By Zaman Bajwa
The sacrifices made by strong mothers, sisters, widows, and orphans of Kashmir can be remembered in the beautiful words of Faiz Ahmed Faiz who talked about freedom, bravery, and unity in the face of oppression.
Bol, ke lab azaad hai tere:
Bol, zabaan ab tak teri hai,
Tera sutwan jism hai tera –
Bol, ke jaan ab tak teri hai
Pakistan has long maintained that the people in Indian illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK) have the right to self-determination and have called for an end to human rights abuses in the region. On the occasion of Kashmir Solidarity Day, the government of Pakistan has traditionally expressed its support for the people of IIOJK and called for a peaceful resolution to the ongoing conflict. Over the years, the Government of Pakistan has consistently raised the issue of human rights abuses in IIOJK at the United Nations and other international forums. Pakistan has called for an end to human rights violations and has called on the international community to take action to protect the rights of the people in the region.
Kashmir Solidarity Day is a day of remembrance and support for the people of in Indian illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK), who has been suffering from human rights abuses and economic turmoil for decades. One particular area of concern is the rights of women and children in IIOJK, which have been severely impacted by the ongoing conflict in the region. Over the last 75 years, women and children in IIOJK have been subject to a wide range of human rights abuses, including sexual violence, forced displacement, and economic exploitation. According to Amnesty International, women in IIOJK have been particularly vulnerable to sexual violence by Indian security forces, with many cases of rape and sexual assault being reported over the years.
The situation for women living in IIOJK has also been compounded by the ongoing conflict in the region, which has led to a breakdown in law and order and has made it difficult for women to access basic services such as healthcare and education. The conflict has also resulted in the large-scale displacement of families, with many women and children being forced to flee their homes and live in overcrowded and unsanitary conditions. The impact of the conflict on the economic and psychological well-being of women in IIOJK has been severe. Many women have lost their livelihoods as a result of the conflict, and have been forced to rely on humanitarian aid to survive. The ongoing insecurity and fear in the region have also taken a toll on the mental health of women, with many suffering from depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder.
According to a report by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the economic cost of the conflict in IIOJK is estimated to be around $1.4 billion per year and has severely impacted the economic growth and development of the region.
A study by the International Labor Organization (ILO) found that the conflict has resulted in a high rate of unemployment and poverty in IIOJK, with women being particularly affected. International organizations such as the United Nations (UN) and Amnesty International have called for an end to the human rights abuses in IIOJK, and have called on the Indian government to take action to protect the rights of women and children in the region. However, despite these calls, the situation for women and children in IIOJK remains dire, with human rights abuses continuing to be reported on a regular basis.
The ongoing conflict in Jammu and Kashmir has affected not only adults but also children who have been caught in the crosshairs of violence and human rights violations. Children in in Indian illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK)) have been impacted in various ways, from physical harm to psychological trauma and disruption to their education. According to a report by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), children in IIOJK are at risk of physical harm as a result of the ongoing conflict, with many being killed or injured by cross-border firing and shelling.
Furthermore, children in the region are also at risk of being recruited by armed groups and being used as human shields. The conflict has also had a severe impact on the education of children in IIOJK. Many schools have been damaged or destroyed as a result of the fighting, and many children have been forced to flee their homes, resulting in a disruption to their education. Furthermore, the ongoing insecurity in the region has also made it difficult for children to access basic services such as healthcare and education.
A report by Save the Children has found that children in the region are at risk of developing mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder. The international community has a responsibility to protect the rights of children affected by the conflict in Jammu and Kashmir. UNICEF and other international organizations have called for an end to the violence and the protection of the rights of children in the region. Furthermore, it’s crucial to provide the necessary support for children to overcome the trauma and continue their education.
In a nutshell, Kashmir Solidarity Day serves as a reminder of the ongoing human rights crisis in Indian illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir and the need for international action to protect the rights of women and children in the region. The situation for women and children in IIOJK is particularly dire, with ongoing conflict, human rights abuses, and economic turmoil having a severe impact on their lives.
This is one of the oldest conflict on the UN agenda which should be solved as per wishes of people of Kashmir. The OIC contact group on Kashmir comprises Azerbaijan, Niger, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Türkiye, is playing an important role on multilateral forums.
Azerbaijan supports Pakistan’s rightful position on the issue of Jammu and Kashmir, President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev said during a meeting with Prime Minister of Pakistan Shahbaz Sharif in Samarkand, President Aliyev emphasized that Azerbaijan also supported Pakistan’s rightful position on the issue of Jammu and Kashmir and stood in solidarity with Pakistan on this issue.
The international community must continue to raise awareness about the situation in IIOJK, and that action is taken to bring an end to the human rights abuses and economic exploitation taking place in the region.
The writer is an Executive Director of YFK-International Kashmir Lobby Group.
- University of Azad Jammu and Kashmir Joins YFK- International Kashmir Lobby Group in Honouring Syed Ali Gilani’s Freedom Leadership - September 7, 2023
- 5th August, A Doom’s Day for the Desolate Kashmiris - August 7, 2023
- Youm-e-Istehsal: Kashmir’s Struggle for Freedom, Echoes of Resilience and the Pursuit of Self-Determination - August 5, 2023