Indian Army presence in IOJK more dangerous than Covid-19: Masood

MUZAFFARABAD:     (Parliament Times)   The AJK President Sardar Masood Khan, strongly condemning unprovoked firing by Indian troops at the Line of Control in Azad Kashmir, has said that the presence of Indian Army in occupied Kashmir was more dangerous than the COVID-19 pandemic.

Expressing reaction over unprovoked Indian firing in Pando subsector of Chakothi sector and Khuiratta sector in Kotli district in which three civilians were injured and the property damaged, the state president alleged that the Indian attempting to create a war-like situation in the region when the world was busy to combat COVID-19, were highly condemnable and regrettable.

He maintained that the agonies caused by the Indian government to innocent citizens in the occupied territory by enforcing lockdown and curfew seven months ago, still persist. Due to lockdown, curfew and the blockade of internet service, the people of occupied Kashmir are faced with serious difficulties to move to hospitals and to get the latest information about COVID-19, he said.

The President added that these uncalled for restrictions and curbs may culminate in mass spread of COVID-19, which will be dangerous for all countries of the region and the whole world as well. Quoting a report of the Amnesty International-India (AII), the AJK president said that Director AII Avinash Kumar has stressed the Indian government to abandon random use of force in occupied Kashmir, and create an environment which is helpful for the Kashmiri people to combat COVID-19.

Sardar Masood Khan said that according to reports coming from the held territory, the COVID-19 testing facility is not available there, and if anyone reaches the hospital, the staff metes out inhuman treatment to him.

He said that all the Indian actions in occupied Kashmir were a naked violation of not only international humanitarian law but also the Geneva Convention. He called upon the international community particularly the United Nations to take notice of uncalled for firing by Indian Army at the Line of Control, and prevent India from provocative acts.

Besides, they should compel the Indian Government to immediately release political leaders and activists of occupied Kashmir so that the people of the held territory attentively and actively play their role to curb COVID-19.

The AJK president expressed sympathy with those injured in the Indian firing near the Line of Control in Azad Kashmir, and assured that the government would take all positive measures to protect their life and property, and will compensate their losses.

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