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Kashmir’s autonomy: Pakistani Left, women bodies condemn Modi’s move

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Herald Report

Islamabad: Left parties and women organizations of Pakistan have condemned the Indian government’s revocation of Jammu and Kashmir’s autonomy.

In a statement, it will escalate tensions in the region and will affect tens of millions of working class and women in the two countries.

AWP: The Awami Workers Party AWP), a Left party, condemned the Indian government move, saying, “We oppose this new wave of suppression of fundamental rights of the people of Kashmir”.

The AWP president Yousuf Mustikhan, secretary-general Akhtar Hussain and spokesperson Farooq Tariq demanded de-escalation of tension and withdrawal of forces from both parts of Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan, and immediate resume dialogue with participation of all stakeholders of the issue.

Expressing solidarity with people of J&K and their struggle for the rights of self-determination including succession, the AWP leaders said that India and Pakistan must honour UN resolutions on Kashmir and conventions on human rights.

“India and Pakistan must stop militarization of Kashmir issue, and find a peaceful solution to the seven decades’ issue,” they said.

They condemned the use of cluster bombs on civilians, military buildup, house arrests, media curbs, suspension of phone and internet services in Indian-administered Kashmir.

“We demand a political solution to the simmering issue through dialogue to end sufferings of the Kashmiri people, especially women and children,” they said.

They demanded withdrawal of the decision and holding plebiscite in the three parts of Kashmir.

WDF: The Women Democratic Front (WDF), a socialist feminist organization also expressed concern over siege of J&K, repeal of special status given to Kashmir and Ladakh in Indian constitution, and spike in human rights violations in the contested Himalayan state.

“Jingoism and war mongering by the ruling class right wing forces on both side have turned Kashmir into a flashpoint and cashing in on the bloodshed and unimaginable sufferings and suppression of Kashmiris, in particular, and the working class of India and Pakistan,” WDF President Ismat Shahjahan said in a statement.

“We express solidarity with people of Kashmir, especially with women who have been suffering the most for decades,” she added.

We can imagine the brunt of violence and state oppression on women as we are facing the same situation in ex-FATA, Balochistan, and Gilgit-Baltistan.

Based on international democratic principles, WDF acknowledges Kashmiris’ right to self-determination including secession. Until then, we demand resumption of free movement of people and commodities between the divided parts of Kashmir, opening of ancient routes between Baltistan and Ladakh to ensure reunion of divided families and enforcement of all UN treaties on their socio economic rights, she said.

WAF: The Women’s Action Forum (WAF) expressed shock over the decision. “Stripping the former State of Jammu and Kashmir of its special status by revoking Article 370 and 35-A of the Indian Constitution, has seriously undermined the spirit of democracy and justice in India,” said WAF in  a statement.

By removing Article 35-A India has reneged on the historical principle of protecting Kashmir’s land, property and resources from outside appropriation, WAF leader Nageen Hyat said.

This will lead not only to rampant capitalist adventurism under legal cover, but will also create circumstances pushing Kashmiris into further distress by selling their property. The expected influx of non-Kashmiris into Jammu and Kashmir will transform the demography of the valley leading to large-scale enforced internal displacement.

“WAF strongly believes that the future of Kashmir must be decided by the people – women and men — of Jammu and Kashmir on both sides of the line of control (LOC).

This was promised by both India and Pakistan in 1948, with the Kashmiris right to self-determination endorsed by UN Security Council resolutions.

WAF extends its support to the people of J&K and all who support their fundamental human rights, primarily the right of self-determination. In particular, WAF expresses solidarity with the women of J&K who have been facing for long intolerable suffering as victims and survivors of violence including rape by law enforcement entities.

The forum hopes that this unfortunate situation does not escalate into further misery for the people of J&K, and reiterates that their aspirations MUST remain the basis upon which a just and peaceful resolution of the crisis is arrived at.

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