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July 10, 2020

Shireen Mazari apprises UN High Commissioner of rights violations in IOK

Islamabad

July 10, 2020

Islamabad : Federal Minister for Human Rights Dr. Shireen Mazari has written a letter to the United Nations High commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet to apprise her about the situation of human rights violations in Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK).

In a letter written on July 6, the Federal Minister expressed grave concern over the illegal annexation of Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashhmir by the India on August 5, 2019. “Your personal commitment to protecting and promoting human rights has been consistent and unwavering due to which I appeal to your respected office to bring to a halt the forcible transfer of civilian populations to and from Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir,” says the letter.

She further highlighted that Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) has issued two reports on Kashmir, first in June 2018 and the second in July 2019. “In both reports your office has rightly raised the concern over the excessive use of force by Indian security forces in Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir. This excessive use of force by India is its standard modus operandi, as recently released picture from Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir, where a three-year-old child sits on his grandfather’s blood covered dead body in Sopore,” mentions the letter.

She further said in her letter that unfortunately, in the absence of intervention by international community, India seems to have gained the strength to violate international human rights law and international humanitarian law, with no concern as to consequence for these serious violations.

She further mentioned that India has granted around 25000 Indian citizens domicile certificates in Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir in a blatant violation of fourth Geneva Convention, Article 49 of which clearly provides that the occupying power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies.

She also mentioned that India’s repeated attempts to deny the Kashmiri people their rights of self-determination are in breach of international law. “In an attempt to evade a free and fair plebiscite that respects the wishes of the Kashmiri people, as required under several UN Security Council resolutions, India has been attempting since August 5, 2019, to alter the demography of the occupied territory.”

She also highlighted that demographic alterations in an occupied territory have been definitively categorised as a violation of the obligation to respect the right to self-determination, as highlighted by the International Court of Justice in Paragraph 122 of its Advisory Opinion on the Legal Consequences of the Constitution of a Wall in the Occupied Palestine Territory.

She urged urgent intervention by the UN High Commissioner with respect to bringing to an end these breaches of fundamental human rights norms. “If we do not act together now, we may risk further destabilization and bloodshed in the region, which would affect millions on both sides of the Line of Control, the Pakistan-India border and in the region at large. We cannot abandon the Kashmiri people in their time of need and struggle,” says the letter. The Federal Minister also offered full and continued cooperation to UN High Commissioner’s office.