The world community “must not remain indifferent to the tragedy that is unfolding before our eyes” in Indian Occupied Kashmir, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said on Tuesday during the 42nd session of the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva. In what may be a callout of India’s economic allies turning a blind eye to the brutality of the Indian regime in the occupied state, the FM added, “We must not let political, commercial, and parochial considerations cloud and impair our thoughts and action.”
Decisive action, Qureshi insisted, was needed to address the warning signs of a “looming human catastrophe”. He also called on the human rights council to take a few immediate steps, including urging India to immediately stop the use of pellet guns; end the bloodshed; lift the curfew; reverse the clampdown and communications blackout; restore fundamental freedoms and liberties; release political prisoners; stop targeting human rights defenders; and fulfil its obligations under the UNSC resolutions and international law. He also called on the council to take steps to bring to justice the perpetrators of human rights violations of Kashmiris through an inquiry commission, as recommended by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. On Wednesday, Pakistan submitted a statement on behalf of 50 countries, expressing concern over the illegal annexation of occupied Kashmir by India. The statement included all of the points from his earlier speech. The Foreign Office also issued a statement thanking the 50 countries which signed the statement. Also, after a meeting with Qureshi, UN Human Rights Council President Coly Seck reportedly expressed concern over the abuse of human rights and said the entire world was cautiously watching the situation.
The Indian media has, meanwhile, caught on to a misspeak by Qureshi during an interaction with reporters on Tuesday, where he accidentally referred to the disputed region as “the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir”, rather than ‘IOK’ or ‘Indian Occupied Kashmir’, which are the terms Pakistan officially uses. Fortunately, if this is the best that India and the Modi media can come up with after an international rebuke, it’s still a win for Pakistan.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 12th, 2019.