September 03, 2019
SRINAGAR - Many posters and handbills with pictures of ISPR Director General Major General Asif Ghafoor, the spokesperson for the Pakistan Army have surfaced in Indian occupied Kashmir, according to reports on Monday.
The Kashmir Media Service in a report on Monday said the posters and handbills carrying the ISPR spokesman’s pictures surfaced in the disputed valley, carrying the message that Pakistan would continue fighting for Kashmir till the last soldier and bullet. In posters, pro-independence Hurriyat activists announced that the Kashmiri people would together push India out of their homeland, which is a paradise on earth.
The valley is under strict lockdown since August 5 when the Narendra Modi-led government in New Delhi stripped occupied Kashmir of special status by repealing Article 370 of the Indian Constitution. Meanwhile, India’s High Commission in London was infuriated after a UK’s Labour Party leader highlighted a “humanitarian crisis” in the Indian Occupied Kashmir and expressed solidarity with the Kashmiris.
UK’s shadow culture secretary and the deputy leader of the Labour Party, Tom Watson, used strong words to call out India over its aggression, violence, and human rights abuses in Occupied Kashmir during the Kashmir Solidarity Day rally outside Birmingham City Council. Referring to the people he has been associated with over the past two decades, Watson said: “I’ve never seen more worry on your faces than I’ve seen in the last 25 days. You’re worried about your loved ones that you can’t communicate with.”
The Labour Party leader noted that people in occupied Kashmir “do not get medical supplies” and how “there’s no food or water or basic provisions”. The ongoing media and communications blackout, as well as the lack of basic necessities, “is what they call a humanitarian crisis”, he noted. “That is a responsibility for all of us in the international community.”
Infuriated by Watson’s words, the Indian High Commission in London resorted to lies in a tweet, denying “facts on the ground” and saying: “Most of the phones working, no shortage of essential supplies and medicines, shops open, transport plying normally, most schools open, restrictions on movement substantially relaxed.”
“Life is returning to normal. The High Commission will keep updating,” it said in a tweet. That was enough for Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) Prime Minister and a prominent British leader to call out India once again. AJK PM Raja Muhammad Farooq Haider Khan wrote: “We the people of Kashmir r grateful to Tom Watson for his comments in favour of oppressed ppl of J&k.”
On the other hand, Birmingham City Council member and Labour Party councillor, Waseem Zafar, underscored how India was not allowing independent observers to determine on-ground situation. “If you’ve nothing to hide, why are you not allowing independent observers to visit? If your ‘facts’ are actually facts, they will be independently verified,” he said. In occupied Kashmir, the humanitarian crisis has deepened as the territory continued to remain under siege of the Indian army and paramilitary forces for the 29th consecutive day, today.
All internet and communication services including landline and mobile phones and TV channels are closed in the Kashmir valley and five districts of Jammu region. Local newspapers are offline while most of them fail to bring out their print editions. Curfew and other restrictions are in place in the territory since August 5 when the Indian government revoked Jammu and Kashmir’s special status after abrogating Article 370 of its constitution. Markets and schools are also closed for the past one month. Indian forces are using drones equipped with hi-resolution cameras and night-vision devices to monitor anti-India protests and other pro-freedom activities in the territory.
Meanwhile, people are facing acute shortage of food, medicines and other commodities. Doctors have warned that hospitals are running short of medicines, surgical equipment and people are faced with host of problems including patients not being able to travel for routine check-up and staff struggling to turn up for duty due to communications blockade. They say the kidney patients who are on dialysis are the worst victims of the ongoing clampdown.The locals said that India was deliberately lingering on curfew and other restrictions so that people of the territory could not stock food for the upcoming harsh winter. They feared that the situation could aggravate in the days to come if the clampdown persists for another couple of days.
On the other hand, over 11,000 political leaders and workers including Syed Ali Gilani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Muhammad Ashraf Sehrai continue to remain under house arrest or in jails.A Kashmiri rights activist, Gowhar Gilani, was stopped by the Indian authorities at the Delhi airport and barred from flying abroad. He was intended to visit Germany to participate in an event, but was sent back from Indira Gandhi International airport by the Immigration authorities with the only apparent reason that he might expose before the world the horrific situation prevailing in occupied Kashmir.