Troops intensify search operations in IOK

Srinagar, January 23 (KMS): In occupied Kashmir, illegally detained Chairman of Hurriyat forum, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq has appealed to the people to observe Indian Republic Day on January 26 as a Protest Day against the usurpation of all political, religious and social rights of the Kashmiris by India.

Mirwaiz Umar Farooq in a statement issued in Srinagar, today, said, India celebrates its Republic Day on January 26 every year despite being involved in violation of all democratic and human values in the occupied territory, which should be a matter of concern for the international community. He said that New Delhi had stepped up rights violations in Kashmir particularly after August 5, last year. He said that the Kashmiri people had no option but to hold peaceful protests to express their anger against the Indian repression.

The Jammu and Kashmir Youth Forum in a statement in Srinagar asked people to observe India’s Republic Day as Black Day to convey the message to the world that they reject India’s illegal occupation of their soil. The Youth Forum urged US President, Donald Trump, to put pressure on India to resolve the Kashmir dispute for ensuring durable peace in the region.

Meanwhile, Intensive frisking coupled with massive cordon and search operations in the name of security measures ahead of India’s Republic Day on 26th January has compounded the grievances of the residents, who are already facing military siege and lockdown for the past 172nd day today. Checkpoints have been set up on all roads and intersections across the Kashmir valley and the Jammu region where both transporters and pedestrians are subjected to vigorous frisking by the Indian troops.

The High Court Bar Association has described the repeal of Article 370 and 35A of the Indian Constitution as illegal and unconstitutional. The Bar Association spokesman, Advocate GN Shaheen, talking to media persons in Srinagar said that Kashmir was an internationally recognized dispute and it could only be settled through political means.

A Washington-based US Congress’s think tank – Congressional Research Service – has released a report on Kashmir that provides background of the Kashmir dispute, reviews several key developments in 2019, and closes with a summary of US policy and possible questions for the Congress. Summarizing the recent development in occupied Kashmir, the report titled “Kashmir: Background, Recent Developments, and US Policy” states that India’s action of abrogating Article 370 and Article 35A of the Indian Constitution sparked international outrage as unilateral changing of Kashmir’s status could harm regional stability. It says that the US and international forums expressed concerns over further escalation between South Asia’s two nuclear-armed powers Pakistan and India which nearly came to war after Pulwama incident in February 2019.

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