MUZAFFARABAD: The finance minister of Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) on Sunday criticised the federal government for its ‘silent’ over ‘selective’ rescue efforts in flood-ravaged areas of Indian-administered Kashmir.
“On the orders of the Indian government, the Indian army did not even bother to rescue the people of Kashmir,” AJK Finance Minister Latif Akbar told reporters at a news conference in Muzaffarabad.
“This is the worst kind of human rights violation. Not a single religion allows discrimination among those in need during times of disaster,” he said. “Islamabad’s silence over the matter is shocking.”
According to Akbar, Indian troops were only seen rescuing non-locals and tourists from the floods. “The credit goes to the youth and volunteers from Kashmir Valley who came forward and evacuated the local residents to safety.”
The AJK finance minister added that New Delhi’s failure to provide prompt relief to the flood-hit people of Indian Kashmir would widen the gulf between the state’s residents and the rest of India.
Akbar made an appeal to the world community on behalf of AJK to send journalists, rights activists and philanthropists to the areas of Indian Kashmir devastated by the floods. He also urged the Pakistani government to use all its officers to open the Line of Control so that relief goods could be sent to the flood victims living on the other side of LoC.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 22nd, 2014.