Pakistan calls for focus on children’s plight in IIOJK

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Pakistan has urged the UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative on Children and Armed Conflict to remain focused on the suffering of children in IIOJK, saying the occupying forces were committing “horrifying crimes” against children.

“Children and youth are routinely detained and subjected to torture and ill-treatment in order to elicit intelligence or extract confessions that they are associated with the Kashmiri groups struggling for the self-determination which was promised by the Security Council,” Ambassador Munir Akram told the 15-member Council on Tuesday.

Speaking in the annual debate on “Children and Armed Conflict”, the Pakistani envoy said, “In a world still afflicted by COVID-19 by protracted and new conflicts, and by a food, fuel and finance emergency, it is evident that we must do more to protect our children and ensure their safety, welfare and prosperity.”

Earlier, Virginia Gamba, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict, introducing the report of the Secretary-General, said the abuses children were subjected to over the last year were as grievous as they were many.

In his remarks, Ambassador Akram cited the Secretary-General’s report which urged the Indian Government to undertake preventive measures to protect children in IIOJK, including by ending the use of pellets and illegal detention, both in occupied Kashmir and in various prisons across India.

Since 2019 when India illegally passed legislation to annex the disputed territory, an estimated 13,000 Kashmiri children and youth have been arbitrarily captured by the 900,000 Indian occupation forces, the Pakistani envoy said, adding, “The list of such horrifying crimes is long.” The Pakistan government, he said, released a comprehensive dossier covering accounts, corroborated by audio and video evidence, of 3,432 cases of war crimes, including against women and children, perpetrated by senior officers of the Indian occupying forces since 1989.

“We will share this evidence with the Security Council’s Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict, and the SRSG (Special Representative of the Secretary-general), and urge that those responsible be held accountable”, Ambassador Akram said.—INP

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