Washington DC: Pakistanis interrupted a discussion on the transformation of Kashmir at the National Press Club in Washington on Thursday. In a video tweeted by the news agency ANI, a Pakistani was seen escorted out shouting 'Freedom of speech'. The Pakistani gentleman was then promptly escorted out. All of this was caught on camera and the video grabbed headlines.
Notably, the youth leaders from the Kashmir valley were at the National Press Club in Washington DC for a panel discussion hosted by International Center for Peace Studies on “Kashmir: From Turmoil to Transformation” and to talk about the development, peace and prevalence of grass-root democracy in India's Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir. The panellists included Mir Junaid, President of the Jammu and Kashmir Workers Party, and Touseef Raina, President of the Municipal Council of Baramulla in Jammu and Kashmir.
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."
Junaid further said that 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 Pakistanis heckled and 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. "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. That's because they don't want to face the truth. " Junaid added.
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(With agencies input)