South Asians for Human Rights

Promoting Democracy, Upholding Human Rights

MIRPUR (AJK)-Speakers at a seminar on Wednesday strongly raised serious concerns over the worsening political and human rights situation in Indian-Held Kashmir.
They declared the conflict as the major cause of human rights violations in the region. The seminar was hosted by Kashmir Institute of International Relations (KIIR), a world-fame Kashmiri NGO.
The seminar titled “Human Rights Violations in Indian Occupied Kashmir: Enhancing Spaces for Advocacy and Awareness” was attended and addressed by leaders of All Parties Hurriyat conference, political parties, rights activists, academicians and members of civil society including senator Raja Zaffarul Haq the leader of the house in the Senate, Senator Sherry Rehman, former ambassador Abdul Basit, APHC leader Altaf Hussain Wani, Sabzar Ahmed Advocate from IOK, Abdullah Gilani Leader APHC , Sardar Amjad Yousuf, Ershad Mehmood, respectively Executive Directors of KIIR and CPDR and several others.
Stressing a need for early and amicable solution to the Kashmir conflict the speakers said that the world community particularly the United Nations redouble its efforts to resolve the conflict that poses a serious threat to peace and stability in the region.
Terming right to self-determination a principle of the international law, the speakers said, “Right to self-determination is protected in the UN Charter and the ICCPR as a right to “all peoples” to which India is a signatory”. “International law offers Pakistan an opportunity to project the Jammu and Kashmir dispute in the background of the globally-recognised right to self-determination, which could persuade the international community to build pressure on India to meet its legal obligation,” they said.
The participants of the seminar expressed grave concern on the ongoing human rights violations perpetrated by the Indian occupation forces that include physical torture, enforced disappearances, custodial killings, arbitrary arrests, blinding and maiming of innocent civilians in Jammu and Kashmir. They condemned the use of pellet guns by the Indian occupation forces to willfully blind the Kashmiris, particularly the youth. They also voiced their serious concerns over the recent acts of torture and harassment of the Kashmiri political prisoners in Indian prisons by Jail authorities.
They also lambasted the Indian government for its nefarious designs to change the demography of Indian Occupied Kashmir including the proposed abrogation of Article 370 and Article 35/A of the Indian constitution, granting of state subject to non -state subjects, constructions of Sanik colonies and separate townships for Kashmir Pundits.
Referring to the relevant UN resolutions on Kashmir they said that under these covenants the highest body has a responsibility to stop human rights violations besides influencing the government of India to implement these resolutions calling for a peaceful settlement of the dispute. Urging the United Nations to fulfill its responsibility of organising the plebiscite in Jammu and Kashmir under its supervision, they said that it was incumbent upon the world body to take serious note of the repression in occupied Kashmir, condemn acts of state-sponsored terrorism and policy of subjugation.
The UN and other relevant international foras, they said, must investigate all massacres, gang-rapes, fake-encounters, forced disappearances and willful blinding of Kashmiri youth by Indian occupation forces. The participants of the seminar through a unanimous resolution called on the Government of India to allow UN and other independent investigations to visit Kashmir to assess the on ground situation in the region. “India must cease all human rights violations immediately against the Kashmiris and stop forthwith its efforts of changing the demographic of Jammu and Kashmir and desist from altering the status of the territory,” the resolution said. The participants urged the Government of Pakistan and all political parties to adopt a proactive approach to project in the world the Indian state terrorism perpetrated in IoK, take all steps to assure the people of Jammu and Kashmir of Pakistan’s full and unconditional support to their legitimate freedom struggle and make further steps towards utilizing all relevant UN mechanisms to bring to justice the perpetrators of crimes against humanity committed by Indian authorities in IHK.
They demanded the government of Pakistan to adopt a provocative approach and construct a strong counter narrative to galvanise conscience of the International community on the issue of Kashmir. “For effective advocacy and awareness about Kashmir, the Governments of Pakistan and Azad Jammu & Kashmir should encourage young scholars to produce scholarly literature on the subject besides running social media campaign. Regarding Pakistan’s role, the resolution said, “Pakistan is a party to the dispute and it has a legal case backed by the UNSC resolutions. Therefore, the Government of Pakistan needs to highlight the legal dimension of the dispute at the international forms.”

Updated on: December 14, 2017