Pakistan to seek UN fact-finding mission to probe IHK killings

Pakistan to seek UN fact-finding mission to probe IHK killings

ISLAMABAD: (APP) Pakistan will approach the Human Rights Council of the United Nations to send a fact-finding mission to the Indian Held Kashmir (IHK) to investigate the slaughter of innocent civilians and impose a ban on the use of pellet guns for dispersing the protestors, said Sartaj Aziz on Thursday.

"The Indian armed forces are using live ammunition on the mobs which has caused many civilian casualties. Around 50 people have been killed and more than 3500 injured. It has been reported that around 400 injured are in critical condition and more than 70 of the injured may have become permanently blind," the Adviser to Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs told media in a briefing here at the Foreign Office.

He said Pakistan would approach the Human Rights Council of the United Nations on its own behalf and on behalf of the OIC Contact Group on Kashmir, comprising Azerbaijan, Niger, Saudi Arabia and Turkey.

Aziz said the figure was increasing due to continued protests and severe injuries. Firing by Indian forces on peaceful protestors including women, children and elderly was not acceptable under any circumstances, he added.

Mentioning the curfew barring the people's access to food and basic emergency services, the Adviser said incidents of violence and harassment and teargas shelling have been reported in hospitals also.

"It is clear manifestation of state-terrorism to suppress Kashmiri's voice for the right to self-determination. The use of lethal force against the innocent civilians, protesting peacefully over extrajudicial killings, is deplorable and constitutes blatant violation of international human rights and humanitarians laws," he remarked.

He said the spontaneous and widespread uprising proves that Kashmir struggle was indigenous and rejected the Indian accusations against Pakistan for stirring trouble in IHK.

He said the killings of innocent Kashmiri people could not be condoned under the alleged pretext of terrorism. The just struggle of the Kashmiri people for their right to self-determination could not be equated with terrorism, he added.

Sartaj Aziz said Pakistan had welcomed the offer of mediation by the UN Secretary General who also took note of the situation and regretted the loss of dozens of lives and injuries to many others.

He said the OIC Secretary General and OIC Independent Permanent Human Rights Commission strongly condemned Indian brutalities. Also the US State Department, China and Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch also expressed their concerns over the situation in held valley.

Even within India, he said there were strong voices over the brutal use of force in IHK and the uprising had also been refereed to as indigenous.

Sartaj Aziz told media that a team of Indian eye surgeons had visited IHK recently due to unprecedented eye injuries and the team leader said, "it is a war like situation. We have never seen injuries on this scale."

Reiterating Pakistan's moral and diplomatic support, the Foreign Adviser said Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif issued a strongly worded statement expressing deep shock on the killing of innocent people. The Foreign Secretary summoned the Indian High Commission and lodged strong protest.

He said the ambassadors of the permanent members of the Security Council were briefed by the Foreign Secretary and subsequently the ambassadors of the European Union, African Union and OIC Contact Group on Jammu and Kashmir.

Following the decision by special meeting of the Federal Cabinet, chaired by the prime minister, Black Day was observed across Pakistan and country's missions abroad, he added.

All Pakistani missions abroad have been asked to approach the host governments and highlight the human rights violations in the IHK, the Foreign Adviser said.

He said the Senate had passed a strongly worded resolution on July 18 and the joint session of the parliament would also be convened in coming days as decided by the Cabinet.