Saturday, May 19, 2012

Human Rights Watch Statement

Since partition in 1947, India and Pakistan have fought over the Kashmiri region. Yet in the midst of the horrific conflict between these two states, the opinion of the Kashmiri people have not been taken into account. Human Rights Watch has documented that the Indian Defense forces have exhibited high levels of brutality against the local communities. 
Systematic rape and torture are prevalent throughout the region. Both Pakistani-backed insurgency groups and the Indian military are responsible for the widespread suffering. However, the majority of the rapes and acts of torture are in fact conducted by the Indian para-military.
According to the 1947 Indian Independence Act Kashmir was to have the freedom to accede to India or Pakistan. In 1949, the United Nations issued a resolution ordering the Pakistan government to withdraw its forces from the are. The Pakistani government refused to withdraw from Kashmir. The Republic of India continues to state that it has legitimate right to the region. According to a recent poll taken by Kashmiris, nearly 90% want independence. Residents of Srinagar look at security forces as holding too much power. Eighty four percent of the residents want Kashmiri Pandit, a Hindu community, to be reinstated.

Human Rights Watch implores the international community to not forget the Kashmiri people in the midst of this conflict. The people of Kashmir have a right to self-determination.

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