While expressing his deep concern over the humanitarian crisis after the massive surge in coronavirus cases in India, Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) President Sardar Masood Khan has demanded immediate release of thousands of Kashmiri politicians and political activists detained in cramped and congested jails in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK).
In a statement issued on Sunday, the president said: "We are deeply concerned over the devastation caused by the second wave of Covid-19 in neighbouring India. We also appreciate the government of Pakistan and the Edhi Foundation for offering help to the Indian government to manage this crisis.”
Besides being concerned over the dangers posed by the pandemic to the lives of Indian citizens, the president said, “We are more concerned about the lives of thousands of innocent Kashmiri people who have been detained in various Indian prisons for several years and are faced with the danger of outbreak of virus because of unhygienic conditions in the jails.”
He particularly called upon the Modi government to immediately and unconditionally release Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front Chairman Mohammad Yasin Malik, Shabbir Ahmed Shah, Asiya Andrabi, Musarrat Alam Butt, Ayaz Akbar, Naheeda Nasreen and Fehmida Soofi to save their lives.
Besides, he also demanded an end to the detention of All Parties Hurriyat Conference leadership particularly Syed Ali Gilani and Mirwaiz Omar Farooq, and also expressed deep concern over the fast deteriorating health of Asiya Andrabi in Tihar Jail of Delhi.
Referring to the situation that erupted out of coronavirus in India, Masood said that the people of Pakistan and Azad Kashmir express solidarity with their Indian counterparts particularly those helpless people who are faced with the deadly virus in towns and villages.
Welcoming the decision by Edhi Foundation Pakistan chief Faisal Edhi to provide medical relief to the Indian people, the AJK president said that the Kashmiri people whether they are settled in occupied territory or Azad Jammu and Kashmir, believe in humanity and high human values, and despite suffering at the hands of successive Indian governments for the last more than 70 years, they are as worried as the Indian citizens themselves are over the humanitarian crisis in India.
He went on to say that the people of Jammu and Kashmir are as saddened by the Covid devastation in India as the citizens of India themselves are “because that is what humanity demands”.