Do notforget Kashmiris

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WHILST the world scrambles to deal with Corona Virus pandemic, fear and anxiety prevailsin India-occupied Jammu and Kashmir after reportedly the number of confirmed cases of Corona Virus there reached twenty nine with two fatalities. In our view, these figures of Corona Virus in occupied Jammu and Kashmir are just tip of the iceberg as nobody knows the condition of hundreds of thousands of people who have been confined to their homes since the 5th ofAugust last year by the Indian occupying forces. The consequences of this illegal confinement could be disastrous as presence of one Corona Virus patient in one household will only expose other members of the family to the risk of attracting the contagion. The Indian authorities have once again proved that they care more for the territory than for its inhabitants as no facilities have been set up to test or look after these Kashmiris in this difficult hour. Foreign Office Spokesperson Aisha Farooqui in a statement on Sunday very rightly drew attention towards the plight of Kashmiris saying the continued restrictions pose a greater risk to the life of the Kashmiri people. A chaotic like situation has developed in countries especially in India where lockdown has been enforced to prevent the spread of Corona Virus. Now the Indian people themselves are faced with shortage of essential commodities. This situation should be a sort of soul searching for the BJP-led extremist government. They can now better feel and understand the pain of the Kashmiri people who have been incarcerated in their homes over the last eight months. The world especially the UN and the important capitals must act fast and force India to immediately lift all sorts of restrictions in the occupied valley and do away with the draconian laws to avoid exacerbation of situation there due to Corona Virus. Time has come that the Indian government accept the right of self-determination of Kashmiri people so that they could choose their future. With undue restrictions and lockdown, they cannot change the hearts of Kashmiri people who have been struggling and fighting for their birthright over the last many decades.