February 29, 2024

इ – डायरी एक्सप्रेस

ताजा र निष्पक्ष समाचारका लागि

Strong Remembering the Plight of Kashmiris strong

5 min read


As India continues to struggle with the pandemic, is anyone thinking of Kashmir ? Although the Coronavirus has affected about 150 million people in the world since 2020, the past 11 days have seen the worst kind of virus spread and deaths in India, where they have been recording (apparently underreporting) 340,000 to 400,000 cases, and about 5,500 deaths, every day breaking all previous world records of infection rates.

Help from other countries has already started, with transporters from China and other places carrying oxygen cylinders and other hospital equipment that has become increasingly scarce to India. China has also offered New Delhi related-equipment’s to fight Covid-19.

Despite foreign aid, this novel virus has become out of control. Indians have started demanding Prime Minister NarendraModi resign over what is a clear mishandling of the corona crisis.

Last year, under the guise of coronavirus, Indian fanatic leaders had imposed various kinds of restrictions on the Muslim populatin. Modi’s government and the health ministry had claimed that Muslims are spreading this virus. As a result, Hindu extremists have set off a series of assaults against Muslims across the country with this latest wave of Covid.

Sources in the western media recently reported that “Indian authorities had allegedly linked cases of COVID-19 to TablighiJamaat that had held its annual conference in Delhi in early March…Muslims have been beaten up, nearly lynched…attacked in mosques…Hindu extremists are scapegoating the country’s entire Muslim population for deliberately spreading the virus through “corona jihad”, Indian hospitals segregates Muslim and Hindu coronavirus patients…In what many are calling a case of “apartheid” during a global pandemic…made separate wards for Hindu and Muslim patients. It is a decision of the government.”

While, the Modi regime allowed the devotees to come for mass congregations of Kumbh and the supporters of the massive election rallies in Bengal, including leaders of the Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress (TMC) and the BharatiyaJanata Party (BJP), came without wearing masks, ignoring the norms of physical distancing, which further multiplied the Covid virus.

However, implementing the similar anti-Muslim policies, Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK) has become a special target for the Indian rulers since August 5, 2019 when Indian Parliament revoked articles 35A and 370 of the Constitution, which gave a special status to the disputed territory of the IIOJK.

And deployment of more than 900,000 military troops in the IIOJK, who have martyred thousands of the Kashmiris through brutal tactics-fake encounters—closure of mosques, shortage of foods, medicines for the patients and coronavirus-affected persons prove worst form of India’s state terrorism. Now, more than 18 months have passed. But, Indian strict military lockdown in the IIOJK continues.

In this context, New Delhi had also accused Pakistan of spreading coronavirus in the IIOJK, while reports suggest that a new deadly variant of Covid, produced in India, has also entered Pakistan. Nevertheless, besides various human rights violations, India denied medical treatment to the Kashmiris and their leaders who are in jails and those ones who are under house arrest.

But, under the cover of this novel virus, the Modi regime has accelerated persecution of the Kashmiris and their leaders in order to suppress the war of liberation which keeps on going, as Kashmiri people are fighting for their right of self-determination which was recognized by the UN-related resolutions.

In this respect, during a recent weekly news briefing, Spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Pakistan Mr. ZahidHafeezChaudhry, said that “Pakistan expresses its solidarity with the Indian People during their battle against the Coronavirus pandemic and is ready to extend all possible help in this regard.” Mr. Chaudhry also expressed deep concerns over the health and safety of the imprisoned Kashmiri leaders as well as other innocent Kashmiris.

According to him, “The  Kashmiri leaders, including AasiyaAndrabi, Muhammad Yasin Malik, Shabir Ahmed Shah, Ashraf Sehrai, Advocate Shahid-ul-Islam, Altaf Ahmed Shah, Nayeem Ahmed Khan, Ayaz Akbar, Peer Saifullah, Raja MerajuddinKalwal, Syed ShahidYousuf, Shakeel Ahmed, Farooq Ahmed Dar, FehmeedaSofi, NahidaNasreen, Zahoor Ahmed and others (Many Kashmiris) are in different jails right of India.”

He elaborated that some of the Kashmiri leaders and people in Indian jails have already contracted Coronavirus and they were not provided any medical treatment by the Indian government. He called on the Indian Government to immediately release the incarcerated Kashmiri leadership and all innocent Kashmiris from unjust prison.

Answering a question regarding Indian response to Pakistan’s offer for provision of Covid-19 relief equipment’s, Mr. Chaudhry informed that Pakistan offered this help through diplomatic channel and so far no response has been received from Indian side, however “Pakistan is fully ready to provide said item to India at earliest.”

The spokesperson further stated that India had shattered the situation of the IIOJK through its unilateral and illegal actions of August 5, which led to the complete denial of human and citizenry rights of the people of IIOJK.

Earlier, after Prime Minister Imran Khan’s tweet praying for the speedy recovery of the Indian people affected by the virus and calling for cooperation in the fight against the pandemic, Foreign Minister Shah MahmoodQureshi took to Twitter to announce that India had been offered assistance.

Notably, article 55 & 56 of the Geneva Convention—IV states that the occupying power must ensure sufficient hygiene and public health standards as well as the provision of food and medical care to the population under occupation.

In the recent past, a statement of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) of Pakistan also said that Pakistan voices its deep concerns over the health conditions of the jailed Kashmiri leaders in wake of Covid-19 pandemic.

In a report, the Human Rights Forum for Jammu and Kashmir said: “After the government revoked Jammu and Kashmir’s autonomous constitutional status, the Indian authorities imposed various restrictions…thousands of people remain detained without charge, critics are threatened with arrest and access to the internet is limited…the government announced the COVID-19 lockdown.”

The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet has stated: “Even as the pandemic [COVID-19] is forcing the world to address discrimination and inequality, the Indian government is persisting with its repression of Kashmiri Muslims…The government should reverse its abusive policies and provide remedies for those whose rights were violated.”

Human Rights Watch pointed out: “Indian authorities should take immediate steps to protect rights by releasing political detainees…holding to account officials responsible for rights violations.”

But, under the cover of this novel virus, the Modi regime has accelerated persecution of the Kashmiris and their leaders in order to suppress the war of liberation which keeps on going, as Kashmiri people are fighting for their right of self-determination which was recognized by the UN-related resolutions.

Nonetheless, Indian denial of medical treatment to the imprisoned Kashmiris and their leaders, especially those affected by corona pandemic is a clear violation of article 55 & 56 of the Geneva Convention—IV and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).

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