South Asians for Human Rights

Promoting Democracy, Upholding Human Rights

ISLAMABAD: As law and order situation is spinning out of control in some areas of India with Muslims and Kashmiris being targeted by lynch mobs, a Pakistani prisoner in Jaipur Central Jail was stoned to death by a group of Indian inmates in retaliation of the Pulwama incident.

“We call upon the Indian government to fulfill its obligations and ensure provision of foolproof security to all Pakistani inmates and prisoners in Indian jails and Pakistani visitors to India”, the Foreign Office stated on Wednesday. Pakistan saw a huge diplomatic success as the continuous attacks against Kashmiris in India and inside Kashmir were noted by the European Parliament which has called on New Delhi to halt its atrocities in Kashmir, the Foreign Office said. Earlier, the UN Human Rights Office had published a report saying that there is an urgent need to address the past and ongoing human rights violations and abuses and deliver justice to all the people in Kashmir, who for seven decades have suffered a conflict that has claimed or ruined numerous lives.

The Pakistan’s High Commission in New Delhi has officially raised the issue of the killing of the Pakistani prisoner with the Indian authorities requesting them to urgently authenticate the report. “Pakistan is gravely concerned at the media reports regarding the brutal killing of a Pakistani prisoner, Shakir Ullah, imprisoned in Jaipur Central Jail”, said the Foreign Office. The Pakistani prisoner, belonged to Sialkot and was undergoing life imprisonment after his conviction in a terror related case in Jaipur in 2017, died of serious head injuries.

Some Kashmiris while talking to The News said the police had saved them from lynch mobs but they were hoping that Prime Minister Modi would condemn this hooliganism and put an end to it. Hotels have put up signs all over India saying that Kashmiris were not welcome. Pakistani visitors were told on Tuesday to leave India.

Meanwhile, Pakistan notes that it is a significant development that the European Parliament’s sub-committee on human rights hosted an official exchange of views on the situation of human rights in the Indian-Held Kashmir (IHK). “It is the first time since 2007 that the issue of Kashmir has been discussed publicly at an official European Union (EU) forum”, the Foreign Office says. The discussion focused on the June 2018 report of the United Nations’ Office of High Commissioner on Human Rights (OHCHR) on Kashmir. Christine Chung, one of the authors of the report was invited to the event by the sub-committee.

In her comments, she highlighted the dire human rights situation in the IHK and reiterated the OHCHR’s recommendations for establishing a commission of inquiry to conduct a comprehensive and independent international investigations of the human rights violations in Kashmir, the FO said. The sub-committee Chair Pier Antonio Panzeri in his opening remarks expressed the EU’s commitment to uphold and protect the human rights throughout the world. The EU, he said, had never shied away from discussing human rights, even when it involved complex political issues. He pointed out that the issue of Kashmir is the longest unresolved issue on the agenda of the United Nations, and that the EU believes that dialogue among nations is necessary to resolve such issues. He, however, pointed out that the event was focused on the human rights situation in Kashmir and the plight of Kashmiris.

Besides Azad Jammu and Kashmir Prime Minister Raja Farooq Haider and Pakistan’s Ambassador to Belgium, the European Union and Luxembourg Naghmana Alamgir Hashmi, the debate was attended by a large number of MEPs, human rights representatives and civil society organisations, think tanks, diplomats from various countries and members of Kashmiri diaspora across Europe. The MEPs who attended the event included Wajid Khan, Julie Ward, Baroness Nosheena Mubarik, Amjad Bashir, David Martin, Jordi Sole, Sion Simon, Jean Lambert, Richard Corbett, Theresa Griffin and Jo Leinen. The overwhelming majority of these members rallied behind the recommendations of the OHCHR report and called for their full implementation.

They called on India to immediately put a halt to its atrocities in IHK and carry out investigations into the incidents of grave human rights violations. The MEPs also highlighted the need for peaceful resolution of the Kashmir issue through a dialogue between Pakistan and India, and with full participation of the Kashmiri people. The public nature of the event also added to its value in generating awareness about the situation in the IHK. The official nature of the event in one the most prestigious bodies of the European Parliament, the sub-committee on human rights, will also provide a solid ground for other EU institutions to raise the issue of Kashmir with the Indian government during their bilateral interactions, the FO press release said.


Updated On: February 21, 2019