By Victoria Ojeme, Ezra Ukanwa & Marvellous Anthony
The High Commissioner of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan to Nigeria, Lieutenant General (Rtd), Agha Umer Farooq, has urged the United Nations to heavily exert the Indian Government to stop the genocide carried against the Kashmiris.
Speaking in an event organized by the Pakistan Community Association, PCAAN, in Abuja, themed: ‘Human Right Violation in Indian Occupied Kashmir, the commissioner disclosed that Kashmir has suffered heavy deployment of thousands if military personnel, imposition of curfew, suspending communication, including mobile and interment services and also, arresting Kashmiri leaders.
Kashmir has been a source of tension for decades. India and Pakistan have fought four wars over the region and India accuses Pakistan of fomenting secessionism in the state of Jammu and Kashmir, the part administered by India.
After unilaterally ending the states special status, which included limited autonomy, the Indian government has split the region into three administrative territories, Jammu (which has a Hindu majority), Kashmir (predominantly Muslim), and Ladakh (where Buddhists and Shia Muslims are in the majority).
He further stated that Kashmiri remains under complete lock down, its 12million inhabitants incommunicado with the rest of the world, as Indian troops patrol the region.
He, however, stated that this prolonged conflict between the Indians and the Kashmiri has been the aftermath of the decision made by the UN to allow Kashmiri be controlled by India, which indeed was against their wish because they are predominantly Muslims and not Hindu.
Farooq further stated that efforts by agencies to truce with the Indian government about this conflict have been unproductive hence, the UN should play an active role in resolving this issue before the unbridled violation of rights in the region would increase the tempo of repression in Indian Occupied Kashmir, foster cycle of violence, and plunge the region in prolonged conflict.
He said: “According to numerous UN resolutions, pending the solution of Jammu and Kashmir dispute, India cannot bring about any material change in the status quo in Indian occupied Kashmir.
“These Resolutions also delineate that Kashmir is not an internal matter of India but it is an internationally recognized dispute between India and Pakistan. India’s latest steps seek to unilaterally alter the status quo.
“Scrapping these Articles from the Indian constitution is a usurpation of rights of Kashmiris, and a formal annexation of an internationally recognized territory.
“These steps have been taken deviously by violating not only international laws, but also by abusing their own Indian constitution, in which status of this territory cannot be changed without consulting the state Government.
“To achieve this, the state government was dissolved and Governor’s rule imposed, in order to side step this requirement.
“These measures have been imposed upon Kashmiri by the use of force, by deploying thousands of additional troops, imposing curfew, suspending communication, including mobile and internet services and arresting Kashmiris leaders. Today, Kashmir remains under complete lockdown.
“Blatant human right violations in Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir during the last three decades have resulted in loss if over a hundred thousand innocent lives, custodial killings, disappearances, restriction of civil liberties, and destruction of properties of the Kashmiri people.
“Thousands of women have been widowed, children orphaned, and homes destroyed. Rape has been used as a weapon of intimidation, with more than twenty thousand innocent women raped and molested.
“Use of pellet firing shotguns on protesters is another example if savage methods used by the Indian security forces, resulting in injuries, blinding, death of several thousands of Kashmiris and the use of cluster bombs.
“Despite the Indian attempts to conceal these atrocities by preventing human rights defenders and journalists entry into Indian Occupied Kashmir, Amnesty international and United Nations High Commissioner for human Right have issued reports, verifying gross violation by Indian Security Forces.
“All attempts by the Pakistan to resolve the tense situation in the sub-continent through dialogue have been spurned by India.”
The Ambassador, however, demanded that the UN should immediately lift the cruel curfew and communication blackout in occupied Kashmir and allow access to medicines, food and other essentials for the population, also urging the UN to take drastic steps in curbing the menace going on in Kashmir.