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Malala Yousafzai expresses concern over Kashmir communication blackout

Malala also asked leaders, at UNGA and beyond, to work towards peace in Kashmir, listen to Kashmiri voices and help children go safely back to school.

 

New Delhi| Noble Peace Prize winner Pakistani activist Malala Yousafzai has expressed concern over Kashmir situation. Taking it to Twitter, Malala said that Kashmiris are unable to make their voices heard due to the communication blockade. She tweeted, “Kashmiris are cut off from the world and unable to make their voices heard.”

She tweeted, “I am deeply concerned about reports of 4,000 people, including children, arbitrarily arrested & jailed, about students who haven’t been able to attend school for more than 40 days, about girls who are afraid to leave their homes.” Malala also asked leaders, at UNGA and beyond, to work towards peace in Kashmir, listen to Kashmiri voices and help children go safely back to school.

On August 5, the Central government abrogated Article 370 from Jammu and Kashmir which accorded a special status to the state. The govt also announced the bifurcation of the state into two union territories. Ahead of the announcement, mainstream political leaders and several other separatists were put under house arrest, internet and landlines were suspended.

Malala said that she spoke with people living and working in Kashmir including journalists, human rights lawyers and students. “Here is what three girls told me, in their own words: “The best way to describe the situation in Kashmir right now is absolute silence. We have no way of finding out what’s happening to us. All we could hear is the steps of troops outside our windows. It was really scary,” Malala said. 

“I feel purposeless and depressed because I can’t go to school. I missed my exams on August 12 and I feel my future is insecure now. I want to be a writer and grow to be an independent, successful Kashmiri woman. But it seems to be getting more difficult as this continues,” she added in another tweet.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of External Affairs stated that 92 per cent of the areas in Jammu and Kashmir have no restriction now.

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