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FM Shah Mehmood Qureshi urges UNHRC to pay heed to the plight of the Kashmiri people

Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi has raised India’s step of abrogating Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir at the United Nations Human Rights Commission.

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Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi says that the international community “must not remain indifferent to the tragedy that is unfolding before our eyes” in occupied Kashmir.

FM Qureshi has addressed the 42nd session of the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva, on Monday.

Qureshi while referring to India’s recent actions in Kashmir said: “Today, I have knocked on the doors of the Human Rights Council, the repository of the world’s conscience on human rights, to seek justice and respect for the people of Indian occupied Jammu and Kashmir.

“We must not allow this august body to be embarrassed on the world stage. As a founding member of this council, Pakistan feels morally and ethically bound to prevent this from occurring,” he stressed, adding that in order to do so the body should not remain indifferent to the tragedy that was unfolding in Kashmir.

“We must not let political, commercial, and parochial considerations cloud and impair our thoughts and action.

“We must act decisively and with conviction.”

Qureshi urged the UNHRC to “pay heed to the plight of the Kashmiri people” and to address the warning signs of a “looming human catastrophe”.

For the last six weeks, India has transformed Occupied Jammu and Kashmir into the largest prison on this planet,” Qureshi said.

“The forlorn, traumatized towns, mountains, plains and valleys of Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir reverberate today, with the grim reminders of Rwanda, Srebrenica, the Rohingya, and the pogrom of Gujarat,” he said.

FM further added that India has arrested more than 6,000 people without due process. Many had been “shipped to jails all over India”, he said, citing reports that Indian troops had “shamelessly tortured people in public”.

The council must “take steps to bring to justice the perpetrators of human rights violations of the innocent Kashmiri people, and in this context, constitute a Commission of Inquiry,” Qureshi said.

“If India has nothing to hide, it should allow unhindered access to the Commission of Inquiry,” he insisted.

Pakistan was willing to provide access to its side of Line of Control, he further added.

Furthermore, Shah Mehmood Qureshi presented suggestions to the human rights council over the ongoing crisis in Kashmir.

The suggestions include following points:

  • Urge India to immediately stop the use of pellet guns, end the bloodshed, lift the curfew, reverse the clampdown and communications blackout, restore fundamental freedoms and liberties, release political prisoners, stop targeting human rights defenders, and fulfill obligations under the United Nations Security Council resolutions and various human rights instruments, as required by international law
  • Take steps to bring to justice the perpetrators of human rights violations of Kashmiris and in this context, constitute a Commission of Inquiry (COI), as recommended by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights
  • Authorise the Office of the High Commissioner and the Human Rights Council’s special procedures mandate holders to monitor and report on India’s human rights violations in occupied Kashmir and regularly update the council
  • Call upon India to allow unhindered access to human rights organisations and international media to occupied Kashmir.

As being reported, Pakistan is expected to present a resolution to the council for consideration by the end of the 42nd session on September 27.

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