Foreign Office Spokesperson Aisha Farooqui said that Pakistan is deeply concerned over continued restrictions in the Indian occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IoJ&K), despite so many confirmed cases and two deaths due to COVID-19.

In a statement issue by the Foreign Office she said that thousands of Kashmiri youth, members of civil society, journalists and Kashmiri leaders remain incarcerated in Indian prisons, many of them at undisclosed locations and away from their families, adding that the Indian forces continue to operate in the occupied territory with complete impunity under draconian laws such as Public Safety Act (PSA) and Armed Forces Special Power Act (AFSPA).

The spokesperson said that senior Hurriyat leadership is under detention at homes or in different prisons. Hurriyat leaders Yasin Malik, Asia Andrabi and others are languishing in Indian jails under fake charges without a free or fair trial. Yasin Malik, already suffering from deteriorating health, has threatened an indefinite hunger strike to protest against a false charge sheet by the Indian government in a 30-year old case.

Farooqui went on to say that since the Indian illegal actions of 5 August 2019, all educational institutions in IoJ&K have almost remained closed, adding that the students are unable to continue virtual education due to continued restrictions on 4G Internet services. While the world is fighting the worst global health emergency, over 900,000 Indian military and para-military occupation troops continue adding to the suffering of innocent Kashmiris.

“The international community, cognizant of the worst human rights violations and the atrocities being perpetrated by India in IoJ&K, must urgently demand from India the lifting of communication restrictions and allowing unfettered access to medical and other essential supplies,” she said.