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World must not turn a blind eye to simmering situation in IoK: Rights activists

STUTTGART,(Parliament Times): Kashmiri and German human rights activists have made a passionate appeal to the world community urging it not to ignore the rights abuses committed by the Indian occupation forces in the UN dispute territory of Jammu and Kashmir. Addressing a conference held here on the occasion of the UN International Day for Tolerance in the city of Stuttgart the veteran rights activist Karl-Christian Hausmann of UPF, Patricia associated with a German Human Rights organisation, Dr Ishaq and Zafar Qureshi from London and Kashmir Council EU Chairman Ali Raza Syed Chairman said that the worsening political and human rights situation merits urgent attention of the international community.

Addressing the conference, Hausmann said, “It is surprising what I heard about the situation in Jammu and Kashmir. The German media doesn’t cover Kashmir as much as it should.” After listening to the Kashmiri diaspora, Patricia promised they will do their utmost to make people aware of wrong doing in Kashmir.

Riffat Wani said, “For the past three months, the Jammu and Kashmir has been cut off from the rest of the world even from India. There is a complete lockdown, media gag, blockade of internet and telephone and all communication system is blocked. There are shortages of food and medicines and people have no access to hospitals.” Kashmiri Council Chairman Syed added, “It is 105th day today since the helpless Kashmiris in Indian occupied Kashmir have lost their most fundamental freedoms, basic human rights and civil liberties. A population of eight million people has been put under house arrest. They are living under harsh conditions without even the most basic and inalienable rights such as the right to life, right to education and healthcare, right to move, right to practice their religion or even right to bury their loved ones with dignity.” “Indian government is not allowing anyone to assess the situation on the ground, such as the UN and different international organisations, not even the Indian parliamentarians have been granted access,” he added.

He also informed the gathering that the Kashmir Council EU held its 12th Kashmir EU Week at the European Parliament in the first week of November this year. The main theme of the event this year was “Human Rights and Civil Liberties” including the rights of the Kashmiri civilian population protected be series of International Treaties and Conventions. Like the previous Kashmir EU weeks, the 2019 Conference also brought together European policymakers, political activists, NGO activists, intellectuals and interest group representatives who have been expressing grave concerns over arbitrary arrests, mass rapes, unmarked mass graves, impunity to armed forces especially under black laws such as AFSPAK and PSA.

Syed pointed out the Kashmir Council-Europe was trying to raise awareness of the present situation and gather support for the Kashmir from newly elected MEPs. “Following the Kashmir-EU Week, we can say that the Kashmir issue has got as the top issue of their agendas, and we can assure you that they are already taking the necessary efforts to help the people of Kashmir. The Kashmir Council-EU is now working with Members of the European Parliament on a new motion for a resolution urging for a new debate on Kashmir,” he said.

Dr Ishaq said that the occupied valley has been converted as a cage of humanity. “We don’t know how many people had to bury their loved ones in their own yards without funerals and how many died of hunger or preventable diseases,” he said. Qureshi added that as far as civil and political rights were concerned, the entire leadership of Kashmir had been arrested or put under house arrest. “Even India’s own puppet former chief ministers were arrested,” he said, adding handpicked civil servants of India appointed as Governors of both units of Jammu and Kashmir with all constitutional and administrative powers delegated to them. According to some conservative estimates, more than 30000 youth from 9 to 28 years have been lifted and put in jails in different parts of the country. Other speakers of the conference also emphasized upon the international community to play its role for end of curfew in the occupied valley and a peaceful settlement of Kashmir issue.

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