LAHORE: The provincial minister HR&MA Ijaz Alam Augustine has condemned lock down in Kashmir, in a statement the minister said that while the rest of the world has experienced some form of lockdown in recent months as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the people of Kashmir had faced a double whammy. They have had to deal with both the corona virus and an erosion of their political freedoms. Kashmiris had been living under a government-imposed lockdown since last August for almost a year now and it has nothing to do with the corona virus.
He said that looking back the people of Kashmir were promised the right of self-determination, a fundamental human right much highly valued in all societies. It was guaranteed to them by India under the United Nations Security Council resolutions. The unilateral abrogation of treaties with the Kashmiri people and the delegitimising the nationality of its Muslim residents is no manner to nurture any form of democracy. The minister further said that last year the government of India in a sudden move stunned everyone by scrapping Article 370 of India’s constitution which has been the basis of Kashmir’s complex relationship with India for some 70 years. Since August 5, the region faced two lockdowns one imposed immediately after scrapping of J&K’s special status and this continued for over four months and the second lockdown was imposed on March 19 to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The minister said that entire nation express solidarity with their Kashmiri brothers and realized to the world that all the Pakistani nation stand with their Kashmiri brothers