Srinagar, October 18 : In occupied Kashmir, members of the Civil Society have launched a campaign against the occupation authorities’ policy to deny travel documents to the Kashmiri people. Human rights activist, Parvaiz Imroz addressing a press conference in Srinagar said, “Right to travel is guaranteed under Article 12 of International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, 1966, which India has signed and ratified. It guarantees everyone has right to leave the country including his own and this right cannot be snatched from any citizen. However, large population of Jammu and Kashmir is denied this right.”
Parvaiz Imroz said that they had launched the campaign to seek the internationally recognized right adding, “We will make the international institutions and civil society aware about the plight of our people and seek support from them to secure this right.” Imroz said that social relations had been hit by the denial of the travel documents. “Kashmiris are unable to reach out to their relatives settled abroad,” he added.
Social activist, Dr Zafar Mehdi, termed denial of passports to Kashmiris as violation of the fundamental right. He deplored that sixty thousands Kashmiri people had been black listed by various agencies across the occupied territory. “Civil society leaders including human rights activists are particular targets of these restrictions. Even people are prevented from fulfilling religious obligation like Hajj pilgrimage,” he added.
Mehdi pointed out that the denial of travel documents had adversely affected all the segments of civil society with consequences on educational rights, trade and business rights, employment rights and human rights. He said that the puppet administration needed to explain why Kashmiris were being punished.