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Hindu-American, Kashmiri Pandit groups urge US to take action against JeM, Masood

File photo. Photograph:( PTI )

PTI Washington, DC, USA Feb 21, 2019, 01.38 PM (IST)

A Hindu-American advocacy group and an organisation of Kashmiri Pandits have urged the US to take action against the Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) terror outfit and its leader Masood Azhar and to condemn the alleged role of Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and China in providing physical and diplomatic cover to such terror organisations. 

The move came days after a deadly terror attack on the convoy of CRPF personnel in Pulwama district of Jammu and Kashmir. A suicide bomber from the Pakistan-based JeM drove his explosives-laden vehicle into a CRPF bus on February 14, killing 40 security personnel.

The two groups handed over a letter, jointly signed by them, to the US Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom Sam Brownback urging the Trump Administration to take action, both at the international as well as at the domestic levels, to censure the terrorist organisation. 

"We call upon the US government to condemn in all international fora the role played by Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and China in providing physical and diplomatic cover to terrorists like Masood Azhar that have wreaked havoc in Kashmir," said the letter, signed jointly by the Indo-American Kashmir Forum (IAKF) and the Hindu American Foundation (HAF).

The IAKF represents the Kashmiri Pandit community residing in the US, while the HAF is a non-profit advocacy organization for the Hindu-American community. 

The letter was read in full before Brownback and the participants of the International Religious Freedom held at the US Capitol on Tuesday, by Vijay Sazawal, the international convener of the IAKF.

Sazawal said "there is a cultural genocide happening in Kashmir".

"The environment of intolerance at the grassroots level only feeds into the ecosystem which breeds terrorists like Masood Azhar who then carry out such transnational attacks in Afghanistan and India," said Jay Kansara of the HAF. 

Meanwhile, another organization of Kashmiri Pandits said it would host a virtual conference to highlight the paradigm shift which has occurred within the community globally.

 "The conclave will be an opportunity for the global audience to hear the prespectives of speakers' (from Jammu and Kashmir) and policy positions on the theme of the conference in the light of the present-day developments," the Global Kashmiri Pandit Diaspora (GKPD) said in a statement.

Former J-K finance minister Abdul Rahim Rather, Peoples' Democratic Party leader Muzaffar Hussain Baig, chairman of J-K People's Conference Sajjad Gani Lone, president of J-K Bharatiya Janata Party Ravinder Raina, and former union minister and Congress leader Manish Tewari are likely to address the global multi-media event, to be attended by community members from various parts of the world, the media release said.

In a separate statement, the Kashmir Hindu Foundation condemned the February 14 terror attack, saying these attacks in Kashmir prove that the radical jihadi mind-set has penetrated deep into the psyche and polluted the minds of a major population of Kashmiri Muslims in the Valley. 

Story highlights

A Hindu-American advocacy group and an organisation of Kashmiri Pandits have urged the US to take action against the Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) terror outfit and its leader Masood Azhar and to condemn the alleged role of Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and China in providing physical and diplomatic cover to such terror organisations.