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September 19, 2019

Conference on IHK situation: UN asked to form commission on crimes against humanity


September 19, 2019

ISLAMABAD: The National Parliamentarians Conference on Kashmir on Wednesday, through a declaration, vehemently condemned the ongoing reign of terror, unleashed in Indian in Held Kashmir and called on the United Nations to form an independent inquiry commission to investigate and fix responsibility for crimes against humanity in Indian Held Jammu and Kashmir.

The declaration, adopted at the end of the day-long conference and read out by Senate Chairman Muhammad Sadiq Sanjrani, recalled the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which recognises dignity, equality and inalienable rights as the foundation of freedom, justice and peace, with respect to human rights violations, and subjugation of Kashmiri people in the Indian Occupied Jammu & Kashmir.

The Senate of Pakistan organised the event.

Recalling, reiterating and endorsing Pakistan’s plea to the 42nd Human Rights Council, the declaration titled ‘Islamabad Declaration’ made five demands:

I) Calling upon India to put an end to its reign of terror in the Indian Occupied Jammu & Kashmir by lifting curfew, opening communications linkages, releasing political prisoners, restoring fundamental freedoms and liberties, abolishing inhuman emergency laws; and constituting a commission of inquiry as recommended by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, to bring to justice those responsible for human rights violations.

2) Stressing that humanitarian organisations as well as international media should be given full access to Indian Occupied Jammu & Kashmir.

3) Demanding India to grant people of Indian Occupied Kashmir their right to self-determination and fulfill its obligations as per the United Nations Security Council Resolutions and various human rights instruments.

4) Urging the Human Rights Council to authorise the Office of the High Commissioner, and the Council’s special procedures mandate holders to monitor and report India’s human rights violations in Indian Held Jammu & Kashmir.

5) Urging national parliaments to send fact finding delegations to the Indian Occupied Jammu & Kashmir to monitor and report human rights violations.

The conference reiterated Pakistan’s unconditional support to Kashmiri people in their just struggle for right to self-determination and freedom from suppression and Indian subjugation, terming India’s illegal and unilateral actions a blatant breach of international law and United Nations Security Council resolutions.

The conference also condemned the serious crimes against humanity, forced disappearances, arbitrary arrests, torture, usage of pellet guns and rape by Indian occupation forces and lamented the looming humanitarian crisis in the Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir where more than eight million Kashmiris remain under curfew and siege, facing deprivation and shortage of basic amenities, food supplies and life-saving medicines, risking the lives of the sick and the wounded;

It denounced imprisonment and house arrest of Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir’s political leadership as well as arbitrary arrest of thousands of Kashmiris; condemning the unprovoked Indian shelling and use of cluster ammunitions on the Line of Control, resulting in loss of precious lives in the Azad Jammu and Kashmir, threatening world peace, stability and order.

Acknowledging the support of international community, UN bodies, human rights groups, EU, OIC, China, Iran and Turkey, and law-makers from US and UK on Kashmir issue; the declaration urged the international community, national parliaments around the world, the IPU, the CPA to take strict notice of all unlawful acts on part of India and demand Indian government to roll back and check its unlawful moves as well as human rights violations and state sponsored terror in the occupied territory for the sake of peace, stability and rule of law in the region.

Earlier, in their speeches, speakers from all political shades, threw full support to the people of Kashmir and urged the world community to play its role from saving the region from the possibility of destabilisation and threat to peace.

President Dr Arif Alvi called the August 05 measures by India as illegal, unconstitutional, inhuman and unethical and said India was waging a war against itself and history. He said the League of Nations and the United Nations afterwards failed to resolve several issues. He added Kashmir issue was a challenge to the world body.

He recalled it was Nehru, who had gone to the United Nations with a promise that Kashmir issue would be resolved through plebiscite and Pakistan accepted this pledge by him, but India never fulfilled this promise.

Dr Alvi was confident that no power on earth would be able to stop Kashmiris from winning freedom and one day, the entire Kashmir would be Azad Kashmir. He added Modi’s policies would lead to India’s destruction.

The President warned that if India tried to impose war on Pakistan, then it would face annihilation. He emphasised that not curfew, the real issue was Kashmir and its settlement as per the UN Council resolutions and wishes if Kashmiris.

He regretted that the Prime Minister’s offer of resolution of all issues with India through dialogue was given a wrong meaning in India. He said the war ignited in India by Modi Sarkar was very dangerous and what was going to happen there would have its impact on the world peace.

Dr Alvi said India was adopting cheap machinations to become world super power and added his government was pursuing the policy of forcing the Muslims there to become poorer and from Mumbai mosques, announcements were being made for the Muslims to keep documents in their pockets.

Chairman Senate Sadiq Sanjrani emphatically said that Pakistan would always stand by their Kashmiri brethren for protection of their rights. The Senate chairman said there was humanitarian crisis in Occupied Kashmir and the aim of the conference was to impress upon the international community to ensure that the humanitarian aid reach the Kashmiri people in the occupied valley.

