Muslims Australia – AFIC notes the announcement this week by the Government of India in relation to the change of status of Kashmir.

This change will likely see significant restrictions placed on the local population and is a signal from Indian authorities of a major shift in its dispute over the area.

We note that historically there have been widespread reports of human rights violations in the area and severe oppression of the civilian population. Muslims Australia – AFIC has grave concerns for the civilian population of Kashmir amid the very real possibility of the area reflecting what has taken place in other places such as Myanmar.

President of Muslims Australia – AFIC, Dr Rateb Jneid, stated “We call on the Indian government to restore the status of Kashmir and to ensure the human and civil rights of the Kashmir people. We also call on the Australian Government to do all in its power to influence its Indian counterpart on this matter.”

We note the reports already emerging of an internet block and Indian troops patrolling civilian areas. This is a troubling early sign of what this change may mean.

We urge all international leaders to do everything possible to safeguard the innocent people of Kashmir and ensure another global human tragedy does not occur.

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