Call upon peoples of South Asia to work together for the rights of oppressed nations
An alliance of Pakistani Left parties, civil society and peace activists condemned the Modi-led Indian government’s move to annex Jammu and Kashmir warned that the humanitarian crisis in Indian-controlled part of the Himalayan state can spiral into a dangerous conflict between the two neighbouring nuclear states.
They called upon the people of South Asia to foil the rising threat of fascist and extremist and authoritarian forces in the region.
Addressing a conference on “freedom and peace”, the speakers expressed their concern about the wider ramifications of Hindu communalism and fascism which has endangered not only India’s republican character but also posed a serious threat to regional peace and security.
Expressing their support for the cause of the Kashmiri people for their right to self-determination, they condemned unconstitutional and arbitrary revocation of special status of Jammu and Kashmir and turning it into a virtual colony.
The conference that was sponsored by South Asia Free Media Association (SAFMA) and supported by half a dozen Left parties, called upon the international community to stop human rights violations in the Indian-occupied state.
The speakers were equally critical about the character of current hybrid authoritarian political structure In Pakistan.
They condemned narrowing down of freedoms and violation of human rights and imposition of blanket censorship in Pakistan.
The conference called upon the people of the region to work together for the rights of the oppressed peoples and against the forces of fascism, religious extremism and conflict.
Those who addressed the conference included Awami Workers Party (AWP) spokesperson Farooq Tariq, Mazdoor Kissan Party (MKP) secretary-general Taimur Rehman, PPP’s Asif Khan, Communist Party of Pakistan (CPP) Dr Kahlid Mehmood, HRCP’s Hussain Naqi, Women Action Forum (WAF) leader Saleema Hashmi, South Asia Partnership and (SAP) representative Irfan Mufti.
The conference endorsed a number of resolutions condemning the arbitrary and unconstitutional steps, including the scrapping of Article 370, Article 35-A, and bifurcation of J&K, in violation of the UN resolutions and Shimla Accord and the aspirations of the Kashmiri people for independence.
They expressed solidarity with the progressive, democratic and secular forces as well as civil society of India in their struggle against the communal and fascist designs of Hindutva and Modi government’s ultimate goal of turning Republic of India into a Hindu Rashtra.
“We are equally concerned about continuing violations of human and civil rights and censorship on media and rise of authoritarian and sectarian forces in Pakistan,” another resolution read.
The participants through another resolution cautioned against the dangerous repercussions of Hindu communalism on Pakistan where extremist forces and outlawed terrorist outfits are quite eager to strike a comeback on the dangerous and counter-productive pretext of misconstrued ‘Jehad’.
They condemned all attacks on civil liberties, human rights, freedom of expression, independence of media and peoples peaceful struggles for their rights not only in Indian-held Kashmir, but also in Pakistan.
They demanded lifting of curfew, blockade of communication and imprisonment of political activists in Kashmir.
The resolution also called for an end to ongoing clampdown on media, which-hunt against opposition leaders and activists of people’s rights movements and plight of missing persons in Pakistan.
They cautioned both the India and Pakistan governments to avoid violation of ceasefire agreement on LoC and refrain from turning conflict into a limited or yet another full-scale war which may bring the irreparable devastation of a nuclear winter to the subcontinent.
They urged the peoples of South Asia and the international community to stand up against the spectre of war, possible nuclear holocaust, rising authoritarianism and repression of peoples’ rights.
Kashmir solidarity march
Meanwhile the Lahore chapter of the Left Front, J&K Students Council and organisers of Aurat March will hold a protest demo at Liberty square Gulberg on August 20 at 5pm to express solidarity with the Kashmiris.