India uses COVID-19 situation to advance its colonial agenda in Kashmir: Speakers
Speakers at a Webinar organized by Kashmir Institute of International Relations (KIIR) in collaboration with World Muslim Congress (WMC) on the sidelines of 43rd session of the UN Human Rights Council has said that the Narendra Modi led fascist government has shamelessly used Covid-19 pandemic as an excuse to extend its illegal lockdown in Kashmir besides intensifying its brutal atrocities against the Kashmiris in the disputed territory.
The webinar titled “Freedom of Expression during Pandemic” was attended and addressed by British parliamentarian Mr. Khalil Mehmmod, the UK’s shadow minister Mr. Sulman Alyas Khan, Human rights activists from South Africa Ms. Claire Biddwell, Mr. Hassan Ashraf UK, veteran Human rights activists from Lebanon Lydia Cannan, Syed Faiz Naqshbandi APHC and others. Whereas the event was moderated by Adv. Parvez Ahmed Shah.
Referring to the present precarious situation the speakers of the webinar said that Kashmiris stuck in a dual lockdown for last several months have been facing worst human rights violations at the hands of the Indian occupation authorities, which they said have used pandemic an excuse to suppress the voice of dissent in the region. About the shortage of PPEs, corona testing kits and lack of other necessary health equipment in hospitals in Kashmir they said that during this pandemic of epic proportions India has criminally ignored the region’s health sector. Citing a media report they said that during the pandemic there was a severe shortage of doctors, paramedics as well as health equipment in the hospitals. Kashmir they said was deliberate despite the fast-spreading coronavirus in the region. In Kashmir, they pointed out that there was 1 doctor for every 69000 Kashmiris and 1 ventilator for every 80000 Kashmiris to treat during this pandemic.
Regarding India’s nefarious designs to change Kashmir’s demographic composition they said that Article 49 subclass 6 of the 4th Geneva Convention clearly states that the occupation powers cannot alter or change the status or the demographics of the Kashmir area. Any such attempt by the Indian government they said, would amount to war crimes under article 146 and 147 of the 4th Geneva Convention.
Expressing their anguish over the world’s inaction on Kashmir they said that it was quite unfortunate that many world governments chose to stay quiet and silent on the abysmal situation in the region. This criminal silence on the part of influential governments they said was tacit support to Modi’s actions in IoK.
Regarding the USA president Donald Trump’s offer to mediate the issue of Kashmir between Pakistan and India, they said that it was a golden opportunity to seek a peaceful solution but India that has a history of blocking every move aimed at seeking a solution to Kashmir problem yet again declined the offer.