Youth Leaders from the Kashmir valley were at the National Press Club in Washington DC to talk about the development, peace and prevalence of grass-root democracy in India’s Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir.
The International Center for Peace Studies invited Mir Junaid and Touseef Raina from the valley for a panel discussion titled ‘Kashmir – From Turmoil to Transformation. The forum was focused on the developments and the ground situation in Kashmir. Aiming to give a grassroots perspective, Mir Junaid said in his opening remarks, “I can confidently say that Kashmir has been reborn as a land of peace, prosperity and progress. Jammu and Kashmir have seen many transitions that have taken it from a state of protest to a progressive union territory.”
“We have to look beyond the controversial rhetoric now. The countries who are beating the drums on global platforms befooling the world have nothing to do with Kashmir’s peace, progress and prosperity. Accept the fact that Kashmir is an existential problem for them, and that’s why they want to keep the POT of violence burning in Kashmir,” Junaid asserted by taking a dig at Pakistan.
He asked about the fate of once a well-coordinated formidable separatist conglomerate, the so-called All-Party Hurriyat Conference (APHC) leaders and how the leaders are facing serial reverses, all in quick succession, in Jammu and Kashmir.
Junaid said, “they are facing the law of the land, the rule of the land, “which resulted in the collapse of the Hurriyat Conference in Kashmir.
Just then- a handful of protestors interrupted the Kashmiri activist and disrupted the forum. One protester yelled in response “Shame on you.” After being heckled by security personnel when asked to leave the room the protestors visibly lost their temper and were seen retorting with abuses.
“The whole audience has seen your real face today. What we have seen in Kashmir we saw in Washington today and thank you for showing the world how cruel how indecent these people are,” said Junaid as he hit back in response to the disruption.
All of this was caught on camera and the video grabbed headlines.
Mir Junaid is the president of the Jammu and Kashmir Workers Party (JKWP). He is a writer and a law graduate from the University of Kashmir. He tweets at @MirJunaidJKWP.
“You have seen it all and this is what they did initially, what they are doing, they tried to silence me with the barrel of AK 47 If you gave them the 47 they will shoot us dead here right away. Thats because they don’t want to face the truth. ” Junaid added.