, targeted Hindu killings are still taking place. Kashmiri Hindus await recognition of the genocide and justice, 33 years after the night of January 19th, 1990, when screaming mobs and loudspeakers from mosques blared in unison- Raliv, Galiv ya Chaliv (Convert, Die or Leave).