ISLAMABAD: There was no respite for the residents of the Kashmir Valley, as the military siege of the occupied territory continued on 111th day on Saturday, with the recent rains and snowfall compounding miseries of the people.
A total lockdown was imposed by India on the occupied valley and the Muslim majority areas of Jammu and Ladakh on August 5, while stripping the disputed region of its special status. Since then, the people are unable to stock essential commodities for a harsh winter – a centuries-old practice
The Srinagar-Jammu Highway, the only surface link of the territory remains closed for most of the winter season. Anger runs high among the masses against India over its move, as the situation in areas under lockdown was far from the normal for 111 consecutive days.
The imposition of restrictions coupled with deployment of tens of thousands of troops in every nook and corner of the occupied territory has created a sense of fear among the local people. The ban on internet, text messaging and prepaid mobile connections remains in force.
The residents of the Valley continued to show their resentment against New Delhi by observing civil disobedience over its anti-Kashmir moves. As part of this movement, the shopkeepers keep their shops closed during most part of the day, while students are not attending their classes.
Earlier, a two-day conference titled, “Kashmir Turmoil: Emerging Threats to Peace and the Role of the International Community” held in Ankara, Turkey.
The conference is organised by Lahore Center for Peace Research in collaboration with Turkish Think Tank “Institute of Strategic Thinking” (SDE).
During his address, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi condemned the Indian government’s illegal and unilateral steps taken in Occupied Jammu and Kashmir as it has brought the entire region to the brink of a humanitarian catastrophe.
“The decades-old Kashmir dispute continues to cast an ominous shadow over the future of nearly one-fifth of humanity, and without doubt, poses one of the most serious challenges to regional and international peace and security today,” he said.