Tehmina briefs OIC envoys on Kashmir

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  • Foreign secretary says Kashmiri people need support for their legitimate struggle for right to self-determination

Foreign Affairs Secretary Tehmina Janjua on Tuesday briefed the Islamabad-based OIC ambassadors on the grave human rights situation in the Indian-held Jammu Kashmir as well as ceasefire violations by India at the Line of Control (LoC) and the working boundary.

According to a Foreign Office statement, she condemned the ongoing human rights violations in the disputed state, which have resulted in loss of 200 civilians lives and injuries to 20,000 Kashmiris including those by use of pellet gun shots deliberately aimed at the upper parts of the body and eyes, making more than 150 people permanently blind.

The foreign secretary invited the attention of the OIC ambassadors over the incident of using an innocent Kashmiri as a human shield. The incident reflected disregard for human dignity. She said that the oppressed Kashmiri people look for support of Muslim brethren in their just and legitimate struggle for the realisation of the right to self-determination.

On April 9, a Kashmiri man called Farooq Ahmed Dar was trussed to the spare tyre at the front of a jeep and driven on a five-hour journey through several villages at the head of an Indian Army convoy. He had just voted in a by-election for the Indian parliament when he was picked up by an army patrol.

He was beaten before he was lashed to the vehicle with a sign saying “This is the fate that will befall stone throwers” pinned to his chest. The incident was filmed and shared on social media, causing uproar in the disputed state. The use of Farooq Dar as a human shield was criticised around the world. Amnesty International described it as cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment amounting to torture.

The Indian government announced there would be an inquiry into the incident but on May 22, before the inquiry had been completed, the army awarded responsible army officer Major Leetul Gogoi a ‘commendation medal’ for, it said, his ‘sustained efforts’ during armed operations.

BBC reported that morale among Indian Army soldiers stationed in the Kashmiri state is very low. Many soldiers are becoming increasingly uncomfortable with their role in the disputed state, saying they fear they are effectively becoming an army of occupation.