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India bans jailed Kashmiri pro-freedom leader Shabir Shah’s political organization

On October 6th, India declared Jammu and Kashmir Democratic Freedom Party (JKDFP), a pro-freedom organization headed by prominent leader Shabir Ahmad Shah, as an “unlawful association”, thereby banning it. The ban is set for five years. 

In the recent past, India has similarly banned socio-political organizations like Jamaat-e-Islami (JeI) and Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF), for their activism in favor of Kashmiri right to self-determination.

Jammu and Kashmir Democratic Freedom Party was formed in 1998 by Shabir Ahmad Shah, who has been under illegal detention for the past 6 years. He is one of Kashmir’s longest serving political prisoners, having spent more than 30 years of his life in prisons across India for his peaceful pro-freedom activism. 

In the notification banning the party that we accessed, the government of India justifies the ban by stating that Shabir Shah had called Kashmir a ‘dispute’ and ruled out any settlement within the framework of the Constitution of India. 

It’s pertinent to note that the United Nations has consistently maintained a similar position, seeing Kashmir as a dispute to be resolved by the much-awaited plebiscite.

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