IMA has made a scathing attack on British health journal The Lancet for commenting on the restrictions imposed in Kashmir as precautionary measures following abrogation of special status to the north Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir.
Describing it as “unfortunate” that a reputed medical journal committed breach of propriety, the IMA said: “It is amounting to interference into an internal matter of the Union of India. The Lancet has no locus standi on the issue of Kashmir".
“Kashmir issue is a legacy that the British Empire left behind", the IMA wrote to The Lancet’s Editor-in-Chief Richard Horton.
While dubbing the revoking of Jammu and Kashmir’s autonomy as a “controversial move”, on 17 August, The Lancet, in an editorial, raised serious concerns for the health, safety, and freedom of the Kashmiri people.
"Prime Minister Narendra Modi vows that his decision to revoke autonomy will bring prosperity to Kashmir. But first, the people of Kashmir need healing from the deep wounds of this decades-old conflict, not subjugation to further violence and alienation", the editorial published in the renowned health journal stated.
The journal has mentioned that due to decades of violence, people in the region have increased anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder.
Citing a study conducted by Médecins Sans Frontières in two rural districts of the state, nearly half of Kashmiris rarely felt safe and of those who had lost a family member to violence, one in five had witnessed the death firsthand.
Nevertheless, the Indian government started the easing of 14-day restrictions imposed in the state on Monday.
Jammu and Kashmir was locked down as a precautionary measure following New Delhi’s decision to amend Article 370 and 35A, which granted special status to the state. The state was also divided into two federally administered territories, a move India claimed would give impetus to the development of the region.
The decision was vehemently opposed by political parties in the region and several opposition parties. Pakistan, which claims itself as a stakeholder in Kashmir, raised objections and mounted a diplomatic offensive against India’s decision.