ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Thursday strongly condemned India’s ban on the Kashmiri political party, the Muslim League Jammu Kashmir (Masarrat Alam faction) (MLJK-MA), as an attempt to stifle dissent in the Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK).
The Indian government has declared MLJK-MA an ‘unlawful association’ and imposed a five-year ban. Led by the imprisoned Kashmiri leader Masarrat Alam Bhatt for over 20 years, MLJK-MA is the fifth Kashmiri party banned under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA).
The Indian government had previously banned the Jammu & Kashmir Liberation Front, Jamaat-e-Islami Jammu and Kashmir, Dukhtaraan-e-Millat, and Jammu and Kashmir Democratic Freedom Party.
Pakistan’s Foreign Office spokesperson Mumtaz Zahra Baloch said in a statement that the leadership faces relentless persecution, including prolonged detention and property confiscation. The Office of All Parties Hurriyat Conference in Srinagar was also sealed earlier this year.
Pakistan Condemns Political Repression
The spokesperson criticized the banning of political parties and the persecution of their leadership, characterizing it as an attempt to suppress dissent, disregarding democratic norms and international human rights and humanitarian law.
Baloch stated that the people of Jammu and Kashmir consistently reject India’s harsh tactics aimed at consolidating its occupation. Such actions, she noted, flagrantly violate the foundational principles of the United Nations Charter, which affirm the fundamental rights of the people of Jammu and Kashmir, including the right to self-determination.
Calling on India to lift restrictions on banned political parties in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK), release all political prisoners and dissenters, and adhere to UN Security Council resolutions on Jammu and Kashmir, the spokesperson urged immediate corrective measures.