‘India is officially at war against Kashmiri youth’, allege J&K activists at UN

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Geneva, June 17: The struggles and sufferings of local people, especially youth of Kashmir, were discussed at length at an event hosted by the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva, Switzerland, on Friday.

The discussion saw participation by members of a Kashmiri delegation under the umbrella of the Youth Forum for Kashmir. During the event, the role of Delhi came under scanner as the Kashmiri delegation alleged the Indian government of using "brute force" to quell the voices of the youth in the Valley.

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"India is officially at war against an entire generation in Kashmir," Ahmed Quraishi, member of Kashmir delegation and executive director of the YFK said.

"The world's largest movement today for civil and political rights, including the right to self-determination, is underway now in Kashmir. Young men and women are leading it. India hopes to stop the movement by crippling the younger generation through torture and murder," he added.

Quraishi spoke at an event titled, "Youth in Conflict and Right to Education", which saw participation of several diplomats and representatives of international rights organisations.

The discussion was presided by Sardar Amjad Yousef Khan, executive director of Kashmir Institute for International Relations.

The others who spoke at the event included Altaf Hussain Wani, leader of Kashmir delegation to the 35th session of UNHRC and senior APHC freedom leader Hassan Banna, to name a few.

The role of female students in Kashmir in leading the "freedom movement" was also highlighted by the Kashmiri activists. "Instead of welcoming peaceful protests by women, world's largest democracy responded to unarmed women using brute force," Quraishi said.

Banna alleged that schools and universities were the "biggest victims of India's assault on young men and women of Kashmir."

"The Amnesty International has researched this issue and concluded that New Delhi is targeting Kashmir's younger generation under an undeclared policy," Banna added.

"Like other parts of the world Kashmiri youth undoubtedly are very talented," Banna said. "Unfortunately, the space they need to grow and work is being squeezed and narrowed. You know, the young boys and girls of today's digital world are great admirers of social media but Kashmiri youth is deprived of all these facilities as the internet is being suspended in Kashmir day in and day out by the Indian government," he added.

"The civilian casualty rate during the World War Two was five percent, but in Kashmir it has reached up to eighty percent," Wani said.

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