Kashmiris, Sikhs protest outside White House
WASHINGTON: About 200 Kashmiris protested outside the White House on Tuesday, while US President Barack Obama and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh addressed a joint news conference inside the building.
The rally at the Lafayette Park, which faces the White House, started at noon and ended at 3 pm.
The participants urged Mr Obama to resolve the Kashmir dispute, reminding him that it could trigger a nuclear conflict in one of the world’s most populous regions if left unresolved.
They also chanted slogans that called for a plebiscite in the Indian occupied Kashmir valley and demanded the implementation of UN resolutions on Kashmir.
The Kashmiri American Council, which organised the rally, distributed leaflets that reminded Mr Obama that on Sept 25, 2008, he had pledged to ‘continue supporting the ongoing Indian Pakistani efforts to resolve the Kashmir problem in order to address the political roots of the arms race between India and Pakistan’.
On Oct 23, 2008, Mr Obama had said he would be ‘working with Pakistan and India to try to resolve the Kashmir crisis in a serious way’. He noted that ‘Kashmir in particular is an interesting situation where there is obviously a potential for diplomatically’ resolving this issue.
The council also reminded the US president that Kashmir was recognised by the United Nations as a disputed territory.