PM Australia - Cancel India Visit. Make India accountable for HR violations in Kashmir.

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We, the residents of Australia, would like to draw your attention towards a grave humanitarian crisis and abrogation of protections of people in the Indian Occupied Kashmir. Ignoring the recent events in the region has serious implications for the foreign policy and economic interests of Australia. It erodes our moral standing as a democracy with human rights as a fundamental pillar, and risks a conflagration putting Australian lives, strategic alliances, trade, investments and resources at stake.

In your role as the Prime Minister of Australia, we would like you to cancel your scheduled business trip to India in Jan 2020 to show the seriousness of the issue. The Australian public wants you to raise our concerns with Indian government and advise that they must follow International law as a signatory to the fourth Geneva Convention (GCIV). They should protect Kashmiri civilians from any harm or injury besides giving the people of the region their legal right to self-determine their political future.

 What Happened Recently?

 1) On August 5, 2019, Jammu and Kashmir region was put behind an iron curtain, exactly what used to happen in Soviet Union, with India cutting off phone, internet, or physical connection to the blockaded region. Around 900,000 additional troops have been deployed. There is one weapon carrying military person for every 10 men, women, or children in this heaviest militarized zone in the world.

2) The religious extremist BJP government unilaterally bifurcated the disputed region and scraped the special provisions that protect the identity of the indigenous Kashmiri people. BJP is inspired by Hitler’s Nazi ideology and with this blockade, entire Kashmir has become a de facto concentration camp. Even the phrase “final solution” has been used by some BJP leaders to show their genocidal tendencies for the people of Kashmir.

3) There are gross human rights violations taking place right now. There are sick without access to medicines, infants without access to milk, cancer patients who cannot get their therapies, dialysis patients who cannot come to hospital, and people suffering immense physical and mental torture inside a blockaded region. Thousands of people, including children as young as 9, have been arrested in night-time raids.

4) The Indian soldiers are protected by draconian laws, and none have ever been prosecuted for human rights abuses well documented by Amnesty, Human Rights Watch, United Nations Human Rights Commission & other such civil and social organisations. In 2016, hundreds of protesting civilians were blinded through the use of pellet guns and hundreds more killed.There is a track record for slaughter of civilians in the occupied territories. 

5) Related to this, India under BJP is extending their xenophobic action in North Eastern state of Assam where on Aug 31, the government has declared 1.9 Million Muslims stateless and have built Auschwitz style Detention Camps to house them, accusing these people of being foreigners. There is a pattern of ethnic cleansing and putting minorities under threat.

 How Is It Relevant To Us? 

1) Our democracies are built on the foundations of respect for human rights, political rights, and religious freedom and we work to build a just global order that promotes peace and security. 

2) Kashmir is a flash point for a nuclear war that will impact the whole world and not just that region. It is not in the foreign policy interest of our country, nor any country.

3) Our country has business interests and assets in South Asia, China & US. With potential for war, we run the risk of significant impact to our business interests. 

4) The current Indian actions will spur radicalization and create barriers for peace in Afghanistan and surrounding areas, where we are trying to end a war and bring our troops back.

5) Hindutva, a virulent strain of the dangerous Nazi ideology, drives the current Indian regime and, left unchecked, will spread.

6) While major countries and political/social and religious figures have raised their voices through statements, Australia has remained silent. This might portray us as being a supporter of atrocities, radicalization and oppression impacting our reputation and goodwill.

What Is Our Request? 

1) India should be asked to immediately lift the communications blockade and lift the curfew.Physical access to international journalists and UN observers needs to be given immediately.Thousands detained including minors, need to be urgently released. Excess troops that are intimidating to the general public be removed.Please make a statement on that.

2) Please call the PM of India Narendra Modi and stress on him to protect human rights. Ongoing direct and indirect harassment of Kashmiris in day to day life to stop immediately.

3) Please facilitate a negotiated settlement of the Kashmir dispute by talking to all parties including Kashmiris themselves. 

4) We need to impress on India that the conflict in Kashmir can only be resolved through peaceful means and according to the wishes of Kashmiris. Please reiterate this position.

5) Please impress on Indian government for safe passage of our citizens and residents in the region and to facilitate phone calls and communications of our residents here with their families in the region.

Thanking you for your consideration.