May 27, 2024

MOON Desk: Pakistan on Monday condemned the Indian authorities’ decision to declare the Tehreek-e-Hurriyat Jammu and Kashmir (TeH) as an unlawful association for a period of five years, terming it a “subjugation of Kashmiris’. Earlier in the day, India announced that it had declared the TeH as an “unlawful association.”

The party has been banned for five years under the country’s anti-terror law.

“Banning of political parties is part of India’s relentless campaign to subjugate the Kashmiri people, suppress dissent, and consolidate its occupation of Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK),” the Foreign Office said in a statement.

The FO said that these actions blatantly violate democratic norms, international human rights and humanitarian law. “India must remove the ban on all the political parties illegally outlawed in IIOJK and respect the fundamental rights and freedoms of the Kashmiri people,” it said.

The FO asked India to release all the political prisoners and dissenters, and faithfully implement the UN Security Council resolutions on Jammu and Kashmir.

The TeH is the second Kashmiri party banned under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) in less than a week. With its banning, the total number of outlawed Kashmiri political parties increases to six.

The party was founded by iconic Kashmiri leader, Syed Ali Shah Geelani, who passed away in 2021 during a protracted house arrest. His dead body was ruthlessly snatched by the occupation authorities, and his near and dear ones were not allowed to attend his funeral.

Tehreek-e-Hurriyat has become the fifth pro-freedom party to be banned in the region.

Last week, New Delhi banned a faction of Muslim League Jammu Kashmir led by incarcerated pro-freedom leader Masarat Alam Bhat on similar “charges.”

Earlier, it banned the Democratic Freedom Party of jailed pro-freedom leader Shabir Shah.

Tehreek-e-Hurriyat, Muslim League Jammu Kashmir and the Democratic Freedom Party are part of the All Parties Hurriyat Conference — an alliance of more than two dozen pro-freedom groups operating in IIOJK.

In 2019, New Delhi banned the region’s largest socio-economic-politico party, Jamaat-e-Islami, as well as the Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front, which is led by Muhammad Yasin Malik, who is imprisoned in Tihar Jail.

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