Pakistan must approach UN over Kashmir

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Dr Muhammad Khan

The people of Jammu and Kashmir and Kashmiris from all across the globe have unanimously condemned the life imprisonment of prominent Kashmiri leader Mr Yasin Malik.

The notorious Indian National Investigation Agency Court had awarded “Two life sentences and five punishments of 10 years of rigorous imprisonment each”to Mr Malik on fake and fabricated charges related to terrorism.

This is the worst example of human rights violation in the world. The Government of Pakistan severely reacted to this Indian act and summoned the Indian Cd’A to the Foreign Office.

He was conveyed the “Government of Pakistan’s strong indignation over the highly reprehensible sentencing of Yasin Malik after his conviction on fabricated charges, denial of fair trial and inhuman incarceration despite his deteriorating health, in complete defiance of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

” Indeed, this major step of India after undoing the special status of IIOJK in 2019. This act is aimed to defile the legitimate struggle of the Kashmiris for their right to self-determination as ‘terrorism’.

The Indian Government has been constantly violating the human rights in its occupied parts of the state of Jammu and Kashmir.

The United Nations Human Rights Council has issued two reports over massive human rights violations in IIOJK in 2018 and 2019.

On June 14, 2018 United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights published a report over human rights violations in Kashmir.

The report called for international access to Kashmir “on both sides of the Line of Control” to investigate allegations of human rights violations.

The report under UNHCR, ZeidRa’ad Al Hussein has called to set up a Commission of Inquiry (CoI) for a more comprehensive investigation into the human rights situation in Kashmir.

The process of investigation needs international access to the state, which India rejected once again, but Pakistan welcomed it.

Indian Ministry of External Affairs has out rightly rejected the report, saying it is “fallacious, tendentious and motivated”.

This second report of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) on the situation of human rights in Indian Occupied Kashmir andPakistan-Administered Kashmir covers the period from May 2018 to April 2019.

While analysing the Executive Summary of the first ever report on human rights in the State of Jammu and Kashmir by United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, one would appreciate this international body for its concern over the massive human rights violations in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK).

The first part of the report has categorically discussed the human rights violations in IIOJK. After publication of this report, Governor Rule was imposed in IIOJK.

This UNHCR considers that impunity for human rights violations and lack of access to justice are key human rights challenges in IIOJK.

More so, the special laws enforced in IIOJK; Armed Forces (Jammu and Kashmir) Special Powers Act, 1990 (AFSPA) and the Jammu and Kashmir Public Safety Act, 1978 (PSA), have created structures that obstruct the normal course of law, impede accountability and jeopardize the right to remedy for victims of human rights violations.

Since July 2016, thousands of people have been killed and detained under the PSA. As per rights groups, youths (minors) have been the main target of Indian security forces from 2016 to 2018.

The Indian brutal acts also include; “numerous reports of attacks on, and obstruction of basic medical services” needed by wounded Kashmiris.

Indeed, India is apprehensive that the finding of this international body, the Commission of Inquiry (COI) can be subsequently referred to International Court of Criminal (ICC), which may declare India as a state, sponsoring terrorism in IIOJK, exposing real face of India to international community.

International jurists and experts of international law are of the opinion that the Kashmir dispute can be referred to ICJ with respect to the massive human rights violation, committed by Indian occupation forces.

There are two strong elucidations that provide sufficient grounds for the ICJ to legally examine the Kashmir dispute and give its verdict.

The first provision which makes the Kashmir relevant to ICJ is the UN Genocide Covention-1948. The United Nations General Assembly adopted ‘the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide’ through its Resolution number 260 on 9 December 1948.

After entering into force on January 12, 1951, ICJ has debated and gave verdicts on many such disputes related to killing of human beings and genocide in many parts of the world as per the UN Genocide Convention-1948.

IIOJK is a classic case of Kashmiri genocide at the hands of Indian Military forces. Article-4 of this Convention says that, all those involved in this genocide acts are punishable, even if they are armed forces personnel, the ruler class, public officials or else the private individuals.

An Indian origin scholar and expert of international law, Ms PriyaPillai, currently an international lawyer and a consultant of international justice suggested yet another dimension of taking the Kashmir case to ICJ.

She suggests that, Pakistan can reach over ICJ on the grounds of treaty violations. Through its unilateral act of altering the situation in IIOJK, India violated the treaty (Simla Agreement) on August 5, 2019.

It is the most appropriate time for Pakistan to referthe Kashmir dispute to United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) and International Court of Justice (ICJ).

[The writer is Professor of Politics and IR at International Islamic University, Islamabad. Pakistan Observer]

 

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