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Kashmiri activist Shuib Lone raises concern over civilian killings ahead of upcoming elections in J-K

Geneva: Kashmiri activist Shuib Lone on Wednesday (local time) raised the issue of civilian killings in Jammu and Kashmir ahead of the upcoming elections in the Union Territory.
Speaking during Pakistan's Universal Periodic Review at UNHRC in Geneva, Lone said, "My intervention aims to drive attention towards the victim of terrorism in Kashmir. On January 2, we woke up to the shocking news of the killing of 6 innocent people in the Rajouri area. This was in continuation of the civilian killings unleashed by terrorists throughout 2022 to stall the massive reforms aimed at taking Governor to the doorsteps of the people of Jammu and Kashmir." Six civilians including two children were killed and many more injured in two separate terror attacks in Upper Dhangri village in Jammu and Kashmir's Rajouri district in subsequent evening and morning incidents on January 2.
Lone also drew attention to the killings of Kashmiri activists and minorities, including non-local workers.
"Besides, local Kashmiri activists and minorities, the non-local workers are also being targeted in this region. There were hardly any protests or street violence in Kashmir in 2022. It registered a sharp decline from 3000 to 16 between 2016 and 2022. Another positive development was the smooth function of school and academic institution throughout the year," said Lone.
He also raised the issue of cross-border terrorism emanating from Pakistan and said that around 30 people were killed in such attacks in 2022.
"Cross-border sponsors of terrorism resorted to targeting civilians to install fear among the people of Kashmir. Around 30 innocent people were killed in such attacks in 2022," he said.
Cross-border terrorism remains a core concern for India, moreover, Pakistan facilitates the movement of its proxies across the border with the only motive of creating terror in the minds of people of neighbouring states.
Lone further alerted the international community that candidates in the upcoming elections are the next target of these terrorists.
"At a time, when J-K prepares for the upcoming elections under the new Constitution setup, we cannot afford to let terrorist activities go unquestioned. I also wish to alert the international community that the candidates in the upcoming elections are the next target of these terrorists," said Lone.
He urged the international community to fix accountability on the cross-border sponsors of terrorism.
"Unfortunately, such incidences will continue till accountability is fixed on the cross-border sponsors of terrorism as victims of terrorism and sufferings are yet to be acknowledged by the international community. We believe that this silence inbounds terrorism," said Lone.
During the last 15 years, thousands of civilians have lost their lives in terrorism, apart from thousands of defence, paramilitary and police personnel who have sacrificed their lives in the line of duty.
Infiltration and smuggling of narcotics, arms and weapons across the borders have been matters of constant and relentless anxiety to all concerned agencies manning the borders. (ANI)

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