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A year of military siege in IOK

August 5 marks one-year completion of military siege and division of the State of Jammu and Kashmir. One year has passed since Indian authorities imposed curfew and internet blackout in the Valley.

On that day in 2019, the BJP government abrogated Articles 35-A and 370 of the Indian constitution, revoking the special status of Jammu and Kashmir through a presidential order. Later, the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act (2019) divided the former princely state into two union territories: Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh. The new law changes the definition of ‘permanent resident’ and allows Indians residing or studying in Jammu and Kashmir to claim permanent residency. Government officials and migrants, as well as their children, will also be provided domicile status. The law will also allow people with a domicile status to apply for local jobs.

To deal with the expected reaction from Kashmiris, the Modi government raised the number of soldiers in the area to 1.1 million. It also imposed a curfew and blocked all internet and cellular phone services. The situation continued to worsen as Indian authorities arrested most Kashmiri leaders, including those regarded pro-India. We believe new laws are a pretext to change the demography of the Valley by settling Hindus in the Muslim-majority areas. Introducing laws to allow non-Kashmiris to settle in the state and become residents and making the military personnel and government servants eligible for domicile certificates is meant to change the ownership of Kashmiri lands. Kashmir freedom movement leaders are behind bars and all voices raised in their support are being silenced through arrests, torture and extra-judicial killings.

Pakistan has rejected the unilateral changes in the status of Jammu and Kashmir as violations of international and bilateral agreements. The government sees these as an effort to undermine the Kashmiri people’s right to self-determination, guaranteed by the United Nations Security Council. According to the UNSC resolutions, it is to be exercised through a free plebiscite under the auspices of the United Nations. Islamabad has repeatedly urged the UN and the international community to intervene to stop India from changing the disputed Valley’s demography.

Jammu and Kashmir is one state and its identity will remain forever. They reiterated that Indian status on Jammu and Kashmir is like a forceful occupational country and usurper of human rights. Indian government showed state aggression in Occupied Jammu and Kashmir by dividing it and killing innocent civilians. Under brutal circumstances the silence of international community will deteriorate the situation in IOK. All eyes are on global powers to intervene and urge India to restore the rights and freedoms of the Kashmiri people. United Nations must fulfill the promise of right to self-determination through a fair and impartial Plebiscite. United Nations Security Council, European Union, OIC must play their role on Kashmir issue.

All eyes are on global powers to intervene and urge India to restore the rights and freedoms of the Kashmiri people. United Nations must fulfill the promise of right to self-determination through a fair and impartial Plebiscite. United Nations Security Council, European Union, OIC must play their role on Kashmir issue.

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