Nation Observes Youm-e-Istehsal

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The nation observes Youm-e-Istehsal to express solidarity with the oppressed Kashmiri people on completion of two years of inhuman military siege and communication blockade since India’s illegal and unilateral actions of 5 August 2019.

Eight million Kashmiris have been made prisoners in their own homes. Their communication with the outside world has been deliberately revoked to hide the scale of human rights violations being perpetrated against them by the Indian occupation forces. Young men are being extrajudicially martyred in “fake encounters” and so-called “cordon and search” operations, almost on a daily basis, while the real Kashmiri political leadership remains incarcerated.

The extremist and expansionist BJP-RSS combine, represented by the current Indian Government, is unabashedly pushing the ‘Hindutva’ agenda. It is seeking to change the demographic structure of the region and turn its Muslim majority into a minority in blatant violation of relevant UN Security Council Resolutions and international laws, particularly the 4th Geneva Convention.

As expected, the Kashmiris have rejected these illegal ‘engagements in deception’, and so has Pakistan. Parliamentarians, journalists, humanitarian workers, international human rights organizations and members of the international community have also raised their voices on the continuing gross human rights violations in IIOJK. India stands exposed before the world, yet again, as an oppressor and aggressor. Its so-called secular and democratic credentials stand fully discredited.

For the sake of the besieged people of IIOJK, and for the sake of fairness, justice and human dignity, it is imperative that the international community steps in immediately and backs its words of condemnation with practical steps that will force India to reverse its present course against the Kashmiri people.

Kashmiris in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK), at the hands of the Indian government, are facing systematic violations of human rights, unrepresentative governance, and discriminatory laws. Since 5th August 2019 the people are locked up in their homes because of the curfew. The protesting Kashmiris are being subjected to the worst kind of crimes against humanity. The women are being raped, young men are being murdered and their households are being looted. There is acute shortage of food and medicines. The Kashmiris cannot move about freely.

The situation has worsened considering that on 5th August 2019 the revocation of Articles 370 and 35A has effectively stripped the region of its special autonomous status and permanent residence along with the J&K Reorganisation Act 2019 splitting J&K into further two union territories of India. This has been described by legal scholars around the world as unilateral annexation which stands in violation of international law as well as India’s own constitution making the central government’s presence in the region a military occupation. Following these actions, India took drastic measures to curb any resistance to the move by imposing a communications shutdown, deployment of further troops and detention of key political figures thus converting the area into the largest open-air prison in the world. Such measures have been operational since last year and have not been eased although the area is experiencing Covid-19 pandemic.

Some scholars have pointed out that India’s introduction of the new domicile laws for the region during the pandemic has created covert implications of demographic change and delimitations that will redraw the parliamentary and assembly constituencies in favour of those regions more receptive to the Indian government such as Ladakh and Jammu thus tilting the balance of power from the historically majority Muslim Kashmir state to Jammu. Such assertions indicate blatant violations of International Humanitarian Law which forbids demographic change.

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