Islamabad, June 25: Speakers at a Webinar organised by Kashmir Institute of International Relations (KIIR) in collaboration with World Muslim Congress on the sidelines of 47th session of UN Human Rights Council voiced their grave concerns over Indian government’s noncompliance with its international human rights obligations.
The webinar titled “UN Special Rapporteurs Joint communications and Indian noncompliance” was attended and addressed by noted human rights activists, scholars, academicians, international law experts and representatives of civil society rights organisations hailing from different parts of the world including Dr. Farahn Mujahid Chak Associate professor of Political Science Qatar University, Barrister Ndia Salam law practitioner and writer, Prof. Dr. Mehmet Sukru founder president CPRS, Ms. Marrina Zucca Human rights activist from Italy, Amb. Dr. Haissan Bousaid special representative envoy to UNOG, Advocate GN Shaheen chairman Kashmir Council for justice and chief spokesman JK High Court Bar, Giulia Ferreira DelGado Human Rights expert, Mozzam Ali Sandhu Commissioner for human rights at citizens commissions for human rights UK, Prof. Dr. Shagufta Ashraf coordinator event at KIIR and others. Whereas the event was moderated by chairman KIIR/ Permanent Representative WMC to UN Geneva Altaf Hussain Wani.
Speaking on the occasion the speakers while pointing to abysmal situation and gross human rights violations being committed by the Indian occupation forces in the UN disputed territory of Jammu and Kashmir said that the UN Special Rapporteurs through their official communications addressed to the government of India have regularly raised alarm over arbitrary arrests, detentions, torture, corporal punishment, extra-judicial killings, and siege and communication blockade in the trouble region and warned New Delhi that the policy of repression was not conform with global human rights norms.
Voicing their concerns on India’snoncompliance and blatant refusal to comply with international law and rights obligations they said, “India’s non-compliance with its international human rights obligations reflectits willful defiance and utter disregard to basic human rights sanctified by various international covenants ”.
Stressing the need for early implementation of OHCHR and UPR recommendations and establishment of commission of Inquiry as recommended by high commissioner they said that an in-depth investigation of past and ongoing human rights by a team of the UN mandated experts was imperative to put an end to the continued bloodshed and violence in the region.
Referring to fast deteriorating political and human rights situation in Kashmir in the aftermath of India’s decision to strip the region of its semi-autonomous status on 5thAugust 2019, the speakers while condemning the unilateral actions of government of India said that the forcible annexation has pushed the region into a quagmire of uncertainty, chaos and perpetual violence that continues to take toll on precious human lives. Describing India’s actions as ultra vires, they said that along with abrogation of article 370 and 35 A the changes made in the state’sDomicile Law was a flagrant violation of Geneva conventions and UN resolution on Kashmir. Expressing their anguish over using rape as a weapon of war in Kashmir they said that besides involving in this shameful practice the Indian army also use child soldiers as mercenaries.
About absence of space for a dissent and restrictions on peoples’ essential fundamental freedoms they said that under Modi’s rule the Indian state has been completely transformed into a fascist state where people have been deprived of basic fundamental rights. The speakers asked the legal experts based in Kashmir to use all available international resources to bring Indian state to justice. Speakers also discussed how Indian state used information blocked as a pretext to restrict information to outside out. They also criticized Indian Supreme Court for its bias and prejudice against Kashmiris.
Urging international community to hold Indian government accountable for the crimes its forces have been committing against humanity in Kashmir the speakers called for initiation of an inclusive dialogue to create a conducive atmosphere for a peaceful settlement of the lingering dispute in line with the UN resolutions.
It may be recalled here that in addition to over three dozen communications by the UN special Rapporteurs (27 in 2018 and 7 in 2019) the OHCHR in its first ever report on human rights situation in the Indian occupied part of Jammu Kashmir had called for a probe to investigate the massive human rights violations in the region.
Despite these indictments, Indian government is in a state of defiance and denial. Besides rejecting the two Kashmir reports released by the OHCHR the Indian government shamelessly refuses to grant access to any independent international observer, organization and media to investigate the gross human rights violationsbeing committed by its troops in Kashmir.