The All Party Parliamentary Group for British Hindus, the Kashmiri Pandit diaspora and allies commemorated 33 years of Kashmiri Pandits genocide on Wednesday, January 25.
The event took place at the Houses of Parliament, London, and was hosted by Bob Blackman, Chair All Party Parliamentary, APPG group for British Hindus. An Early Day Motion (EDM) was also tabled to commemorate Genocide of Kashmiri Pandits, signed by cross-party MPs, reminding them that justice was yet to be done.
Bob Blackman reiterated his support for India and the Kashmiri Hindu community and reminded that it was Pakistan’s invasion of Kashmir that led to erstwhile Maharaja acceding to India.
On 26 October, 11,000 people in Baramullah were killed by the invaders. Maharaja Hari Singh requested armed intervention from India in order to calm the situation and suppress the invasion.
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 27 October and stopped the invaders within two weeks. The National Conference also supported the Indian army in driving out the Pashtuns.
He further said that efforts must be made to dispel widespread ignorance about the truth of the matter within the UK and the world.
He also spoke about the recent documentary against Prime Minister Narendra Modi shown by the BBC describing it as a “hatchet job”.
Speaking at the event, MP Jonathan Lord, Woking, said 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 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.
MP Theresa Villiers sent her message to be read at the event, “The world must be told about the grave injustices committed against Kashmiri Hindus. 33 years after so many were driven from their homes, it is time to change the narrative on Kashmir so that the voice of Hindus can finally be heard. I am committed to doing this and I am sorry not to be able to join you at your event this evening.”
Messages from all over 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 took place as a reminder to the world that Hindus in Jammu and Kashmir were persecuted and forced to flee their homeland in 1989- 1990 and 33 years later, targeted Hindu killings are still taking place.
Kashmiri Hindus await recognition of genocide and justice after 33 years after the night of 19th January 1990, when screaming mobs and loudspeakers from mosques blared in unison- Raliv, Galiv ya Chaliv (Convert, Die or Leave).
The programme included readings from first-person accounts and second-generation stories of Kashmiri Hindus living in the UK and was supported by British Hindu organizations who vowed to be the voice for Kashmiri Pandits and demand justice.