Kashmir on path of development, peace, activist informs UNHRC

GENEVA: A socio-political activist from the Kashmir Valley has informed the UN about intense development, peace and prevalence of grass-root democracy in India’s Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir.

In her intervention during the 52nd Session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, Tasleema Akhtar said, “As Jammu and Kashmir gear up for elections under a new administrative setup, the foundation for development has been laid by its municipal bodies which emerged as propellers of growth and infrastructure”.

She added, “Electricity and roads have finally penetrated even the last of the remaining villages in J&K’s remote areas. Development works worth USD 700 million are under progress now and Jammu and Kashmir have received investment applications of an equal amount as well”.

Akhtar told the UNHRC that for Kashmiri women too, accessible schemes have made it possible to pursue their educational and professional pursuits without being affected by the patriarchal structures.

This was in tandem with a substantial decline in local recruitments in militant ranks in the valley, which fell by almost 40 per cent compared to the situation in 2021.

Speaking about the current security situation in the valley, the activist informed UNHRC, “Police and military casualties reached an all-time low. Civilian casualties, though very unfortunate, were less as well. There were just 24 law and order incidents in 2022 and there were no incidents of stone pelting in the valley. Compared to this, over 400 incidents took place in 2018.”

“As the situation looked promising due to selfless efforts by the people and local administration, a new wave of violence was unleashed on the Kashmiris through cross-border infiltration. A series of targeted attacks (with hand grenades, IEDs and machine guns) on migrant labour has disturbed the peace in Jammu and Kashmir. In the last two years, nine members of the minority Pandit community were shot dead in broad daylight. Overall, fourteen members of the minority community were killed in 2022”, she said.