'The time to act is now': PM Imran urges UN to probe human rights abuses in occupied Kashmir

Published September 9, 2019
Prime Minister Imran Khan. — Photo courtesy of the prime minister's Instagram
Prime Minister Imran Khan. — Photo courtesy of the prime minister's Instagram

Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday, in response to the statement of the United Nations human rights chief, told the global community that "the time to act [against Indian oppression in occupied Kashmir] is now".

The prime minister took to Twitter and welcomed the growing concern expressed by the global community over the situation in India-occupied Kashmir and urged the world powers to act timely in this regard.

"I welcome the growing concern and demands by the international community, global leaders, UNSG (Secretary-General of the United Nations) and UNHCHR (United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights), for India to lift its 6-week long siege of India-occupied Jammu and Kashmir.

"The international community must not remain indifferent to the massive human rights abuses by occupation Indian forces under cover of a brutal siege."

The prime minister highlighted the UNHCHR's statement regarding the impact of the Indian government's recent actions in occupied Kashmir.

"I especially welcome the statement by the UNHCHR in Geneva today. I call upon the UN Human Rights Council to immediately set up an independent investigation commission to probe human rights abuses in IOJK as recommended by the UNHCHR's two reports on Kashmir. The time to act is now," he concluded.

Earlier in the day, the United Nations human rights chief said she was "deeply concerned about the impact of recent actions" by the Indian government on the human rights of Kashmiris.

Michelle Bachelet aired concerns over India's actions against Kashmiris as well as unlawful killings and injuries of Palestinians by Israeli security forces.

Bachelet said her office continues to receive reports on the human rights situation on both sides of the Line of Control.

"I am deeply concerned about the impact of recent actions by the government of India on the human rights of Kashmiris, including restrictions on internet communications and peaceful assembly, and the detention of local political leaders and activists," she said.

"While I continue to urge the governments of India and Pakistan to ensure that human rights are respected and protected, I have appealed particularly to India to ease the current lockdowns or curfews; to ensure people's access to basic services; and that all due process rights are respected for those who have been detained," she urged.

"It is important that the people of Kashmir are consulted and engaged in any decision-making processes that have an impact on their future."

On August 5, the government of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi stripped Kashmiris of the constitutional rights they had for seven decades through a rushed presidential order. Since then, an indefinite curfew has been in place in occupied Kashmir while elected leaders are still under house arrest.

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