Kash­miri team in Geneva to ex­pose In­dian atroc­i­ties

Pakistan Observer - - KASHMIR -

UNITED NA­TIONS—A Kash­mir del­e­ga­tion ar­rived here to at­tend the 32nd ses­sion of UN Hu­man Rights Coun­cil in Geneva. A group of ac­tivists from In­dian-oc­cu­pied Kash­mir are lead­ing the Kash­miri del­e­ga­tion to the largest in­ter­na­tional gath­er­ing of diplo­mats and hu­man rights de­fend­ers at Palais des Na­tions in Geneva. Rights ac­tivists and de­fend­ers will in­ter­act with rep­re­sen­ta­tives of more than 190 coun­tries and con­trib­ute to the global hu­man­i­tar­ian agenda.

The Kash­mir del­e­ga­tion’s pres­ence coun­ters In­dia’s des­per­ate at­tempts to play down the con­flic­tat in­ter­na­tional fo­rums. “This is the time to push In­dia in a cor­ner over its hor­rid record in Kash­mir,” said Altaf Hus­sain Wani, who be­longs to Srinagar but lives with his fam­ily in ex­ile in Pak­istan like thou­sands of other Kash­miris. Kash­mir is the old­est pend­ing item on the agenda of UN Se­cu­rity Coun­cil.Vi­o­lat­ing its in­ter­na­tional com­mit­ments to freedom of peace­ful assem­bly and as­so­ci­a­tion, In­dia has is­sued non­bail­able ar­rest war­rants on Monday for Yasin Ma­lik and Syed Ali Gee­lani, two lead­ing peace­ful freedom ac­tivists. The In­dian clam­p­down is de­signed to stop Ma­lik and Gee­lan­i­from or­ga­niz­ing a sem­i­nar in Srinagar on Is­rael­style set­tle­ments that In­dia plans in Kash­mir to move pop­u­la­tion from In­dia into the val­ley and change de­mog­ra­phy in its fa­vor. “We need to draw more in­ter­na­tional at­ten­tion to In­dia’s plans and ac­tions in Kash­mir,” said Syed Faiz Naqsh­bandi, a lawyer who be­longs to Srinagar and lives in Pak­istan. Pak­istan is home to the largest pop­u­la­tion of Kash­miris out­side Kash­mir. Hun­dreds of fam­i­lies are also ex­iled here from parts of Kash­mir un­der oc­cu­pa­tion. They are here to es­cape un­rest and sup­pres­sion.

2Ac­tivists in Kash­mir have been get­ting cre­ative in their peace­ful re­sis­tance to In­dian oc­cu­pa­tion.

In May, 2016, ho­tels and halls in Srinagar re­fused to al­low a Kash­miri au­thor to hold a book launch. Hall man­agers said they feared In­dian reprisals. So the au­thor launched the book on the road­side.—Email in Budgam district who have to wear masks and come with scented hand­ker­chiefs to over­come the stench em­a­nat­ing from the heaps of garbage that is cre­ation of the lo­cals liv­ing in the area. Stu­dents told the jour­nal­ist who re­ported the mat­ter that it is ex­tremely dif­fi­cult to come daily for the stud­ies in such an un­hy­gienic at­mos­phere.

Stu­dents have ap­pealed Govern­ment to clear th­ese heaps of garbage near their school and have said that they may be oth­er­wise forced not to at­tend the classes. This is not the only school in Srinagar out­skirts that goes through the or­deal; there are dozens of schools in Srinagar city where stu­dents face same prob­lems as waste is piled in the open spa­ces near their lo­cal­i­ties.

Why does SMC fail to keep the city clean? Has Govern­ment ever pon­dered over this is­sue or has its hands been full with other prob­lems – like the usual law and or­der? The ba­sic hy­giene in the Srinagar city does not seem a pri­or­ity to them? Should SMC em­bark on the path of pub­lic-pri­vate part­ner­ship to make the city clean and bring in the pri­vate play­ers who can hire the rag pick­ers on some salary to keep the city clean?

There seems to be a sim­ple so­lu­tion to a grave prob­lem of stink­ing Srinagar city, as the SMC ve­hi­cles col­lect the solid waste dur­ing day time mak­ing the en­tire at­mos­phere fill with foul smell.

Why don’t the author­i­ties ap­ply their mind and clean the city dur­ing the night and keep it ready for the peo­ple, tourists and ‘dur­baris’ at the morn­ing hours? They can make the em­ploy­ees to work in the night-shift and al­low the peo­ple to have fresh air in the morn­ing by keeping re­strict­ing all op­er­a­tions of col­lect­ing the solid waste dur­ing night hours.

It will also re­duce the bur­den on roads and al­le­vi­ate the chronic traf­fic jam prob­lem. It gets worse when peo­ple who are stranded in th­ese jams are forced to take in city’s stench pour­ing out from the garbage col­lect­ing ve­hi­cles. aaliyahmed@gmail.com —Cour­tesy: Rising Kash­mir

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