‘A horror’: B.C. law student still can’t reach her family due to Kashmir clampdown


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A Kashmiri girl who’s learning in B.C. says she nonetheless can’t get involved with household again residence, almost two weeks after a safety crackdown within the India-controlled area.

Zehra Munshi got here to Canada final 12 months to check for her grasp’s diploma in regulation on the College of Victoria, leaving the remainder of her household behind in Kashmir.

However ever since India imposed a near-constant curfew and communications blackout on Aug. 5, Munshi has grow to be certainly one of many who’ve been unable to name, e-mail or textual content their mother and father or siblings.

Zehra Munshi, backside left, along with her household in Kashmir. Munshi, who’s learning regulation in Victoria, B.C., has been unable to succeed in her household for the reason that Indian authorities imposed a complete communication clampdown on the area almost two weeks in the past.

Submitted/Zehra Munshi

“You’ve that certainty that you simply’ll be capable of name, after which you may’t even attain via the cellphone,” she mentioned Saturday. “I don’t know what else to do.”

Munshi says she final talked to her household on Aug. four. She provides she’s “a type of individuals who doesn’t speak to her household each day,” so she didn’t give a lot thought to attempting to contact them the following day.

Indian authorities begin easing restrictions in Kashmir

It was a few days later, and after a number of unsuccessful makes an attempt to get her mother and father on the cellphone, when Munshi says she knew one thing was incorrect.

“It was a horror,” she mentioned. “You don’t understand the significance of speaking to your loved ones till it simply will get taken away.”

WATCH: (Aug. 16) Protests and politics in Kashmir reduce Edmonton man off from his household

India imposed the blackout to keep away from a violent response to its determination to downgrade the autonomy of the Muslim-majority state, which has been disputed for many years.

Hundreds of newly deployed troops arrived within the Indian-controlled area simply earlier than the federal government’s determination was introduced, and web and cellphone companies have been reduce with out warning.

Each India and Pakistan declare the Himalayan area, which is split between the nuclear-armed rivals. The choice by the Hindu-led authorities in New Delhi has raised tensions with Pakistan and touched off anger within the Indian-controlled area.

3-month-old among Canadians under lockdown in Kashmir, father says

On Saturday, authorities introduced they’d begun restoring landline cellphone companies and lifting different restrictions. However Munshi says she nonetheless can’t attain her family members.

“I attempted 15 to 20 instances at this time calling each quantity I do know, however none of them has labored,” she mentioned. “I don’t perceive. To me, it’s a lie. And what do they count on, do they assume this can deliver again peace? It gained’t.”

Munshi is frightened that potential conflicts with the armed troops dispatched to the area will additional put her household in peril.

WATCH: (Aug. 14) Kashmiri-Canadians involved for household in battle zone

She says a plebiscite would enable individuals in Kashmir to resolve whether or not they need independence from India, sending a direct message to the federal government.

“What’s occurring in Kashmir is undemocratic,” Munshi mentioned. “With the intention to do that, [the Indian government] wanted the consent of our state legislature, which wan’s there. So by bypassing that, it means they’re doing it illegally.

“You say you’re a democratic nation, and then you definately’re doing this? In my thoughts, it’s not a democracy. It’s a failure of democracy.”

‘Take a position’ — Kashmiri-Canadians urge Canada to lend stronger voice amid lockdown

Munshi says she’s planning to succeed in out to native advocacy teams to hunt help however hasn’t began who to contact.

Within the meantime, the one particular person Munshi is ready to speak to is her brother, who resides within the U.Okay. and likewise can’t discover any solutions to how their household is dealing with the unrest.

“We’re each stressing out about who to speak to and what to do,” she mentioned. “I’m glad I can speak to him, however it’s not sufficient.”

—With recordsdata from the Related Press

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