MUZAFFARABAD, April 25: While expressing deep concern over the growing coronavirus pandemic in India, Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) President, Sardar Masood Khan has demanded the immediate release of thousands of Kashmiri politicians and political activists detained in cramped and congested jails in India and the Indian occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IOJK).
“They are all prisoners of conscience and they are at grave risk’’, said the President in a statement issued here on Sunday. The President said we are deeply concerned over the devastation caused by the third wave of coronavirus in neighboring India. We also appreciate the Government of Pakistan and the Edhi Foundation for offering help to the Indian people to manage this crisis,” Masood said.
The State President said that besides being concerned over the danger posed by the pandemic to the lives of Indian citizens, we are also deeply concerned about the lives of thousands of innocent Kashmiri people who have been detained in various Indian and IOJK prisons for several years and are facing the outbreak of the virus because of unhygienic conditions in the prisons.
He particularly called upon the Indian government to immediately and unconditionally release Chairman Jammu-Kashmir Liberation Front Yasin Malik, Shabbir Ahmed Shah, Asiya Andrabi, Musarrat Alam Butt, Ayaz Akbar, Naheeda Nasreen, and Fehmida Soofi to save their lives. Besides, he demanded an end to the detention of All Parties Hurriyat Conference leadership particularly Syed Ali Gilani and Mirwaiz Omar Farooq. He also highlighted that the health of Asiya Andrabi and Yaseen Malik was deteriorating fast in the Tihar Jail of Delhi.
Referring to the situation erupting out of coronavirus in India, the AJK president said that the people of Pakistan and Azad Kashmir express sympathy with the helpless people who are fighting the deadly virus in towns and villages.
Welcoming the decision by Edhi Foundation Pakistan chief Faisal Edhi to provide medical relief to the Indian people, Sardar Masood Khan said that people of Jammu and Kashmir and Pakistan believe in humanity, despite the suffering of the Kashmiris at hands of successive Indian governments for more than 73 years.
“we believe in humanitarianism; and we will continue to practice humanitarianism”, he said adding that humanity, compassion and core human values can help us fight off natural and manmade catastrophes.