April 13, 2024

Moon Desk: Pakistan’s recent call for an end to the unwarranted and illicit detention of Kashmiri activists is a pertinent reminder of the recurring script of suppressing dissenting voices in Indian-administered Kashmir. This distressing saga has replayed itself time and again, with activists unjustly held under fabricated charges, a deplorable outcome facilitated by the contentious Indian Penal Code and the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA).

Such manoeuvres, disguised as legal proceedings, are nothing but a systematic endeavour to stifle any form of criticism while the ruling BJP government relentlessly pursues its unilateral agenda of demographic transformation, effectively subduing the resistance  movement.

A noteworthy communication dispatched to the Indian government by UN special human rights procedures has sounded an alarm over these arrests, highlighting the grave apprehensions shared by the international community. Yet, there seems to be a conspicuous absence of substantial discourse on the prolonged suppression and systematic violation of fundamental rights in the region. As echoes of past injustices reverberate, the trajectory of these activists could be tragically similar to their predecessors unless swift and resolute action is taken to counter this grave injustice.

It is high time the BJP government was held accountable for these actions, which conspicuously breach the principles of justice, liberty, and human rights. The international community must be unrelenting in its pursuit of justice, ensuring that the unjust imprisonment of activists becomes a pivotal juncture in reshaping the course of Kashmir’s struggle for self-determination. The international community’s silence would be a tacit endorsement of the blatant erosion of human rights and the curbing of basic freedoms, perpetuating a cycle of oppression that the world must collectively stand against.

These arrests paint a grim picture of the ongoing turmoil in Indian-administered Kashmir, and the global community cannot afford to turn a blind eye to this alarming situation. If justice and equity are to prevail, then immediate action is imperative to secure the release of Irfan Mehraj, Khurram Parvez, and their fellow activists, along with a concerted effort to push back against the overarching narrative of silencing and intimidation. The Indian government should be reminded that its responsibilities extend beyond its borders, carrying the obligation to respect and safeguard the rights and freedoms of all individuals under its jurisdiction, regardless of their dissenting views.

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