The International Crisis Group (ICG) has appealed India’s allies to play their role in persuading Indian government to restore Kashmir’s statehood.
In a statement, ICG – an international think tank with its headquarters in Brussels, has urged India’s allies to play their part in assuring the restoration of Kashmir’s special autonomous status.
“India’s international partners should do what they can to press the BJP government to, at a minimum, soften its counter-insurgency approach in Kashmir and allow political activity to resume,” the report contended.
ICG has also highlighted the need to free detained Kashmiri politicians and put an end to persecution of Muslims in Kashmir by Indian security forces.
It also urged India’s allies to persuade Indian government in assuring the restoration and provision of basic human rights in the disputed valley as Kashmiris have been deprived of basic services and fundamental rights due to strict lockdown restrictions enforced by Indian government.
In its report ‘Raising the stakes in Jammu and Kashmir’ – ICG highlights that brutal use of force by Indian forces and totalitarian policies practiced by Indian government has backfired and has further added to Kashmiris’ dissent against India.
“India has long used draconian laws to contain militancy, civil uprisings and dis-sent in Kashmir, leading to a dangerous climate of impunity for security forces,” the report said.
The report criticized the ‘Armed Forces Special Powers Act (Jammu and Kashmir) which prevents soldiers from being tried in civilian courts without the central government’s permission.
“Instead of due process, investigations of alleged militants are often marred by enforced or involuntary disappearances, extrajudicial killings, custodial torture and sexual violence against women,” the report added.
Indian human rights violation and illegal targeting of Kashmiri youth has resulted in disgruntled young Kashmiris who have resorted to picking up arms once again, launching a new and violent phase of the Kashmir conflict.
Furthermore, the report recommends that ‘BJP government needs to curtail its armed forces’ impunity, end its reliance on draconian laws and re-engage with Kashmiri leaders of all shades of opinion’.
Meanwhile it also stresses upon the need of effective and productive bilateral talks between India and Pakistan stating that reversing course might not be easy, but the stakes in Kashmir are too high to ignore.