In Geneva, A Kashmiri Woman Hails Abrogation of Article 370

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SRINAGAR: A Kashmiri woman has hailed the abrogation of Article 370 and asserted it ended the discrimination with the Kashmiri women. She has said that in pre-August 2019 Kashmir, women marrying non-state subjects were deprived of their inheritance.

Syed Tehmeena speaking to ANI, a screengrab

“A Kashmiri girl who will marry outside Kashmir will now not lose her property rights,” news gatherer Asian News International (ANI) quoted Tehmeena saying to an event in Geneva. “A Kashmiri woman who married outside Kashmir in the past, she and her children were not having the right to own a property in Kashmir. Now they can buy a land and house, which is her right”.

The news agency said Ms Tehmeena was part of the discussion that took place at an event titled Jammu and Kashmir: Sifting facts from fiction and was held at Geneva Press Club on the sidelines of the ongoing 43rd session of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC).

“Pakistan has worked to improve its film industry and theatres, whereas our theatres were forced to close by carrying out attacks”, Tehmeena was quoted saying, asserting that Pakistan lacks a right to interfere in the Kashmir issue, rather it should work to improve its own legislation and government system. The new agency termed the lady as a Kashmir activist.

Introducing her as the True Voice of Kashmir, Asian Lite News reported Ms Tehmeena started her interaction “with intense sorrow and anger”.

EU delegation while boarding Shikaras in Dal Lake Srinagar. KL Image by Bilal Bahadur

EU delegation while boarding Shikaras in Dal Lake Srinagar. KL Image by Bilal Bahadur

“My state, paradise on the earth, lost against a fanatical ideology,” she, according to Asian Lite News, said. “Insurgencies and terrorism fuelled by the Pakistan establishment undermined it. Kashmiri women became the victim of social practices.” She stated that “Women were deprived of education, faced domestic violence, excluded from politics and facing sexual attacks”.

The Monday event, according to above mentioned two news sources, was attended by a number of activists and journalists from Jammu and Kashmir and Pakistan administered Kashmir along with European Parliamentarians and foreign experts.

Nathan Gill, former Member of European Parliament praised the abrogation of Article 370 as it was “appropriate” for fighting terrorism. “The Union Territory has seen a new dawn and people here have seen themselves as equal citizens in India”, ANI quoted Gill saying. “The way you fight against terrorism is for the people to say, ‘enough is enough’, and to turn against it. The abrogation of Article 370 will eventually lead to the people of Pakistan occupied Kashmir demanding more and more for their rights and for them to be reintegrated for the rest of the Indian community.”

EU delegation enjoying a boat ride in Dal Lake Srinagar. KL Image by Bilal Bahadur

EU delegation enjoying a boat ride in Dal Lake Srinagar. KL Image by Bilal Bahadur

Gianna Gancia, another Member of the European Parliament highlighted the deteriorating human rights situation in Pakistan, especially the people from minority communities. “India’s move to introduce the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) will help the persecuted minority community to get citizenship in India,” Gancia said.

Brian Toll, a former Director of the European Commission was quoted saying that Kashmir, the most beautiful part of the world known for their hospitality, faced the worst years because of the rise in terrorism with Pakistani support.

Participants from the other side of the Redcliff divide hit Pakistan, right, left and centre.

“Islamabad calls it ‘Azad’ or Free Kashmir which is total fiction,” Mohammad Sajjad Raja, who heads the UK based JKNAP told the conference. “I am from that part of the world and there is no freedom to the people in Pakistan occupied Jammu Kashmir. We have no constitutional, legal, religious or social rights there. All banned terror organisation are free to work in our part of Jammu and Kashmir.”

Senge Sering, President, Gilgit Baltistan Studies said that Pakistan has used GB as a launch-pad for terrorists “as everybody knows that Kargil war as it was initiated, orchestrated from Gilgit Baltistan.”

“We believe that the international community should have a chance to access the reality of Jammu and Kashmir. When it comes to reality, it is about its history, demography, political situation and relation with India,” ANI quoted Senge Sering saying.

Visuals from an event of a conference held on the sidelines of the UNHRC meeting in Geneva on March 2, 2020.

New Delhi has flown a high-level delegation to Geneva for defending the CAA and the Kashmir interventions. Editor politician M J Akbar shared the dais with various Indian and European MPs to address various events.

“A panel made up of European and Indian parliamentarians along with religious leaders held a discussion over the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and the situation of Muslims in India on the side-lines of Human Rights Council in United Nations, Geneva,” reported The Hindustan Times. The delegation includes journalist Atika Farouqi and the Chief Imam of India, Umar Ahmed Ilyasi, “who is among the first Indian Muslims to support CAA”.

Asian Lite News reported on its website that two prominent members of the European Parliament Gianna Gancia and Fulvio Martusciello accused Pakistan of meddling in Kashmir to achieve diplomatic goals in the international arena.

“J&K chose to become a part of India and Pakistan illegally invaded it,” it quoted Brexit Party leader, Nathan Gill saying. “..based on his experience in Kashmir, he said local people of Kashmir did not want a special status given by Article 370, their only desire was to become an Indian. However, Pakistan conducted huge propaganda on what’s going in Kashmir; Pakistani lobby peddled fake news on J&K situation at the European Parliament.”

Atika Farooqui told the conference that Pakistani initiated “low-cost proxy war to annex Kashmir” and encouraged Jihadist movements to liberate Kashmir from India that cost many lives.

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