Yasin Malik’s trial

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CONCERNS have been raised about the questionable trial of the Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front chairman Yasin Malik by an Indian court, with the AJK prime minister as well as Mr Malik’s party convinced that he would not get a fair hearing.

Mr Malik has been in detention since February 2019; he himself withdrew his defence lawyer after anticipating that he would not get an impartial trial.

Read: Yasin Malik’s unilateral trial in India widely condemned

AJK PM Sardar Tanveer Ilyas added that Yasin Malik had been “coerced” by a “kangaroo court” into pleading guilty in a dubious case of terrorism dating back to 2017. Moreover, the JKLF has said the trial is part of a “political vendetta” against the veteran Kashmiri leader being carried out “at the behest of the Narendra Modi-led Hindutva regime”.

There can be little doubt that Mr Malik is being punished by New Delhi for refusing to toe its line on India-held Kashmir. Similar tactics have been used by India to target Kashmiri leaders who favour freedom, while even some of New Delhi’s loyalists have been meted out despicable treatment by the Indian state, particularly after the revocation of IHK’s special status in August 2019.

In this context, the National Assembly’s resolution, passed unanimously on Thursday, carries weight, as it calls upon the international community to ensure “accountability of India’s grave and persistent violations of human rights and war crimes” in occupied Kashmir. Mr Malik is not the only one facing New Delhi’s wrath; hundreds of other Kashmiri citizens have faced similarly deplorable treatment for demanding freedom.

It is not just Pakistan that is calling out India for its abhorrent tactics in IHK.

In a statement released on Friday, the Independent Permanent Human Rights Commission of the OIC, in strong language, condemned the recent delimitation in the disputed region, through which the Hindu-majority areas of IHK were given more seats in the territory’s legislature.

The OIC body termed it a “nefarious attempt” and a “wicked” measure to change Kashmir’s demography. This is in stark contrast to the OIC’s earlier muted references to Kashmir.

With regard to Yasin Malik’s trial, India needs to quash such dubious references against all pro-freedom leaders. Meanwhile, where the Muslim world’s response to the Kashmir question is concerned, though the statement from the OIC body is welcome, the Muslim bloc — especially its more influential members — needs to do more to press home the point to India that its brutal policies in the occupied region are unacceptable.

Published in Dawn, May 14th, 2022

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