London, UK: According to a news reported by Kashmir Watch: [i]n a vocal and spirited joint protest Sikhs and Kashmiris from across the UK held an impressive protest outside the Indian High Commission in London to remind India, on its Independence Day, that Khalistan and a free Kashmir remain the cornerstone of their political agenda. Representing an array of leading diaspora organisations, they said that India faced inevitable balkanisation as its imperialist presence in Punjab and Kashmir was detested by the people and constituted an indefensible breach of international law.
In addition Indian leaders were warned that their shameful record of mass human rights violations in the Sikh and Kashmir homelands will not be without consequences. Senior politicians and security forces will be held to account for their atrocities, which have cost hundreds of thousands of lives over the last thirty years of oppression. A specially constituted international criminal tribunal was a key demand for the leaders taking part in the protest, together with the release of all political prisoners and the prompt withdrawal of Indian armed forces.
Professor Nazir Shawl called for India to immediately end its aggression in Kashmir and to recognise the clear wishes of its people to exercise their internationally accepted right of self-determination in the disputed territory. Barrister A Majid Tramboo said denying the true voice of Kashmir any political space has proved to be a failed policy since 1947 and it was time the world community forced India to accept its obligation, under international law, to respect the self determination of the Kashmiris along with the Sikhs to restore peace and stability to this dangerously militarised region.
Amrik Singh Sahota, OBE demanded the immediate release of all Sikh political prisoners, especially those on death row such as Balwant Singh Rajoana. The tragic conflict in Punjab was started by Indian aggression in 1984; it was now time for India to release Sikh prisoners of war and peaceably withdraw its forces from a sovereign Khalistan. On Kashmir, he rubbished this week’s resolution in India’s Parliament and said any impartial observer could see that India’s colonialist policies could never succeed in the long run.
Sikh activists, who have been holding a vigil outside Downing Street to demand UK intervention to bring about the release of Sikh political prisoners in India, joined the protest. They said that India had once again been put on notice concerning the demand for their unconditional release, as well as the demand for freedom which 1947 was meant to be all about.