Our organization was formed in 1991, shortly after the rise of armed Islamic insurgency in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir. Many Kashmiri Pandits were brutally killed by Islamic fundamentalists. The violence against women and children was exceptionally cruel. Terror struck in the hearts and minds of the peaceful community, resulting in the forced exodus of approximately 350,000 Pandits from their ancestral land. The internally displaced Pandits represent over 95% of their original total population in the valley.
IAKF was established to inform the world community of the oppression against Kashmiri Pandits that led to their forced exile from Kashmir due to the influx of fundamentalist Islamic terrorism. IAKF wishes to raise awareness of the human rights violations suffered by the Pandit community, many of whom are still living in makeshift 'refugee' camps in Jammu, India. The organization seeks the return of Kashmiri Pandits to the Kashmir valley with guaranteed security and freedom to exercise their religious faith and cultural way of life without fear or intrusion.
The objectives of Indo-American Kashmir Forum are:
- To investigate into violations of human rights of the Kashmiri Pandits (a sub community of Hindus) at the hands of the Islamic fundamentalists in the valley of Kashmir, India;
- To raise the level of knowledge of the people, media, makers, political and community leaders in the United States and worldwide about the plight of Kashmiri Pandits as victims of Islamic fundamentalists terrorism in the valley of Kashmir, India;
- To disseminate information to the people, media, opinion makers, political and community leaders in the United States and worldwide about violations of human rights of the Kashmiri Pandits at the hands of the Islamic fundamentalists in the valley of Kashmir, India;
- To develop research publications and other educational materials, and to organize conferences, meetings and symposia to support the dissemination of information about Kashmiri Pandits, their plight, and their cause to return to their homeland in the valley of Kashmir, India, and be able to live there in peace and with human dignity;
- To support rehabilitation of the victim Pandit families throughout the world through financial grants and by enlisting the support of national and international relief organizations;
- To support the activities of any tax-exempt organization in the United States which engages in activities that achieve the above objectives.
As an advocacy group, IAKF interacts with the U.S. Administration , U.S. Congress, American Think Tanks, Human Rights Groups, Special Interest Groups specialising in South Asia, the United Nations Human Rights Commission, Indian and Pakistani Government Officials, State Government Officials in Jammu & Kashmir, Indian NGOs, members of the Press, and other like-minded people and organizations who support our cause and are concerned about the future and fate of Kashmiri Pandits. IAKF and its affiliated organizations - The Indo-Canadian Kashmir Forum (ICKF) and the Indo-European Kashmir Forum (IEKF) work closely with various Kashmiri Pandit organizations in India.
To read more about the early history of IAKF and its achievements, please click here.
Goal for Kashmiri Pandits
The end-goal of our advocacy is:
- To promote the safety and security of Kashmiri Pandits living in the Valley and to create conditions acceptable for the return of displaced Pandits outside of the Valley to return with dignity;
- To create a society in which Kashmiri Pandits are integral members with a proportionate representation and voice in the affairs of the state of Jammu and Kashmir.
Joining or Donating to IAKF
If you are interested in membership to IAKF, or in simply donating to help support our objectives, please click here.