World must end criminal silence over IOK situation: AJK PM

ISLAMABAD, Nov 26 (INP): India is using intimidation and coercion as weapons of state in occupied Kashmir. It is now the moral duty of the UNSC and international community to end their criminal silence and stop India from pursuing its hegemonic designs, which have escalated after it abrogated Article 370 on August 5.

The call was made by Raja Farooq Haider, Prime Minister, Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJ&K), while addressing an international seminar in Islamabad.

The seminar was organizes in collaboration with Policy Research Forum, Azad Jammu and Kashmir (PRFAJK) and Maritime Study Forum (MSF).

Chaired by former senator Javed Jabbar, the event was also addressed by national and international speakers of high stature including Syed Fakhar Imam, chairman, Parliamentary Committee on Kashmir, Khalid Rahman, executive president, IPS, Professor Dr Roger van Zwanenberg, a veteran scholar of history and political economy based in London and Professor Dr Yashpal Amarchand Tandon, a Ugandian-British policymaker of Indian descent

Haider, in his keynote speech, said that over 100 days have passed since India laid siege to occupied Kashmir, imposed curfew, and violated UN resolutions as well as all international and national agreements in the process.

During this period, the Indian army has arrested thousands of citizens, including Kashmiri leaders, and meted out inhuman treatment to the youth of Kashmir under the garb of so-called house searches.

There have been severe human rights violations in IoK and widespread incidents of brutal torture, rape, mass killings, forced disappearances, use of pellet guns and human shields have been reported; and sadly all this has been carried out as the occupying state’s policy with all its institutions – including legislature, executive, judiciary and armed forces – forming a part of it.

He said that on one the hand there is a crippling clampdown on communication in a place where journalists are protesting for their right to speak, whereas on the other the Indian media is mastering the art of biased and fake reporting, trying to paint a false picture of normalcy in IOK.

Along with human rights violations, the economic loss of the state has been catastrophic and is leading to severe humanitarian crisis. According to the Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI), the economic losses ran into least 100 billion rupees ($1.40 billion) by September, he added.

Haider maintained that the provisional arrangements that India had made through Articles 35-A and 370 were just eyewash and now their revocation has been done only to pave the way to change demography in the held territory, which is not only a violation of international law and the UN resolutions, but is also considered a war crime under Geneva Convention.