As Inda locks down Kashmir, put local leaders in the disputed region under house arrest to stifle protests against the killing of civilians over the weekend, the National Assembly of Pakistan passed a consensus resolution earlier on Monday condemning grave human rights violations in the held Kashmir and urging the international community to play its role in resolving the longstanding issue.
The resolution was in response to the killing of 14 Kashmiris and injuring of 200 others by the Indian security forces in Pulwama district. Expressing solidarity with the Kashmiris peacefully protesting to demand their right to self-determination, it condemned the brutal tactics of the Indian forces.
Welcoming the OIC statement of the on the human rights situation in Occupied Kashmir, the resolution urged India to end all state terrorism and human rights violations, allow free media access in Indian held Kashmir. The National Assembly also asserted Pakistan would continue to provide all moral, political and diplomatic support to the Kashmiris in their just struggle for freedom.
The resolution came on the heels of a strong diplomatic charge by Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi while addressing a press conference on Sunday. He urged the world community to “intervene” and stop ongoing bloodshed in Indian held Kashmir. Offering to host, he also asked the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to immediately convene an inter-ministerial meeting of its Contact Group on Kashmir. Mr Qureshi said he had apprised the OIC secretary general about the latest situation in Indian held Kashmir.
Minister for Human Rights Dr Shireen Mazari also addressed the media saying the PTI government would devise a robust policy to highlight the Kashmir issue at every world forum. Mazari welcomes the first-ever UN human rights report on Kashmir. She also called for an international inquiry into extreme suppression of the Kashmiris and multiple human rights violations by the Indian military. The UN report had observed in June earlier this year that there was “an urgent need to address past and ongoing human rights violations and abuses and deliver justice for all people in Kashmir, who for seven decades have suffered a conflict that has claimed or ruined numerous lives”.
The report highlighted a situation of chronic impunity for violations committed by security forces in the Indian held Kashmir. The political dimensions of the dispute between India and Pakistan have long been centre-stage. “The conflict has robbed millions of their basic human rights, and continues to this day to inflict untold suffering,” said UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein in the report.
The Muslim-majority Kashmir region has been at the heart of decades of hostility between India and Pakistan. Fourteen civilians were killed on Saturday when security forces opened fire at a protest over the killing of three militants in Srinagar. Kashmiri leaders Syed Ali Shah Geelani and Mirwaiz Umar Farooq have been put under house arrest to stop them leading the march. Pakistan condemned the brutal killings. “Only dialogue and not violence and killings will resolve this conflict,” Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan said, adding that his country would raise India’s “human rights violations” at the United Nations.
Hours after Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi’s press conference on Sunday, “The OIC General Secretariat expressed strong condemnation of the killing of innocent Kashmiris by Indian forces in Indian-occupied Kashmir where direct shooting at demonstrators in Pulwama region claimed the lives of a number of innocent citizens,” read a statement by the Organisation of Islamic Countries (OIC) on Monday. The Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) of Pakistan condemned via Twitter the “state-sponsored terrorism by Indian Occupation Forces, including unethical targeting of civilian population across the “Line of Control…Bullets can never suppress unarmed brave freedom fighters. Indian army must respect ethics of professional soldiering”, ISPR said on Monday.
Soldiers and police fanned out across occupied Kashmir to enforce a security lockdown on Monday for a second straight day to stop anti-India protests and foil a call by Kashmiri leaders for a march toward India’s main military garrison in the disputed region. On Saturday, Hurriyat leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq had announced that Kashmiri people, under the banner of Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL) group, “will march towards Badami Bagh Army cantonment on Monday” to ask the Indian forces to “kill all of us at one time rather than killing us daily”.
“I am not talking about the [Kashmir] issue; I am talking about humanity. Even if you have some difficulty raising your voice about the Kashmir issue, there shouldn’t be any hesitance raising your voice against the brutality towards humans,” Mr Qureshi, who is also the vice-chairman of the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf, addressed the international community in his press conference.
It was good to see the Foreign Office issuing a separate statement, saying that “Pakistan strongly condemns the horrific bloodbath in Indian occupied Jammu and Kashmir by the Indian occupation force that has resulted in the martyrdom of 14 innocent Kashmiris and injuries to more than 200 protesters.” “The mindless killing spree carried out by the Indian occupation forces on Saturday is yet another example of the Indian atrocities against the innocent Kashmiris,” it said.
It is sad to see India killing and maiming pretending to combat terror. In held Kashmir, every man, woman and child protesting against India’s illegal occupation and brutalities against innocent and hapless Kashmiris was dubbed as a “terrorist”. India continues to ignore the legitimate demand for an international investigation into gross and systematic human rights violations
India must allow investigations by an independent fact-finding Commission from the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner on Human Rights, the Independent Permanent Human Rights Commission and the OIC into ongoing gross human rights violations in occupied Kashmir. And Pakistan must make sure India does not abrogate its obligation to fulfil its obligations under the United National Security Council resolutions on Jammu and Kashmir.
Khalid Hussain is Resident Editor of TLTP – You may contact Khalid Hussain at Resident.Editor@tltpnews.com.pk
The Law Today Pakistan, commonly known as TLTP, is the largest news wire service, headquartered in Islamabad. The service is providing fast, comprehensive and verified news on superior courts adjudications, regulatory framework of fiscal, monitory and external sectors, economic regulatory bodies amid apex institutions regulating the financial system. TLTP is empowering readers of more than 12 national English dailies in the country.