Adviser to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs, Sartaj Aziz, has urged the United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to help stop Indian blatant human rights violations in occupied Jammu and Kashmir as well as the illegal demographic changes to convert the Muslim majority in the area into minority. Through a letter, which was delivered to the UN chief by Pakistan's permanent mission in New York on Saturday, the adviser elaborated India's blatant violation of UN Charter and international covenants and conventions on human rights in the IOK and called for immediate implementation on the relevant UN Security Council resolutions.
"I hope, in all earnestness, that the foregoing will receive the urgent attention of the United Nations, the Security Council and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. The non-implementation of Security Council resolutions is leading to a grave human tragedy in Indian-occupied Jammu and Kashmir," Aziz said. He stated that it was the obligation of the UN to implement the Security Council resolutions on Jammu and Kashmir and fulfill the promises made to the Kashmiris 70 years ago. "This will not only end the immense sufferings of the millions of people of Jammu and Kashmir, but also bring peace and stability in South Asia," Aziz added.
He also appreciated the UN chief's expression of interest in helping resolve the Jammu and Kashmir dispute, soon after he assumed charge of the office. Aziz informed Guterres that the human rights situation in the IOK has been a matter of profound concern for a long time, particularly the large-scale killing and blinding of hundreds of Kashmiris, including children, using pellet guns.
He said that the injuries, disappearances, false encounters, arrests, custodial killings and rape of Kashmiri women, used as a tool to terrorise them, as well as systematic changes in demography to convert a Muslim-majority territory into a Muslim-minority state, are commonplace.
"India has not only constantly violated the Charter of the United Nations and all the international covenants and conventions on human rights in Indian-occupied Jammu and Kashmir, but also blatantly disrespected Security Council and United Nations Commission for India and Pakistan resolutions on Kashmir," he added. Referring to the demographic changes in IOK, Aziz stated that India is trying to bring demographic changes to institute Hindu domination in IOK.
Settlement of West Pakistan refugees: The adviser stated that a recent proposal by the 31-member Parliamentary Standing Committee on Home Affairs of the Indian government to permanently settle the "West Pakistan refugees" in Indian-occupied Jammu and Kashmir has created unrest among the people of the Kashmir Valley. He said that the so-called West Pakistan refugees do not hail from the State of Jammu and Kashmir, adding the Indian government is trying slowly and gradually to integrate them into IOK, which is not only a violation of the state Constitution, but also a violation of Security Council resolutions on the Kashmir dispute, which forbid any material change until the implementation of the resolutions.
Issuance of permanent resident certificates: He also stated that another attempt to change the demography of the IOK is a move in which children of Hindu families, who do not belong to Jammu and Kashmir, are being issued permanent resident certificates. To date, he pointed out that 500 such certificates have been issued to students in the Kishtwar district of Jammu, out of a proposed 5,000 in total.
Allotment of land to retired army personnel: Recently, Aziz further pointed out that a new proposal has been floated to establish "Sainik" colonies by allotting land to retired army personnel who have served in Kashmir for a minimum of three years and to the families of army personnel who died during fighting in Kashmir. Under the guise of a welfare measure, an attempt is being made to settle non-Kashmiris in Indian-occupied Jammu and Kashmir, he added.
Issuance of land to non-Kashmiri Hindu industrialists: He further wrote that non-Kashmiri Hindu industrialists are being allotted land for establishing industries in areas other than industrial zones. Establishment of separate townships for Kashmiri pandits: He further informed the UN chief that the Indian government has asked the state government to earmark land for separate towns in the valley for Kashmiri pandits, who are presently settled in different Indian states.
Land for separate townships was identified in seven places, out of which land at three places has been short-listed, he added. While the Hurriyat leadership in Indian-occupied Jammu and Kashmir and the general public have always welcomed the return of Kashmiri pandits to their ancestral lands, they oppose the idea of separate townships, which would not only enable the Indian government to settle non-Kashmiris there but would also enable manipulation on religious, social and political lines, he added.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2017