Redrawing electoral maps, ploy to disempower Muslim majority in IOK: Speakers

Islamabad, June 17 (KMS): Speakers at a webinar have said that the delimitation of assembly segments in Indian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK) is aimed at disenfranchising and disempowering the Muslim majority population.

The webinar, hosted by Kashmir Institute of International Relations (KIIR) in collaboration with World Muslim Conference titled “Delimitation of Assembly segments in IIOJK: another ploy to disempower Muslim majority” was attended and addressed by Dr Raja Qaiser Ahmed, Assistant Professor, Quaid-e-Azam University, Islamabad; Sheni Hamid, senior international political strategist; Naila Altaf Kiyani, Advocate Parvez Ahmed Shah, APHC-AJK leader and others. The event was moderated by the KIIR Chairman Altaf Hussain Wani.

In his initial remarks Altaf Hussain Wani said redrawing of electoral maps to reduce the political centrality of the Muslims in Jammu and Kashmir’s politics has since long been a dream project of the far-right wing parties, including the BJP. Redrawing electoral maps, he said, is part of India’s systematic settler colonialism campaign to subjugate Muslim majority, minimize its role in decision-making process and provide political mileage to the BJP to enable it to form government in the region so that it could legalize and legitimize the 5th August 2019 controversial decision and the subsequent actions it had taken so far on Kashmir.

Taking strong exception to Delimitation Commission’s biased approach, the speakers said the process of disempowering and marginalizing the Muslim majority that has begun soon after the abrogation of Article 370 and 35-A has now gained momentum in the region. They also drew attention to the ongoing Indian efforts to further marginalise, disempower and divide the beleaguered Kashmiri population. They said these actions are in violation of several human rights treaties of the Fourth Geneva Convention, which prohibited any change in the demographics of occupied territories.

The speakers urged India to refrain from bringing about any illegal demographic changes in IIOJK, stop forthwith its oppression in the territory, and let the Kashmiri people determine their own future through a free and fair plebiscite under the UN auspices. They further highlighted India’s gross, systematic and widespread human rights violations in Kashmir.