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SOURCE: ASSOCIATED PRESS

The family of Kashmiri separatist Aasiya Andrabi, who is being held in a jail for anti-state activities, appealed on Monday to the United Nations for help in securing her release.

Ahmad bin Qasim, the son of Andrabi, who heads an Islamic women’s group in Kashmir, was joined by Pakistan human rights minister Shireen Mazari in issuing the appeal during a rare news conference in Pakistan’s capital Islamabad.

Andrabi and two other activists, Sofi Fahmeeda and Nahida Nasreen, were charged by Delhi court last month for allegedly waging war against India, sedition and conspiracy to commit acts of terror in the country.

On Monday, her son who is studying in Pakistan and Mazari criticized India for “committing human rights violations in Kashmir” and asked human rights organizations to work for Andrabi’s release and the “release of other women jailed in India”. Qasim said his mother suffers from asthma and in need of medical care.

Qasim’s father, Ashiq Hussain Faktoo, was a Kashmiri separatist rebel commander and was convicted of murder in the death of a human rights activist in Kashmir.

Pakistan wants India to drop charges against Andrabi and her husband and release them.

Pakistan and India have a history of bitter relations and have fought two of their three wars over Kashmir since gaining independence from Britain in 1947. Relations between the two countries have been further strained since August 2019, when India revoked Jammu and Kashmir’s semi-autonomous status and divided it into two federally governed territories.

India has an estimated 700,000 soldiers in Kashmir, fighting nearly a dozen rebel groups since 1989. More than 68,000 people, most of them civilians, have been killed in the conflict.