Kashmiri leaders are appealing for the United Nations to urgently intervene in the rising tensions over the future of the Himalayan territory.
Tensions in the region remain high after India revoked Kashmir’s special status – large congregations have been banned for the major Islamic festival of Eid in Indian-administered Kashmir, where an unprecedented communications block on landlines, mobile and internet remained in place for an eighth-day.
Residents have been granted access to visit their local mosques, according to Indian officials, but the communication block means they have been unable to call relatives. Large congregations were banned in an attempt to avoid anti-India protests.
One key leader told Sky News:
“Even if the world doesn’t care about Kashmiris, then care about humanity because what happens in Kashmir will affect the whole world”.
Mushaal Hussein Mullick, who is in exile in the Pakistani capital Islamabad, in response said she was speaking for those, including her arrested husband, “who have no voice”.
Her partner, Yaseen Malik, is considered the founder of the armed struggle in Kashmir and is one of the most popular separatist leaders.
He is the foremost advocate for the separation of Kashmir from both India and Pakistan but he’s currently in India’s Tihar jail awaiting trial on terror offences. He denies the accusations.
Mr. Malik leads the Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front and renounced violence in 1994, instead adopting peaceful methods to try to reach a settlement on Kashmir’s future.
Before his recent arrest, he had one-on-one meetings with the president of Pakistan, the prime minister of Pakistan, the prime minister of India and other world leaders.
Now though, his wife claims his health has drastically deteriorated in jail because of ‘torture’ she says he’s enduring.
“He is critically ill and needs to be moved to an intensive care facility” she said.