The Pakistan-India People’s Forum for Peace & Democracy (PIPFPD) has demanded to hold those responsible for the death of jailed Kashmiri separatist leader Altaf Ahmad Shah accountable and also demanded the immediate release of all ailing political prisoners.
The 66-year-old Altaf Ahmad Shah, who was son-in-law of the icon of Kashmir freedom movement martyred Syed Ali Gilani, breathed his last on late Monday night in New Delhi’s All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), just days after he was diagnosed with last stage of renal cancer that had spread to other parts of his body.
In a statement on Tuesday, the PIPFPD said that the unfortunate and avoidable demise of jailed Kashmiri leader Altaf Ahmad Shah is really shocking, sad and speaks volumes about the continued insensitivity of the Indian government towards political prisoners.
It said that despite a Supreme Court’s order to get him shifted from Ram Manohar Lohia (RML) to AIIMS for renal cancer treatment, the Indian government delayed this and killed the possibility of any effective treatment that could have been provided to the esteemed leader from Jammu and Kashmir (J&K).
“This is despite the family reaching out to the Prime Minister of India and other authorities for a humane response to his medical emergency,” the PIPFPD said.
“This goes on to prove that government of India believes that it can get away with political murders in this heinous fashion where not only the family and immediate society but rule of law itself is made helpless in coming to the aid of political prisoners.”
The PIPFPD was of the view that the BJP government believes in making death a ‘fate accompli’ is evident from this. It said that the demise of Altaf Shah is another body blow to any possible peace process regarding the Kashmir conflict.
“This extra-legal murder should be condemned by Indian society and all international institutions,” it said.
The PIPFPD said that after the political murder of Fr. Stan Swamy in custody, that of Altaf Shah, exposes the animosity with which government of India is dealing with the framework of human rights, in Indian jails.
The Pakistan-India People’s Forum for Peace & Democracy said that joins the family of departed leader Altaf Shah and the people of Jammu & Kashmir in condemning the culpable negligence and indifference of the Indian government that led to the death of Mr. Shah.
“We demand that those responsible for his death be made accountable,” it said.
The PIPFPD also demanded the immediate release of all political prisoners, especially those suffering from ailments and chronic diseases, saying that the barbarism as reflected in the killings of political prisoners must not be allowed to become a norm, tarnishing the constitution of India and rule of law.