In letter to UNSC, FM Qureshi highlights India’s 'gross and systematic' rights violations in IoK

Published February 5, 2021
Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi penned a letter to the president of the UNSC and the UN Secretary General to apprise them of the situation in Indian-occupied Kashmir. — PID/File
Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi penned a letter to the president of the UNSC and the UN Secretary General to apprise them of the situation in Indian-occupied Kashmir. — PID/File

Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi has written a letter to the president of the UN Security Council and the UN secretary general to apprise them of the "continuing grave situation" in Indian-occupied Kashmir (IoK) and India's "hostile actions against Pakistan" including ceasefire violations, the Foreign Office (FO) said on Friday.

In a statement coinciding with the Kash­mir Solidarity Day being observed across Pakistan today, the FO said Qureshi had drawn the UN's attention to "India’s continuing gross and systematic violations of human rights in [IoK], India’s unlawful campaign to colonise the occupied territory; and India’s belligerent and hostile actions against Pakistan, including persistent ceasefire violations, which pose a threat to peace and security".

The letter pointed out that the unilateral and illegal actions taken by India in IoK were in contravention of international law and regulations.

"All unilateral and illegal measures taken by India in IoK in violation of international law — including relevant resolutions of the UN Security Council and the 4th Geneva Convention — such as changes in the demographic structure, usurpation of land and farcical 'elections' are null and void."

According to the statement, the foreign minister in his letter also highlighted how India's attempts at fomenting "terrorist activities" and instability in Pakistan had been exposed through multiple avenues: the dossier presented to the UN on Indian-sponsored terrorism in Pakistan, the EU DisInfoLab report about Indian-orchestrated "smear campaigns" against Pakistan, and the recent exposé of transcripts in the Indian media revealing the "use of false-flag operations for political gains".

"The foreign minister also apprised the Security Council of [the] alarming incident in December 2020 of firing upon a clearly marked vehicle of the United Nations Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan, threatening the safety and security of UN peacekeepers and impeding the fulfilment of their mandate," the press release said.

Qureshi called upon the UNSC to urge India to agree to the following measures:

  • Immediately lift the continuing military siege and rescind the illegal and unilateral actions in IoK
  • Remove restrictions on communications, movement and peaceful assembly -Immediately release incarcerated Kashmiri political leaders and allow them to express the wishes of the Kashmiri people
  • Free all arbitrarily and illegally detained Kashmiris
  • Freeze and reverse the new domicile rules and property laws designed to change the demographic structure of IoK
  • Remove the draconian laws enabling Indian occupation forces to continue human rights violations with impunity, including extrajudicial killings, in fake encounters
  • Allow access to the occupied territory to the UN observers, international human rights and humanitarian organisations, observers and the international media.

The UNSC was also urged to "exercise its legal and moral authority" to bring about the implementation of Security Council resolutions on Kashmir "which guarantee the Kashmiris’ inalienable right to self-determination".

The foreign minister's letter is part of Pakistan’s continuous efforts to keep the UNSC and the UN Secretary General fully apprised of "the grave situation in IoK and the threat it poses to peace and security in the region", the statement added.

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