Pakistan urges UN Human Rights Council to stop Indian crimes in Kashmir

Pakistan urges UN Human Rights Council to stop Indian crimes in Kashmir

ISLAMABAD -GENEVA-Pakistan has called on the UN Human Rights Council not to remain "a silent bystander" as India pushes to change the demographic composition of Indian occupied Kashmir in defiance of international legality.

"A country that once boasted fighting colonialism is imposing its signature imperialist policies by granting domicile certificates to non-residents in thousands," Ambassador Khalil Hashmi told the 47-member council in Geneva on Wednesday as it began an interactive dialogue with the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, on her annual report on the global rights situation.

India imposed a repressive military lockdown in the disputed Kashmir region some 10 months ago through curfews and cutting off communications, denying the people adequate access to medical supplies and facilities. Hundreds of Kashmiri political leaders and abducted youth continue to languish in crowded jails across India, making them vulnerable to coronavirus.

"This 21st century version of muzzling fundamental rights, flagrant disregard of democratic principles and non-compliance of international law are being carried out by nearly one-million military and paramilitary Indian forces," the Pakistani envoy said.

Ambassador Hashmi spoke about arbitrary arrests, detention and imprisonment of political activists and human rights defenders continue unabated, with the Kashmir Bar Association reporting that over 600 habeas corpus petitions filed before the High Court since last August were pending.

During this period, he said, nearly 13,000 Kashmiris remain imprisoned in various jails without recourse to justice.

In its attempts to crush the resistance, Ambassador Hashmi said India had upscaled weapons' calibre, targeting civilian population and their houses in the so-called "cordon and search operations". At least 30 Kashmiri youth have been martyred in the last two weeks by Indian military, acting as Judge, Jury and Executioner.

"We call upon the relevant government to investigate the use of CGM3 in light of ATT (Arms Trade Treaty) obligations and urge India to stop targeting civilians in Kashmir, particularly through heavy weapons."

The Pakistani envoy said the new "Domicile Law" was designed to settle Indian nationals in Jammu & Kashmir and convert Kashmiris into a minority in their homeland. Parallel to this quasi-colonial project, India had awarded all contracts for extraction of minerals from water bodies of Kashmir to Indian firms, completely ignoring local companies and businesses.

"This decision aggravates risks of environmental degradation and violations of all rights of indigenous people," he said.

"This Council and its Special Procedure Mandate Holders should not remain a silent bystander to these human rights crimes in IOJ&K, which are widely reported by the UN and its human rights machinery, including OHCHR (Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights)," Ambassador Hashmi said.

"We urge the Council to seek implementation of the High Commissioner's recommendations, contained in two reports on Jammu and Kashmir, in particular the establishment of a Commission of Inquiry."