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ISLAMABAD: A parliamentary panel Wednesday urged the United Nations, World Health Organization (WHO) and International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to take notice of worsening health crisis in Indian occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IoK) and set up an international humanitarian medical corridor to provide medical support to them.

In a special session, the Parliamentary Committee on Kashmir which held here with its chairman Shehryar Khan Afridi, attended by Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi and others, urged the world community to get serious about health care system in IoK which has completely collapsed due to Indian callousness.

Afridi presented a detailed report on the deteriorating health system in mainland India and especially in IoK and called upon the world community to intervene on humanitarian grounds.

Giving an overview of the pandemic raging in India, he said that the reported active cases in mainland India are 3,487,299, adding 226188 deaths have so far been reported with additional 350,000 cases every day.

He said that total Covid-19 cases in IoK are 191,869 with 2458 deaths and added that total of 4650 cases were reported only on May 04 which are equal to the number of cases in Pakistan during the entire pandemic.

Afridi said that there are only 13,000 litres of oxygen per minute in IoK which, while is too low to cater to the ongoing rise in the cases.

He said the health facilities in IoK are deteriorating and the occupational regime has little help provided in IoK.

Afridi said that the request for setting up international medical corridor on humanitarian ground is from entire nation of Pakistan as Kashmir Committee has representation of all political parties of Pakistan.

Briefing the committee, Qureshi said that the primary concern is humanity and global answer is required to deal with the pandemic.

“Situation in India is delicate and being neighbour, Pakistan is concerned. Pakistan offered assistance due to challenging situation. We have not received any response from India yet. Illegally Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir is also suffering and we feel very strongly as we are connected to them historically and religiously,” he added.

Despite strained relations with India, he added, Pakistan is ready to help India despite challenging situation in our own country.

“Kashmiris are facing double lockdown and they have been under military siege for over 18 months now. They don’t have access to medical facilities and mobilising the world health facilities is a good idea. Indian government needs to give the world community an access to Jammu and Kashmir,” he added.

The minister said that Pakistan took another initiative on our own as Prime Minister Imran Khan wrote to the prosperous world for debt rescheduling for developing countries due to Covid-19.

The special assistant to the prime minister on health Dr Faisal Sultan said that the pandemic is a global challenge and Pakistan is also fighting it.

“All interventions are possible from manpower to PPEs or equipment. At a time when our medical facilities are under pressure, we would like to put forth all medical assistance for the people of IoK,” he added.

Dr Moeed Yousuf, the special assistant to the prime minister on national security division and strategic policy planning said that lives of Kashmiris are most important and have been persuading the world to help resolve Jammu and Kashmir issue.

“We are raising it as a humanitarian issue and not as territorial issue. International law requires the occupying forces to allow international support to the people in occupied territories in global crisis situations,” he said.

He said double lockdown in IoK is imposed as a genocide tool of Kashmiris and youth are being killed in name of fake encounters and their houses are being exploded.

Later, the committee passed a unanimous resolution asking the UN, WHO, ICRC and other world organisations to intervene and setup an international medical corridor for providing medical assistance and supplies of medicines to the people of Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir.

The resolution also expressed concern over the deteriorating health facilities and medical supplies in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir as the people of Jammu and Kashmir are suffering badly due to the Covid-19 Pandemic.

“This Committee understands the fact that India’s medical system is under immense pressure due to the ongoing events and happenings in mainland India due to the sudden rise of Covid-19 Pandemic. We request for immediate intervention by these institutions to setup International Humanitarian Medical Corridor purely on humanitarian grounds and provide medical supplies, equipment, oxygen and other necessary facilities to the people of Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir under Geneva Convention,” it added.

“Being next-door neighbour of India, this Committee expresses gratitude to the government of Pakistan and other countries of the world for extending offers of medical assistance to the people of India on humanitarian grounds. We urge the Indian government to agree to the request of setting up international humanitarian corridor for the people of Jammu and Kashmir beyond political or territorial objectives so as the suffering people of Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir could be provided necessary medical support and assistance.”

This committee also expressed profound grief on the demise of prominent senior Hurriyat Conference leader Mohammad Ashraf Sehrai Sahib.

“We are also saddened on the martyrdom of the people of Jammu and Kashmir who have died due to the Covid-19 Pandemic or by atrocities of Indian occupational security forces.”

“This committee notes with grave concern that senior Kashmiri resistance leaders, Journalists and Kashmiri people detained in jails in mainland India who are soft target of the Covid-19 pandemic and are suffering due to precarious health conditions. We urge upon the Indian government to immediately shift the old age Kashmiris to Kashmir so as their lives could be saved from the pandemic,” it concluded.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021


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