IKF briefs U.S. State Department
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|IKF briefs U.S. State Department |
U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown urges Secretary Hillary Clinton to discuss the future of the Kashmiri Pandits with the Indian government
Washington (USA) October 7, 2009
International Kashmir Federation (IKF) is an international body of Kashmiri Pandits, founded by Jeevan Zutshi, to bring the entire community to focus on issues related to their return to their homeland.
International Kashmir Federation (IKF) is very pleased with the letter sent by Senator Sherrod Brown to Secretary Hillary Clinton to include Kashmiri Pandits in any talk between India and Pakistan. The briefing on terrorism and Kashmir at the U.S. Capitol Hill on June 9, 2009 was organized by International Kashmir Federation (IKF) to educate lawmakers about the miserable condition of Kashmiri Pandits in Jammu refugee camps which resulted due to Pakistan's role in fomenting trouble in Kashmir in 1989, resulting in exodus of 350,000 Kashmiri Pandits. The briefing was initiated by Congressman Frank Pallone and Congressman Jim McDermott on behalf of International Kashmir Federation. Major U.S. based organizations representing 2.5 million Indo-Americans like USINPAC, Hindu American Federation and National Federation of Indian American Associations supported IKF as Co-Sponsors of the briefing on the U.S. Capitol Hill. Series of meetings were held with Senators and Congressmen at that time including a meeting with Senator Sherrod Brown.
"Senator Brown is a friend of any peace loving community and when he was contacted by Kashmiri Pandits in 1991, he took no time in understanding our issues faced as real victims of Pakistani sponsored terrorism in Kashmir", said Jeevan Zutshi, who is also the Founding member and former Executive Director of Indo-American Kashmir Forum. "He was educated by Kashmiri Pandits living in the U.S. about the sufferings of this peace loving community in India and Senator Brown has ever since championed the cause of Kashmiri Pandits."
"I urge you to discuss the future of the Pandits with the Indian government", wrote Senator in his letter to Secretay Clinton. "Every culture is reliant on its native land but if Pandits can not return to their native territory, Pandit culture as we know it today may be lost for ever.
This will require a commitment by the State government to create political and social space in the Kashmir valley for ensuring a vibrant Pandit culture and way of life. Raising these issues during the upcoming State visit of the Indian Prime Minister, including pushing for Pandit participation in ongoing peace talks, will help ensure that the Pandits remain an integral part of the Kashmir Valley's future", he continued to write in his letter.
IKF applauds the U.S. commitment to eradicate terrorism from the face of this earth and take serious interest in the region.
IKF urges the organizations in India to band together and focus on the efforts to the return of Kashmiri Pandits to their Homeland where they can live as peaceful Indian citizens without any future fear of persecution by Islamic fundamentalists.
IKF Board of Directors
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