Previous governments fail to act proactively on Kashmir issue: Shireen Mazari

Imaduddin December 9, 2018

ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Human Rights Dr Shireen Mazari Saturday said in the wake of UN Report on Kashmir, the previous governments of Pakistan had failed to act proactively on Kashmir issue.

She was addressing as chief guest at the second session of one day International Conference on “UN Report on Human Rights Violations in Indian Occupied Kahsmir: Demographic Changes and Societal Implications” organized by a think tank institution the Pakistan House.

Speaking on the occasion she said it is unfortunate that the successive governments have failed to work on practical solution of the Kashmir dispute.

She stated that it is time for the government to present a blue print for conflict resolution premised upon the principle of self-determination and plebiscite.

Pakistan, she said, must avoid to pay lip service to United Nations Security Council (UNSC’s) resolutions on self-determination.

She said the UN Report about the Indian atrocities in Jammu and Kashmir has once again highlighted the issue at international level. During the preparation of UN report about the brutalities in Jammu and Kashmir by India forces, Pakistan should have send its team there to guide UN team, she lamented.

We should provide access to the UN team in Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) so that they could be aware about the difference in AJK and Jammu and Kashmir, she added.

Dr Shireen Mazari condemned the worst human rights violations and brutalities in IOK by India. She said the time has come to move beyond rhetoric for the support for Kashmiris, struggling for their right to self-determination and take concrete steps for the solution of Kashmir issue.

She said Pakistan’s legitimacy in Kashmir conflict is based on UN resolutions, so we should not deviate from UN resolutions. India had itself took Kashmir issue to UN. She criticized previous government for not raising the Kashmir issue in letter and spirit.

She suggested concrete measures and need to take on the world for the resolution of the Kashmir dispute. Shireen Mazari stressed on UN resolution implementation on Kashmir issue and said we should keep reiterating implementing United Nations resolutions.

Speaking at the occasion, Shireen Mazari presented a concrete proposal aimed at taking Kashmir issue to the world.

Dr Mazari said Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) report on Kashmir came out earlier this year and we need to move proactively on this report.

She said Pakistan should demand the international investigation in IOK as the UN report does, adding we need to draw attention of international community on legal and other forums about the human rights abuses particularly against women by India. She said we should continue emphasizing on implementation of UN report.

Dr Mazari suggested in her conflict resolution model that Pakistan should propose a solution of the Kashmir problem resembling the Irish Peace Accord adding that we should press the Kashmir case on the lines of the East Timor independence based on the concept of self determination. She further stated that Pakistan should ask the United Nations to document all the Kashmiris in IOK and also of the Kashmiri Diaspora across the world.

Earlier in her address, Ms Janne Teller, former Conlflict Advisor, UN highlighted the United Nations General Assembly’s Resolution, calling for referendum in Kashmir to determine the future of their governance.

She said “now, finally, after all these years, the United Nations has produced their first ever report on the human rights abuses in Kashmir, she said documenting the abuse of human rights, is a first step to halting the abuse.”

She defined it a very worst case scenario that is the very real-life situation for the people living in, or rather: trying to survive in, Indian-administered Jammu and Kashmir. It is so disastrous that the so-called largest democracy in the world, India, acts so undemocratically, so inhumanely, in the territory it has unlawfully occupied for 70 years.

She further added that this cannot continue and called for a change. In turn, Dr Nazir Gillani, President, Jammu and Kashmir Council for Human Rights stated that UN High Commissioner for Human Rights report on the Human Rights situation in Indian occupied part of Jammu and Kashmir has exploded the myth that India is unassailable.

Indian critique on the Report has no merit because the report is based on the Principle of Remote Monitoring and has the sanction of International Law. The report is not an end but the beginning of a process which has put India in the dock of International scrutiny.

There is a need that we follow upon the demand of establishing an independent Enquiry Commission to investigate the gross violation of human rights by Indian occupation forces, in the manner in which continued pressure resulted in the establishment of enquiry commissions for other  countries.

Shadow Minister Immigration, UK Parliament Mr Afzal Khan,  who spoke through video conference due to his engagements in Brexit debate, said that it is time that a viable and a practical solution based on negotiations between all stakeholders is sorted out.

Ms Marjan Lucas, former Associate of PAX (Peace), Netherlands said that we should make sure that the UN Report will not end up as the resolutions of 1948-49 on the shelves to gather dust. India has responded irresponsibly after the publication of report by completely rejecting it. However, the rejection by one single nation cannot mean it is completely off the table. Independent local civil society must continue their struggle against Indian oppressive policies on Kashmir and campaign for justice and freedom.

Chairman Kashmir Council Ali Raza Syed said that India always refuses to talk about Kashmir issue despite various attempts by Pakistan and is using Fascist methods suppress the people of Kashmir.  Human Right Activists must strive for the relief of Kashmiris, he added.

Former Corps Commander Peshawar Lt General Khalid Rabbani (Retd) said that the genocide in Kashmir to change the demographics of the area is done to suppress the Kashmir voices.

Hopefully, the UN Report will prove to be fruitful for the region. Syed Abdullah Geelani highlighted the human rights violation in Jammu and Kashmir and the wishes of the inhabitants of the land. Since the partition, the people of the region have been relentlessly struggling to free themselves from the Indian atrocities.

The deployment of about a million Indian forces to crush the population has turned the region in a huge prison. He further highlighted human rights abuse in Jammu and Kashmir, more than hundred thousand inhabitants have been killed, and tens of thousands have been disappeared and tortured by Indian forces. Rape and molestation of women is also being used as a weapon of war.

Pellet guns, chemical weapons and media blackout have become a norm. He appreciated the report of UNHCR on human rights violation in Jammu and Kashmir but also emphasized on the intervention of International community to address the issue.

In his concluding remarks Director General, Pakistan House Rana Athar Javed said that the subject under discussion is very significant. Pakistan House, a non-political organization, strives to bring intellectuals together to give analysis on issues in order to come up with viable solutions. He said that the organization seeks the protection of youth and stopping atrocities.

Copyright APP (Associated Press of Pakistan), 2018

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