Sanjrani said that Kashmir was today the world’s No 1 issue and added the world community should rise to the occasion and ply its overdue role in ending IOK agony and enabling Kashmiris to exercise their right to self-determination.

He emphasised that Pakistan would continue to expose Indian tyranny and genocide in Occupied Kashmir, expressing the confidence that the national and provincial leadership at the conference would come up with a strategy to effectively highlight the plight of Kashmiri people at different levels.

Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said the Modi government had ‘Akhand Bharat’ mindset and ‘the gravity of situation demanded sanity on our part’. He pointed out certain political forces should not blow the trumpet, which hurt the interests of Pakistan and benefitted India.

Indirectly referring to JUI-Fazl Maulana Fazlur Rehman, he said those planning to organize Azadi March should turn it into Azadi March Kashmir.

Qureshi appreciated the Senate chairman for holding the conference, saying this would give the message that the elected representatives regardless of their differences were united for the Kashmiri people. He said today’s leadership in Pakistan would not show any flexibility on Kashmir dispute. He said, “today we have the prime minister who will not make any compromise on the interests of Pakistan, as he has no personal interests to guard against”.

The minister once again categorically stated that Pakistan stood fully behind their Kashmiri brethren. He said the world could turn its face from Kashmir, but Pakistan never would. This, he said, was the decision of the nation and the prime minister of Pakistan

He urged the political parties to rise above their political differences and speak with one voice in support of oppressed Kashmiri people at this critical juncture. Qureshi said that Prime Minister Imran Khan would effectively present the case of Kashmiris before the upcoming session of UN General Assembly.

He said the prime minister in his address would represent the aspirations of Pakistani and Kashmiri people. He added that Kashmir dispute stood internationalised today and credit for this goes to the prime minister.

Qureshi pointed out that the UN Security Council held discussions on the festering dispute after a gap of 54 years despite Indian efforts to get it postponed. He said the UNSC meeting reaffirmed Pakistan's stance that Kashmir is an internationally recognised disputed territory, and it can be resolved only through the UN Charter and the UN Security Council resolutions.

The minister said the EU parliament held discussion on Kashmir dispute last night in which it not only voiced concerns over the prevailing situation in occupied Kashmir but also demanded the resolution of outstanding dispute in accordance with the aspirations of Kashmiri people.

The UN Human Rights Council at its recent meeting in Geneva, he recalled, also rejected the stance of India on the situation in Occupied Kashmir. He said 58 members of the council expressed solidarity with the statement presented by Pakistan.

He said the Western media today was also exposing the true face of India. The minister said that not only Pakistan and Kashmiri people have rejected India's 5th August illegal steps in occupied Kashmir but India is also divided on it.

AJK President Sardar Masood Khan said that from August 05, Indian Occupied Kashmir had been turned into a jail and deserted roads and streets were being manned by Indian occupation forces while hospitals turned into graveyards with no medicines available at all.

People of Kashmir, he noted, were confined to their homes and during later part of the night, security forces would break in and unleash on inmates and take people away. He added India had tried to convert Kashmiri Muslim majority into minority and youths and even children were being abducted.

In the face of Indian forces aggression, he said the Kashmiri children had stones in their hands to fight them. He noted that August 05 had created a new resolve in Kashmiris and Pakistanis. He made it clear that attack on the Indian Occupied Kashmir was tantamount to an attack on Pakistan. He wanted Pakistan to have extensive consultations with Kashmiris and warned that if India was not stopped now, then the world peace would be at stake.

Speaking on the occasion, Azad Kashmir Prime Minister Raja Farooq Haider said India has hegemonic designs in the region and Pakistan was the only obstacle in its way.The AJK Prime Minister said that Pakistan stands on high moral ground as it has always accepted the right of self-determination of Kashmiri people. He said Pakistani nation has been supporting the Kashmir cause for the last seven decades.

He noted the Kashmiri people will fight till the end to secure their rights. He said we have full confidence on the armed forces of Pakistan and the Pakistani nation stand by their forces.

In his emotional speech, the AJK prime minister said people of Kashmir, particularly women looked towards Pakistan and the military to rescue them from Indian tyranny. “Or will you wait for the last Kashmiri to die,” he said. This made him and several in the audience broke down. He added on their part, every Kashmiri would fight for the freedom of Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir till the last drop of his blood.

He called for holding talks with India on Kashmir issue with a cautious note as this would not help resolve Kashmir issue, keeping in view India’s past track record and insisted that Kashmir issue should be resolved in line with the resolutions passed by the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) and aspirations of people the Kashmir.

Raja Farooq made it clear that Kashmir was not just a territorial issue but was a matter of concern for eight million people, who were demanding their legitimate right of self-determination from India.

