AJK President urges OIC's role to end brutalities in IOK
UNITED NATIONS (APP): President Azad Jammu and Kashmir Sardar Masood Khan Monday urged the Organization of Islamic Cooperation to play its role to end Indian brutalities in Indian Occupied Kashmir, seek solution to the dispute and help rescind the draconian laws imposed in the territory.
In his statement at the meeting of the OIC Contact Group on Kashmir held on the sidelines of the 71st session of the UN General Assembly, here, the President said following the extrajudicial killing of Kashmiri youth leader Burhan Wani on July 8, hundreds of Kashmiris have been killed; more than 150 civilians had been blinded by the use of lethal pellet guns; and more than 10,000 men, women and children were seriously injured because of the indiscriminate firing by occupying Indian forces.
Masood Khan said medical experts had observed that embedded pellets in the bodies of the victims were causing fatal lead poisoning and put pregnant women at serious risk. Further, the toxic lead deposits in children' bodies stunt their growth.
Lauding the OIC's support to just struggle of Kashmir people, Masood Khan said Kashmiris in IOK were under siege and being killed, maimed, blinded, tortured, and hounded by the occupying forces. The use of sexual molestation and rape, as an instrument of terror, is common, he added.
"In IOK, peaceful demonstrations are a crime, political meetings are banned, true Kashmiri leaders have been incarcerated. Free speech is a crime, free movement is a crime, and voicing aspirations for the right to self-determination is treason. There
are prolonged curfews and mobile telephone and Internet blackouts in IOK. Indian occupation forces in the territory hunt down innocent citizens in pursuit of their illicit, draconian black laws," the president remarked.
He said in pursuit of their policy of collective punishment, the Indian occupying forces had blocked essential supplies; assaulted families of protesters physically and sexually; and attacked villages and townships to terrorize their residents.
He said the human rights violations against the Kashmiris in IOK were deliberate, rampant, gross and systematic. India is guilty of violating Article 3 of the four Geneva Conventions, especially the recognized International Humanitarian Law principles of proportionality, distinction and precaution.
"There is a sense of urgency to take action. This is not business as usual," he said asking the OIC Contact Group to condemn, once again, the horrendous killings and brutalities to terrorize Kashmiri population; and demand from India to cease such criminal activities forthwith.
He called for OIC role to call upon India to rescind the Armed Forces Special Powers Act and other draconian laws.
He rejected the Indian campaign of disinformation suggesting that Kashmiris were terrorists rather they were victims of terrorism unleashed by Indian occupying forces. India is committing terrorism against besieged and beleaguered Kashmiris.
"War is not an option, because India and Pakistan are nuclear- armed states. India should stop using brinkmanship, subversion and state terrorism under the nuclear umbrella," the president remarked.
Brushing aside the Indian claim of Kashmir being an integral part of India, Masood Khan said IOK was a disputed territory whose political future has to be decided by its people through a democratic method of UN-supervised plebiscite in accordance with the UN Security Council resolutions. India cannot deny this right to them through its unilateral, coercive measures, he added.
He paid tribute to the Kashmiris for their resilience and for their constant quest for freedom despite unabated Indian terrorism.
We salute them for their courage and sacrifices. And our message to them is: we are with you, he remarked.
Kashmir is a test case for the conscience of humanity and international law. The people of Kashmir were committed no to give up their efforts no matter what happens.
He reiterated that the government and people of Azad Jammu and Kashmir extend their full moral, political and diplomatic support to the just cause and struggle for freedom of our brothers and sisters in the IOK.
He called upon OIC Contact Group to call on the OIC Secretary General to convey to the UN Secretary General and the President of the UN Security Council the gravity of the situation in IOK and its serious implications for peace and security in South Asia; and take European Union leadership into confidence to explore ways to resolve the Jammu and Kashmir dispute;
The group should also urge the UN Secretary General to use his good offices and the recognized diplomatic tools of preventive diplomacy under Chapter VI of the Charter - enquiry, mediation and negotiation - to address the crisis in Jammu and Kashmir.
He said the UN should also be urged to establish Indian accountability for the brutal use of force constituting crimes against humanity and acts of genocide. It should also help create an atmosphere for engagement between Pakistan, India and the people of Jammu and Kashmir so as to explore a lasting solution of the Kashmir dispute.