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MADRID Wednesday September 7th 2023

August marked 75 years of independence from British Rule for India and Pakistan. The two nations celebrated their sovereignty with ceremonies of peace at border posts, signaling what could represent a new chapter in a long history of violence. 

The origin of the conflict between India and Pakistan traces back to the partition of India into two nations- one becoming predominantly Muslim ( Pakistan) and the other Hindu ( India). Following the reorganization of the nations led to the decades long dispute over the Himalayan territory of Kashmir which is occupied by Indian police forces. 

In the past year the Indian government has removed Kashmir’s autonomous status and increased repressive measures specifically on journalists, dissidents and activists. The increased tension in the region has intensified violence. In the past 3 years there has been a 20% increase in unlawful killings by armed groups. In order to protect the lives of  Muslims and Hindus in Kashmir international law must be respected. 

Hundreds of civilians, soldiers and armed fighters  are murdered in the conflict every year, thousands are displaced and thousands are arrested. The constant military occupation of the territory continues to ignite violence. There must be a rapprochement to the conflict. Future steps must stem from peace oriented negotiations and support on an international scale.

Many fear that the conflict between India and Pakistan is at a higher risk of insecurity. Both countries are nuclear armed and have developed political alignments with opposing countries. Pakistan has received support from China in an effort to reclaim Kashmir while India has grown relationships with the United States. These recent geopolitical politics could jeopardize the necessary peace process needed to begin a stable peace relationship and avoid any further violence. 

The encroachment of human rights on Kashmiris, Indians and Pakistanis can only end with the support of peace, the respect of the law and a humane approach to political negotiations. 

International communities, dissidents, activists and humans must come together in support of peace. 

To learn more about peaceful resolutions, community engagement, and advocacy. 

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