Azad Jammu and Kashmir President Sardar Masood Khan has said that there was a severe humanitarian and health emergency in the Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir, which has attained a crisis like situation. ‘The global community must step up to the plate and intervene before it is too late’, he urged the international community while addressing the 10th International Conference of Medics International – as the chief guest – in the federal capital on Sunday’, AJK Presidential Secretariat said in a press statement later issued on Sunday.
Medics international is a global NGO, based in the USA which comprises of health professionals from across the world. Citing a report compiled and released by Doctors Without Borders (MSF) in collaboration with the University of Kashmir, the AJK President Masood said that there is a prevalence of some sort of mental distress, anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in nearly 1.8 million Kashmiris adults – 45 per cent of Kashmir’s adult population.
Separate studies, he said, have shown that a high number of children between the ages of 11 and 15 suffer from PTSD due to witnessing deaths, being victims of sexual abuse, suffering torture, seeing the destruction of property and loss of education. It has been reported that these children have undergone major behavioural changes. President Masood Khan said that Indian occupation forces have kept the entire population of IOJK under a siege since August 5. 13,000 young boys have been incarcerated and transferred to the most notorious prison houses all over India.
Young Kashmiris are being shot at, blinded, maimed and the women are sexually molested and harassed. Kashmir has witnessed the highest number of blindings in any conflict zone, he said, while adding that 1200 Kashmiris have been blinded and another 6,000 to 7,000 have been riddled with pellets. ‘The Kashmiris are going through the darkest period in their history and the unrelenting barbarity of the Indian occupation is reaching proportions never seen before’, he said.
A majority of the people in IOJK have gone through conflict-related trauma, the New Internationalist has reported that apart from PTSD, it was found that many Kashmiri people are suffering from schizophrenia, bipolar disorders, phobias, OCD, dysthymia and generalized anxiety disorder, said Masood Khan.
He informed that the people of IOJK have been denied basic health facilities, the hospitals have been transformed into graveyards and the infirm have nowhere to go. He informed that UN-Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in its 2018 report has said that India continues to violate the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and the United Nations Basic Principles on the Use of Force and Firearms by Law Enforcement Officials. ‘Doctors, paramedical staff, ambulance drivers are physically assaulted, ambulances have been damaged and their movement restricted. Patients flee hospitals in fear of being arrested’, he said.
The AJK President said that India has taken up an aggressive posture and continues to threaten AJK and Pakistan with war. He added that not only this but India’s fascist BJP government has now targeted all Muslims in India. India, he said, is brewing a civilizational war which must be stopped.