LONDON – Drawing attentions towards the sufferings of children, students and girls, Nobel Prize laureate and Pakistani education activist Malala Yousafzai has urged the UN to act and work towards helping Kashmiri children return to school amid the ongoing restrictions in the valley.
“I am asking leaders, at #UNGA and beyond, to work towards peace in Kashmir, listen to Kashmiri voices and help children go safely back to school,” Yousafzai tweeted on Saturday.
Restrictions were imposed in the Kashmir Valley since India on August 5 revoked Article 370 of the Constitution that gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir and also bifurcated the state into two Union Territories. The erstwhile state has been since witnessing communication blackout. The is a complete stop on social and economical activities due to curfews imposed by the Indian authorities.
“I am deeply concerned about reports of 4,000 people, including children, arbitrarily arrested and jailed, about students who haven’t been able to attend school for more than 40 days, about girls who are afraid to leave their homes,” she wrote.
In her tweets, Malala also shared her account of corresponding with people over the past week belonging to various walks of life, including journalists, human rights lawyers and students.
“I wanted to hear directly from girls living in Kashmir right now. It took a lot of work from a lot of people to get their stories because of the communications blackout. Kashmiris are cut off from the world and unable to make their voices heard,” she said.
Yousafzai has also commented on the Kashmir issue in the past where she had appealed for an end to the conflict in the region after relations between India and Pakistan nosedived following the revocation of Article 370.
She had called on all South Asians, the international community and authorities to respond to the Kashmiris’ suffering.