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Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Press Conference by JKLF at JKLF international Secretariat office, London

  
Following is a transcript of JKLF press conference, held in London on 27th September 2016.

Ladies and gentlemen you will be aware that while world media attention has been focused on Syria and elsewhere, India’s onslaught on Kashmiri civilians has reached all heights. Today is the 81st day of continuous curfew and killings in Kashmir valley and parts of Jammu region, restricting freedom of movement and freedom of speech by use of brutal and lethal force against unarmed civilians who refuse to accept Indian rule in Kashmir.
  • Since 8th July, 82 civilian protestors, including women and children, have been killed in indiscriminate firing by occupation forces.  Unprecedented use of untested pellet guns continues even today despite promises to abandon them.  The Indian manufacturer of these pellet guns has reportedly said that these guns were never tested for human use. They are primarily meant for animal hunting but the Mufti lead puppet state regime has done nothing to protect their own people. Hospitals in IOK are overfilled with 18000 injured, most of them are teenagers. Minimum cost for their treatment is estimated to be 2-3 lakh rupees each. Doctors have said that over 300 will never be able to see again.  You will recall that in the 2014 Intifada  102 civilians were massacred but no one has ever been taken to task to face any kind of justice because Indian ‘security forces’ enjoy special immunity against prosecution in J&K under the draconian AFSPA law since 1990.
  • While Indian Home Minister, Rajnath Singh, was using words like “insaniyat and jamhooriat” he secretly authorized increase of armed personnel to be deployed in the villages and re-activated Special Task Force which was previously used to harass and arrest pro-independence activists.  It has also come to light that relatives of the local puppet regime lead by Mahbooba Mufti were sent to pellet victims’ homes and hospitals to offer them lakhs of rupees of bribes to speak against the Hurriyat leaders but they found no takers. Since then protests have spread to Jammu’s Kishtwar and Rajouri district. This is not new Intifada. Kashmiris have been in the streets since 1984.  
  • Since 8th July, over 6000 Kashmiri students, activist, leaders, lawyers and even health workers, including JKLF chairman Yasin Malik and president Noor Mohammad Kalwal, Bashir Bhat and  Yaseen Bhat have been arrested and are held in most inhuman conditions in prisons without allowing any visits or offering any medical help. Yasin Malik has an acute heart blood-clotting condition but has been refused treatment. We fear for his life. Two weeks ago, Khuram Pervez, a human rights lawyer who was scheduled to visit UNHCR, was arrested at Delhi airport, barring him from leaving the country. You may be aware that India has refused UNHCR fact finding access to Jammu-Kashmir which clearly means that they have a lot to hide. Yasin Malik was taken into custody because of his role in getting the two Hurriyat factions together and Khuram Pervez is in jail because he has collected credible evidence and testimonies from victims of  Indian ‘insaniyat and jamhooriat’.    

  • It's been 32 years since a leader of the Kashmir independence movement, Maqbool Butt Shaheed, was hanged in Tihar jail. His dead body still remains a prisoner in Tihar. Last year 60 members of the UK and European parliament sent a joint letter to India’s President, Parnab Mukarjee, asking him to authorize the release of Maqbool Butt remains to his family. There has been no response from Modi’s India.
  • The issue of mass graves, where some 7000 unmarked graves were discovered in North Kashmir 10 years ago, remains unresolved despite efforts of the human rights commission and Srinagar High Court ordering the government to exhume the bodies and undertake identification and proper burial process.

  • While we have reservations regarding Pakistan’s diplomatic offensive in support of our movement for self-determination we welcome Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif’s genuine offer to the world for ‘demilitarization’ of Jammu-Kashmir  at the UNGA last week, including the call for UN lead investigatory mission,  and we hope that  he is including AJK and GB areas under Pakistani control in this offer.  
  • Yesterday, India’s foreign secretary Sushma Sawraj, stood at the same podium and made a mockery of his offer and shamelessly defied everything that this august body stands for, including mocking of the historic UN Security resolutions, which both India and Pakistan accepted, that do not recognize the J&K   to be part of any country.  
    We are concerned that the  international community, including UK, Europe and USA is less interested in using its  influence to persuade India to come to an amicable solution through dialogue and more interested in selling military hardware to India (and Pakistan), despite the fact  that  the two countries have fought 3 wars and if ‘Kashmir issue’ remains unresolved a 4th war in inevitable,
    Large Kashmiri Diaspora in the UK and Europe and a number of MPs and MEPs have expressed concerns that if the UN and influential world leaders remain silent on this fundamental issue of self-determination and its brutal suppression by India, grave human rights violations will increase and with daunting prospect of war-crimes and genocide against Kashmiri civilian protestors who are not  prepared to compromise with India come what may.
  • We demand to be spoken verbally prepare list of demands.
  • We are going to  speak of  steps to be taken in terms of worldwide political and diplomatic offensive in favour of full complete independence ...etc

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