Islamabad, October 27, 2016:Addressing a seminar on ‘Humanitarian Crisis in Indian Occupied Kashmir and International Response’ organized by Kashmir Institute of International Relations, Vice-President PPPP Senator Sherry Rehman called the international community a “silent observer” on Kashmir.
“Today, Kashmiris all around the world are observing black day to mark 69 years of unlawful Indian occupation and the atrocities committed against them,” she said.
The Senator added, “The Pakistan Peoples Party expresses solidarity with the people of occupied Kashmir and demands the international community to contribute its positive role in the self-determination of the Kashmiris under the UN Charter”.
Despite the widespread human rights violations in occupied Kashmir, it is unfortunate that the international community remains slow to throw its weight behind the Kashmiri cause.
“Thousands of innocent people have been brutally martyred – millions orphaned, widowed and mentally disabled. Is this not a clear violation of human rights?” the Senator questioned.
Rehman said, “The Indian government has given its army the license to commit genocide in occupied Kashmir and what’s ironic is that, the international community and human rights organizations are playing the role of “silent observers”.
The security forces are provided virtual immunity from prosecution against human rights violations under the Section 7 of the Armed Forces (Jammu and Kashmir) Special Powers Act, 1990.
“Thousands of orphaned daughters, widows and innocent children question at the missing conscience and human rights laws of the world,” the Senator reiterated.
Rehman also strongly condemned the cross border shelling on the working boundary, “India is exposing its own darker face by shelling innocents in the plains of the Punjab where no cross border crossing or alleged terrorism is possible. This is an open attempt to divert attention from Kashmir where Delhi is no longer able to contain the story and its bloodstained images,” she stated.
Pointing out at the ill-treatment of Yasin Malik, a Hurriyet leader who has been in detention since protests erupted after the killing of Burhan Wani in July this year, the Senator said, “Today marks the 110th day of curfew in occupied Kashmir but Indian forces have not stopped the persecution, they are firing on unarmed Kashmiris and are keeping political leaders under tight watch”.
“The government summoned a joint session of the parliament only when the PPP demanded it,” pointed out the PPPP’s Vice-President.
Rehman, voicing her disappointment said, “Unfortunately, the Prime Minister did not have time to attend the session when a joint resolution of the parliament was presented. The interest of government representatives, like their attendance, remained low throughout the session, nor did it go beyond three working days”.
“The government had also sent its special envoys to raise awareness in the international community about the humanitarian crisis unfolding in Kashmir. Regrettably, no breakthrough or perception change has been observed in this regard too,” the Senator further stated.
The Senator added, “India should adhere to the UN resolution on Kashmir to find a peaceful solution to this issue because war is not an option”.
“It looks like a bare-knuckles approach has begun to trump rationalism and the search for a negotiated settlement of the dispute, which must include the wishes of the Kashmiri people,” according to Rehman.
Commenting on the government’s response to the Kashmir issue, she said, “Yes, the PM made a speech at the UN about Kashmir. But one speech in parliament does not make for a policy. We have repeatedly called for a full operational briefing on Kashmir but did not get one”.
“In order not to disappoint the Kashmiri youth who meet with us repeatedly, we must activate Parliament and its key committees including an urgent reconstitution of the National Security Committee of Parliament,” she reinforced.
“A country without a full term foreign minister is a poor advocate by all accounts and it is high time we respected the needs of both Pakistan and the Kashmiri people by appointing an active FM as Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has demanded,” said Rehman.
“The Pakistan Peoples Party assures the people of Jammu and Kashmir its will to continue a robust campaign for moral, diplomatic and political support for their plight,” she concluded.