Masood asks UNHRC to hold India accountable for rights violations

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ISLAMABAD, Sep 25 (DNA): Former AJK President Sardar Masood Khan has
urged the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human
Rights to break its silence and hold India accountable for human rights
violations and committing crimes against humanity.

Speaking at a webinar convened by Fahim Kayani, President
Tehreek-i-Kashmir, United Kingdom on the sidelines of the UN Human
Rights Council session in Geneva, he said that Ms. Michelle Bachelet,
the High Commissioner for Human Rights and her office are silent at a
time when the situation in Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir has
deteriorated.

The webinar was also addressed by Member of UK Parliament, Afzal Khan,
Mr. President Tehreek-i-Kashmir, Europe Mohammed Ghalib, President
Tehreek-i-Kashmir UK Fahim Kayani, prominent Hurriyat leader, Altaf
Ahmed Bhatt, Executive Director Kashmir Institute of International
Relations. Altaf Wani, Mr. Mahmood Sharif, Ms. Shaista Safi, and Mr.
Ejaz Ahmed Tahir Chaudhry.

Sardar Masood asserted the silence of the UN Human Rights Council on
Kashmir because of Indian pressure and global politics is an abandoning
of its avowed functions and objectives. The UNHRC must speak and act.
There is no excuse for being silent when human rights are being violated
in IOJK with impunity.

He said that the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for
Human Rights had failed to publish its follow-up report on its earlier
reports publish in 2019 and 2019 despite the most serious crime being
committed in the occupied territory.

“India right now is bringing radical change in IOJK’s demographic
composition. Nearly 4.2 million non-native Indians, the majority of them
Hindus, have been illegally domiciled in the Indian Occupied Jammu and
Kashmir. This illegal transfer of population in the disputed territory
is a breach of human rights instruments and international law”, Mr. Khan
said.

He went on to say that if the Human Rights Council remains silent on
these glaring violations, it is scuttling its own mandate as a body with
universal jurisdiction. He told the participants and audience of the
webinar that the land grab by India in IOJK is in full swing. Nearly 80
percent of Kashmiris’ land has been confiscated to build illegal
settlements in IOJK. The other such examples are in the Occupied
Palestinian Territory or during apartheid in South Africa. Land laws in
IOJK have been amended by the occupation authorities to deprive
Kashmiris of their ownership rights and it must be stopped.

Ex- AJK President stated in his speech that Kashmiri youth are being
killed, blinded, illegally detained, and tortured in concentration
camps. Genuine leaders are behind bars. Asiya Indrabi, Masarat Alam
Bhatt, Yasin Malik, and Shabir Shah – all are in the most notorious
prisons. Mir Waiz Umer Farooq is under detention. They must be released
immediately. No ifs and buts; no false charges of terrorism.

Referring to the recently forced burial of popular Kashmiri leader, Syed
Ali Geelani, Masood Khan said the barbaric Indian act has shocked and
pained all of us. Kashmiris who love him (Geelani) wanted to pay homage
to him.

“By this act, India has already turned his grave into a monument of
liberty. His call for self-determination reverberates in the hearts and
minds of the people. His covert burial reveals once again how removed
the occupiers are from reality”, Mr. Khan said.

He further said that in Geneva, we reached out to the members’ states of
the Human Rights Council and human rights movement to sensitize them to
the precarious situation in IOJK leading to erasure of a people. I am
sure that your presence in Geneva ensures the continuity of that effort.

He said that the international civil society should know that the civil
rights of Kashmiris are their rights too. Either human rights are
universal or they are not. And if they are and in fact they are, every
Kashmiri killed in Kashmir is their responsibility too. They should call
out India and restore the state of justice in the occupied territory. 
DNA

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