WORLD

Azad Kashmir leader slams global ‘silence’ on Kashmir

An Indian government forces personnel stands guards as they block a road during a lock down in Srinagar on August 30, 2019. (AFP Photo)

The president of Pakistan-administered Kashmir has accused the international community of "doing nothing to reduce the suffering of the Kashmiri people" amid the recent crisis in the disputed region.

Addressing a national conference Tuesday on the Kashmir crisis in Islamabad, Pakistan's capital, Sardar Masood Khan said the situation in Jammu and Kashmir is growing worse by the day.

"Today people in occupied Kashmir are being tortured, killed, incarcerated and deprived of their basic rights while the international community is not mobilized and doing nothing to reduce the suffering of the people of the occupied valley," said Khan of Azad Kashmir.

In August, India removed all special provisions granted to Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370 of the Indian Constitution.

It also divided the onetime province into two centrally administered "union territories" and took away powers from its assembly.

"The silence of the international community over tensions between the two nuclear neighbors is criminal negligence, and its repercussions are not only detrimental for Pakistan and the Kashmiri people but for the entire world," Khan told the conference organized by the Centre for Peace, Security and Developmental Studies (CPSD).

Jammu and Kashmir has been under a near-complete lockdown since Aug. 5, after India scrapped its special status, according to several rights groups, including Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International.

India has blocked communication and imposed strict restrictions to thwart any rebellion, while political leaders in the region have been detained as rights groups repeatedly called on New Delhi to lift the restrictions and release political detainees.

However, Indian authorities have claimed 90% of the disputed region of Jammu and Kashmir is free of daytime restrictions.

From 1954 until this Aug. 5, Jammu and Kashmir had special provisions under which it enacted its own laws. The provisions also protected the region's citizenship law, which barred outsiders from settling in and owning land in the territory.

India and Pakistan both hold Kashmir in parts and claim it in full. China also controls part of the contested region, but it is India and Pakistan who have fought two wars over Kashmir.

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