British Parliament launches report on human rights violations in occupied Kashmir

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LONDON: The All Parties Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Kashmir on Tuesday evening launched its inquiry report into massive human rights violations in Indian occupied Kashmir (IOK), urging that Indian government must repeal the Armed Forces (Jammu and Kashmir) Special Power Act 1990 and enable prosecution of its armed forces and security personnel in the civilian judicial system.

The APPG report launching ceremony on Kashmir was held here at British Parliament under the chairmanship of its chairman MP Chris Leslie, which was also attended by Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) President Sardar Masood Khan.

The event was attended largely among others by Deputy High Commissioner of Pakistan to United Kingdom Muhammad Ayub, lords, more than 70 members APPG of British Parliament, councillors, mayors, British Pakistanis and Kashmiris, civil society and human rights activists and journalists.

The British parliamentarians on the occasion raised serious concerns over human rights abuses in Indian occupied Kashmir (IOK) and called for immediate cessation of massive violations of human rights in IoK, and ending the impunity enjoyed by Indian security forces.

They said, “Despite commitments made by the early Indian leadership and numerous resolutions of the UN Security Council, the Indian government has unleashed a reign of terror in the occupied Kashmir, in complete disregard for international human rights and humanitarian laws.”

Chris Leslie said that APPG report on human rights violation in Indian held Kashmir was the first documented report which would be subsequently presented to the British Parliament, UK government, foreign and commonwealth office, the United Nations and other international human rights bodies.

He said that Indian High Commissioner to United Kingdom was invited to attend the APPG meeting on Kashmir but he did not come to attend it.

The APPG report on Kashmir, said that in June 2018, of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) landmark inquiry into recent developments in Indian Occupied Kashmir.

Their comprehensive report incorporated a thorough analysis of the widespread violations in Indian administered Kashmir over the past two years.

The APPG on Kashmir had made the following six recommendations on the basis of their human rights report in Indian Occupied Kashmir.

—The government of India must repeal the Armed Forces  (Jammu and Kashmir) Special Powers Act 1990 and enable prosecution of the armed forces and security personnel in the civilian judicial system.

—The government of Jammu and Kashmir must urgently provide a strict and limited statutory basis for administrative detention powers, in line with international legal principles, by repealing or amending the Public Safety Act 1978.

—The government of India must initiate a comprehensive public investigation into the identities of bodies in mass and unmarked graves, which an independent forensic verification process, and provide for a full freedom of information mechanism for the families of suspected victims of enforced disappearances.

—-The government of India should immediately ban on the use of pellets firing shotguns.

—The government of Jammu and Kashmir must open its prisons to the international inspection.

—The governments of India and Pakistan should work to resume regularised visa-regulated civilian travel across the Line of Control and reunite separated families.

Speaking on the occasion, Sardar Masood Khan thanked APPG on Kashmir, its Chairman Chris Leslie and other members of the British Parliament for taking this initiative for the oppressed people of Indian occupied Kashmir.

Muhammad Ayub said that India was constantly denying the right of self-determination to the people of Kashmir and using brutal force to quell their indigenous freedom struggle. India, he said was involved in the massive violation of Human rights in IoK which should be stopped forthwith.

The lords, British MPs, councillors and British Pakistanis and Kashmiris also welcomed APPG report on Kashmir and termed it the first document on Indian human rights abuses, formulated by the British parliamentarians.

The British parliamentarians on the occasion vowed to play their vital role in raising the voices of the oppressed people of occupied Kashmir for the realisation of their right to self-determination and bringing an end to massive human rights abuses, taking place in IoK against people of Kashmir.

They also reiterated that in the House of Commons and House of Lords, APPG report on Kashmir would also be taken up for a thorough discussion soon.

Moreover, Pakistan welcomed the APPKG’s report on Jammu and Kashmir as well as its recommendations and said that Pakistan believes that the lasting solution of the Kashmir dispute is essential for peace, security and stability of South Asia and beyond.

India’s denials of this reality, its unwillingness to engage in dialogue and suppression of Kashmiri aspirations for freedom continue to endanger regional as well as international peace and security.