MUZAFFARABAD: Speakers of a conference organised at the British Parliament, London on Tuesday called upon the world community to take notice of the grave human rights violations in Indian Occupied Kashmir (IoK).
The conference was organised by Tehreek-e-Kashmir (TeK), United Kingdom (UK). Member of the parliament Afzal Khan, Jamaat-e-Islami leader Azad Kashmir, Habibur Rehman Afaqi, President TeK Europe, Muhammad Ghalib and President TeK UK Fahim Kayani were among the speakers on the occasion.
Addressing those in attendance, Afzal Khan said the world should take serious notice of human rights abuse in IoK. He urged the global human rights bodies to visit Srinagar and assess the situation on ground to bring the facts before the world.
"Kashmiris should be given their right of self-determination to decide about their future as per the resolutions of the United Nations," Khan reiterated.
Habibur Rehman Afaqi said he was born and raised in the village of Sehree Khuiratta, situated few 100 meters off the most heavily militarised border of the world, known as the Line of Control" (LoC).
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"Kashmiris living across the LoC cannot cross the 740-kilometre long LoC, and this is why it is called the Asian Berlin Wall."
The landmines, he added, planted by the Indian army along the LoC have killed scores of innocent people, and have left thousands disabled forever.
Without compensation, those disabled in IoK are fighting for their survival. Besides consuming the lives of innocent Kashmiris everyday, the LoC divided hundreds of villages and families too.
Afaqi further said the Indian forces open fire and target civilian population on the LoC in broad daylight. Truce violation on the LoC is what the Indian forces do to instill fear in Kashmiris living across the LoC.
He pointed out that even the school going children and their schools and medical centres are targeted by the Indian forces, who target civilian population, drivers and women with snipers and mortar shells.
The JI leader said, "we welcome the reports of the UN Human Rights High Commissioner's and the All Parties Parliamentary Group, and we appeal the Commonwealth of Nations and the Foreign Office to take notice of these."
Afaqi further said that Kashmiris support the UN Human Rights Commissioner's recommendation to send a fact-finding mission to assess the situation in IoK.
Meanwhile, in another programme organised in connection with the International Human Rights Day in Birmingham, Muhammad Ghalib highlighted that India had recently secured a seat at the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) for a period of three years, beginning next year.
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This news, although quite expected, sheds light on how the international community is ready to overlook the atrocities being carried out in IoK under the garb of national interest, he maintained.
President TeK lamented that there is absolutely no regard for human life in any form - children, women, elderly - and everyone having the slightest of reservations against the state terrorism is arrested, tortured and killed for their dissenting views. This has been the routine in IoK since year 1990.
On the world human rights day, Ghalib added, all draconian laws such as Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA), Public Safety Act (PSA), Jammu and Kashmir Disturbed Areas Act and others - that exist to provide impunity to the perpetrators and invade privacy of the public - must be withdrawn.
The president TeK, Europe said that all fundamental freedoms listed in the UN Resolution of 21 April, 1948 must be guaranteed. The people of Kashmir want the UN resolution implemented to be able to decide about their political future, he maintained.
On the occasion, President TeK UK, Fahim Kayani said Kashmiris appeal to the world community, particularly the United Kingdom and other European nations to help them achieve their birth right - right of self-determination," accepted by the world community under the banner of the United Nations seven decades ago.
Others who spoke on the occasion included Zahid Iqbal, Muhammad Luqman Chaudhry and Dr Muhammad Usman.
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