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March 30, 2020

Amid coronavirus: Indian troops adding to IOK people’s sufferings

Top Story

March 30, 2020

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan says that while the world is fighting the worst global health emergency, over 900,000 Indian military and para-military occupation troops continue adding to the sufferings of innocent Kashmiris.

The Indian government cannot continue to suppress the legitimate aspirations of the people of IOJK without facing international opprobrium and censure.

“The international community, cognizant of the worst human rights violations and the atrocities being perpetrated by India in IOJK, must urgently demand from India lifting of communication restrictions and allowing unfettered access to medical and other essential supplies”, said the Foreign Office on Sunday.

While the attention of the world is now focused on fighting COVID-19, Pakistan sent out a strong message to the people of Kashmir saying that it will continue supporting its Kashmiri brethren in their rightful struggle against Indian oppression till the realisation of their inalienable right to self-determination as enshrined in the United Nations Security Council resolutions.

“Pakistan is deeply concerned over continued restrictions in the Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IOJK), despite so many confirmed cases and two deaths due to COVID-19”, said the Foreign Office in its statement.

It pointed to thousands of Kashmiri youth, members of civil society, journalists and Kashmiri leaders remain incarcerated in Indian prisons, many of them at undisclosed locations and away from their families.

“The Indian government must also be urged to immediately allow release of all political prisoners from Indian jails, end incarceration of Kashmiri leaders including senior All Parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC) leadership, restore full Internet facility in the entire occupied region, remove PSA and other draconian laws, and withdraw occupation forces from the IOJK,” said the Foreign Office.

The dire human rights and humanitarian situation in IOJK, exacerbated by India’s illegal and unilateral actions since August 5, 2019, has been amply exposed by the international human rights organisations and international media.

The Indian forces continue to operate in the occupied territory with complete impunity under draconian laws such as Public Safety Act (PSA) and Armed Forces Special Power Act (AFSPA). Of worry is the fact that since the Indian illegal actions of August 5, 2019, all educational institutions in IOJK have almost remained closed. The students are unable to continue virtual education due to continued restrictions on 4G Internet services.

“The senior Hurriyat leadership is under detention at homes or in different prisons. Hurriyat leaders Yasin Malik, Asia Andrabi and others are languishing in Indian jails under fake charges without a free or fair trial. Yasin Malik, already suffering from deteriorating health, has threatened an indefinite hunger strike to protest against a false charge sheet by the Indian government in a 30-year old case”, was a reminder from Pakistan.