Close to 10,000 have disappeared in Kashmir since 1989
1 September 2006
The Daily Times
Washington: Since 1989, 8,000 to 10,000 people have disappeared in Kashmir, according to a message received by Daily Times from the Srinagar- based Association of Parents of Disappeared Persons (APDP). Timed with International Day of the Disappeared on August 31, the Kashmiri humanitarian group said that under the government led by Mufti Mohammad Sayed, 122 people had disappeared without trace. The group said that the Ghulam Nabi Azad government had been no different; with more than 42 disappearances reported since November 2005. The group said in the message that since its inception in 1994, APDP had been demanding an end to disappearances in addition to advocating the appointment of a commission with a mandate to look into all disappearances since 1989. APDP said that successive governments, even the ones that claimed to have an agenda of human rights and peace, had ignored its demand when in power, but raised it when out of office. The group said the over-hyped India-Pakistan peace process and talks at the highest level were meaningless and rhetoric if human rights violations, including disappearances, were not stopped, and the perpetrators prevented from operating with impunity. The biggest confidence building measure in Kashmir, it suggested, would be an end to human rights violations. Mere statements about zero tolerance for human rights violations did not change the reality on the ground, the group said, adding that since enforced disappearance was a crime against humanity, international organisations should press the Indian government to stop these disappearances and have them impartially investigated. Kashmiri civil society groups, including professionals, business groups, religious organisations and other institutions, had by and large shown indifference to the continuing tragedy that affected 300,000 family members of the disappeared, the statement said.