Kashmir Committee urges WHO, ICRC to set up international medical corridor for IIOJK people trapped in Covid-19 pandemic

Islamabad, May 05 (KMS): Pakistan has demanded of the United Nations, World Health Organization (WHO) and International Committee of Red Cross (ICRC) to take cognizance of the deteriorating medical supplies for the people of Indian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir and set up an International Humanitarian Medical Corridor to help provide medical support to the people of the territory.

The demand was made by the Parliamentary Committee on Kashmir which held its special session to urge the world to set up an international medical corridor to provide medical support to the people of IIOJK. Presiding over the meeting, the Chairman of Kashmir Committee Shehryar Khan Afridi presented a detailed report on the deteriorating medical system in mainland India and in IIOJK and called upon the world community to intervene on humanitarian grounds.

Giving an overview of the pandemic raging in India, Shehryar Khan Afridi said that the reported active cases in mainland India are 3,487,299. So far 2,26,188 deaths have been reported with additional 350,000 cases every day, he said. He said total Covid-19 cases in IIOJK are 191,869 with 2458 deaths. Total of 4,650 cases were reported only yesterday which are equal to the number of cases in Pakistan during the entire pandemic, he noted with concern.

Shehryar Khan Afridi said in IIOJK there are only 13,000 litres of oxygen per minute which, while the medical experts say it was too low to cater to the ongoing rise in the cases. He said the health facilities in the occupied territory are deteriorating and the occupational regime has little help provided in IIOJK.

Shehryar Afridi said that the request for setting up international medical corridor on humanitarian ground is from entire nation of Pakistan as Kashmir Committee has representation of all political parties of the country.

Briefing the Committee, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, said that the primary concern is humanity and global answer is required to deal with the pandemic.

“Situation in India is delicate and being neighbour, Pakistan is concerned. Pakistan offered assistance due to challenging situation. We have not received any response from India yet. Indian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir is also suffering and we feel very strongly as we are connected to them historically and religiously,” he said.

Qureshi said despite strained relations with India, Pakistan is ready to help New Delhi even during challenging situation in our own country. “Kashmiris are facing double lockdown and they have been under military siege for over 18 months now. They don’t have access to medical facilities and mobilising the world health facilities is a good idea. Indian government needs to give the world community an access to Jammu and Kashmir,” he added.

Health Advisor Dr Faisal Sultan said that the pandemic is a global challenge and Pakistan is also fighting it. “All interventions are possible from manpower to PPEs or equipment. At a time when our medical facilities are under pressure, we would like to put forth all medical assistance for the people of IIOJK,” he said.

Dr Moeed Yusuf, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on National Security Division and Strategic Policy Planning, said lives of Kashmiris are most important and have been persuading the world to help resolve Jammu and Kashmir. “We are raising it as a humanitarian issue and not as territorial issue. International law requires the occupying forces to allow international support to the people in occupied territories in global crisis situations,” he said.

He said double lockdown in IIOJK is imposed as a genocide tool of Kashmiris and youth are being killed in the garb of fake encounters and their houses are being exploded.

Later, the Kashmir Committee passed a unanimous resolution asking the United Nations, WHO, ICRC and related world organisations to intervene and set up an international medical corridor for providing medical assistance and supplies of medicines to the people of IIOJK.

The resolution also expressed concern over the deteriorating health facilities and medical supplies in the occupied territory as the people of Jammu and Kashmir are suffering badly due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This Committee understands the fact that India’s medical system is under immense pressure due to the ongoing events and happenings in mainland India due to the sudden rise of Covid-19 Pandemic. We request for immediate intervention by these institutions to setup International Humanitarian Medical Corridor purely on humanitarian grounds and provide medical supplies, equipment, oxygen and other necessary facilities to the people of IIOJK under Geneva Convention,” the resolution said.

“Being next-door neighbour of India, this Committee expresses gratitude to the government of Pakistan and other countries of the world for extending offers of medical assistance to the people of India on humanitarian grounds. We urge the Indian government to agree to the request of setting up international humanitarian corridor for the people of Jammu and Kashmir beyond political or territorial objectives so as the suffering people of IIOJK could be provided necessary medical support and assistance”.

This Committee also expressed profound grief on the demise of senior APHC leader, Mohammad Ashraf Sehrai. “We are also saddened on the martyrdom of the people of Jammu and Kashmir who have died due to the Covid-19 Pandemic or by atrocities of Indian occupational security forces.”

“This Committee notes with grave concern that senior Kashmiri resistance leaders, journalists and Kashmiri people detained in jails in mainland India who are soft target of the Covid-19 pandemic and are suffering due to precarious health conditions. We urge upon the Indian government to immediately shift the old age Kashmiris to Kashmir so as their lives could be saved from the pandemic,” the resolution concluded.

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