ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Sunday unveiled a dossier on war crimes and human rights violations in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK), documenting details of characters directly responsible for them with incriminating evidence and seeking punishment for them.
The 131-page dossier was unveiled by Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi at a press conference. He was flanked by National Security Adviser Moeed Yusuf and Minister for Human Rights Dr Shireen Mazari.
The dossier provides details of 3,432 cases of war crimes in which 1,128 individuals — including one major general, four inspectors general, seven deputy inspectors general, five brigadiers, 31 colonels and 188 majors and captains — have been found to be involved.
The dossier while expressing alarm over patronage of the militant Islamic State (IS) group by India shares the GPS coordinates of five IS training camps operating in India -- three in Rajasthan and one each in Gulmarg and Uttarakhand.
It mentions 118 units of Indian Army that have indulged in human rights violations and contains irrefutable evidence of fake encounters, false flag operations and planting of weapons for fake recoveries to harm the resistance movement.
Document exposes five IS training camps operating in India
Highlighting the suspected use of chemical weapons by India against the Kashmiris, it points out that the bodies of 37 Kashmiris burnt alive by the Indian troops were beyond recognition.
The document says the use of chemical weapons is in contravention to the Chemical Weapons Convention and necessitates “an impartial international investigation”.
The dossier maintains that the Kashmiris are also being used as human shields by positioning women and children in the line of fire during encounters, making them sleep at military camps, forcing them to dig minefields and tying youth to military jeeps.
It says India has used snipers and cluster ammunition to target innocent Kashmiris living along the Line of Control (LoC), in violation of international law. In July 2019, India deliberately targeted 14 villages along LoC with cluster ammunition that caused four deaths and 14 injuries.
The document also refers to the Indian attempts to change the demographic structure of occupied Jammu and Kashmir. It says contrary to the Geneva Convention, after the introduction of the new ‘Domicile Law’ in March 2020, India has already granted over 4.2 million domiciles (31.5 per cent of 13 million population of held Kashmir).
The document says a delimitation commission was constituted in March 2020 with the singular purpose to enhance Hindu representation in held Kashmir to help install a Hindu chief minister. It points out that after the amendments to property laws, all Indians are now entitled to purchase land in the disputed territory with the sole objective of converting the proportionally large Muslim population into a minority.
The dossier says that six draconian laws -- Jammu and Kashmir Public Safety Act, Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act, Armed Forces (Jammu and Kashmir) Special Powers Act, Jammu and Kashmir Disturbed Areas Act, Prevention of Terrorism Act and Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Act 2019 -- empower Indian troops to declare anyone a “terrorist and arbitrarily detain without any charge for a period of up to 7 years”.
It observes that the Indian forces are subjecting the Kashmiris to the worst kinds of torture. “432 case studies revealed that Indian forces inflicted torture as a tool of intimidation and coercion.”
It says in 2014, more than 30,000 people faced 31 forms of torture, including water-boarding; forced starvation, sleep deprivation and burning of bodies.
The document also contains details of 239 torture cells across the occupied region, the majority of which have been established in northern Kashmir with 65 camps in Baramula and 53 in Srinagar. Of these 144 are controlled by the Indian Army, 52 by police, 19 by the Indian Special Operations Group and 24 by other agencies.
Speaking on the occasion, the foreign minister urged the United Nations to compel India to allow access to special procedure mandate holders of the UN Human Rights Council for an independent investigation of human rights violations taking place in IIOJK.
“The UN department of peacekeeping operations must note the names of individuals and units in IoK who have been directly responsible for human rights violations. They should be identified, named and disallowed to be part of UN peacekeeping operations,” he said noting that merely shaming them would mean nothing.
He demanded of India to stop human rights violations and sought an action against perpetrators highlighted in the dossier.
He also demanded an end to demographic change as well as the military and digital siege and called for immediate release of all political prisoners.
He asked India to allow unhindered access in held Kashmir to the UN, the Independent Permanent Human Rights Commission of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, independent journalists, human rights organisations and civil society organisations
Terming the dossier credible, he said out of the total 113 references cited in it, 26 were international media assessments, 41 from Indian media and think-tanks, 32 from renowned international human rights organisations, and just 14 references from Pakistan. He said the CDs attached to the dossier contained audio intercepts of Indian army and police officers, exposing their involvement in torture and other crimes. Audio and video recordings confirming extra-judicial killings and presence of mass graves in occupied Kashmir were played on the occasion.
Mr Qureshi termed the dossier a tribute to All Parties Hurriyat Conference leader Syed Ali Geelani.
Giving details of the dossier’s contents, the Foreign Office spokesperson Asim Iftikhar said since 1989 over 96,000 extra-judicial killings, around 162,000 arbitrary arrests and torture and over 25,000 pellet gun injuries were recorded. Moreover, 11,250 women were raped, around 23,000 were widowed, while over 108,000 children were orphaned.
Referring to the IS training camps operated by India, he said: “By injecting these state-trained ISIS fighters, India may try to establish linkages of the freedom movement with international terrorism in order to malign the freedom struggle and to justify its own crimes as counter-terrorist operations.”
He said the estimated number of victims of enforced disappearances in IIOJK ranged between 8,000 to 10,000. He said 8,652 mass graves had been discovered in 89 villages of held Kashmir.
Responding to a question, Mr Qureshi said copies of the dossier would be sent to Pakistan’s missions abroad and multiple forums, and that every method would be used for its “maximum circulation”.
NSA Moeed Yusuf said the things had started to change and EU Disinfolab report exposing India was a manifestation of this.
“There is nobody today who behind closed doors defends what India is doing,” he remarked.
“I think we should be clear about this. What is happening [in IoK] is so egregious that there is no possibility that anyone can tell you with a straight face that what Pakistan is saying is wrong.”
Noting that primarily economic interests make the world to play soft on India, he stressed that the world would have to break this barrier -- not for Pakistan’s sake, but for its own.
Human Rights Minister Dr Shireen Mazari, slamming the world for its double standards, asked as to why the UN had not clamped sanctions against New Delhi despite contravention of its resolutions and asked it and the international community why they did not push India to allow access of UN observers to IoK.
“This is the time to jolt the conscience of the world, wake them up and tell them [to] act now before it is too late. These policies [of appeasement] are not just destabilising the region but will have far-reaching consequences,” Mr Qureshi said.
Published in Dawn, September 13th, 2021