Qureshi draws UNHCR attention to Indian atrocities in IoK

Published: February 23, 2019
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Indian soldiers examine the debris after an explosion in occupied Kashmir's Pulwama district on Thursday. PHOTO: REUTERS

Indian soldiers examine the debris after an explosion in occupied Kashmir's Pulwama district on Thursday. PHOTO: REUTERS

ISLAMABAD: In the wake of the recent Pulwama attack, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi wrote a letter to the United Nations High Commissioner for the Human Rights drawing attention of the international body towards the grave issue of human rights violations in occupied Kashmir.

In the letter, the foreign minister welcomed the call made by the European Parliament’s Sub-Committee on Human Rights, earlier this week, on India to end its atrocities in the occupied Kashmir.

“I welcome the concerns expressed by you on February 19 on the use of Pulwama attack by such elements as justification for threats and violence against Kashmiris and Muslims in various parts of India. While we fully share these concerns, we would request you to continue monitoring of the situation and call for protecting people from all forms of harm on account of their identity and ethnicity,” he wrote.

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The foreign minister emphasised upon the increase in violence against Kashmiris not only in IoK but also India.

“As if the use of pellet guns against Kashmiri protestors, the outright refusal by India to initiate political dialogue with the Kashmiris and Pakistan, ongoing ‘shoot to kill’ orders against Kashmiris, were not enough, there is now a concerted campaign to whip up hatred and violence against Kashmiris and discrimination against them across India,” he wrote.

He said that the Indian government blamed Pakistan for the attack without conducting a proper investigation. According to him, there was a need to analyse the Pulwama incident in an objective manner.

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“Such an approach manifests India’s attempts to divert global attention from the continuing grave human rights and international humanitarian law violations in Indian occupied Kashmir,” the minister said.

The foreign minister said that India repeatedly violated the international law which required the attention of the global community.

“The troubling situation in Jammu and Kashmir warrants attention from the international humanitarian law perspective, especially the four Geneva Conventions. Given the active nature of armed conflict in Indian occupied Kashmir, it is imperative to impress upon India to faithfully adhere to its obligations under the Conventions to which it is a party,” he wrote.

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