European parliamentarians urge dialogue on Kashmir issue

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Members of the European Parliament have written to the president and vice president of the European Commission regarding the ‘grave and systematic human rights violation of the Kashmiri people.

According to the letter, the people of Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir have been subject to “intolerable suppression of their freedom and fundamental rights over the past seven decades”.

The letter highlighted that since the enactment of India’s Citizenship Amendment Act on August 5, 2019, however, it “appears more evident that India has abandoned any political approach to the insurgency in Kashmir and is managing the crisis with almost exclusively military means”.

It further stated that as per the Amnesty International Report of 2021 and since the revocation of IIOJK’s special status in 2019, the Indian authorities have arrested many human rights defenders including journalists and activists under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, India’s primary counter-terrorism law.

“At least 36 journalists have faced interrogation, raids, threats, or physical assault for their reporting until now. According to Access Now, people in Jammu and Kashmir faced at least 85 internet shutdowns in 2021 – one of the highest in the world,” is stated.

Shedding light on the Modi-led regime’s hypocrisy, it maintained that despite the Indian government claiming that its decisions would put an end to militancy in the region and that there has been a significant improvement in the security situation in IIOJK, Kashmiris are increasingly alienated from the Indian state, with more and more youth joining insurgent groups.

The letter further highlighted the constant abuse faced by the people of occupied Jammu and Kashmir, and maintained that “failure to address these abuses violated the rights of the victims to justice and remedy, which is enshrined in the Constitution of India and international human rights law”.

Conversely, the European parliamentarians also mentioned the “positive development” in the past few years such as India and Pakistan recommitting to the 2003 ceasefire in February 2021 after holding back-channel talks.

The letter urged “dialogue, negotiation, and diplomacy in the resolution of the conflict” and to avoid further escalation of the conflict.

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