Tuesday Nov 23, 2021
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has strongly condemned the arrest of human rights activist Khurram Parvez by Indian armed forces in Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir.
Parvez, 40, was arrested by India’s top anti-terrorism investigation agency on Monday during a raid at his home and office.
“Arbitrary arrests of human rights activists on orchestrated charges by Indian occupation forces is clear evidence of New Delhi’s state-terrorism and trampling of fundamental human rights in India-occupied Jammu and Kashmir,” Foreign Office spokesperson Asim Iftikhar said in a statement issued on Tuesday.
The spokesperson said that the reprehensible unwarranted searches by India's National Investigation Agency (NIA) at the offices and residence of Parvez has also been condemned by international human rights activists and organisations.
“The world is aware that it has become increasingly difficult for human rights organisations and activists to continue their work in India and India-occupied Jammu and Kashmir due to an incessant witch hunt by the Hindutva driven RSS- BJP combine over unfounded and motivated allegations,” he added.
The spokesperson said that the international humans rights preservation platform Amnesty International had to shut all its operations in India in September 2020 when its bank accounts were frozen by India in an act of reprisal because of their independent reporting on India-occupied Jammu and Kashmir.
He went on to say that the UN human rights machinery, independent NGOs and global media had regularly reported on and expressed concerns over increasing intimidation, harassment and reprisal attacks by Indian armed forces against Kashmiri human rights defenders, journalists and civil society actors since August 5, 2019.
“We call on the international community to hold India accountable for continued clamp down against human rights organisations and activists for undertaking their duty to expose gross and systematic human rights violations of Kashmiris in India-occupied Jammu and Kashmir, and the minorities, especially Muslims, in India,” he stressed.
Meanwhile, Amnesty International also criticised India over the arrest, saying that it is "yet another example" of misuse and violation of anti-terror laws by India.
"The arrest of Kashmiri activist Khurram Parvez is yet another example of how anti-terror laws are being misused to criminalise human rights work and stifle dissent in India," it tweeted.
The forum called on the relevant authorities to make efforts for accountability for elements involved in human rights violations in India-occupied Kashmir "instead of targeting" human rights defenders.