Pakistan calls for ‘independent, transparent’ probe into Kashmir killings

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UNITED NATIONS, July 15 (APP): Pakistan has called for an “independent and transparent” inquiry into the extra judicial killings in Indian occupied Kashmir, calling the worsening situation there a grave threat to peace and security.

This was conveyed by Pakistan’s Ambassador Maleeha Lodhi to the UN Secretary-General’s office, a press release of the Pakistan Mission to the U.N. said Thursday.

Briefing Under-Secretary-General Edmond Mulet, the Chef de Cabinet of UN chief Ban Ki-moon, on the “atrocious brutality” by Indian security forces in Occupied Jammu and Kashmir, Ambassador Maleeha Lodhi, informed him that the assassination of a popular Kashmiri youth leader, Burhan Wani, had set off widespread protests which were being responded to by heavy-handed tactics of Indian occupation forces.

These tactics included firing on unarmed civilians, which had already  led to over 40 deaths, and was further deteriorating an already tense situation. Over 1,500 people have been injured many of whom are in critical condition.

Mr Mulet told the Pakistani envoy that the UN Secretary General was concerned about the deteriorating situation in Indian-held Kashmir, and that he was ready to mediate peace talks between India and Pakistan provided the two neighbours accept his good offices, according to the press release. He also pointed to the fact that the Secretary General had voiced this concern in a public statement.

The situation should be of grave concern to the international community as it poses a threat to peace and security, Ambassador Lodhi said.

The Pakistani Envoy called the use of excessive force against civilians exceedingly “deplorable and condemnable”.

She informed Mullet that many of the injured had permanently lost their vision due to injuries caused by the use of pellet guns to disburse peaceful protestors, according to the press release. Indian forces were firing at unarmed protesters under instructions of ‘shoot to kill’ and curfew remained imposed in most parts of Indian Held Kashmir.

Leaders of the APHC ( All Parties Hurriyat Conference) have all been confined to house detention. The continued imposition of a curfew has brought life to a halt and is caused mounting hardship to the people.

Indian forces have even attacked hospitals where harassment of doctors and paramedic staff has been reported. Even the injured and their attendants were assaulted in the hospitals. Ambulances too have been attacked by Indian occupation forces.

Dubbing the Kashmiris agitating for their right to self-determination as “terrorists” was a travesty of truth and was further inflaming passions, she argued.

Ambassador Lodhi also reminded the United Nations of its longstanding commitments to the people of Jammu and Kashmir under several UN Security Council resolutions.

The international community must call on the Indian government to honour its human rights obligations and its commitments to peacefully resolve the Jammu and Kashmir dispute in accordance with UN Security Council resolutions, she added.

Earlier in a General Assembly debate, Ambassador Lodhi made a forceful call for implementation of Security Council resolutions and drawing the attention of the world body to what she called atrocious violations of human rights in occupied Kashmir.