Pakistan on Tuesday condemned the “extra-judicial killing” of 13 Kashmiris in a single day in a military operation in Indian-administered Kashmir.
“Pakistan is deeply concerned over unabated extra-judicial killings of Kashmiri youth in fake encounters and so-called ‘anti-infiltration’ operations. While the international community is pre-occupied with fighting the COVID-19 pandemic, India is busy intensifying its brutalization of the Kashmiri people,” said a Foreign Ministry statement.
Pakistan condemns India’s treatment of Kashmiris
Islamabad’s criticism coincides with a series of military operations against suspected Kashmiri militants in different parts of the disputed Himalayan valley, killing 21 suspected militants in May alone.
On Monday, citing army officials, Indian media reported 10 suspected militants were killed in a security operation in Poonch district, whereas another three were killed in Rajouri district.
“The fact that 13 Kashmiris were extra-judicially killed in a single day speaks volumes about Indian government’s continuing crimes against humanity,” the statement said.
Accusing New Delhi of using “unsubstantiated” allegations of training and infiltration of militants “to hide these crimes,” Islamabad said “the RSS-BJP combine stands exposed before the world for its illegal and inhuman actions and extremist Hindutva agenda.”
“India must realize that neither can its brutalization break the will of the Kashmiri people nor can its anti-Pakistan propaganda divert attention from India’s state-terrorism and egregious violations of human rights in IOJ&K [Indian occupied Jammu and Kashmir],” the statement went on to say.
“The martyrdom of each Kashmiri will further fortify the Kashmiris’ resolve for freedom from Indian occupation,” it added.
“Kashmiris will never give up their inalienable right to self-determination as enshrined in the UN Security Council resolutions and the leadership and people of Pakistan will never flinch in their commitment of full support for the Kashmiris towards that end.”
India’s treatment of Kashmiris not unnoticed by world
In August, India’s Hindu-nationalist government stripped the Himalayan region of its semi-autonomous status and imposed restrictions on movement and a communications blackout, virtually cutting it off from the outside world.
Chronic or acute patients who need life-saving medications are also suffering, with a ban on courier services and delivery supplies from other parts of India to Kashmir.
Pakistan welcomed a joint statement of six human rights bodies in April that called on India to restore internet connection in Indian-occupied Kashmir (IOK) and to release prisoners who have been detained since August.
Islamabad urged the international community to take immediate steps to stop India from committing “serious crimes” against the Kashmiri people and hold it accountable under international law and relevant human rights conventions.
India committing human rights violations in Kashmir
Indian forces in Kashmir have gained notoriety for detaining citizens for arbitrary reasons. India’s treatment of Kashmiris has raised red flags for organisations around the world.
A group of European parliamentarians comprising of 15 members from all major political parties have raised their concerns in a letter written to European Commission President Ursula Von der Leyen and European Union’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josef Borrell, demanding them to raise the issue of the worst human rights violations in Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IOJ&K) with the government in New Delhi.
Describing this as an important development on the international front, Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) President Sardar Masood Khan said that the voices in support of the Kashmiri people are constantly rising around the globe in spite of the most difficult circumstances.
“The world now also condemns India’s actions in Occupied Jammu and Kashmir, and the discriminatory treatment being extended to minorities in India.”
India Pakistan dispute over Kashmir
Kashmir, a Muslim-majority Himalayan region, is held by India and Pakistan in parts and claimed by both in full. A small sliver of Kashmir is also held by China.
The two countries have fought three wars — in 1948, 1965 and 1971 — since they were partitioned in 1947, two of which were fought over Kashmir.
Several Kashmiri groups in Jammu and Kashmir have been fighting against Indian rule for independence, or for unification with neighboring Pakistan.
According to several human rights organizations, thousands of people have reportedly been killed in the conflict in the region since 1989.
The disputed valley has been reeling from a severe blockade with key Kashmiri leaders imprisoned or put under house arrest since last August.
Anadolu with additional input by GVS News Desk