New Delhi: To mark the exodus of Kashmiri Pandits from Kashmir, the Global Kashmiri Pandit Diaspora (GKPD) will lead a worldwide commemoration on January 19 with a series of events in India, the US, the UK, Canada and several other countries.
On January 19, 1990, over five lakh Kashmiri Pandits were forced almost overnight to leave the valley through a genocidal campaign unleashed by the militants. 'The circumstances that forced out the entire minority of Kashmiri Pandits/Hindus from their homeland are akin to genocide' as has been reported by the National Human rights Commission India, and now being recognised world over.
To commemorate this sad day, the Global Kashmiri Pandit Diaspora (GKPD) in association with its partners and affiliated organisations across the globe are organising a series of events to remind the world that 30 years later justice is still awaited.
Events are being held at the Jagati camp in Jammu, where thousands of Kashmiri Pandits live continue to live after being fleeing persecution in the valley. The focus of events here also includes increasing the awareness among the children about the Kashmiri Pandit exodus, according to a statement.
In Mumbai, a seminar is being organised at Navi Mumbai and eminent speakers have been invited. In Delhi, a book reading on genocide literature by an eminent Kashmiri Pandit author has been organised at the Vasant Vihar club, and in Kolkata a similar event has been organised at the Kashmir Sabha.
In the US, events are being held in collaboration with the Indian Americans for Kashmir (IAFK). The key event is in New Jersey where a seminar is being organised with keynote speakers from various political organisations and media houses. The focus is on the 'Kashmiri Pandit genocide'. The event is being supported by hundreds of community volunteers. In Illinois a candlelight vigil will be held at the city hall in Naperville as a tribute to the innocent Kashmiri Hindus killed in 1989, 1990 and later years.
In Canada, a symposium is being organised in Toronto in collaboration with the Indo-Canadian Kashmir forum on 'Global terrorism and its impact on the social, cultural and economic well being of minorities focusing on the return of indigenous Kashmiris to the land of their ancestors and restoration of their political rights'. The event will have eminent speakers of Indo-American and Canadian origin presenting their views on genocide, its implications and the way forward.
In the UK events are being held across London, Nuneaton, Manchester, Oxford, Walsall and Glasgow. British members of Parliament, heads of major UK sociopolitical organisations and political analysts from India will be the keynote speakers. The events are being organised by the Kashmiri Pandits cultural society (KPCS-UK) and Indo- European Kashmir forum (IEKF) both are European affiliates of the GKPD.
In addition, a seminar is being organised in Berlin. In Australia, events are being held across Perth, Brisbane and Melbourne.
In Brisbane, Queensland hawan and prayers for world peace is being organised by the Kashmiri Pandits Australia, affiliated to the GKPD. In Perth, Western Australia, a commemorative meeting is being held at the war memorial at Kings Park.
In New Zealand, seminars are being organised at Auckland and Wellington. In Auckland the seminar will commemorate 30 years of Kashmiri Pandits' life in exile along with a show of support for the Government of India policies, e.g. abrogation of Article 370, etc. The events will be covered by national and international media houses and the GKPD will release a summary of the proceedings in the form of a press release after the events, the statement said.