Aarti Tikoo, Senior Indian Journalist of Kashmiri origin, on Tuesday, highlighted the issues of Pakistani terror victims in Kashmir and stressed on the fact that the human rights activists and the western press conveniently chose to ignore the 30-years of terror in Kashmir. Speaking during the US House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing on 'Human Rights in South Asia', she said, "The victims in Kashmir are the ones who have been killed and massacred by Pakistani sponsored terrorists. The number of Kashmiri Muslims who have been killed in Kashmir is immense and they have been victimised by the Pakistani terror state".
During the hearing, Aarti Tikoo highlighted that the western media had presented a distorted version of Kashmir without proper context and historical understanding.
Aarti Tikoo Singh, senior Indian journalist from Kashmir at US House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing on 'Human Rights in South Asia': The 30 years of Islamic jihad & terror in Kashmir perpetrated by Pakistan has been completely ignored & overlooked by the world press. pic.twitter.com/TWcbPB0SwV— ANI (@ANI) October 22, 2019
Condemning the media for its biased approach, she said, "There are no human rights activists and press in the world which feels it's their moral obligation to talk about victims of Pakistani terror in Kashmir." The journalist asserted that the current misrepresentation of Kashmir by Western Media helps the narrative of Pakistani perpetrators and not the victims in Kashmir.
She also gave an account of several prominent Kashmiris being victims of Pakistan sponsored terror in the past. To support her argument, she cited the killing of senior Kashmiri journalist and peace activist Shujaat Bukhari by the hands of Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT). "The victims of such perpetration are my Kashmiri Muslim friends, including Shujaat Bukhari, a senior journalist and a peace activist who believed in resolving Kashmir through dialogue between India and Pakistan. He went from city to city across the world trying to convince the powerful players that Kashmir needs peace. But on June 14, 2018, he was shot dead right outside his office in Srinagar by LeT, the same terror outfit banned by the United States that also perpetrated the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks," Tikoo said.
"Why did they kill him? Because Shujaat wanted Pakistan to end violence and human rights abuse in Kashmir. They killed him because he wanted peace," she added.
The journalist also spoke about other victims of Pakistan-sponsored terrorism in Kashmir, including the incident of the local Kashmiri businessman Ghulam Mohiuddin Mir, who was killed on August 29 by Pakistani-sponsored terrorists because he fearlessly opened his shop defying the orders of Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM). She reminded the Committee that JeM is the same terror group responsible for the kidnapping and beheading of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl in 2002. "Jaish, since the last two months, has been issuing posters, warning Kashmiri Muslims not to resume their normal lives," Tikoo told the Congressional hearing.
(With ANI inputs)