South Asians for Human Rights

Promoting Democracy, Upholding Human Rights

Islamabad, January 15 (KMS): Speakers at a seminar in Islamabad, today, paid glowing tributes to the subjugated but determined masses of occupied Kashmir for their resilience, courage and determination in the face of Indian brutality and state-repression.

The seminar titled “The Freedom Struggle of Kashmir & Role of Shabbir Ahmed Shah” was held under the aegis Jammu and Kashmir Democratic Freedom Party, headed by illegally detained senior APHC leader, Shabbir Ahmed Shah. The speakers included Maulana Fazl-ur-Rehman, Maulana Ghulam Nabi Nowsheri, Syed Abdullah Gilani, Ghulam Muhammad Safi, Muhammad Farooq Rehmani, Syed Faiz Naqshbandi, Syed Yousuf Naseem, Mehmood Ahmed Saghar, Sheikh Tajammul-ul-Islam, Dr Syed Nazir Gilani, Professor Nazir Ahmed Shawl, Rafiq Ahmed Dar, Sardar Usman Attique, Dr Khalid, M Aslam Malik, Altaf Ahmed Butt and Altaf Hussain Wani.

The speakers condemned the continued bloodshed, wanton killings of Kashmiri youth by Indian troops in occupied Kashmir and the international community’s policy of indifference and apathy towards the sufferings of the Kashmiri people. They expressed deep concern over the prolonged detention and deteriorating health condition of Hurriyat leaders including Shabbir Ahmed Shah, Masarrat Aalam Butt, Mushtaq-ul-Islam, Aasiya Andrabi, Dr Muhammad Qasim Fakhtoo, Nayeem Ahmed Khan and Ghulam Muhammad Khan Sopori.

The speakers denounced in strong terms the arrest of minors under black laws like Public Safety Act (PSA), the use of National Investigation Agency by Indian rulers as a tool to harass and humiliate Hurriyat leaders and their families, New Delhi’s efforts to change the demographic composition of occupied Kashmir and naked aggression and unprovoked shelling on civilian population by Indian troops on the Line of Control (LoC).

The speakers said that the Kashmiris’ right to self-determination was an inalienable and non-negotiable right, guaranteed to them by the UN and just settlement of the Kashmir dispute in accordance with the relevant Security Council resolutions was imperative for a lasting peace and stability in the South Asia. They said that India could not suppress the Kashmiris’ legitimate and indigenous political struggle for right to self-determination through terrorism and that New Delhi’s policy of intransigence was the biggest hurdle in peaceful settlement of the lingering Kashmir dispute.

The speakers maintained that the Kashmir dispute is fundamentally a political and legal issue that needs to be addressed in its true legal and historical perspective. They said for any positive change to take place in Kashmir, India needs to reverse its current course and allow an unhindered access to international human rights organizations to investigate ongoing human rights violations in the occupied territory. They said that there was no military solution to the Kashmir dispute and tripartite dialogue involving Kashmiris, Pakistan and India was the best way forward to address it.

The speakers welcomed the recent reports on the situation in occupied Kashmir issued by the Office of UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, the OIC and the All Parties Parliamentary Kashmir Group in the UK Parliament and termed these reports as eye-opener for the international Community and an indictment of New Delhi’s destructive and dodgy role in Kashmir. They hailed Pakistan’s continued political, moral and diplomatic support to the Kashmir cause and its commitment to peaceful settlement of the Kashmir dispute. They asked the incumbent democratic dispensation of Pakistan to launch a vigorous campaign at the international level to sensitize the world about the appalling situation of human rights in occupied Kashmir. They urged India to fully respect the right to self-determination of the people of Jammu and Kashmir as protected under international law and demanded establishment of a commission of inquiry (CoI) as recommended by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in his June 2018 report to investigate the human rights violations being committed by Indian troops in occupied Kashmir.

A declaration issued at the end of the seminar called on the international community particularly the UN to pressurize India to put an immediate halt to continued bloodshed, systematic violence and flagrant human rights violations in occupied Kashmir and stop the blatant use of chemical weapons and pellet-firing shotguns, which have been responsible for blinding, killing and traumatizing people in occupied Kashmir. It also demanded of New Delhi to repeal all black laws in the occupied territory, lift restrictions imposed on media, internet and social networking sites, restore all basic freedoms in occupied Kashmir, ensure safety and early release of Kashmiri prisoners and allow a fact-finding mission to visit occupied Kashmir to investigate the grave situation in the occupied territory.

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