Image for representational purposes only (Photo Credit: PTI)
Indian-Americans will hold events in over three dozen cities and towns across the US to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the Kashmiri Pandit exodus to recognise the resilience of the community. They will take out peaceful rallies, hold to candlelight vigil and public meetings to highlight the hardships faced by the Kashmiri Pandits in the Valley three decades ago. Events have been planned in New York, New Jersey, Silicon Valley, Chicago, Miami, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, and Detroit among others cities.
“This event is designed to present the truth, data and factual stories as well as current events and progress in restoration of peace in the Kashmir. Hundred of people are expected to participate,” said Indian-Americans for Kashmir, which is organising the event in New Jersey.
Thirty years ago, Kashmiri Hindus (known as Pandits) experienced “unimaginable devastation” in their ancestral homeland, said Hindu American Foundation, which has been organising the events in multiple cities. “The Pakistan-sponsored insurgency and campaign of targeted killings, rape, threats, and destruction of property and religious sites spanned over many years. But events on January 19, 1990 reached a feverish pitch and culminated in mass panic and the forced displacement of 95 per cent of the Kashmiri Hindu population,” it said.
“The campaign, according to former ambassador of Pakistan to the United States, Hussain Haqqani, was part of an orchestrated campaign by Islamist militant groups sponsored by Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence agency to create as Islamic state in Kashmir,” it said.