Canadian activists vow to highlight atrocities in Kashmir

Updated 09 Dec 2019

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Members of the  delegation have been vocal advocates for grant of rights to Kashmiris and have unequivocally condemned the atrocities perpetrated by the Indian government in the disputed region. — AFP/File
Members of the delegation have been vocal advocates for grant of rights to Kashmiris and have unequivocally condemned the atrocities perpetrated by the Indian government in the disputed region. — AFP/File

ISLAMABAD: A four-member delegation of human rights activists from Canada after meeting Mushaal Hussein Mullick, the wife of imprisoned Kashmiri leader Mohammad Yasin Malik, vowed on Sunday to raise their voice against excesses being committed by India in occupied Kashmir.

During the meeting, Ms Mullick apprised the delegation of unabated human rights violations in the occupied valley and growing incidents of torture against senior Kashmiri leaders as well as young Kashmiris, said a statement issued by her Peace and Culture Organisation.

It said the delegation comprised Zafar Bangash, convener of the Friends of Kashmir Committee, Canada, and director of the Institute of Contemporary Islamic Thought; Dr Jonathan Kuttab, an international human rights lawyer and founder of the Violence International; Karen Rodman, founder and executive director of the Just Peace Advocates; and Michaela Lavis, who is writing a thesis on “Forced Migration and International Law: the State of Jammu and Kashmir”.

According to the statement, members of the high-profile delegation have been vocal advocates for grant of rights to Kashmiris and have unequivocally condemned the atrocities perpetrated by the Indian government in the disputed region. The delegation is visiting Pakistan to study the human rights situation in the occupied valley.

Hold meeting with the wife of Kashmiri leader Yasin Malik

Ms Mullick said the government led by fascist Narendra Modi had turned the scenic valley into the “world’s largest torture cell” to silence the voices of freedom. However, all the brutal tactics would prove to be counterproductive and the Kashmiri people would soon achieve their right to self-determination.

She informed the delegation that 126 days had passed since the launch in the valley of a military siege and lockdown that continued to paralyse routine life.

“The most painful thing is that rape is being used as a weapon of war by the inhuman and brutal forces to keep the freedom fighters at bay,” said Ms Mullick.

However, she said the reign of barbarism and terrorism let loose by the Indian government could not break the will of the brave Kashmiri people.

She said the Indian forces had put the Kashmiri leadership behind bars but the Kashmiri teenagers had taken up the challenge of taking their movement to its logical conclusion.

She informed the delegation that her husband Yasin Malik is battling for life in the Tihar Jail, but the authorities are not allowing him to be given proper medical care. She said that Mr Malik should be given his passport so that he could be treated properly.

“His sole crime is that he’s fighting for the right to self-determination of the Kashmiri people, for which he is being made to suffer a slow death.”

Ms Mullick said that Section 144 had been imposed in the valley and educational institutions were closed ever since the Indian government’s unlawful step of stripping the disputed region of its autonomy.

Occupied Kashmir, she said, had been turned into a “garrison city” and had been cut off from the rest of the world to keep its other peoples in the dark about the atrocities being committed there.

Ms Mullick urged the world powers and human rights organisations to build pressure on the Indian government to ensure a just solution of the Kashmir issue as per the UN resolutions and aspirations of the Kashmiri people.

The foreign delegation voiced great concern over the increasing incidents of brutality in the occupied valley and promised they would raise their voice to inform the world of the ground situation there.

Published in Dawn, December 9th, 2019