HOUSTON, Mar 17:
Hundreds of Indian-Americans here protested against Pakistan over the Pulwama terror attack and urged the global community to hold Islamabad accountable for “atrocities on minorities” and “sponsoring terrorism”.
Around 300 Indian-origin people, highlighting the plight of lakhs of Kashmiri Pandits and accusing Pakistan of providing safe havens to terrorist groups, protested at the prime locations of Houston on Saturday noon.
They termed the February 14 attack in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama, in which 40 CRPF soldiers were killed, as an attack on India’s sovereignty.
Protestors carried banners like ? ‘Global Terrorist State ? Pakistan’, ‘Pakistan – Stop using terrorism as your State Policy’, ‘Kashmir is Integral part of India ? stop meddling’, ‘Down with Pakistan’, ‘Pakistan an architect of genocide and ethnic cleansing of Kashmiri Hindus and Sikhs’, ‘Pakistan ? take care of your minorities’.
There was heavy sloganeering against Pakistan which protesters termed as a “terror hub”.
Earlier a press conference was held by Dr Veena Ambardar on behalf of Houston Chapter of Friends of India Society International and Houston Chapter of Global Kashmiri Pandit Diaspora, emphasising that India has suffered for the last 30 years a constant barrage of terror manufactured in Pakistan and unloaded on Indian soil, killing thousands of Indians.
He said in front of local media that Pakistan is a terror state that has made business out of terror and has become a threat to the world peace.
Addressing the press conference, Achalesh Amar, Coordinator of Houston Chapter of Friends of India Society International, highlighted the international ramifications of terror and role of Pakistan in exporting terror to the world and threatening the world civil society.
He highlighted the role of Pakistan providing shelter to al-Qaeda leaders and providing safe haven and sanctuaries for dreaded terrorists to regroup and export terror machinery in other parts of the globe after the fall of Taliban in Afghanistan in 2001.
Amar stated how Osama bin Laden, an architect of 9/11, was found well protected in the garrison city of Pakistan. He said that the London bombings and shooting at San Bernardino, California had Pakistan connection.
Global Kashmiri Pandit Diaspora members talked about the proxy war unleashed by Pakistan on India under Zia Doctrine in 1988 under the code word ‘Operation Tupac’.
They highlighted the operation’s salient features which encouraged cross border terrorism, guerilla warfare in India fully supported and led by Pakistan’s spy agency ISI and Army regulars.
They made reference to Kargil where the nexus between Pakistan-sponsored terrorists, ISI and its army was exposed at the international level.
The members said that this proxy war has costed India more than 6,000 of its security personnel besides heavy collateral damage. They accused Pakistan for the genocide and ethnic cleansing of Kashmiri Hindus and Sikhs.
“More than 400,000 members were ethnically cleansed and are forced to live as refugees in India,” they said.
They urged the global community to hold Pakistan accountable for “atrocities on minorities” and “sponsoring terrorism”.
The events were organised by Achalesh Amar, Houston Coordinator of Friends of India Society International, USA and Dr Surinder Kaul, Global coordinator of Global Kashmiri Pandit Diaspora.
Recently, tensions between India and Pakistan escalated after a suicide bomber of Pakistan-based terror group Jaish-e-Mohammed killed 40 CRPF personnel in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama district in February 14.
In the wake of the Pulwama terror attack, India launched a major diplomatic offensive against Pakistan, holding briefing for envoys of 25 countries, including those from the five permanent UNSC members — the US, China, Russia, the UK and France — to highlight Islamabad’s role in using terrorism as an instrument of state policy. (PTI)
HOUSTON, Mar 17: