Elections in Indian held Kashmir and detention of JKLF Chairman Yasin Malik –a serious question mark on Indian democracy.
Elections in Indian held Kashmir and detention of Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front-JKLF- Chairman Yasin Malik –a serious question mark on Indian democracy.
Luton- UK: 25 Dec.
A meeting of solidarity with the JKLF and its Chairman Mr Yasin Malik was held here on 24 December in support of the anti-election stance of the JKLF and its Chairman in Indian held Kashmir. JKLF Chairman went on a hunger strike three days prior to his release between the early hours of December 23 and December 24, in protest at the repressive and vindictive actions of Indian authorities against JKLF activists and their families, relatives and friends in Srinagar especially in Maisooma and neighbourhoods where total boycott of the polls took place.
Speaking at the meeting JKLF’s head of Diplomatic Bureau Prof Zafar Khan strongly condemned Indian authorities for keeping JKLF Chairman Mr Yasin Malik incarcerated for almost two months during the entire duration of the election period in Indian held Jammu Kashmir. He called Indian actions undemocratic, inhuman and callous, and urged the International community and humanitarian organisations including those in India, to take serious note of the undemocratic and inhuman behaviour of India’s State apparatus in Indian held Jammu Kashmir. He accused the Indian government of Narendra Modi of showing utter disregard and contempt by violating the most sacred and fundamental democratic principles of political rights and freedom of speech during the elections.
Quite clearly Mr Yasin Malik and his party the Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front-JKLF were denied both of these basic principles and rights as a result of Mr Malik’s incarceration and oppressive actions against the JKLF activists during and after the election process. He reminded the meeting that Mr Yasin Malik opposed the elections in Kashmir within the framework of Indian constitution, which he and the JKLF does not recognise as an alternative to Kashmiris’ right of self-determination, and reunification of forcibly divided Jammu Kashmir between India and Pakistan since.
He said that the concerted and orchestrated campaign, the repressive and undemocratic actions by the Indian government can only be described as a desperate attempt to silence the JKLF and deprive Kashmiri masses of a genuine and representative voice. He accused Indian authorities of being extremely indifferent, negligent and callous toward Mr Malik’s medical condition during his 7 week incarceration by shifting him from hospital to prison cell, especially since he has a long standing kidney ailment that requires regular medical care and treatment. He said the authorities’ inattentive attitude to Mr Malik’s health needs during his hunger strike in particular, has caused resentment and anger within Kashmiris across both sides of the Cease-Fire Line in Kashmir and throughout the Kashmiri Diaspora.
Referring to the post-election situation in Indian held Kashmir Zafar Khan said despite visiting Jammu Kashmir eight times in his six month tenure as Prime Minister of India, Mr Modi has not only failed to obtain the desired results in Jammu Kashmir, he has further fanned the flames and heightened the passions for a permanent solution of Kashmir dispute. The election results have created a climate of uncertainty and an inevitable political stalemate. Zafar Khan called this state of affairs a consequence of communal political agenda which the Bharatiya Janata Party-the BJP-under Mr Modi pursued particularly in the Jammu region Kashmir.
However he said despite BJP’s communal manoeuvring to further its Hindutva and Akhand Bharat philosophy, people of Jammu Kashmir have clearly not gone along with Mr Modi’s government. But he raised a note of caution in particular to people of Jammu region to resist communally divisive and assimilationist political agenda of the BJP in respect of the identity, solidarity and ultimate unity of the entire state, including regions of Azad Jammu Kashmir- Gilgit Baltistan, and pointed out that this identity and solidarity needed to be jealously guarded and protected against forces of communal and ethnic divisions.
He said Mr Malik and his party seek a peaceful and democratic solution of Kashmir dispute and said we have intimated this to major powers including the UK, the USA and all the UN member countries including the members of the UN Security Council prior to, and during the current election in Indian Held Kashmir. He said we hope and anticipate that the world community will stand up and take note of double standards of Indian democracy in relation to Jammu Kashmir, and cited the example of the Scottish referendum in which people of Scotland were allowed their democratic right to decide whether they wished Scotland to remain as part of the United Kingdom or become an independent country. He said Mr Narendra Modi has embarked upon a vendetta against the JKLF and its leadership. India claims to be a strong democracy and yet it prevented Mr Malik and his party from campaigning against the election in Jammu Kashmir and prevented him from a direct contact with the people by keeping him and many of his colleagues behind bars during the election.
Zafar Khan concluded by reminding the Major Powers that like twenty million people of forcibly divided Jammu Kashmir Mr Yasin Malik also seeks to decide a political and constitutional status of his mother land through a fair, free, transparent and democratic process as was exercised by the Scottish people; and said that the presence of seven hundred thousand military and security personnel as well as the overwhelming physical influence of the Indian State apparatus in Jammu Kashmir, election process of the kind that has just been concluded is not an alternative to a lasting and just solution of the Kashmir issue. End.
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