JKCHR – Jammu and Kashmir Council for Human Rights
15 December 2018
His Excellency Mr. António Guterres
Secretary General United Nations
United Nations Secretariat
New York, NY 10017
Dear Mr. Secretary General
Your 16 May 2018 report on “Children and armed conflict” carrying a reference to the killing of Kashmiri children and their alleged recruitment by Indian security forces to spy for them and the 14 June 2018 report of UN High Commissioner for Human Rights on the “Human Rights situation in Kashmir”, are two most important indirect interests of the UN in the people and habitat of Jammu and Kashmir. It has happened after the first direct contact of the UN Secretary General who visited Kashmir for two days from 20-22 March 1959.
High Commissioner’s report admits that the presence of 500,000 to 700,000 Indian soldiers makes Kashmir “one of the most militarised zones in the world” and he has recommended the establishment of a “comprehensive independent international commission” to investigate the abuse of human rights in Kashmir. The question of reparation has also surfaced in the report. Your Excellency has very rightly defended the report as the “Voice of United Nations”.
JKCHR and other NGOs remain confident that as in Gaza and Yemen, UN Human Rights Council would be able to establish a Commission on Kashmir. People of Kashmir and NGOs subscribing their interest in the “rights and dignity” and “security and self-determination” of
the people of Jammu and Kashmir as envisaged in UN Security Council Resolutions, feel deeply concerned that Resolution E/CN.4/1994/L.40 sponsored by Pakistan, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Saudi Arabia on 28 February 1994, asking “to send a fact-finding mission to Jammu and Kashmir to investigate and report on human rights situation there to the General Assembly at its forty-ninth session”, failed to receive a just attention.
The delay in taking a timely action and allowing India to disregard UN Security Council Resolution of 21 April 1948, which has placed three restraints on the “behaviour”, “number” and “location” of Indian security forces, in Kashmir remains the principal licence for these forces to profile and kill the youth in Kashmir.
Further to JKCHR communication of 21 October 2018 informing your Excellency about the killing of 9 people in Kulgam and Anantnag (Kashmir), JKCHR very sadly wishes to inform you that Indian security forces killed 11 civilians early today in Sirnoo village of Pulwama – Indian occupied Kashmir. Many hundreds have been critically injured. Funeral prayers for Abid Hussain Lone, son of late Ghulam Nabi of Kareemabad, have been put on hold as his younger brother has to reach home from Bengaluru – India where he is studying an MBA course.
New Delhi is ruling Kashmir directly through it appointee, the Governor, a non-Kashmiri (non-State Subject) who is an Indian citizen. At the time when UN Secretary General Dag Hjalmar Agne Carl Hammarskjöld visited Srinagar in March 1959, Indian citizens required an “Entry Permit” to visit Kashmir. This requirement was unlawfully rescinded by the Prime Minister of Kashmir, elected from only a part of the territory, in violation of UN Security Council Resolution of 31 March 1951. Indian appointed Governor has called “Pulwama Carnage” as “unnecessary and avoidable loss of civilian lives”. It is not enough.
JKCHR has alerted the UN on the profiling of Kashmiri youth by Indian security forces into five categories and reward money being offered for their killing. We have also submitted a written statement to the UN Working Group on the use of mercenaries as a means of violating human rights and impeding the exercise of the rights of peoples to self-determination for consideration at its meeting on 21 July 2016 at the United Nations Headquarters, in New York.
The images coming out of Kashmir of brutalities committed by Indian security forces, use of rape as a weapon to demoralise the people, profiling and killing of youth, use of pellet guns to disable, blind and kill and the reported use of chemical weapons to destroy houses and orchards, have caused a great unease in the Kashmiri diaspora.
There is an urgent need to defend the people against this brutal oppression by the Indian security forces. Indian security forces have violated the four bilateral and the three UN restraints placed on them. They are now an occupation force and are engaged in war crimes.
Excellency it is high time that United Nations revisits Pakistan’s proposal made at the 761st Meeting of UN SC on 16 January 1957 demanding to induct a UN Force into Kashmir and
break the logjam on the question of demilitarization. A joint Resolution moved on 14 February 1957 by Australia, Cuba, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and United States of America has supported the Pakistan’s proposal. Outsourcing the habitat and people of Indian occupied Kashmir, to be controlled by 500,000 – 700,000 Indian security forces is unfortunate.
Excellency, your office has an outstanding duty, accrued ever since the first assessment by UN Secretary General Dag Hammarskjold, of the Kashmir situation, in March 1959. Until there is a UN supervised referendum, a neutral UN force needs to be inducted into Kashmir to defend the ‘territory’, protect ‘life’, ‘honour’ and ‘property’ in Kashmir.
Excellency we shall keep your office updated on the continued violation by the Indian security forces of the three restraints placed on their behaviour, number and location by the UN Security Council Resolution of 21 April 1948.
Excellency kindly rest assured of our best regards and highest considerations.
Dr. Syed Nazir Gilani