Nation special report
LONDON: Expressing concern over the J&K human rights situation, the All Parties Parliamentarian Group on Kashmir (APPKG) has demanded India to stop human rights violations, repeal draconian laws and restore the fundamental rights of Kashmiri people.
The demand was a basic part of much awaited 16-page report launched here at a Parliamentary room chaired by Labour MP Chris Leslie on Wednesday (October 30) in presence of AJK President Sardar Masood Khan and a number of Parliamentarians from all political parties. Over 70 members of the both houses are included in APPGK.
All Parties Kashmir Parliamentary Group in the British Parliament launched its final report of their Enquiry on Human Rights Violations in Indians Occupied Jammu &Kashmir today 30th October in House of Commons London chaired by Chris Leslie MP Chairman APPG on Kashmir.
Other attendees of the meeting were including opposition leader in AJK Assembly Chaudhary Mohammed Yaseen, more than 25 MPs and Peers including Debbie Abrahams MP, Barrister Imran Hussain MP, Lord Nazir Ahmed, Lord Qurban Hussain, Afzal Khan MP, Mohammed Yaseen MP, Faisal Rashid MP, Judith Cummins MP,Tony Lloyd MP, Jim McMahon MP, Vernon Caoker MP, Alex Norris MP, Paula Sheriff MP, Jill Furness MP, Naz Shah MP, Liam Byrne MP, Tanmanjeet Singh MP, Julie Cooper MP, Stephen Timms MP, Dan Carden MP, Jim Shannon MP, Jack Brereton MP, Steve Baker MP, Khalid Mehmood MP and others were present and supported the report along with Acting High Commissioner of Pakistan, Chairman JKSDMI Raja Najabat Hussain Chairman JKSDMI, Zaffar Ahmad chairman Kashmir Campaign Global, Sardar Abdur Rahman Khan, Mohammed Azam, Raja Ghazanfar Khaliq,Cllr Liaqat Ali, Dr Saboor Javed, Chaudhary Basharat Hussain, Syed Imran Hussain, Chaudhary Altaf Hussain pothi, Mushtaq Ahmed Lasharie and many more.
On a special reference, the relentless efforts of Raja Najabat Hussain, Chairman of Jammu Kashmir Self Determination Movement International Raja Najabat Hussain and his team in the British & European Parliament were much appreciated. Commenting on the report, Raja Najabat Hussain said that this report is second big break through after United Nations Human Rights Council Commissioner in Geneva and hopefully in January 2019 European Parliament Human Rights Committee will also start hearings on Human Rights Violations in Indians Occupied Jammu & Kashmir.
Commenting over the event and report, AJK President complimented Chris Leslie, MP and Chairman of the Group, for his fearless and dynamic leadership for bringing out the report. He also paid tribute to the redoubtable diaspora community of Kashmiri-Pakistani extraction in the UK that has consistently lobbied with the British Parliament for years to help address the issues of massive human rights violations in Kashmir and resolve the dispute in accordance with the wishes of the Kashmiris and the UN Security Council resolutions.
The Group recommends repeal of the black laws in J&K, calls for investigations into the unmarked mass graves discovered in order to establish the identity of the victims, asks the Government of India to immediately ban the use of the pellet shotguns that have blinded hundreds of people in Kashmir, asks that India must open its prisons to international inspection, and urges India and Pakistan to work to resume regularized visa-regulated civilian travel across the Line of Control and reunite separated families.
President Sardar Masood Khan endorsed the six recommendations of the Parliamentary Group, adding that the evidence collected and collated by the Group exposes the egregious practices of human rights violations and crimes against humanity in the Indian Occupied Kashmir.
The President said that the two draconian laws – the Armed Forces Special Powers Act and the Public Safety Act – that are used by the occupation forces to terrorize and brutalize Kashmiris must be repealed, as recommended by the APPKG. These two laws empower Indian soldiers to use excessive force, kill indiscriminately and detain people for long periods without informing them about charges against them and denying them access to medical and legal facilities.
“This fosters a culture of impunity and gives the occupation forces, who have been handed a license to kill, immunity from prosecution for their abhorrent crimes. The detainees are tortured to death and the trumped-up charges cited against them are never presented or proved in a court of law”, the President said.
“The data collected in the report is the tip of the iceberg”, the President said adding that actual human rights violations in IOK are much more pernicious and horrendous and at a much higher scale. Mass killings, enforced disappearances, arbitrary detentions, fake encounters, and use of rape and sexual violence as an instrument of war and collective punishment – are rampant. “There is no meaningless accountability by the international community”, the President said.
The President informed the British parliamentarians that the number of enforced disappearances is much, much higher. “The actual number is more than 10,000. Half widows wait for their husbands to come back while they are killed and dumped in the mass graves”, he said.
Sardar Masood Khan said that the unveiling of the report is well-timed as it comes after the release of the report of the Office of High Commissioner for Human Rights which, in June this year, gave a chilling account of Indian atrocities in the IOK and recommended repeal of the two draconian laws, as well as the establishment of a Commision of Inquiry by the Human Rights Council to investigate the systematic abuses of Kashmiris’ rights. He added that independent human rights organizations, the international media were now coming forward with fresh evidence. “This moment must be seized to rescue Kashmiris from Indian brutalities”, he said.
The President said that the APPKG report should be a “live document” which should be transmitted to the Human Rights Council, in Geneva, the UN Security Council, and UN Secretary General. Equally importantly, it should be sent to the British Prime Minister and British Foreign Secretary for acknowledgement and follow up. “We would urge the British parliamentarians to hold a debate on this report in the House of Commons”, he said and underlined that the UN Security Council must take cognizance of this report which is damning indictment of India’s gross and consistent violations of rights of the Kashmiris people.
President Masood Khan drew the attention of indiscriminate fire by Indian forces across the Line of Control targeting civilians, killing and injuring them and destroying their houses, crops and livestock. “India must abide by the 2003 ceasefire arrangement made by India and Pakistan. “These senseless killings must come to an end”, he said while demanding that the reports of the UN Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP) should be submitted to the UN Secretary General and circulated the members of the UN Security Council.