Qureshi draws UN's attention to 'humanitarian situation' in occupied Kashmir

August 23, 2019

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Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi's letter "articulates Pakistan's deep concerns" over the human rights violations in occupied Kashmir. — PID/File
Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi's letter "articulates Pakistan's deep concerns" over the human rights violations in occupied Kashmir. — PID/File

Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi wrote another letter to United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) Michelle Bachelet, directing her attention to the "seriously deteriorating human rights and humanitarian situation" in Indian-occupied Kashmir, a press statement from the Foreign Office said on Friday.

Qureshi, in his letter, highlighted the "context and consequences of India’s illegal and unilateral actions" of August 5, when New Delhi decided to revoke Article 370 of the Indian constitution, stripping occupied Kashmir of its special status. A strict lockdown and a communications blackout was imposed in the area and Kashmiri politicians were placed under house arrest.

According to the press release today, Qureshi's letter "articulates Pakistan's deep concerns" over human rights violations in occupied Kashmir by the Indian government.

"The letter underscores that India’s actions constitute flagrant violations of the UN Charter, relevant Security Council resolutions, international law and India’s own solemn commitments," the press statement says further.

The foreign minister said that it was important for the UN as well as the international community to "call upon India to rescind its unilateral actions, lift the curfew and other draconian measures".

The letter will be shared with the UN Security Council as well as the members of the world body, the statement said.

This is not the first time the foreign minister has approached the OHCHR over the Kashmir matter. He had written to her on August 4 and had a telephonic conversation on August 8.

Qureshi had also written to the UNSC president, asking the latter to convene an emergency meeting of the council to discuss India’s “illegal actions” that also “violate UN resolutions on Kashmir”.

China had backed Pakistan's request and, for the first time in 50 years, a session was called by the UNSC on August 16 solely on the Kashmir dispute.

Human Rights Minister Shireen Mazari had also written a letter to Bachelet on Indian use of cluster munitions across LoC and the use of violence against Kashmiris by the Indian forces.