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Monday Sep 09 2019
Web Desk

'Time to act is now': PM urges UNHCR to probe rights abuses in occupied Kashmir

Web Desk

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan said Monday he welcomed "the growing concern & demands" from leaders and organisations around the world as well as the United Nations' departments pertaining to India's atrocities in and occupation of Kashmir.

In his Twitter post, PM Imran said he appreciated the calls by the international community, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCHR) "for India to lift its 6-week long siege of IOJK"

"The Int community must not remain indifferent to the massive human rights abuses by Occupation Indian forces under cover of a brutal siege," the premier said.

Speaking of the UNHCHR, he said he really appreciated its statement issued earlier today and requested the UN Human Rights Council to set up an independent probe right away to investigate human rights violations in occupied Kashmir.

"I call upon the UN Human Rights Council to immediately set up the indep Investigation commission to probe human rights abuses in IOJK as recommended by the UNHCHR's two reports on Kashmir.

"The time to act is now," PM Imran added.

Earlier today, the UN high commissioner for human rights, Michelle Bachelet, had called on India to immediately ease the curfew in occupied Kashmir.

Ahead of the UN Human Rights Council's 42nd session in Geneva on Monday, Bachelet had asked New Delhi to ensure the provision of basic services to the people of occupied Kashmir and respect the rights of those detained since August 5.

"I am deeply concerned about the impact of recent actions by the Government of India on the human rights of Kashmiris, including restrictions on internet communications and peaceful assembly, and the detention of local political leaders and activists.

"I have appealed particularly to India to ease the current lockdowns or curfews; to ensure people's access to basic services; and that all due process rights are respected for those who have been detained.

"It is important that the people of Kashmir are consulted and engaged in any decision-making processes that have an impact on their future," she had added. 

On August 5, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi had scrapped the constitutional autonomy of the Muslim-majority, Himalayan region and imposed a military curfew in the area, imprisoning thousands of Kashmiri political leaders, rights activists, businesspeople, and other ordinary citizens.

International media have and are reporting widespread abuse and torture of these detainees by the Indian security forces as a humanitarian crisis looms in the valley. Some reports indicate that patients are even being denied life-saving medical care because of the shortage of medicines. 

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