International media ignoring dire human rights crisis in occupied Kashmir: PM Imran

Premier questions the 'headline coverage' being given to protests in Hong Kong

News Desk October 11, 2019

Prime Minister Imran Khan has criticised the international media for ignoring the "dire human rights crisis" in Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK) and giving "headline coverage" to the pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong.

In a series of tweets early on Friday, the premier said he was puzzled by the attention being given to the unrest in Hong Kong, and the lack of it being afforded to the "growing humanitarian crisis" in Kashmir.

Highlighting the inhumane conditions being faced by Kashmiris, PM Imran said India has imposed a communications blackout in the occupied territory for over two months now.

He said thousands of citizens, including children and political leaders, have been imprisoned by Indian forces and warned that the humanitarian crisis in IOK continues to worsen.

The premier added that over 100,000 Kashmiris have been laid down their lives in a three-decades-long struggle for the right to self-determination, as promised by the global community through the United Nations Security Council resolution.

PM Imran's comments come just days after he returned home from a two-day visit to Beijing where he met Chinese President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang.

In August, the Indian government launched a crackdown in the occupied Himalayan valley before scrapping its special status. Telephone and internet services were suspended and public movements restricted to prevent protests hours before India abrogated Article 370.

While Indian media insists the situation in the occupied region is 'normal', international media and organisations have reported grave human rights violations.

In an editorial, The New York Times criticised the United Nations' "lack of resolve" and said it was "a sad sign of the dysfunction in international diplomacy as American leadership declines and divisions among world powers grow."

"The Security Council should make clear that it opposes Mr Modi’s brutal tightening of India’s control on Kashmir. While Mr Modi may think he can control this volatile conflict on his own, he almost certainly cannot," wrote the paper.

The Guardian reported that up to 10,000 people have been victims of enforced disappearances in the occupied valley. Similarly, The Independent reported that Indian authorities were refusing to issue death certificates for civilians killed in clashes following the revoking of special status.

The Hong Kong protests

The four-month long anti-government protests have plunged the city into its worst crisis since Hong Kong returned from British to Chinese rule in 1997 and also pose the biggest popular challenge to Chinese President Xi Jinping since he came to power in 2012.

The protests began in opposition to a now-withdrawn extradition bill but have since evolved into a pro-democracy movement fanned by fears that China is encroaching on Hong Kong’s freedoms guaranteed under the “one country, two systems” formula put in place with the 1997 handover.

China denies such claims and blames foreign countries, including Britain and the United States, for fomenting unrest.

(With additional input from Reuters.)


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