Rawalpindi-Physicians of the country have expressed concerns at indiscriminate use of force and gross violations of human rights in IOK and demanded constitution of a United Nation’s fact finding mission to look into the health conditions of Kashmiris suffering from continuing pellet gun use by Indian occupation forces, shortage of medicines and deficient health care due to communication blockade.

In a joint declaration issued by University of Health Sciences and Pakistan Society of Internal Medicine at the sidelines of mid-summer meeting, the medics called on Indian government to allow a medical team of Pakistani physicians to visit IoK under UN Security Council Resolution 2417 to provide treatment and humanitarian services to the civilian population, especially children, a spokesman said on Monday. He said that the declaration demanded an autonomous UN commission in light of recommendations made by international bodies to investigate into the Indian atrocities in occupied Kashmir. It further said that peace in the region was not possible without resolving the Kashmir issue. “We aim to help and reach out to those Kashmiris who need treatment, food and support without prejudice; our values as individuals and organizations are in line with the Hippocratic Oath; to protect the sick and vulnerable from harm and injustice”, it read. The joint declaration condemned Indian barbarism in occupied Kashmir. It called on the all humanitarian actors to speak out, prevent an impending genocide and come forward to put pressure on India to lift the siege and permit a humanitarian corridor for safe access and delivery of humanitarian and medical aid to the population of occupied valley.

Addressing on this occasion, UHS Vice Chancellor Prof Javed Akram, who is also the founding president of the PSIM, said that the sacrifices of the Kashmiris for their right to self-determination could not be ignored. He hoped that soon Kashmir would be a part of Pakistan. He commended moral courage shown by the renowned medical journal The Lancet by publishing the editorial, ”Fear and Uncertainty around Kashmir’s Future”, and the British Medical Journal publishing the article, “Kashmir communication blackout is putting patient at risk” highlighting the grave issue of blatant denial of the right to healthcare.

Prof Javed Akram expressed concern over the four-week curfew and communications blackout in the state which would lead to critical medication shortages and deaths.

“If patients don’t receive dialysis, they will die. If cancer patients don’t receive chemotherapy, they will die. Those patients who can’t be operated on can die,” he said.

Kashmir has been under curfew and a communications blackout since the Indian authorities revoked Article 370 and 35A of its constitution on August 5, bringing the Muslim-majority state under central rule for the first time since independence in 1947.