Sartaj Aziz writes letters to United Nations Secretary-General, President of United Nations Security Council, Secretary-General of OIC, and United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to express serious concern over situation in Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir

Islamabad, July 15, 2016 (PPI-OT):Adviser to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs, Mr. Sartaj Aziz, has addressed letters to the UN Secretary-General, the President of the UN Security Council, the Secretary-General of the OIC, and the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to express Pakistan’s serious concern on the alarming situation in the Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IOK) drawing attention to the brutal killings of innocent civilians and grave violations of the fundamental human rights of the Kashmiris by the occupying Indian security forces.

In his letters to the UN Secretary-General and the President of the Security Council, the Adviser noted that in these times of democracy and accountability, the international community, led by the United Nations, cannot remain passive to the callous behaviour and grave violations of human rights by India in the Occupied Jammu and Kashmir over the last many decades.

The letters recalled that the United Nations has a special and permanent responsibility with regard to the Jammu and Kashmir dispute, which remains on the agenda of the UN Security Council and is yet to be resolved in accordance with its relevant resolutions. The current situation in Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir is in fact the result of the continued denial by India of the right to self-determination of the Kashmiri people through a free and fair plebiscite under the UN auspices that was assured by the United Nations in its multiple resolutions.

The Adviser noted that non-resolution of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute was a constant source of tension and instability in the region, and a threat to international peace and security. Lack of progress in finding a durable solution to the Kashmir question in accordance with the UN resolutions, and the continuing violations of human rights in the Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir and lack of accountability thereof, have led to feeling of frustration and resentment especially among the new generation of Kashmiris who are increasingly adding their voice to the decades long Kashmiri indigenous movement for self-determination.

India can no longer be in denial of these facts by terming the situation as its internal matter, a position that has no standing whatsoever, in view of the internationally recognized disputed status of Jammu and Kashmir as also reflected in the relevant UN Security Council resolutions, the letters noted. The Adviser urged that India should be called upon to stop killing of innocent civilians and to cease its repressive policies and human rights violations in the Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir.

The Adviser underlined that as a concerned party, Pakistan remains committed to peacefully resolving the Jammu and Kashmir dispute in accordance with the relevant resolutions of the UN Security Council. Pakistan will continue to extend its moral and diplomatic support for realization of the right to self-determination of the people of Jammu and Kashmir. Pakistan has also always welcomed the role and initiatives of the UN Secretary-General to facilitate the resolution of the Jammu and Kashmir question and we will continue to support such efforts in future.

In his letter to the OIC Secretary-General, the Adviser recalled that OIC has always taken a strong position on the Jammu and Kashmir issue and shown solidarity with the Kashmiris. Pakistan hoped for continued support of the OIC towards the just struggle of the Kashmiris for their right of self-determination, and lauded the initiatives taken in furthering cooperation among the members of the OIC especially for the OIC’s solidarity with the Kashmiri people.

The OIC has condemned, in strongest terms, the killing of Kashmiri, leader Burhan Wani, by the Indian security forces and killing of innocent Kashmiris, who were peacefully demonstrating Mr. Burhan’s killing. The OIC Secretary General, Mr. Iyad Ameen Madani, expressed sorrow on the killings of Kashmiris in IoK and deplored use of force by the Indian security forces on the peaceful protesters.

The OIC’s Independent Permanent Human Rights Commission (IPHRC) also expressed serious concern over the incident of human right violation in IoK by Indian military and para-military forces in which dozens of innocent Kashmiris were killed and scores were injured. IPHRC deplored the extrajudicial killings and violation of the Kashmiris’ right to live, right to freedom of expression and opinion, right to peaceful protest and assembly and other fundamental human rights.

In his letter to the High Commissioner for Human Rights, the Adviser noted that the Indian security forces were trampling the fundamental freedoms of the Kashmiri people with complete impunity. Jammu and Kashmir was witnessing yet another brutal bloodbath at the hands of the Indian occupation forces. The use of excessive force against innocent civilians protesting peacefully over extrajudicial killings was a blatant violation of the right to life, right to freedom of expression and opinion, right to peaceful protest, right to peaceful assembly and other rights.

The absolute absence of accountability and justice to address the abuses committed by the Indian security forces has invoked a sharp reaction from all segments of the Kashmiri society. The Adviser requested the High Commissioner and the mechanisms of the Human Rights Council to look into the grave violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms being committed against the Kashmiri people by the Indian security forces, and intervene to end these terrible atrocities.

It called for protecting the right to life of the Kashmiri people; ending impunity of Indian occupation forces; a fair, transparent and independent inquiry to bring to justice those responsible for the extra-judicial execution of Burhan Muzaffar Wani and the opening of fire on peaceful protestors; bringing an end to India’s oppressive measures against the Kashmiri people; and urging India to fulfil its human rights obligations and its commitment under UNSC resolutions.

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