IOK witnessed 207th day of military siege

Srinagar, February 27 (KMS): In occupied Kashmir, the business community representing a cross-section of trade organisations of the Valley has sent out an SOS through a full-page advertisement to highlight the prevailing emergency situation of economy in the territory.

The advertisement published in local dailies on behalf of traders, hoteliers, silk producers, artisans and other trade bodies said that the ill-fated community was in the middle of the sea of debt and destruction. The message grilled the Indian authorities for selling false dreams at a time when the local business community is in distress, suffering billions of losses due to the ongoing military siege and communication shutdown imposed by the Indian government since August 5, last year.

The SOS was jointly issued by more than a dozen business and trade bodies including Kashmir Chamber Commerce and Industries, Kashmir Trade and Manufacturers Federation, Kashmir Economic Alliance, PHD Chamber of Commerce, Transport Welfare Association, Travel Agent Association of Kashmir, Artisans Rehabilitation Forum and Kashmir Silk Producers.

Meanwhile, residents of the Kashmir Valley continue to suffer owing to the military lockdown and gag on internet on the 207th consecutive day, today.

Senior Hurriyat leader Professor Abdul Ghani Butt addressing a gathering at Tral in Pulwama said that India and Pakistan should accept the reality that promotion of peace and democracy are linked to the settlement of the Kashmir dispute. He said war is not an alternative, but dialogue is the only way out towards a better tomorrow. KashmirTehreek-e-Khawateen Chairperson, Zamrooda Habib in a statement in Srinagar said atrocities like ban on Internet and arrest and harassment are gross violations of human rights by Indian forces in Kashmir.

Jammu and Kashmir National Front Vice Chairman Altaf Hussain Wani in a statement expressed grave concern over the massive crackdown launched by Indian troops against youth in occupied Kashmir. He said that India was hell bent on killing every voice of dissent in the territory.

On the other hand, in view of the killing of, at least, 34 people, mostly Muslims, by Hindu extremists during anti-Muslim riots in India, the US, France and Russia have issued a security alert for their citizens to exercise caution in light of violent demonstrations in the country. KMS

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