A Kashmiri volunteer looks through temporary barricades erected to prevent outsiders from entering an area declared as red zone by the government during lockdown in Srinagar, Indian controlled Kashmir, Tuesday, April 14, 2020. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday extended the world’s largest coronavirus lockdown to head off the epidemic’s peak, with officials racing to make up for lost time. The new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms for most people, but for some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness or death. (AP Photo/Mukhtar Khan) Pakistan has urged the United Nations, World Health Organization and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to set up a global humanitarian medical corridor to help provide medical support to the Kashmiri people, held hostage by Indian forces in Indian-held Kashmir (IHK). In a special session in Islamabad, Parliamentary Committee on Kashmir Chairman Shehryar Khan Afridi presented a detailed report on the deteriorating medical system in mainland India and especially in the Indian-held Kashmir and called upon the world community to intervene on humanitarian grounds. Giving an overview of the pandemic raging in India, Shehryar Afridi said that the reported active cases in mainland India are 3,487,299. So far, 226188 deaths have been reported with additional 350,000 cases every day. He said that total Covid-19 cases in occupied Kashmir are 191,869 with 2458 deaths. He said that the total of 4650 cases were reported only yesterday which are equal to the number of cases in Pakistan during the entire pandemic. He said that there were only 13,000 liters of oxygen per minute, while medical experts say it was too low to cater to the ongoing rise in the cases. Shehryar Afridi said that the health facilities were deteriorating in occupied territories as the occupational authorities were showing criminal negligence. He said that the request for setting up the medical corridor on humanitarian grounds was from the entire nation as the Kashmir Committee has representation of all political parties of Pakistan. Briefing the committee, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said that the primary concern was humanity and a global answer was required to deal with the pandemic. He said that the situation in India was delicate and being a neighbor, Pakistan was concerned. “Pakistan offered assistance due to the challenging situation,” he said. “We have not received any response from India yet. Occupied Kashmir is also suffering and we feel very strongly as we are connected to them historically and religiously,” he said. Despite strained relations with India, Islamabad is ready to help New Delhi despite the challenging situation in Pakistan too. “Kashmiris are facing double lockdown and they have been under military siege for over 18 months now. They don’t have access to medical facilities and mobilising the world health facilities is a good idea. Indian government needs to give the world community access to occupied territories,” he said. Pakistan suggests global medical corridor to help Kashmiri people ALL ASSISTANCE FOR KASHMIRIS Health Adviser Dr Faisal Sultan said that the pandemic was a global challenge and Pakistan was also fighting it. “All interventions are possible from manpower to personal protective equipment (PPE) or equipment. At a time when our medical facilities are under pressure, we would like to put forth all medical assistance for the Kashmiri people,” he said. Dr Moeed Yusuf said that lives of Kashmiris were most important and have been persuading the world to help resolve Kashmir issue. “We are raising it as a humanitarian issue and not as a territorial issue. International law requires the occupying forces to allow international support to the people in occupied territories in global crisis situations,” he said. He said that double lockdown in the occupied territories was imposed as a genocide tool of Kashmiris and youth are being killed in the name of fake encounters and their houses were being exploded. Through a unanimous resolution, the Kashmir Committee asked the United Nations, and related world organisations to intervene and set up a medical corridor for providing supplies of medicines to the Kashmiri people. KASHMIRI PRISONERS IN INDIA The resolution also expressed concern over the deteriorating health facilities and medical supplies in the occupied territories as the Kashmiri people are suffering badly due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Being the next-door neighbour of India, this committee expresses gratitude to the government of Pakistan and other countries for extending offers of medical assistance to the Kashmiri people on humanitarian grounds. The committee also expressed profound grief on the demise of prominent senior Hurriyat Conference leader Mohammad Ashraf Sehrai. “We are also saddened on the martyrdom of the Kashmiri people who have died due to the Covid-19 pandemic or by atrocities of Indian forces.” The participants noted that senior Kashmiri leaders, journalists and people detained in Indian jails are soft targets of the coronavirus.