The women of IIOJK have been at the brunt of atrocities of Indian forces in the besieged state as an intentional tactics of the Indian state to demoralize the Kashmiri struggle for freedom. The Indian state believes that targeting the soft belly is going to bring it maximum advantage. This could not be further from the truth; despite the brutalities Kashmiris stand resolute, their women unfazed, the resistance stronger than ever.
A female in IIOJK of any age is unsafe and suffers at the hands of Indian military and paramilitary forces. The cruelty that has been going on since the partition of the subcontinent continues unabated. Decades of oppression and persecution have resulted in physical, mental and economic consequences for Kashmiri women. They have to deal with the pain and wounds they suffer both physically and emotionally as a result of the atrocities they suffer on their beings as well as the psychological trauma of losing their loved ones to Indian bullets and illegal detention that oftentimes never comes to an end. The unending physical and mental siege has been exacerbated by the economic difficulties it brings about. In this issue we have tried to highlight the issues and challenges of Kashmiri women as a result of Indian barbarity on both sides of the LoC.
Mushaal Hussein Mullick, wife of incarcerated Kashmiri leader, Yasin Malik, touches upon the general state of women and children in IIOJK and the apathy shown by the international community to address the plight of Kashmiri women. Rabia Basri Malik’s article draws attention to the impact of the conflict on women’s education and the resultant effect on their economic condition. Zahra Ejaz discusses the impact of all that is discussed by the abovementioned writers on the mental health of Kashmiri women. She also points out how the Indian government appears oblivious to the fact that it is responsible to provide for the psychological needs (in addition to other basic necessities) of the people it has encaged.
In addition to this, we have also included an article to highlight the fact that Indian aggression is not limited to the Kashmiris in IIOJK but extends to the people of AJK as well. The article, “Resilient Women of AJK Living Life in the Face of Indian Brutalities across the LoC” narrates the story of a young Kashmiri woman whose life was disrupted and her physical and mental wellbeing forever altered as a result of unprovoked Indian shelling across the LoC.
Kashmiri resolve has not wavered despite Indian efforts to quash their will and resistance. Pakistan has been providing moral support on all levels to its Kashmiri brethren and will continue to do so. The world also needs to come out of its state of passivity and tackle this issue just like its heart is bleeding for the other peoples who find themselves subject to aggression. The Kashmiri people, meanwhile, continue to suffer at the hands of Indian forces but their struggle goes on and they hope to one day achieve their freedom from Indian tyranny. HH
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