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Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Indo-Pak truce a relief for border residents: Mirwaiz-led Hurriyat calls for release of political prisoners

The All Parties Hurriyat Conference led by incarcerated Mirwaiz Umar Farooq on Thursday said that the recent ceasefire pact has resulted in a big relief for the people living close to the LoC in Jammu and Kashmir.

In a press statement, the resistance group said that the fast-changing geopolitical reality of the region also points to the need for urgent conflict resolution.

“The silencing of guns on the Line of Control by India and Pakistan provided the much-needed relief to the residents of LoC, living constantly under its shadow. It also pointed to a thaw in India Pakistan relations, always a welcome development for the people of J&K who see it as a harbinger of engagement and dialogue between the two neighbors and the way forward for resolution of Kashmir dispute,” the statement said.

“Political leadership and hundreds of political prisoners and youth are languishing in jails or under house detention and the health condition of many among them is a constant source of worry. Yasin Malik, a heart patient, needs immediate replacement of the 25-year-old heart valve, as per his family sources, while Shabir Shah’s health has deteriorated in jail as he is suffering from various ailments,” it added.

The statement said that despite repeated appeals from all sections of society and international human rights organizations, the political prisoners and youth have not been released so far, even on humanitarian grounds in times of the Covid pandemic.

The APHC said that even during the Covid pandemic, iron-fisted measures and institutional oppression continue. “The passing and implementation of laws aimed at demographic change, post-August 2019’s unilateral decision by the Government of India to scrap Article 370 and 35A and downgrade and break up J&K into two Union Territories ruled by New Delhi, has led to the fear of loss of identity among the people of J&K which is deeply disturbing them. There is also great anguish at the loss of employment guarantees, land rights, and exploitation of natural resources by outsiders, post the enactment of these new laws. As a consequence, there is a tremendous rise in psychological ailments among people and an alarming rise in the incidence of suicides.”

The APHC said that it has always advocated peace and growth for all the people of the region and its strong belief that this can actually be achieved with the resolution of the Kashmir conflict through dialogue among India and Pakistan and the people of J&K.

“And for a dialogue, trust and a conducive atmosphere is the first requirement,” it said.

The resistance amalgam noted that to achieve that Government must revoke all measures of demographic change and all laws that disempower the people of J&K especially since August 2019 and release the youth and all political prisoners from jails and under house detention, including its Chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq.

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