India urged to halt military operations in Occupied Kashmir

International NGOs must be given access to deliver food and medicines in IOJ&K where Covid-19 outbreak, demands forum


​ Our Correspondent April 23, 2020
PHOTO: EXPRESS/FILE

LONDON: A conference on the human rights situation in Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IOJ&K) has called upon the Modi government to halt all military operations against the political activists and release Kashmiri leaders immediately.

The moot was organised by Tehreek-e-Kashmir (TeK) UK and attended by Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) President Sardar Masood Khan, Shadow Minister Afzal Khan MP, Lord Nazir Ahmed, Lord Qurban Hussain, Hurriyat leader Altaf Ahmad Bhat, Shaista Safi and former Councillor and Deputy Secretary General TeK UK Shakil Khan. The session was presided over by TeK UK President Raja Fahim Kayani.

The forum said that people of IOJ&K are in double lockdown since August 5, 2019. There is a shortage of medicine, food and life-saving drugs. "World charity organisations and other global non-government organisations (NGOs) must be given access to deliver food and medicines in IOJ&K where Covid-19 outbreak has also doubled the miseries of Kashmiris."

AJK govt's timely measures kept coronavirus at bay: President Masood

On the occasion, the AJK president said that people of IOJ&K are ruthlessly being killed by Indian army in fake encounters. "World should take notice of the genocide of Kashmiris and help to release thousands languishing in different jails in India."

He said that the Modi government is not taking notice of the orders issued by the United Nations for the safety of prisoners during the coronavirus pandemic which is unfortunate.

"Indian Army is not only killing Kashmiris in fake encounters but also violating the ceasefire on the Line of Control (LoC) to target civilians to divert the world's attention from Covid-19 in the region," he said, adding that Indian military establishment is not using its resources to save the lives of Kashmiris and rising spread of Covid-19 in the occupied region.

President Masood further said that India is using black laws to fabricate fake cases to silence Kashmiri journalists. "While during the lockdown with the introduction of new Domicile Law, India is trying to change the Muslim-majority region of IOJ&K into a minority by amending the law, which is a crime under international law."

Afzal Khan, while lamenting the state of the health sector in IOK, said that one doctor was available to 4,000 people whereas one ventilator was available for 71,000 people in IOJ&K which shows how the medical staff is ill-equipped to tackle the Covid-19.

He feared that if coronavirus spreads rapidly in the occupied valley, the people will die there like cattle. "We appeal to the UK government to put pressure on India to ensure medical facilities in IOJ&K and assist the British Kashmiris so they can help their brothers."

Lord Qurban said the lockdown in IOJ&K is not like UK lockdown where people live with honour and safety at their homes. "In IOJ&K lockdown people are being killed, arrested and beaten regularly by Indian forces which is barbaric and inhuman."

It is time for the world to come forward and play their role to settle the Kashmir dispute as per the wishes of the people, he added.

Lord Nazir Ahmed said India is following and working on anti-Muslim policies from Delhi to Srinagar."We request to the international community to come forward and ensure the food and medicine supplies in IOJ&K in these hard times."

Kashmiri Hurriyat leader Altaf Ahmed Bhat said that TeK UK has shaken the international conscience through this teleconference on Kashmir. The BJP lead Hindu nationalist government under fascist Modi is trying to intimidate the brave Kashmiri people with their inhumane and cruel strategies. "Coronavirus has made the world realise what a lockdown is."

India using Covid-19 to 'mow down' Kashmiris: AJK president

TeK President Raja Fahim Kayani said that British parliamentarians have expressed concern over human rights violations in IOJ&K during this double lockdown period and assured that they will speak out against the Indian brutalities.

Shaista Safi, a human rights activist from the occupied valley, said that Covid-19 lockdown is being used by Indian establishment to change the demography of Occupied Kashmir and silent the media.

"People are still waiting to get Covid-19 test kits and testing speed has deliberately been kept slow in IOJ&K than the rest of India."

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