'Genocide underway in occupied Kashmir,' warns AJK president

August 20, 2019

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Urges UNSC to take up the matter of Indian atrocities and Kashmir's right to self determination in an open session. — DawnNewsTV/File
Urges UNSC to take up the matter of Indian atrocities and Kashmir's right to self determination in an open session. — DawnNewsTV/File

Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) President Sardar Masood Khan on Tuesday warned that a "full-fledged genocide" is underway in Indian-occupied Kashmir after the Bharatiya Janata Party revoked the special status the valley was accorded under Article 370 of the Indian constitution.

Addressing a press conference in Islamabad, Khan said: "People are being picked up and murdered, before being buried in unmarked graves.

"Women are being humiliated; almost 6,000 people have been picked up and put into jails and they will be detained for up to two years without being given any reason.

"All of these are key indicators of genocide in any region, and, because of the media shutdown, reports of these offences are not making it out of the valley."

Khan said the intensity of Indian atrocities is such that international media — "which usually gives a one-sided account of what is happening in the valley" — have chosen to report on the plight of the Kashmirir people.

"I thank the international media for not choosing one-sided reporting at this time," Khan said.

"The meeting of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) on Kashmir, which happened after a long gap of 50 years, is also a positive step. However, this is not the final step in the fight for the Kashmir cause; rather, it is the first step and we have to go a long way for our Kashmiri brethren

"The next step is for the UNSC to act upon a three-pronged agenda. This includes bringing an end to genocide in Kashmir; the reversal of India's illegal attempt to merge Kashmir with itself; and giving Kashmiris the right to self-determination.

"These three points are based on the UNSC's own charter and the council is bound to address them even if no country raises the issue," Khan argued, adding that the UNSC should now hold an open session on Kashmir.

Khan further warned that a humanitarian crisis is developing in occupied Kashmir and people there are faced with shortages of food items and medicines.

"A humanitarian corridor should be established by non-governmental organisations from various countries to provide basic amenities to the people of occupied Kashmir," the AJK president proposed.

The address came just as news of more arrests in the disputed territory broke around the world as the Indian clampdown entered its 16th day.

Indian security forces detained 30 people overnight in Srinagar, local officials said. The arrests were made in an attempt to keep a tight lid on protests over the Bharatiya Janata Party BJP government’s decision to strip the region of its autonomy.

Meanwhile, US President Donald Trump spoke to Modi and Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday, urging them to reduce tensions over Kashmir. “A tough situation, but good conversations!” Trump said in a Twitter post after the calls, referring to the two leaders as "friends".