Kashmiri delegation briefs human rights activists about Indian atrocities in Geneva

By Arif Qureshi

Islamabad: A high level delegation of Kashmiri human rights activists is on a week long tour of Geneva to highlight the Indian state terrorism before the International human rights activist. During their stay in Geneva they met with scores of international human rights organizations, representative of OIC IPHRC, UN special rapporteur Mr. Michel Frost, Mr. Maina Kiaiun special rapporteur on the rights to freedom and peaceful assembly and association and Ambassador of Malaysia, UN special rapporteur. The Kashmiri delegation headed by veteran Kashmiri human rights activist Altaf Hussain Wani along with Syed Faiz Naqashbandi, Sardar Amjad Yousaf Khan,Gh.Hassan Ganie, Shamim Shawl, Ishtayaq hameed and famous Pakistani journalist and anchor Ahmad Qureshi.

According to Gulam Hassan Ganie a kashmiri human rights activist who is also part of the delegation said that the they  met with Ambassador of Malaysia, UN special rapporteur on situation of human rights defenders and the Executive Director of World Organisation against Torture on the side lines of gathering seeking rights bodies’ attention towards the plight of hapless Kashmiris who were showered with pellets and bullets by occupation forces during 2016 mass uprising the delegates said that gross human rights violations committed by Indian forces in the disputed territory were highly alarming. Wani who is heading the delegation told human rights defenders that occupation forces deployed in every nook and cranny were involved in gruesome killings of innocent Kashmiris. 5-month long siege of valley and use of lethal weapons and live ammunitions against peaceful protesters by Indian troops he said had left behind a harrowing legacy of blind boys and girls that will continue to bruise hearts and minds of Kashmiris. He said that these terrible incidents of state sponsored violence amply demonstrate the fact India forces were carrying genocide in Kashmir.

During the stay Syed Faiz Naqshbandi APHC Convenor, chaired an important event during 34th session of UN Human Rights Council Geneva. Apprised about ongoing Indian repression in Indian controlled Kashmir. UN expert Prof. Alfred Dr. Zayas was one of the speakers who fully supports Kashmiri self determination. India was asked to open the borders of occupied Kashmir for media, NGOs and UN Fact Finding Missions.

According to details members of delegation in different meetings highlighted the plight of Kashmiris saying that India occupation have unleashed rein of terror in Kashmir by using excessive force against peaceful protestors. “Use of direct firing and pellets fired upon peaceful protesters has resulted in significant loss of lives and permanent disabilities and blindness of thousands of innocent Kashmiris”, the delegates said adding the use of live ammunition and pellet guns by Indian forces against civilians in Kashmir was inhumane and a flagrant violation of international law.  Seeking ban on use of pellet guns in Kashmir the Kashmiri delegates while expressing their serious concern said that rights abuses and state oppression in the disputed territory would reach new heights provided international community failed in influencing India to stop using lethal weapons in Kashmir.

Referring to Terming the use of pellet guns as against the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP), they told the OIC commissioners that pellets were dangerously lethal as it maims a person for ever. Regarding the plight of Kashmiri prisoners languishing in different Indian jails and detention centers in the valley they said political activists particularly Kashmiri youth were being arrested without any rhyme or reason and thrown behind the bars and there were no reparations after putting people behind bars when acquainted of false charge. They said that women folk have unfortunately been worst victim of Indian state terrorism in Kashmir. Referring to Armed forces special powers Act and Public safety act and other black laws prevalent in the region the delegates said that these black laws facilitate gross human rights abuses in the region.

Terming shrinking of political space and space for dissent as a major cause of concern they said that with a view to silence Kashmiris India has imposed severe restrictions on peoples’ right to freedom of speech and expression. The urged the OIC IPHRC commissioners to take effective cognizance of Indian government’s arrogant attitude towards human rights council and violation of International obligations. The Kashmiri delegation also sought rights bodies’ attention towards Indian aggression on line of control (LoC), loss of wildlife and human lives as well as the displacement of local population caused by massive and continous shelling by Indian army in the area.

Kashmiri delegation led by veteran rights activist Altaf Hussain Wani during the visit called on diplomats and representatives of various human rights organisations  and appraised them of the prevailong political and human rights situation in Indian occupied Kashmir.  He said that India on one hand has unleashed rein of terror by killing innocent civillians while on the other it has choked political space by enforcing black laws in the region. He said that strict restrictions have been imposed on profreedom leadership and peoples’ fundamental right to peacefull assembly and right of free speech and expression has been banned in the region.

Terming these restrictions as a flagrant violation of international law Wani said that in view of the highly alarming situation it was incumbent upon international human rights watch dogs and relevant institutions to make India accountable for the crimes its troops have been committing in Kashmiri over the past several decades. Describing massive troops’ concentration in the region as one of the major causes of HR violation Wani stressed the need for early settlement of Kashmir dispute. He said that settlement of the long running dispute was must to mitigate Kashmir’s’ sufferings.

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