August 07, 2019 (Islamabad) The Women’s Action Forum (WAF) Pakistan is stunned by the news that, on 5th August 2019 the President of the Republic of India passed a decree, crafted by the BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi. This changes the very basis of the former State of Jammu and Kashmir, stripping it of its special status. Revocation of Article 370 of the Indian Constitution has seriously undermined the spirit of democracy and justice in India. By removing Article 35A India has reneged on the historical principle of protecting Kashmir’s land, property and resources from outside appropriation. This will lead not only to rampant capitalist adventurism under legal cover, but will also create circumstances forcing Kashmiris into further distress sales of their property. The expected influx of non-Kashmiris into Jammu and Kashmir will transform the demographics of the land, also potentially leading to large-scale enforced internal displacement.
WAF has always strongly believed that the future of Kashmir must be decided by the people –women and men, of Jammu and Kashmir on both sides of the line of control (LOC). This was promised by both India and Pakistan in 1948, with the Kashmiris right to self-determination endorsed by UN Security Council Resolutions (1948, 1949). WAF extends its support to the people of Jammu and Kashmir, and all who support their fundamental human rights, primarily the right of self-determination. In particular, WAF expresses solidarity with the Jammu and Kashmir women who have, for a long time, faced intolerable suffering as victims and survivors of violence including rape by law enforcement entities.
WAF hopes that this unfortunate situation does not escalate into further misery for the people of Jammu and Kashmir, and reiterates that their aspirations MUST remain the basis upon which a just and peaceful resolution of the crisis is arrived at.