Retract Chrystia Freeland's Statement on Jammu & Kashmir

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We, the Canadian citizens and permanent residents of Indian-origin and descent, along with a broader group of Canadian citizens, humbly request the Honourable Chrystia Freeland (Minister of Foreign Affairs) to retract her statement issued on August 13, 2019 with regards to the developments in the Indian Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir.

We understand the difficult times that our fellow citizens originating from the regions of Jammu, Kashmir, and Ladakh are facing, and we stand by them in their quest for a better future for their loved ones and for their homeland.

However, we strongly object to the implication in the Honourable Minister’s statement of the escalated risk of civil rights infringements and detentions. We urge the minister to recollect the fact that India is one of the very few stable, functioning, secular, and pluralistic democracies in all of Asia. With well-functioning checks and balances across multiple levels of government and the judiciary, the Indian state has upheld the rights of all of its citizens. Rest assured, were any government to operate in manner that is unconstitutional or illegal, the various checks and balances in the system would ensure that any wrongs would be corrected.

We request the Honourable Minister to direct her attention to the crux of the instability in the region – Pakistan. The Pakistani government and military, through both direct military attacks and their covert and overt backing of terrorists, have subjugated not only the residents of the region of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh, but also the entire population of India. Through their violent tactics, these Pakistani-backed terrorists have violated numerous human and civil rights of the residents of India. These same terrorists have also killed numerous Canadian citizens through their violent actions such as the bombing of an Air India passenger jet and the attack on hotels in Mumbai, India.

We therefore also urge the Honourable Minister to condemn the Pakistani government and military and urge her to issue a statement that calls on the Pakistani government to immediately halt its subversive activities in India, maintain peace and stability in the region, and observe the human and civil rights of India’s citizens. Additionally, we implore the minister to issue a statement that condemns the Pakistani government and military for the gross and innumerable violation of civil and humans rights of its own citizens.

The statement issued on August 13, 2019 by the Honourable Minister deeply hurts the sentiments of the signatories of this petition. We are productive and contributing citizens of this beautiful country and it pains us to see the Honourable Minister, who represents all Canadians – including the signatories of this petition – issue a statement that is unfounded.

We therefore, once again, humbly request the Honourable Minister to correct her stance and support a country like India, which shares many of the same values as Canada, as it transitions through this difficult moment.

Link to original statement: