India’s state machinery has become “veritable arm of oppression” in Kashmir: Pakistani envoy

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GENEVA (APP): Pakistan Tuesday denounced India’s “unlawful” measures to deprive the Kashmiri people of their right to self-determination, warning that the Indian state machinery has turned into a “veritable arm of oppression” in occupied Jammu and Kashmir.

“The Indian State machinery — from a pliant judiciary to a hand-picked local bureaucracy — has become a veritable arm of oppression, breeding impunity,” Khalil Hashmi, Pakistani ambassador to the UN Office at Geneva, told the UN Human Rights Council during a general debate in its 48th session.

Thanking the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, for reminding the 47-member Council of India’s grave human rights violations in Kashmir, he said that the devastating human rights impacts of illegal actions of 05th August 2019 continue to be chronicled by UN Special Procedures, civil society, and global media.

Even this month, as the Council meets with India as its member, the Hindu nationalist regime had “brutally imposed yet another layer of curfew,” and communication clampdown in the disputed territory, following the custodial death of iconic Kashmiri leader, Syed Ali Geelani.

“The degrading treatment of Syed Geelani’s mortal remains and their burial against wishes of the deceased epitomizes India’s moral bankruptcy,” Ambassador Hashmi said. More importantly, the Pakistani envoy said this speaks to Syed Geelani’s indomitable spirit that even in his death, he continued to cow the occupation forces.

“Driven by a fascist mindset, India continues to pursue and accelerate its state policy of demographic change of the disputed territory under the garb of dubious laws and administrative measures as evident from grant of 4.2 million domicile certificates to non-Kashmiris, and permission to buy property, and seek local jobs,” he said, adding that New Delhi is grabbing land, properties and natural resources of the indigenous Kashmiri people, and disenfranchising them of their distinct cultural and religious identity.

“These unlawful measures are designed to deprive the Kashmiris of their right to self-determination,” the Pakistani envoy said, constituting a breach of India’s obligations under the UN Security Council resolutions and the 4th Geneva Convention.

Over 900,000 occupation forces have transformed the occupied territory into a black-hole of rights violations behind an iron curtain of a military siege, and through continued denial of access to independent observers, he said.

During this year alone, India has summarily executed over 100 innocent Kashmiris, illegally detained 537 Kashmiris, and demolished close to 50 houses during fake was pointed out.

India has muzzled local media and silenced human rights defenders through intimidation, harassment, and reprisal, he said, adding that the UN mandate holders have warned that the situation in occupied Jammu and Kashmir was in a ‘free fall’.

Ambassador Hashmi urged the international community needs to ‘step up and take the following steps:

The Council must call on India to rescind its demographic change, halt its violations, and allow access to independent observers;

The Council should mandate a Commission of Inquiry to investigate Indian abuses, as recommended by the two Kashmir reports;

The global flag-bearers of human rights should publicly call India out for its atrocities in Kashmir, and close the persistent gap between its words and actions, and,
The High Commissioner should issue an updated Kashmir report in the exercise of her prevention mandate.

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