Kashmiris Not Swayed by Pak Propaganda: Valley's BJP Leader Khalid Jehangir Counters False Narrative at UNHRC
Khalid Jehangir, who is a fellow of the India Foundation and a Valley-based BJP leader, says Pakistanis were genuinely shocked to hear a Kashmiri Muslim speaking against their propaganda.
Khalid Jehangir. (Image: Aakash Hassan/News18)
New Delhi: At a time when United Nations Human Rights chief Michelle Bachelet has expressed “deep concern" over the restrictions imposed by the Indian government in Kashmir, India has fielded a Kashmiri leader to represent its viewpoint at the ongoing session of UN Human Rights Council.
Khalid Jehangir, who is a fellow of the India Foundation and a Valley-based BJP leader, talked to News18 over phone to talk about the manner in which he's putting forth India's case and how is he going about countering the Pakistani propaganda at United Nations Office in Geneva.
You've been here before. How is it like to voice your opinion at a global stage such as this?
The last time I was here was in 1999. I was here in capacity of a university student leader. I met some of my old colleagues after a long time. It was great to get such a welcome and discuss the ongoing situation in Kashmir with people from across the world.
So you did voice your opinion about the prevailing situation in Kashmir. Could you share with us some of the points you made there?
I basically countered the Pakistani propaganda, which was that with the nullification of Article 370 the rights of common Kashmiris have also been abolished. It is the right of every Kashmiri to move forward for the betterment of their lives. It is their right to safeguard their culture, their heritage, their environment, all of which our neighbour from across the border has been trying to destroy for the last few decades.
I said that Pakistan uses religion as a tool against India but Kashmiris have always been against it. You simply cannot use religion against people. Everyone in Kashmir understands that we have fully merged with India. We now have so many facilities to connect with the rest of the country. There is more communication and exchange of information and ideas with the rest of the country. We have internet which is making world is smaller. I said that Kashmiris are moving forward rather than being swayed by the propaganda of Pakistan.
How was your speech received there?
I think Pakistanis were genuinely shocked to hear a Kashmiri Muslim speaking against their propaganda. Their entire lobby seemed visibly shaken. I could sense people being openly receptive about our views as well. Pakistan has falsely tried to build a narrative that repealing 370 is an assault on our religion, on Islam. We are trying to tell the world that the issue of Article 370 has nothing to do with religion. Pakistan's actions are un-Islamic, if anything. The manner in which they launched their 'Operation Topac' in 1989, they condemned us to violence, which the Narendra Modi government is trying to counter.
Did the Modi-Trump show make any impact there?
Of course, with both of them being on the stage, it has really sent out a strong message to the global community. Prime Minister's presence has really countered the Pakistani propaganda.
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