“Paradise on earth” is how the Mughal Emperor Jehangir described Kashmir when he visited the state in the 17th century. With its breath-taking mountains and lakes and abundance of natural resources this description could not be truer. But while the immense beauty of the region remains 300 years on, sadly the people of Kashmir continue to be victims of violence.
The Kashmiri people have struggled against the authorities since the partition of India and Pakistan in 1947. Until then, Kashmir had been a princely state largely unaffected by the politics of the two emerging powers. However once separated, both Pakistan and India lay a claim to Kashmir. Consequently, several wars have been fought between the nations as both believe Kashmir belongs to them. Pakistanis believes Kashmir should have become part of Pakistan in 1947 as most of its population is Muslim. However, Indians claim the prince of Kashmir handed over all administrative powers to them at partition. As the political struggle continues to this day, 45 percent of Kashmir is under Indian rule while Pakistan controls 35 percent. The remaining area, which is mainly uninhabitable, remains in the hand of China.
Due to this continued political tension, clashes between both sides have led to repeated violence against the civilians over the years. It has caused the deaths of thousands of Kashmiris while displacing many more across the bordering line of control (LOC). One of the biggest tragedies of the division has been the splitting up of families between the two countries. Due to restriction of movement over the LOC many families have been living separately from their loved ones for many years.
More recently, a humanitarian crisis has developed in Indian Administrated Kashmir where a crackdown by the authorities led to curfews amid worsening violence and causing the Kashmiri struggle. These have followed demonstrations by Kashmiris over the state of affairs in their homelands. Since then ongoing curfews have been restricting the flow of food and other essential supplies leading to thousands of families struggling for food and other necessities.
The violence and curfews have also affected Kashmiris across the LOC in Pakistan administrated Kashmir causing hunger and financial instability for hundreds of families. Crisis Aid is here in Kashmir providing vital food to those most in need. Your donation of £50 will purchase a food parcel for the poorest people. These parcels which contain vital products such as rice and flour will feed a family of six for a month.
Crisis aid pledges to continue supporting the Kashmiri people in their time of need. Amongst other aid programmes, we have been supporting the digging of water wells across the region to provide clean water for daily use. With the help of our generous donors, Crisis Aid can act in remote areas of the world like Kashmir. However, we can only continue with our work if your financial support continues. Please donate now.