‘Threat to Human Security in Jammu & Kashmir’

ISLAMABAD – Chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on Kashmir Shehryar Khan Afridi Thursday said the world would never allow Modi’s Hindutva regime to artificially engineer the Muslim-majority Kashmir into a Muslim-minority territory through bringing in demographic changes in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK).

Addressing a seminar held here jointly by the Human Security Institute and Kashmir Committee on the eve of Youm-e-Istehsaal being observed on August 5, Afridi said the issuance of around four million new domiciles to non-Kashmiri Hindus by the illegally Occupational regime of Jammu and Kashmir have totally exposed the Indian nefarious designs aimed at turning the Muslim-majority State of Kashmir into a Muslim-minority region.

The conference was attended by diplomats, human rights activists, Kashmiri diaspora, civil society and youth. Director-General THSI, Rafique Ahmed Qureshi emphasized how the Indian imposed curfew and outrage in the region is further deteriorating the state of human security. He said India’s illegal actions have endangered all spheres of human security in Jammu & Kashmir.

Drawing comparisons with Israel’s ‘settler’ tactics in the Palestinian Territories, Afridi blamed Modi’s Hindu government for aiming to change the demographic makeup and identity of the Muslim-majority region of Jammu and Kashmir.

1 out of five Kashmiris has been tortured or detained, they cannot be expected to have peace or even the most basic human rights,” said Mr. Afridi.

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“In addition to this, over 100,000 have been killed by the Indian forces since 1989. Furthermore, 7,200 Kashmiri youth have been brutally murdered in illegal Indian custody. 23,000 women have been widowed and 110,000 children orphaned. Over 7,000 mass graves have been discovered in the last two years. If it was not enough, India posted another 200,000 troops in Jammu and Kashmir,” Afridi added.

He said the Modi-led government revoked articles in the Indian constitution on Aug 5, 2019 that guaranteed Kashmir’s partial autonomy and other rights including its own flag and constitution.

He said that to suppress the Kashmiri reaction, Modi regime sent a huge force to Jammu and Kashmir, adding to 900,000 already there — enforce a siege-like curfew. Thousands were arrested and telecommunications were cut for months.

He said the Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu & Kashmir state was demoted to a union territory governed directly from New Delhi, while the Ladakh region was carved out into a separate administrative area.

He said the Indian occupational regime was also coercing the Kashmiri freedom activists through a comprehensive economic strangulation of the Kashmiris and business and construction contracts are being awarded to non-Kashmiri Hindus.

He added that the occupational regime was targeting Kashmiri activists and removing them from government jobs. He said that even people were being removed from government jobs on social media posts or even forwarding a pro-freedom slogan on social media. He said it was not only a violation of fundamental freedom rights but also it was in violation of UN conventions on freedom of speech.

Afridi, who is the Chairman Kashmir Committee, also commented that the situation in Kashmir is getting grave day by day and Pakistan must play its pivotal role in sustaining the Kashmiri freedom.

Afridi lauded the services of THSI for raising the issues related to human security and said that the institute under the leadership of Rafique Ahmed Qureshi and hoped that the think-tank would keep working in the right direction.

Independent observers in the region have accentuated upon the deteriorated state of Human Security in IIOK especially since 5th August, 2019. Among the contemporary global disputes, Kashmir issue is the longest unresolved dispute on UNSC agenda, these observers maintain.

The silence, indecisiveness, and inappropriate response from international community had encouraged India to abrogate the article 370 and 35A, they say.

“As the world has started turning a blind eye to the genocide taking place in the IIOJK, it is a must for Pakistan and the rest of the regional states to push the world to take action to help save the suffering humanity in Jammu and Kashmir,” said one of the key speakers.