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Friday, July 1, 2022

Use your good office to end suffering of Kashmir people: Hurriyat to visiting foreign envoys

Stating that “efforts are on to change the demographic composition of Jammu and Kashmir to undermine its disputed nature”, the All Parties Hurriyat (Freedom) Conference on Wednesday appealed to the visiting foreign envoys to “use its good offices and help in facilitating dialogue among India, Pakistan and people” of the disputed Himalayan region.

The APHC led by Mirwaiz Umar Farooq issued a statement as a delegation of 24 ambassadors to India, including those from France, European Union and Malaysia, arrived in Srinagar on a two-day visit to Jammu and Kashmir for making an assessment of the situation post the abrogation of the erstwhile state’s special status in 2019.

“In such situations a curated tour of foreign dignitaries to showcase ‘normalcy’ in the valley to the outside world is misleading. Peoples spontaneous strike, the only means of protest left to them, speaks volumes to the world of what people feel and want,” the pro-freedom conglomerate noted.

The envoys from the EU, France, Malaysia, Brazil, Italy, Finland, Bangladesh, Cuba, Chile, Portugal, the Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, Sweden, Senegal, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Ireland, Ghana, Estonia, Bolivia, Malawi, Eritrea and Ivory Coast arrived amid heightened security arrangements in the city and elsewhere in the valley.

“Efforts are on to change the demographic composition of the state to undermine its disputed nature, after it was downgraded to a union territory of India and brought under its direct rule. All forms of peaceful protest or dissent by the people to this unilateral authoritarian move and its resultant effects, is curbed by force as the number of armed troops in the valley is highest anywhere in the world,” the APHC said.

The delegation, which comprised envoys from Europe, Africa, South America and Asia, were taken to a government college in Budgam in central Kashmir where they were received by the administration and briefed about the strengthening of local bodies, including panchayat. The tour is being organized by the Indian government which has put even the pro-autonomy leaders, including two former chief ministers Mehbooba Mufti and Omar Abdullah under house detention.

The APHC appealed to the delegation “that for the sake of peace in this highly volatile region to use its good offices and help in facilitating dialogue among India-Pakistan and people of J&K for the resolution of this long standing dispute and being an end to decades of uncertainty and suffering of the local people.”

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