Write Minister Garneau on Canada's Silence on India's colonization of Kashmir

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Take a minute, to write a letter to Foreign Affairs Minister Marc Garneau.

Letter can be sent written, or customized.

Kashmiris have been consistently and systematically denied their rights for decades and international efforts to address this crisis have been largely ineffective.

With Minister Marc Garneau’s recent appointment and mandate as Canada’s foreign affairs minister, you are asked to write him about Canada’s silence, and the urgent situation in Indian occupied Kashmir.

In November 2020, the government responded to three petitions with regard to the situation in Indian occupied Kashmir. One was sponsored by Liberal MP Ratansi, another by NDP MP Scott Duvall, and the third by Conservative MP Gladu. These were signed by 3500 Canadian residents. The response was less than adequate. It said the government of Canada was monitoring the situation, that many restrictions had been lifted, but Canada “looks forward to restoration of normalcy and resumption of inclusive political dialogue in Jammu and Kashmir.” Read response.

This was the first time that Indian occupied Kashmir had been mentioned in the Canadian parliament in regard to the military occupation and human rights violations since the early part of the century.

Despite thousands of letters sent to the Canadian government, including to opposition parties, there has been silence. On October 22, 2020, a webinar explored “Canada’s Silence on Indian occupied Kashmir.” You can view it here.

Current Colonization has shifted demographics by about one-quarter in a few months

The government response to three parliamentary petition indicated in November 2020 that “Canada looks forward to the restoration of normalcy and resumption of inclusive political dialogue in Jammu and Kashmir” and referenced  Canada following “political developments, including the implementation of the Reorganization (Adaptation of State Laws) Order or domicile law issued by the Government of India on March 31, 2020.”

Hardly adequate, given that during this time, over 3.3 million domicile certificates have been issued by occupying India to its own settler population. There are 8 million indigenous Kashmiris. The world has been oblivious to the settler colonization that in a few months, has shifted the demographics in Indian occupied Kashmir (IOK) dramatically.



Watch webinars held on Feb. 5, 2021, on International Day of Solidarity with the people of Kashmir.

Justice for All (with Just Peace Advocates)

Kashmir Day--featuring President of Azad Jammu Kashmir & several Canadians


Background

Under lock down since August 5, 2019, thousands of Kashmiris have been jailed and tortured, and many hundreds remain in detention. For decades, the brutalities and rights violations perpetrated on the people of Kashmir by state forces and institutions through the protracted conflict have included the enforcement of impunity laws, sexualized violence, torture, enforced disappearances, criminalization of local resistance, extrajudicial executions and the burial of civilians in unknown and mass graves. The persecution of Kashmiri human rights defenders, civil society activists, and journalists continues. The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders (FIDH & OMCT), Amnesty International, and the Rafto Foundation for Human Rights have issued statements requesting urgent intervention. Amnesty India has also had to shut its operations as it was being silenced for speaking out on rights abuses in India and Kashmir.

Now there are COVID-related concerns arising as well. Since the March 30, 2020 passing of the domicile law, the police are issuing threats to arrest anyone voicing dissent online. This is happening while Kashmiris are quarantined due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Slowing down the internet to 2G has had a direct impact on health care professionals’ ability to access much needed online information during the pandemic. In spite of various international bodies, including Amnesty International, scholars and the Indian Supreme Court asking for the restoration of 4G services in Kashmir to mitigate COVID-19 risks, the government has refused to comply. Update: Feb. 5, 2021, the government of India indicated it is restoring 4G.

On May 18, 2020, the Government of India notified the Jammu and Kashmir Grant of Domicile Certificate (Procedure) Rules. Since Jammu and Kashmir is an internationally disputed territory, this law, which entails forced transfer of populations and settlement is in contravention of international law, prohibited by Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention and condemned by the United Nations Sub-Commission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities. With the introduction of the new Domicile policies, the indigenous populations of the region are under threat, and one step closer to genocide.

With the recent introduction of new land laws, ending exclusive land rights of the indigenous people of Kashmir has paved the way for aggressive settler-colonization.

Watch webinar: "Canada's Silence on Indian Occupied Kashmir"

In solidarity from

Just Peace Advocate

Friends of Kashmir Canada

Canadians for Peace and Justice in Kashmir

Justice For All Canada.

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