Pakistan deeply concerned at curbs in IoK despite COVID-19 spread: FO

By: Sabah News      Published: 10:38 PM, 29 Mar, 2020
Pakistan deeply concerned at curbs in IoK despite COVID-19 spread: FO
Foreign Office Spokesperson Aisha Farooqui talks to the media during a briefing.–File photo

Foreign Office Spokesperson Aisha Farooqui has said that Pakistan is deeply concerned over continued restrictions in the Indian-Occupied Jammu and Kashmir despite so many confirmed cases and two deaths from novel coronavirus.

In a statement issue by the Foreign Office in Islamabad on Sunday, Aisha Farooqui said that thousands of Kashmiri youth, members of civil society, journalists and Kashmiri leaders remained incarcerated in Indian prisons, many of them at undisclosed locations and away from their families, adding that the Indian forces continued 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). The spokesperson said that senior Hurriyat leadership was under detention at homes or in different prisons. Hurriyat leaders Muhammad Yasin Malik, Syeda Asia Andrabi and others are languishing in Indian jails under fake charges without a free or fair trial, she said. Yasin Malik, already suffering from health problems, has threatened going on an indefinite hunger strike in protest against the charge sheet fabricated against him by the Indian government using a 30-year-old case.

Aisha Farooqui went on to say that since the Indian illegal actions of August 5, 2019, all educational institutions in the occupied territory remained closed and students were unable to continue virtual education due to continued restrictions on the 4G internet services.

While the world is fighting the worst global health emergency, over 900,000 Indian military and paramilitary troops continue adding to the sufferings of unarmed Kashmiris, she said. She said that the international community, cognizant of the worst human rights violations and the atrocities being perpetrated by India in occupied Jammu and Kashmir, must urgently tell India to lifting communication restrictions and allow unfettered access to medical and other essential supplies. She said the Indian government must be told to immediately release 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 disputed region.

Aisha Farooqui said that dire human rights and humanitarian situation in occupied Kashmir, exacerbated by India’s illegal and unilateral actions since 5 August 2019, had been amply exposed by the international human rights organisations and international media. The Indian government cannot continue to suppress the legitimate aspirations of people of occupied Kashmir without facing international opprobrium and censure.

“On its part, Pakistan will continue supporting its Kashmiri brethren in their rightful struggle against Indian oppression till realisation of their inalienable right to self-determination as enshrined in the United Nations Security Council Resolutions,” she said.