UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres Wednesday underscored the need for respecting human rights in Indian Occupied Kashmir, which is under repressive lockdown for over six weeks now, and urged India and Pakistan to find a solution to the grave crisis through dialogue.
Responding to a question from a Pakistani journalist at his crowded press conference marking the start of the General Assembly’s 74th session, he said he would continue to advocate for the peaceful settlement of the decades-old Kashmir dispute.
In occupied Kashmir, curfew and communications blackout continued since August 5, when Modi led BJP government revoked article 370 and 35A of the Indian constitution, which granted special status to Kashmir.
The authorities relaxed restrictions to a limited extent in some areas and opened schools but the students failed to turn up as parents were unwilling to send their children to schools in view of their safety. The attendance in government offices in these areas also remained thin. The mobile telephone and internet services continued to remain totally suspended.
Due to the ongoing military clampdown, the people of the Kashmir valley are facing acute shortage of basic essentials including food, milk and life-saving drugs. Under the prevailing circumstances, the local newspapers find it difficult to hit the stands, while they couldn’t update their online editions.