Muzaffarabad; 05 May 2021: Sardar Masood Khan, President Azad Jammu and Kashmir, has expressed deep concern over the Covid-19 situation in the Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir underlining that the territory has become a coronavirus hotspot because of Indian occupation authorities’ mismanagement of the pandemic and their discriminatory policy towards Kashmiris.
The AJK President said that the coronavirus pandemic in the territory has spiked with over 200,000 infections and more than 2500 deaths. Every day more than 3500 new cases are being reported and the latest daily cited fatalities have been more than 50.
President Masood Khan appealed to the Director General of the WHO, Mr. Tedros Adhanom, to intercede to save the Kashmiris from the rapid march of death in the occupied territory. Without adequate support and attention Kashmiris are being devoured by the pandemic, he said.
He also appealed to the leadership of China, the United States, western nations and the Organisation of the Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to send a special consignment of medicines, ventilators and oxygen, specifically for the Kashmiris.
“This situation is alarming because Kashmiris of the occupied territory are not receiving medical support and care to beat the deadly virus. Besides, Covid positive cases and fatalities are being underreported”, he said.
The AJK President said that the plight of the people of IOJK is compounded by the fact that their leaders detained in Tihar jail and other prison houses in the occupied territory and northern India are not receiving medical care. “Shabbir Ahmed Shah, Shahid-ul-Islam and Farooq Ahmed Dar, imprisoned in Tihar jail, have tested Covid positive”, said the President.
Moreover, the President said that India is shifting scores of Kashmiri detainees, who are actually prisoners of conscience, to prison hoses all over northern India. Recently, they have moved prisoners to prison houses in Haryana, Agra and Varanasi.
The President demanded that these political prisoners, imprisoned without due process under draconian law must be released forthwith and in this context, he asked the International Committee of the Red Cross and Red Crescent (ICRC), and International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent (IFRC) to play their role to mitigate the suffering of the Kashmiri people.
Since the Indian government treats IOJK as a colony, it has reportedly moved 250 ventilators to New Delhi and a shortage of oxygen has been reported from many locations of the occupied territory. The President said that the acute shortage of vaccine is depriving people of immunization against the coronavirus. In contrast with the widespread vaccination throughout India, Kashmiris are complaining that no vaccines have been provided to them.
Sardar Masood Khan said that since last year the people of IOJK have been under two lockdowns – a brutal siege that started on 05 August 2019 and the Covid-19 lockdown. “Indian occupation authorities have now imposed Section 144 and virtual curfew throughout the valley that has crippled peoples’ lives, livelihoods and businesses”, he said.