CANBERRA, Australia: During her speech in the parliament, the Greens’ senator for New South Wales Dr Mehreen Faruqi has said seven million people were suffering under India curfew in Jammu and Kashmir and there was the threat of a severe humanitarian crisis in the disputed region.
She expressed these views during her speech in the Parliament.
“Imagine seven million people in a landlocked valley confined to their homes, their phones dead and their internet blocked,” she said. “They’re up against the nationalist government of mighty power, its army, and its media,” Faruqi remarked.
She also pointed out that it was now over a month since the Indian government unilaterally revoked Kashmir’s autonomy and plunged Jammu and Kashmir into complete darkness, blocking all access to the outside world. “Indian Prime Minister Modi’s intervention goes against India’s own constitutional guarantee and promises to the people of Kashmir. It’s a travesty. Come October, Jammu and Kashmir are set to come under the control of the government in New Delhi—and the people of Kashmir have had no say.”
The Senator said the people of Kashmir have a right to determine their future and they have an absolute right to self-determination.
“Let’s be clear: the Kashmiris have never submitted to Indian sovereignty. The government of India has effectively instituted mass detention of Kashmiris by rushing in troops to join the half a million already stationed there,” she said.
“Some media outlets would have you believe that everything is fine. But, if everything is fine, why is Kashmir crawling with troops and subjected to one of the strictest curfews the valley has ever seen? Why have thousands of Kashmiris been detained? Sadly, this is not new to Kashmiris, who have lived under oppression for decades and who now live in fear.”
It should frighten all of us when one of the world’s largest democracies is prepared to suppress all dissent from minorities.
Faruqi said under the nationalist BJP government, the dissolution of Kashmir as a state meant the rights that empowered autonomy of the Kashmiri legislature in administrative matters, including defining permanent residents who could buy the property and work in the region, are gone.
She urged the Australian government to call on the Indian government to respect the human rights of the people in Kashmir, withdraw military forces, end the mass lock down and the Kashmiri’s right to self-determination.