He appreciated that Pakistan always wanted resolution of Kashmir issue according to the aspirations of Kashmiris, adding Pakistan enjoyed a high moral ground because of its principled stance. He emphasised that there was a need to do more on this count.

AJK prime minister contended people on both sides of Line of Control were looking for practical steps from Pakistan for resolving the issue that Kashmiris were facing for the last 72 years and thousands of Kashmiris had been killed by Indian occupation forces while 10,000 women had been rendered widows and 10,000 became orphans.

He continued thousands of Kashmiris had lost their eyesight due to use of pellet guns by Indian occupation army while unmarked graveyards had also been found. He pointed out for the last 44 days, the people of Kashmir had been confined to their houses, and they were facing shortage of medicines and food.

Leader of the House Syed Shibli Faraz said that all parties were on one page on the issue of Kashmir and that the steps taken by Modi were a matter of great concern for the entire world and these had created an alarming environment.

He praised the PTI government for effectively projecting Kashmir issue and exposing Indian fascism and added Pakistan was a peaceful country but if aggression was imposed, then it had the ability and courage to retaliate emphatically.

PPP Vice-President Senator Sherry Rehman, who was representing her party chief Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, pointed out that in the conference, there was absence of the prime minister. She condemned the Modi steps in IOK and said that the world community appeared to be giving free hand to carry out his fascist agenda in the disputed region.

She noted that none was allowed in Indi to speak against Indian barbarism in IOK and even the journalists who raised their voice, were being subjected to violence. She emphasised that Prime Minister Imran Khan should take the Parliament into confidence with regards to his government moves and his address to the UN General Assembly.

The veteran lawmaker made it clear that all political parties stood by Kashmiris even if the prime minister did not take them into confidence. She emphasised that Kashmir issue was not a bilateral matter, rather it was an international issue.

Chairman Kashmir Committee Syed Fakhar Imam said Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi would be put on trial in the court of law soon for committing crimes against humanity in Kashmir. He added India had crossed all limits of tyranny and carried out human rights violations in Occupied Kashmir.

He noted Modi was trying to put at stake the regional peace with its unconstitutional steps and narrow minded approach, adding Pakistan had effectively highlighted Kashmir issue at all international forums and would continue its moral and diplomatic support to Kashmiri people. He said India had violated UN resolutions, international laws and its own constitution by abolishing Article 370 to revoke the special status of Kashmir.

Senator Sitara Ayaz said that her party Awami National Party would extend support to the government for the Kashmir cause. She also urged the government to take along all political parties on the Kashmir issue and she condemned the Modi’s fascist policies in IOK, calling for resolution of the issue as per UN Council resolutions.

Balochistan Chief Minister Jam Kamal said the people of Balochistan are also holding rallies and gatherings to express their support with the oppressed Kashmiri brethren.

He said India had diabolical designs against Pakistan and one also saw its manifestations earlier this year in the month of February. He said we have to build a strong Pakistan to foil the evil designs of India. A strong Pakistan, he said, will also help in the resolution of outstanding Kashmir dispute.

Muhammad Ali Saif of MQM said, “it is our moral, religious and national duty to fight the case of Kashmir at every forum”. He added practical steps should be taken to free the oppressed Kashmiri people from the cruel clutches of India.

Chief of Jamaat-e-Islami Sirajul Haq paid tributes to the sacrifices being rendered by Kashmiri people for their right to self-determination. He said the Kashmiri people are standing firm against all sorts of Indian tyranny and oppression.

Sirajul Haq said it is because of their sacrifices that Kashmir dispute is now being discussed at different forums. He said Pakistan need to take practical steps to get the Kashmiri people freed from the brutal clutches of India.

PML-N senior leader Ahsan Iqbal called for effective diplomacy on Kashmir issue and insisted on thorough consultations to thrash out future strategy in this connection.

Pakistan, he said, like in the past, stood by the people of Kashmir and wanted Kashmir issue’s resolution through UN resolutions. He called for more efforts to expose wicked face of India.

Minister for Human Rights Dr Shireen Mazari said Modi was following Hitler’s policies in India and IOK. She warned that if Modi was not stopped, it could lead to a war between two nuclear-armed nations. She asked India to end immediately massacre of Kashmiris.

She noted that question was raised in the European Parliament that the option of imposing curbs on India be considered in view of its flagrant violations of human rights in IOK. Special Assistant on Information and Broadcasting Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan said the media had played an important role in sensitising the world about the exploitation of Kashmiri people at the hands of Indian authorities.

She said it was because of the media that the EU parliament discussed the Kashmir dispute after 12 years and added the conference was reflective of the matter that the entire political leadership of Pakistan is united for Kashmir cause.

She said, “it is because of our effective diplomacy that the world has rejected the narrative of India on the situation in Occupied Kashmir and supporting the stance of Pakistan. The government will not disappoint the nation and Kashmiri people”.