Indian intellectuals lash out at Modi government over flawed Kashmir policy

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Indian intellectuals lash out at Modi government over flawed Kashmir policy

ISLAMABAD (APP): A group of 25 people from different walks of life in India and occupied Kashmir has urged New Delhi to recognize Kashmir as a dispute and accept that its resolution can only come through political means and not through military intervention and suppression of all human and democratic rights of the Kashmiri people.

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According to Kashmir Media Service (KMS), the group in a statement issued in New Delhi sought withdrawal of Indian army and other paramilitary forces including the Central Reserve Police Force, Border Security Force and Indo Tibetan Border Police from civilian areas of the occupied territory.

It also demanded repeal of draconian laws, Public Safety Act and Armed Forces Special Powers Act, release of all political prisoners, grant of access to a UN fact-finding mission to occupied Kashmir, establishment of a judicial tribunal to examine all cases of extrajudicial killings, including that of Burhan Wani.

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The statement said that the group members representing people's movements, women's organisations, trade unions, human rights organisations, youth organisations and individuals and who were journalists, writers and filmmakers, from occupied Kashmir and Indian states of Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Manipur, Nagaland, Odisha (Orissa) and Tamil Nadu, visited the occupied territory from November 11 50 20, 2016 with the objective of understanding first-hand, from ordinary people and civil society, situation of the Kashmir Valley that had emerged over the past four-and-half months since the extrajudicial killing of three members of Hizbul Mujahideen - Burhan Wani, Sartaj Sheikh and Pervaiz Lashkari - by Indian troops on July 8, 2016.

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The group also urged India to initiate an open and transparent dialogue, without pre-conditions, with all sections of the Kashmiri people and their representatives in order to bring about a resolution of the Kashmir dispute that "recognizes the aspirations of people to determine their own destiny through demonstrably democratic means."

"We also call upon all Indian citizens to recognize that the actions of the Indian state in the Kashmir Valley are far away from the values of a democratic republic and beyond the pale by any acceptable norms of a civilized society in the 21st century.

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We call upon all Indian peoples to ensure that the injustices against Kashmiri people are brought to amend and their democratic aspirations addressed," the statement added.