Amarnath Yatra will unleash disaster in IIOJK as Kumbh Mela did in India, experts warn

Islamabad, April 28 : Regardless of the growing global criticism, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi seems to ‘defend’ the title “super spreader” given to him by the Indian Medical Association (IMA), as the BJP regime led by Modi insists that the Hindu annual Amarnath pilgrimage to illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir will take place as per schedule.

A report released by Kashmir Media Service deplored that the Modi regime has not yet cancelled the Yatra despite the warning by the IIOJK health experts that like Kumbh Mela in India, the outcome of which is “beyond heartbreaking” as described by the head of the World Health Organization, the Amarnath pilgrimage could also lead to a devastating wave of coronavirus infections in the occupied territory. They say that given the ill-equipped healthcare system in IIOJK, the Yatra could prove to be a “fatal super spreader” event culminating in a disaster in the occupied territory.

The report exposes India’s double standards saying that the Modi regime, on one hand, is allowing the Hindu pilgrimage while imposing strict anti-virus measures at Muslims worship places in IIOJK, on the other. Besides proving disastrous for the environment, the Hindu pilgrimage this time could trigger corona catastrophe in IIOJK, the experts warned.

Interestingly, the national vice president of Indian Medical Association (IMA), Dr Navjot Dahiya, in a statement said, while the medical fraternity is trying hard to make people understand mandatory Covid-19 norms, Narendra Modi did not hesitate to address big political rallies, tossing all Covid-19 norms in the air. He also criticized Modi for organised gatherings of over one lakh people in Gujarat to welcome the then US President, Donald Trump.

The head of the World Health Organization, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, addressing a press briefing in Geneva has called the recent surge in coronavirus in India “beyond heartbreaking”. He said that coronavirus infections have now risen for the ninth straight week, while deaths have increased for the sixth week in a row. The report urged the international community to press India to behave responsibly and call off the Hindu Amarnath pilgrimage in the Kashmir Valley.

In view of the ravages of coronavirus pandemic, senior Hurriyat leader Professor Abdul Ghani Butt in a statement issued in Srinagar, today, called upon India to postpone the Yatra. He said that the presence of tens of thousands of Yatris in the Kashmir Valley would be fatal for the people of Kashmir.

Anjuman Shrie Shian President and senior APHC leader Agha Syed Hassan Al-Moosvi Al-Safvi and Jammu and Kashmir Muslim League acting Chairman Abdul Ahad Parra also called for cancellation of the Amarnath Yatra.

Analysts say that for the Indian government, promoting tourism in Kashmir is a high-priority project, as officials see tourism in the region as a sign of a return to normality.

Several BJP politicians have described the influx of tourists in Kashmir as a way of measuring how people in Kashmir have accepted the new political reality, after the change in its semi-autonomous status.

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