Friday, November 16, 2007

Sankalp yatra Pilgrimage to raise awareness to the Kashmir issue

The Panun Kashmir Movement (PKM) is organising a 7,000 kilometre pilgrimage, the Sankalp Yatra, to continue the struggle for Kashmir to become the homeland of the Kashmir Pandits. The two-month journey is to start in November, according to a PKM’s official, visiting 41 places in nine states and two union territories of India.


Members of Panun Kashmir Movement (PKM) meeting United Nations Observer's in Srinagaer, Kashmir.


Among the important sites are the Pandit refugee camps in Jammu and Kashmir, where large-scale supporters are due to join the journey.The Yatra also expects to visit the birth and work places of four prominent Indian political figures in history: Mahatma Gandhi, Dr. B.R. Ambedkar, Dr. K.B. Hedgewar and Lokmanya Tilak; and will also meet with several politicians and leaders of India. Religious sites will also be visited to bless the pilgrimage.
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Another goal of the pilgrimage is to raise awareness to the human rights violations and displacement of the Pandits in the area, at the same time as it seeks the affiliation with the younger generations to educate them about the values that may ensure the establishment of the Pandit Kashmir. Material support such as books, folders, and photographs are planned to be taken along the trip for the dissemination of the Pandit Kashmir cause.
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PKM leader, Ashwani Kumar Churangoo, is said to have stated that the Yatra focus not only on the Kashmir issue and terrorism, exodus and displacement of Kashmiri Pandits, but as well on other minorities of Kashmir, their present status, and the human rights situation of minorities in the Jammu and Kashmir state. He reportedly encouraged the Kashmir Sikh Displaced Forum to join the event.
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The Pandit leadership is hoping that the Sankalp Yatra will trigger solidarity among the people of the Pandit Kashmir and the Indian people. They are expecting to gather more political support from the Indian government for a viable solution in the establishment of the homeland of the Pandit community in Kashmir.

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Courtesy: Global Human Rights Defense (G.H.R.D.) & Panun Kashmir Movement (P.K.M.)

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