Foreign minister Bilawal writes to UN over Yasin Malik’s conviction

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ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari wrote a letter to the United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to apprise him of the circumstances of Yasin Malik’s conviction in a manifestly-dubious and politically-motivated case filed by the Indian National Investigation Agency, his chronic ailment and the ruthless treatment meted out to him in Indian jails.

It is worth mentioning that the letter is also a part of Pakistan’s efforts to draw the attention of the international community toward the alarming situation in Indian-occupied Kashmir (IoK).

According to details, the letter, written on May 31, also highlights the incarceration of Yasin Malik, his sham trial on concocted charges, malicious conviction and an attempt to portray the legitimate freedom struggle of the Kashmiris as terrorism, illustrating India’s blatant disregard of its international legal obligations.

The foreign minister underscored that the malicious trial and conviction of Yasin Malik was a part of the Indian government’s ongoing attempts to persecute and repress the Kashmiris and their leadership and to implicate them in fictitious and motivated cases.

He noted that by denying a fair trial to Yasin Malik, arbitrarily detaining him and meting inhumane treatment to him in jail since 2019, India is in contravention of international human rights law, in particular the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. He also cautioned that in line with the well-documented pattern of Indian behaviour, there was a credible risk of “custodial murder” in the case of Yasin Malik.

The foreign minister mentioned the following issues that need to be addressed: 

  • Urged the UN chief to play his role in promoting a peaceful resolution of the IoK dispute in accordance with the relevant UN Security Council resolutions;
  • Called upon the international community to take immediate cognizance of India’s “outrageous targeting” of indigenous Kashmiri leadership through motivated cases;
  • Prevail upon India to dismiss all the baseless charges against Yasin Malik and ensure his immediate release from prison; 
  • Urged India to release all other Kashmiri leaders incarcerated on trumped-up charges and allow the people of IoK to determine their own future through a free and impartial UN-sponsored plebiscite as prescribed in the relevant UN Security Council resolutions; 
  • Compel and counsel India to end its egregious violations of human rights against the people of IoK and implement the recommendations of the two Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) Kashmir reports; 
  • Prevail upon India to repeal draconian laws including unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA);
  • Accept an UN-supervised investigation into the human rights situation in the IoK, 
  • Allow access to independent monitors for assessment of the ground situation in IoK.