January 2007 News

Indian Kashmir 'more free' than all of Pakistan: report

30 January 2007
Indo-Asian News Service

New Delhi: In a damning indictment of Islamabad's 'propaganda' about Jammu and Kashmir, a new report says the Indian-administered part of the state is 'more free' than all of Pakistan, whose support of the 'freedom struggle' in the Himalayan state has 'little justification'. The 'Freedom in the World-2007' report of the US-based Freedom House 'totally dismisses the global propaganda war orchestrated by Pakistan against India on the issue of Kashmir,' the NGO said. 'Comparisons of the ratings show up the 'freedom struggle' launched by separatists in Jammu and Kashmir as having little justification and Pakistan's posturing as being hypocritical considering how poorly Pakistan itself is rated,' it added.The annual survey of global political rights and civil liberties was first launched in 1973 and claims to be the 'standard reference guide' for judging 'freedom in countries.The report categorises countries and disputed territories as being Free or Partly Free or Not Free. These classifications are based on scores from 1(best) to 7 (worst) in the areas of political rights and civil liberties.While India enjoys a Free Status rating, Indian Kashmir is evaluated as being Partly Free. Against this, both Pakistan and that portion of Kashmir it administers have been classified as Not Free.In overall levels of freedom, Indian Kashmir is bracketed with countries such as Turkey, Bangladesh, Malaysia, The Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Colombia, Venezuela, Kenya, Nigeria, Seychelles, Uganda, Zambia, Armenia, and Georgia.With the Not Free status, Pakistan and its part of Kashmir keep the company of Tibet, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Tunisia, Brunei, Myanmar, China, North Korea, Cuba, Angola, Chad, Rwanda, Somalia, Sudan, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan among others.In the area of political rights, India is rated at 2 with Indian Kashmir at 5. Pakistan is lower at 6 and Pakistani Kashmir worse off at 7.On civil liberties, India has a not too complimentary rating of 3, while the two Kashmirs have been identically rated at 5.


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