- Says Indian forces render 22,927 Kashmiri women widowed since January 1989
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: Mushaal Hussein Mullick, the Chairperson of the Peace and Culture Organization, came down hard on the world community and human right organizations for their complete silence and inaction against the unabated Indian state terrorism in the Indian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK), rendering over 22,927 women widowed since January 1989.
Mushaal, the wife of illegally detained Chairman of Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front Yasin Malik, in a video statement released on Wednesday said that as the world was observing the International Widows Day every year on June 23 but no respite witnessed in miseries and victimization of the Kashmiri women whose husbands are being martyred by Indian troops, police and agencies continuously.
She lamented that over 10,000 men have disappeared in the custody of Indian troops since 1989 in IIOJK and half-widows have been running from one Indian army camp to another trying to find whereabouts of their husbands but of no good.
Mushaal said that the woman of the Kashmir was being targeted by the occupational forces by design to silent the struggle to the right of self-determination. However, she vowed Indian Hindutva regime should bear in mind that Kashmiri women shaped the destiny of every class, community and nation throughout history and were successful in attaining the goal of freedom from Dogras. The Hurriyat leader added that they would break the shackles of Indian slavery and their sufferings would yield results.
“Now is the time to wake up and recognize these true Kashmiri heroines be it the widows, half widows, rape victims, these Kashmir women of IIOJK must be recognized for their contributions to such freedom struggles as the practical leaders, the home makers and bread winners, of such movements,” she maintained.
Mushaal went on to say that the long-standing conflict of IIOJK has resulted in the enforced disappearance of thousands of married men, which has left their wives with a new fractured identity as a ‘half-widow’ and thousands of married men martyred by Indian bullet which has left an enormous amount of widows, un-borned orphans, half orphans or complete orphan children.
The Chairperson said that Kashmiri widows and half widows are uncertain whether their husbands are dead or alive; their status is in a limbo, leading to pervasive economic, social, legal and psychological problems.
She said that the IIOJK is the world’s most militarised zone, as in 2009, the Guinness Book of World Records declared Kashmir as the “planet’s largest militarised territorial dispute”.
The biggest dilemma faced by the half widows is that in the absence of their bread winners, she added.
For many women around the world, the devastating loss of a partner is magnified by a long-term fight for their basic rights and dignity. Despite the fact that there are more than 258 million widows around the world, widows have historically been left unseen, unsupported, and unmeasured in our societies. Incase of IIOJK the negative impact on widows and half widows is a thousand times more.
Mushaal said that women have been the worst sufferers of this unresolved conflict. Be it as direct victims in the Kunan Poshpora rape case, Shopian rape case, in the recent case of 2016 wherein a school-going girl of Handwara was allegedly sexually assaulted by an army man or as indirect victims as in the case of half-widows who are subjected to a life of ambiguity and misery or the countless widows left with no economic, emotional or physical security.
She said that the desolate living conditions and emotional trauma of widows and half-widows in IIOJK manifest into severe psychological and health issues, as most of the widows and half-widows are suffering from depression, phobia, post-traumatic stress disorder, and emotional instability.
Mushaal appealed that the United Nations Security Council has underscored the need to survey and compensate women in IIOJK, whose husbands have been killed or maimed by Occupational forces. She demanded that the targeting of women by Indian Occupation should be made a war crime.