Thousands of Kashmiris rendered refugees in 31 years

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Srinagar

In occupied Kashmir, the unabated Indian state terrorism during the last thirty one years has forced over forty thousand Kashmiris to live outside the territory as refugees.
A report released by the Research Section of Kashmir Media Service on the occasion of the World Refugee Day observed, today, revealed that a big number of the Kashmiri refugees lived in the refugee camps in Azad Jammu and Kashmir while many of them lived in Pakistan and in the European countries. The report pointed out that due to the Indian atrocities against the struggling Kashmiris since 1947, over 2.5 million people had taken refuge in Azad Jammu and Kashmir, Pakistan and in the UK.
The report referred to the 1951 Refugee Convention which says “a refugee is someone who fled his or her home and country owing to “a well-founded fear of persecution because of his/her race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion”.The report says that the Muslim majority of occupied Kashmir has been facing threat to its existence and religious identity due to the Indian occupation of Jammu and Kashmir for the past several decades, particularly since 2014 when Narendra Modi-led fascist BJP government came into power. It adds that the RSS-backed Modi regime by furthering its Hindutva ideology is hell bent upon converting the Muslim majority in Kashmir into a minority and turn the territory into a Hindu state.
Meanwhile, Indian troops launched a cordon and search operation Lakadpora Pudsoo area of Kulgam district, today. The operation continued till last reports came in.
Hurriyat leaders, Muhammad Yousuf Naqash, Farooq Ahmad Tawheedi and Pir Hilal Ahmed, in their statements in Srinagar paid rich tributes to the Kashmiri youth recently martyred by Indian troops in Shopian and Pulwama districts. They said that the people of occupied Kashmir were rendering sacrifices for their birthright to self-determination and they would continue their struggle till complete success.
On the other hand, speakers of a virtual Kashmir conference in Bradford condemned India’s illegal actions on and after 5th August, last year, in occupied Kashmir. They appealed to the world community to play its role in the peaceful solution to the Kashmir dispute in accordance with the relevant UN resolutions and the aspirations of the Kashmiri people. The conference was jointly organized by Jammu and Kashmir Self-determination Movement International and Youth Parliament Pakistan and the speakers included Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Governor, Shah Farman, Chairperson of All-Party Parliamentary Group on Kashmir in the UK Parliament, MP Debbie Abrahams; Labour Friends of Kashmir MP Andrew Gowan; Senator Mushahid Hussain Syed, Raja Najabat Hussain, Obaid-ur-Rehman Qureshi and Shafaaq Mohammad.
Debbie Abrahams in a letter to the British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, expressed concern over the rising tensions in South Asia preceding last August’s developments in occupied Kashmir and more recently the movement of Indian and Chinese troops at Pangong Lake and in the Galwan Valley in Ladakh.
An Emirati Princess, Sheikha Hend bint Faisal al-Qasimi, in an interview in Sharjah strongly criticized Islamophobic tendencies in India and expressed solidarity and sympathies with Indian Muslims and Kashmiris.
She also raised the issue of lockdown imposed by Modi government in occupied Kashmir after it revoked special status of the territory in August last year. She said that India, being a member of the UN, should comply with the human rights laws. She compared the situation in occupied Kashmir to that of the Gaza Strip, where Israel has put up blockade over the past many years. —KMS