LONDON: Labour leader and MEP for North West England region Julie Ward has said that as a representative of a large Kashmiri diaspora in the NW of England, and as a human rights campaigner, I have always stood in solidarity with the people in J&K who are fighting against military occupation.
“Sadly, the situation for civilians in ‘IOK’ is worsening. Last week, four civilians and an Indian soldier were killed in a gun battle. These terrible deaths provoked further violence between protesters who had gathered”, she said. “This incident occurred in a context of growing human rights violations, particularly against women. Recently, the abhorrent practice of braid-chopping has been used against women. These terrible attacks deny women of their dignity, and are extremely worrying.
“The Indian state enjoys complete impunity for these human rights violations and thisis unacceptable. I am saddened to see, for instance, thatIndia sits unperturbed at the Commonwealth Summit this week whilst my Kashmiri women friends demonstrate outside on the streets of London.
“I therefore call on the High Representative to strongly condemn the use offorce against civilians, and to use all diplomatic means in her power to de-escalate the situation, Julie Ward MEP emphasised.