Masood calls for appointment of special UN rep on Kashmir

Pakistan Observer

Masood calls for appointment of special UN rep on Kashmir

September 27, 201811

New York

Sardar Masood Khan, President of Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK), on Wednesday called upon UN Secretary-General to appoint a Special Representative on Jammu and Kashmir to find diplomatic ways for ending carnage of Kashmiris and facilitate a just and lasting solution to the Jammu and Kashmir dispute.

The President said this while addressing the annual meeting of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Contact Group on Jammu and Kashmir on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly Session here in New York.

“The UN Security Council (UNSC) should take decisions and activate mechanisms to implement its own resolutions to allow the people of Jammu and Kashmir to exercise their right to self-determination through a free, fair and impartial plebiscite,” he said while addressing the participants.

President AJK in his speech made a fervent appeal to the OIC, on behalf of the people of Jammu and Kashmir, to use its good offices to urge the United Nations to impress upon India to immediately end human rights violations in Indian Occupied Kashmir.

He said that situation in the Indian Occupied Kashmir continues to be grim and gruesome, where the right to self-determination of the Kashmiris continues to be denied and the human rights of the people of the IOK are being trampled by India without accountability.

Earlier this year, he said, the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights published a comprehensive report, which lists a long inventory of ghastly and horrendous violations of human rights of the Kashmiri people. These include killings and blinding of hundreds of people, excessive use of force against peaceful, unarmed civilians, arbitrary arrests and detentions, torture, enforced disappearances, and systematic use of rape and sexual violence as a weapon of war. According to the report, Kashmiris’ rights to life, health, education, freedom of expression and access to justice are being violated with impunity.

President Masood Khan endorsed the OHCHR’s recommendations to fully respect the right of self-determination of the people of Kashmir as protected under international law; for India to urgently repeal the Armed Forces Special Powers Act and the Public Safety Act – the two draconian laws – that empower the occupation forces to commit crimes against humanity in IOK; and establishing a Human Rights Council (HRC) Commission of Inquiry to conduct a comprehensive international investigation into human rights violations in IOK. Sardar Masood Khan also assured that the same probe commission would be welcomed and fully facilitated in Azad Kashmir.

Welcoming the recent statement of the new UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, President Masood Khan said that she has rightly voiced her concern about the continuing human rights violation in IOK by saying that, “the people of Kashmir have exactly the same rights to justice and dignity as people all over the world”.

Demanding the immediate release of leaders of the Joint Resistance Leadership and All Parties Hurriyat Conference, as well as thousands of political prisoners, incarcerated in Indian jails, President Masood said India should also work towards withdrawing the bulk of its occupation forces from IOK.

Expressing his utter dismay over Indian obstinacy and rejecting Pakistan’s offer for talks between Foreign Ministers of both the countries on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly Session, the President said that instead of engagement, Indian leaders, and their army chief, have chosen to fuel war psychosis by threatening Pakistan and Kashmiris with aggression. India, he said, should be persuaded to drop its opposition to dialogue and diplomacy and explore avenues for contact and communication with the parties to the dispute, namely, Pakistan, the people of Jammu and Kashmir and the UN.

Referring to the Indian government’s designs to abolish Article 35-A of the Indian Constitution, President Masood said such attempts are a clear violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention, Additional Protocol I and the ICC Statute and referred to them as war crimes.

Sardar Masood Khan said Kashmiris are beholden to the OIC Secretary General for his support on the issue of Jammu and Kashmir and for convening OIC Contact Group meeting for passing resolutions on the right to self-determination of the people of Jammu and Kashmir and calling for an end to human rights violations, year after year.