Choking and gagging IHK Press

IN a bid to prevent people from protesting against innocent killings by Indian forces, the authorities in Indian Held Kashmir have now extended their curfew and restrictions to the very sources of information and communication. After suspending the internet and mobile services, the Indian authorities in their latest acts of oppression, which reflect their utter frustration, are now clamping down on press, raiding printing press and seizing their staff and equipment – a clear act of choking and gagging media that should wake up those who always blow the trumpet of protection of human rights.
We, especially those claiming to be flag bearer of human rights, do not get tired of speaking about the freedom of expression and information as the fundamental human right but the same very right is blatantly being stifled in the held valley with open harassment of the media organizations and their staffers but the world community appears to be turning its back to the whole episode. Since Pakistan has always raised rights of the Kashmiri people, we will urge our representative bodies of journalists and press to come forward and forcefully raise the plight of Kashmiri people and their media at different platforms. Banning the cable network as well as the publication of newspapers should not leave any doubt in anybody’s mind that the repressive Indian regime wants to hide the current wave of coercion and atrocities unleashed by its troops in the territory through all tactics, but we believe that all these schemes as in the past will fail to suppress the voice of valiant and resilient Kashmiri people who have repeatedly shown their steadfastness and determination not to kneel down before the oppressive tactics. It is also time for the world bodies including the United Nations Human Rights Council and media organizations to take notice of the situation in the held valley and impress upon the Indian government to stop such tactics that amount to sheer violation of fundamental human rights. We will also urge the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to play a more vibrant and effective role in the backdrop of current deteriorating situation in occupied Kashmir and send a fact-finding mission to have first hand account of the human rights situation there.

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