Today is a symbolic day to remember the human rights abuses happening in the region of Kashmir. On the 26th October 1947, India signed of the Instrument of Accession, in which Jammu and Kashmir joined its territory. This was the start of 70 years of tension and conflict in the region. In this period, the area has been theatre to massive violations of human rights, with some sources reporting up to 94.656 people killed. Moreover, rape and torture has been used systematically as instruments of fear and terror in the conflict.
Sexual violence, particularly, was used to break up communities by isolating and ostracising women who had already been victims. This only adds to the horror of an unacceptable situation which keeps on happening. It is the longest conflict in recent history and it is now time that the international community acts to put an end to it!
The 1948 UN’s resolution on the topic already provides a framework to work with to cease hostilities. It is now time for the international community to persuade the regional powers to come to a satisfactory agreement that would put an end to the violence and abuses. We believe a concrete end to the tensions would also entail the application of democratic process with the use of a plebiscite, as that would settle the questions by letting the people in the territory decide.
The EU could play a significant role: it is founded upon the values of peace and collaboration and has the diplomatic and economic force to make a difference. We invite European decision makers, as well as other international forces, to work for the peace process in the region of Kashmir, so that people in the region can stop suffering and make their own decision of where the want to move forward as a community.