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Saturday Jul 11 2020
Web Desk

Pakistan reiterates call for international monitoring of human rights crisis in occupied Kashmir

Web Desk
Indian security personnel detain a Kashmiri during protests in Srinagar. — AFP/File

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Friday reiterated its call for enhanced international monitoring and continued United Nations reporting on the human rights crisis in India-occupied Jammu and Kashmir.

The Foreign Office, in a statement, said that the call for international monitoring was to “save lives, dignity and freedoms of the Kashmiri people under illegal occupation for over seven decades”.

The call comes a day after the UN Special Rapporteurs expressed serious concerns over the human rights situation in occupied Kashmir, in its third communication to India since it imposed a lockdown in the region in August last year.

“Pakistan wishes to underscore the importance of growing international concern over the grave and systematic human rights abuses being perpetrated by Indian security forces against Kashmiris in [occupied Kashmir].

"The 2018 and 2019 UN Kashmir reports provided a window to the world about the scale of India’s human rights violations, aided and abetted by hundreds of thousands of occupation forces and draconian laws,” the statement read.

The Foreign Office highlighted that after the annexation of the territory “India’s human rights abuses have reached new heights of brutality, impunity, and shame”.

“This is marked by more than 11 months of unabated military siege in [occupied Kashmir], communications blockade, extra-judicial killings in fake encounters, and so-called cordon-and-search operations, collective punishment of entire communities and neighbourhoods, and crimes against humanity,” the statement read.

The Foreign Office noted that India’s international scrutiny and censure continues to grow and its dismal disregard of human dignity, fundamental rights and freedoms is being meticulously documented by human rights and civil society organisations, international media and parliamentarians.

“The UN human rights machinery has consistently spotlighted India’s non-compliance with its international human rights obligations. Through several official communications, nearly a dozen UN Special Rapporteurs have regularly raised serious concerns over India’s consistent pattern of arbitrary arrests, detentions, torture, corporal punishment, extra-judicial killings, and physical and digital lockdown in occupied Jammu and Kashmir,” the statement read.

The statement noted that despite several global indictments, India continued to persist in a mode of defiance and denial.

The country has so far rejected the two Kashmir reports and refuses to grant access to any independent international observer, organisation and media to investigate the gross human rights violations.

“In fact, India has heightened its repression in [occupied Kashmir] taking advantage of the world’s preoccupation with the COVID-19 pandemic,” the statement noted.

India is undertaking further reprehensible, and unlawful, steps to engineer demographic change in IOJK and convert the Kashmiri Muslim majority into a minority.

“India’s wilful defiance of international law, democratic norms and its human rights obligations necessitates continued accountability and opprobrium, as underlined in the UN’s Kashmir Reports,” the statement added.