MUZAFFARABAD, March 9: The Tehreek-e-Kashmir UK hosted an International Kashmir Conference on the occasion of International Women’s Day, which was addressed by the President of Azad Jammu and Kashmir, Sardar Masood Khan, British and Australian parliamentarians, representatives of human rights organizations, lawyers and Kashmiri leaders from around the world.
The speakers strongly condemned the atrocities being committed against women around the world, especially in Indian-occupied Jammu and Kashmir, where women are facing an unending ordeal of terror and trauma due to frequent abductions, sexual violence, illegal detentions and molestations at the hands of Indian occupation forces
Speaking on the occasion Azad Jammu and Kashmir President, Sardar Masood Khan said that for past three decades, women in Kashmir have been sexually molested, attacked and abused in a manner we don’t find any precedent in the recent history of mankind.
Giving startling figures, which have been collated and shared by Kashmir Media Service, the AJK President said that hundreds of women are among 95,747 Kashmiris, martyred by the Indian military, paramilitary and police personnel from January 1989 till date. At least 675 women have been martyred by the troops since January 2001.
The report, he said pointed out that the unabated Indian state terrorism rendered 22,924 women widowed and 11,236 women including the victims of Kununposhpora were molested.
“These are very staggering and startling figures that provide an idea of the crisis the Kashmiri women are facing in IOJK,” President Khan said. He added that last month of February we marked Kununposhpora mass rape day because decades ago in 1990 some 88 women were gang-raped by Indian occupation forces and since then there has been no legal proceedings against the culprits.
“Women in Kashmir are suffering on many scores. On one hand, they are attacked, raped and molested and on the other hand when cordon and search operations are conducted by the Indian armed forces they usually vandalize houses, insult women and abuse and rape them.
Since August 2019, women in Indian occupied Jammu and Kashmir are a special target of Indian occupation forces. When India invaded and reoccupied the territory on August of 5th 2019, Hindu zealots and extremists started saying that Kashmiri women are now belong to them and they not just weaponise their bodies but also tried to fetishize and objectify them.
Saying that women in IOJK are most tortured and tormented segmented of society, AJK President cited a study conducted a couple of years ago by an International health-focused NGO, which concluded that nearly 50 per cent population of the occupied territory is suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and the number of women suffering from this disorder is disproportionately large because of the conflict, depredation and brutalization that goes on every day.
Masood said at present, some 13 to 14,000 Kashmiri boys were detained by Indian occupation authorities in IOJK and they were sent to Northern India in different prisons and the concentration camps. The mothers of young detainees do not know where these boys are as most of them are incommunicado and this is another tragedy that women in IOJK have to bear in addition to the tragic agonies of every day.
The AJK President expressed his deep gratitude to Mr Kiani for organizing the webinar on this important occasion of International Women Day and thanked Members of the UK Parliament particularly those who are working under the umbrella of All Parties Parliamentary Kashmir Group under the leadership of Debbie Abrahams MP and Chairperson of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Kashmir for communicating to the rest of the world about the horrendous human rights situation in IOJK.
Earlier the chaired of the conference, President Tehreek-e- Kashmir UK, Mr Faheem Kayani in his opening remarks said that the international community has overlooked the plights and sufferings of Kashmiri women and the heinous crimes being committed against them by India simply because of realpolitik.
The webinar moderated by Ms Rehana Ali also addressed by Debbie Abrahams MP and chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Kashmir, Afzal Khan MP and shadow Deputy Leader of The House of Commons, Ms Lee Rhiannon, Former Australian Senator, Ms Danielle Khan, Special Assistant to the Dean, Johns Hopkins SAIS & human rights activist, Ms Rahat Farooq Raja Advocate Supreme Court AJK, Ms Shaista Safi, Kashmiri Human Rights Lobbyist, Muhammad Ghalib, President Tehreek-e-Kashmir Europe, Mr Yahya Akhter, Director of Information Cell TeK UK and Muzzamil Ayoub Takhur, President World Kashmir Freedom Movement.