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Call for International Inquiry into Massacre

Call for International Inquiry into Massacre of Sikhs in Kashmir

Press Release by Al-Ansaar, London, 21 March

On the eve of visit of President Clinton to India, the Indian forces carried out their worst atrocity against Sikhs in Kashmir. In an operation that has become associated with genocide euphemistically called ethnic cleansing, the people of the village were rounded up, men separated and then mowed down with machine guns. Thirty five Sikhs, all men, are reported to have been killed. Serbian did that to Muslim in Bosnia and Kosovo and almost every Muslim village in Kashmir has experienced that nightmare. But India had been successful in keeping the TV cameras out of Kashmir. What the TV cameras do not show the world does not see and it is easy to ignore. But India, keen to demonise Jihad and Pakistan, wanted one atrocity to be called to world attention that it stage-managed itself.

The Sikhs have never been the target of Mujahideen in Kashmir. They are also an oppressed minority like the Muslims in India. The Sikhs have experienced cleansing of their villages of all their youth in the years following the attack on Durbar Sahib in Amritsar and revenge murder of Indira Gandhi. An inquiry by the Indian Supreme Court has found that the police killed at least 25,000 Sikh youth in the Punjab. After being taken from their villages by the police, they simply disappeared. What actually happened was that they were lined up along canals, mowed down with machine guns, their dead bodies floated downstream where they were taken out and cremated as unidentified dead. A delegation of Sikh leaders was to meet President Clinton today to highlight the plight of Sikhs in India and to seek his support for independent state of Khalistan. The massacre was stage-managed to sabotage that meeting. India has been frenetic in its efforts to demonise Mujahideen and Pakistan for some time. What is new is that it sees ever-growing friendship and trust between Sikhs and Muslims to be as dangerous to its imperial hold over its North Western territories as the Mujahideen in Kashmir.

The Western press is ever eager to accept the Indian spin on events in South Asia. It was obvious during Kargil Operations where the Western Press reported Indian version of events as authentic while the press briefings by Pakistan as the "Pakistani claim". It is patently absurd and totally incredible that Sikhs should be the target of Mujahideen in Kashmir. It is clearly the work of Indian forces. But Indian propaganda would put the blame on the Mujahideen. It is, therefore, necessary that Mujahideen Groups should condemn the attack, deny responsibility and swear that they have not and would never target Sikhs who are as victimised as Muslims in India. The Government of Pakistan should condemn the attack, assure the Sikhs of their friendship and concern, and demand an international inquiry to identify and expose those responsible for the massacre.

Issued by Brig. Usman Khalid, Leader of Al-Ansaar, London.


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