The Sarnia Muslim Association on London Line. March 21, 2019. (Photo by Josh Boyce, BlackburnNews)

Rally in solidarity with the people of Jammu & Kashmir

The Sarnia Muslim Association is holding a rally in support of the oppressed people of Jammu and Kashmir.

Canadians of Kashmiri origin, alongside friends and allies, will meet at the steps of Sarnia City Hall Sunday from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. to raise awareness about the conflict in the Indian state.

Association President Syed Zahid Ali said the people of Kashmir are in a very difficult situation and have been under complete lockdown since early August.

“We want to raise awareness in Sarnia-Lambton of what is happening with Kashmiris, we want our fellow citizens’ support against the human rights violations in Kashmir, and we want them to approach their electoral representatives so we can take our message to Ottawa,” said Ali. “I hope and pray that the miseries and atrocities, which are being committed on Kashmiris, should stop, and I hope the Indian government in their true democratic state should realize this and should respect their citizens and respect their will.”

Ali said the decade long dispute was escalated August 5 when the Indian government scrapped part of the country’s constitution — since then, Kashmiris have been forbidden to venture outside their homes thereby preventing them from access to food, medicines or freedom of movement in violation of the Geneva Convention.

Ali is calling on the Canadian government for help.

“We want the Canadian government to speak out against India’s actions in Kashmir, raise these concerns in the upcoming G7 conference in France and also with the United Nations Security Council,” he said. “The first step should be to denounce the current situation and the actions of the Indian government — ask them to respect the will of the people of Kashmir and let them decide their own future. I realize that India is the largest democratic government in the world and I truly respect that, but its present government needs to learn the democratic value, values from Canada.”

For more information on Sunday’s rally, click here.