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Malala urges the world to help Kashmiri children return to school

Nobel Peace Prize winner and Pakistani education rights activist Malala Yousafzai has urged the UN to work towards peace in Kashmir and help children in the Valley to go back to school.

Taking to Twitter, Malala, 22, said she was deeply concerned about reports that Kashmiri students “have not been able to attend schools for more than 40 days”, and “about girls who are afraid to leave their homes”.

“I am asking leaders, at UNGA and beyond, to work towards peace in Kashmir, listen to Kashmiri voices and help children go safely back to school,” the youngest-ever Nobel Laureate tweeted on Saturday.

Life remains paralysed in the Indian-occupied Kashmir since August 5 when New Delhi abrogated Article 370 of the Constitution, ending the special status of Jammu and Kashmir. Most shops and schools remain shut and public transport has gone off the roads in the held-Valley.

The efforts of the state government to reopen schools have not borne any fruit as parents continue to keep the kids at home due to apprehensions about their safety. Posters have appeared in Srinagar warning people to keep their children away from schools after the Centre abrogated Jammu and Kashmir’s special status last month.

Malala, the famed human rights activist, was shot by the Taliban gunman in December 2012 for her campaign on girls’ education in the Swat Valley in northeastern Pakistan.

The Taliban, who are opposed to the education of girls, have destroyed hundreds of schools in Pakistan.

At age 17, Malala became the youngest recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize in 2014 when she shared the coveted honour with India’s social activist Kailash Satyarthi.

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