Altaf Hamid Rao.
Geneva/ MIRPUR (AJK): (Parliament Times) Seeking global community’s immediate urgent attention towards the impending humanitarian crisis in the Indian occupied territory of Jammu and Kashmir, speakers during a press conference in Geneva said that over a year-long undeclared siege and military crackdown in the disputed region was a challenge to world conscience, says a message reaching and released to the media here on Friday.
The media conference held on the sidelines of the UNHRC’s meeting in Geneva was addressed by Chairman Kashmir Institute of International Relations (KIIR) Mr. Altaf Hussain Wani President Tehreek-e-Kashmir UK Mr. Fahim Kiani, whereas former president United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) Mr. Morgan Lykketoft also attended and addressed the event through video link, the message said.
Highlighting the devastating impacts of the siege on Kashmiris’ day to day life they said, “Besides leaving undeletable and devastating impacts on the Kashmiris’ national psyche the unrelenting siege on one hand left the region’s economy in doldrums while on the other it has enormously affected the education, and health sector at a time when the region was hit by the novel corona virus”.
Amidst a deepening crisis they said, “After 5th August 2019 a population of over 8 million people were held virtually incommunicado by the Indian occupation authorities thereby enforcing a crippling communication blockade in the region. “All forms of communication including the internet, mobile and landline phones, social media sites were disbanded”, they said adding that the entire state was turned into an information black hole for the outer world.
Referring to the OHRC report, which focuses on the worst human rights violations committed by Indian troops in Kashmir, speakers said that the given the volatile situation in the region there was a dire need that the Indian government, which has an appalling human track record of muzzling the voices of dissent, should be pressurized to allow a UN fact finding mission to visit Kashmir to carry out an independent investigation into the incidents of human rights violations, enforced disappearances, and systematic genocide of Kashmiri youth at the hands of Indian occupation forces.
Voicing their serious concern over the persecution and victimization of political and human rights activists at the hands of occupation authorities in IoK, they said that pro-freedom political leaders, human rights activists and members of the civil society who have been raising their voice against the Indian repressive policies were being harassed, humiliated and arrested under draconian laws. Demanding early release of Hurriyat leaders and activists arrested before and after 5th august 2019 they said that colonial tools such as arbitrary arrests, imprisonments and detention of youth in concentration camps were used by India to stifle the voice of Kashmiris who have been struggling for their legitimate right the right to self-determination guaranteed to them by the world community.
Calling for an early and amicable settlement of the Kashmir dispute the speakers said that peace in the region would remain a distant dream unless the long drawn deadly conflict was addressed in accordance with the universally accepted principle of right to self-determination.