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‘India has transformed Kashmir into planet’s largest prison’

September 10, 2019
 

Photo: Shah Mahmood Qureshi/Facebook

For the last six weeks, India has transformed occupied Jammu and Kashmir into the largest prison on this planet, says Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi

He was addressing the 42nd UN Human Rights Council in Geneva on Tuesday. Qureshi arrived in Geneva on a three-day visit on Monday.

Upon his arrival, the minister was received by Special Representative of Prime Minister on Diplomatic Outreach Tehmina Janjua and other senior officials.

On Tuesday, the foreign minister apprised the participating leaders from different countries of the world about the ongoing atrocities and oppression against the Kashmiris in Indian-held Kashmir.

Addressing the president of the council, he said the UN Human Rights Council must pay heed to the plight of the Kashmiris and address the warning signs of a looming catastrophe.

For this, Qureshi put forward a list of demands for the council by Pakistan: urge India to immediately stop the use of pellet guns, lift the curfew, reverse the clampdown and communications blackout, restore fundamental freedoms and liberties, release political prisoners and stop targeting human rights defenders and fulfil the obligations under the United Nations Security Council Resolution and various human rights instruments as required by international law.

He asked the council to take steps to bring to justice the perpetrators of human rights violations of Kashmiris and in this context, constitute a commission of inquiry, as recommended by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.

Earlier, Pakistan’s Ambassador to the United Nations Maleeha Lodhi underscored the urgency of initiating practical steps to deal with the worsening situation in Indian-held Kashmir when she met UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.

During her 30-minute meeting at the UN chief’s 38th floor office, Ambassador Lodhi said that the grave political and humanitarian crisis, which began unfolding after India’s illegal annexation of the disputed state last month, has now reached a point that it poses a threat to international peace and security.

She told the UN chief that the intensifying tragedy in occupied Jammu and Kashmir was, in fact, an urgent call to set into motion his initiative of “preventive” diplomacy before the crisis spins out of control.

Now is the time to speak up for law, justice and human rights, the Pakistani envoy emphasised.

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