Bob Blackman reiterated his support for India and the Kashmiri Hindu community, and reminded that it was Pakistan’s invasion of Kashmir that forced the erstwhile Maharaja to make a decision to accede to India
British Parliament hosts an event to mark one of the atrocious events in Indian history. All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for British Hindus, the Kashmiri Pandit Diaspora and allies commemorated 33 years of the Kashmiri Pandit Genocide on the 25th January 2023. The event took place at the Houses of Parliament, London, and was hosted by the Hon’ble Bob Blackman, Chair All Party Parliamentary, APPG group for British Hindus. An Early Day Motion, EDM, was also tabled to commemorate 33 years of Genocide for Kashmiri Pandits, signed by cross Party MPs, reminding that justice was yet to be done.
Bob Blackman reiterated his support for India and the Kashmiri Hindu community and reminded that it was Pakistan’s invasion of Kashmir that forced the erstwhile Maharaja to make a decision to accede to India. He further said that efforts must be made to dispel widespread ignorance about the truth of the matter within the UK and the world. He also spoke about the recent anti-Narendra Modi documentary shown by the BBC describing it as a “hatchet job”.
Speaking at the event, MP Jonathan Lord, Woking, said that just as we must never forget about the Holocaust, we must not forget this Genocide.
Mr Sarvjeet Sudan, First Secretary (Political, Press & Information), Indian High Commission, saluted the spirit of Kashmiri Pandits as he recalled his own memories after the exodus. He further said that the sacrifices of the people must be remembered, and their stories must be heard.
MP Theresa Villiers sent her message to be read at the event as follows:
“The world must be told about the grave injustices committed against Kashmiri Hindus. 33 years after so many were driven from their homes, it is time to change the narrative on Kashmir so that the voice of Hindus can finally be heard. I am committed to doing this and I am sorry not to be able to join you at your event this evening.”
Messages worldwide were shared; including from Sh Surinder Kaul GKPD, Dr Agnishekhar, Panun Kashmir, Dr Dileep Kaul, Director, Jonaraja Institute of Genocide & Atrocities Studies (India). A message was also shared by Sh Bitta ji Bhat, father of Rahul Bhat, who was murdered in 2022 by terrorists.
The event took place as a reminder to the world that Hindus in Jammu and Kashmir were persecuted and forced to flee their homeland in 1989- 1990 and 33 years later, targeted Hindu killings are still taking place. Kashmiri Hindus await recognition of genocide and justice after 33 years after the night of 19th January 1990, when screaming mobs and loudspeakers from mosques blared in unison- Raliv, Galiv ya Tchaliv (Convert, Die or Leave).
The programme included readings from first-person accounts and second-generation stories of Kashmiri Hindus living in the UK and was supported by British Hindu organisations who vowed to be the voice for Kashmiri Pandits and demand justice.
The event was moderated by Ms Sonal Sher on behalf of the Secretariat for the APPG for British Hindus and the Kashmiri Pandit community in the UK. The attendees observed a minute’s silence in memory of the victims of genocide in Jammu and Kashmir and the victims of the Holocaust.