UNITED NATIONS, Oct 22 (APP): Diplomats at the United Nations on Wednesday heard directly from Indian Occupied Kashmir’s youth delegate about the grim plight of Kashmiri people living under “brutal” occupation in the disputed state for the last seven decades.
“Succeeding generations of Kashmiri youth and children have suffered at the hands of Indian brutality,” Ali Ziyad, a Kashmiri who is studying in the United States, told representatives of all regions of the world.
The occasion was an informal debate for UN Youth Delegates held in the UN General Assembly’s Third Committee, which deals with social, cultural and humanitarian matters.
Organized by the European Union delegation, the debate was aimed at giving an opportunity for young people to provide input to the work of the Third Committee.
Each speaker was limited to three minutes.
Opening the debate, the General Assembly President, Volkan Bozkir, urged the youth delegates to make their contribution in building a better world.
“This is your time. This is your General Assembly. Together, we can create the United Nations we need for the future we want,” Bozkir said.
In his remarks, Ziyad said that today’s world was home to the largest generation of young people in history, but 25 percent of them continue to be directly or indirectly affected by violence and armed conflict.
“I too come from such a background,” he said.
“As a youth delegate from Jammu and Kashmir, my own region has been reeling under illegal Indian occupation for the last seven decades.”
“By obfuscation and deceit,” Ziyad said, “India has denied the right of self-determination to the people of Jammu and Kashmir.”
He then drew attention to India’s illegal and unilateral actions of 5 August last year when atrocities against Kashmiri people atrocities escalated.
“During the last fourteen months, India has illegally detained 13000 Kashmiri youth, tortured many of them, summarily executed young boys, put down protests violently, including the use of pellet guns against peaceful protestors and imposed collective punishment by demolishing homes and burning entire neighborhood and villages,” the Kashmiri youth delegate said.
“Even recently,” he said, “the brutality of Indian occupation was on full display when in a fake encounter it killed 3 young people, one of whom was only18 years old.”
The Indian army had initially termed the three individuals as “terrorists” but later reluctantly, and for the first time in 33 years, acknowledged the occurrence of a fake encounter.
“This was only possible due to increased scrutiny from international media and civil society,” Ziyad said, adding that not a single Indian soldier has been prosecuted.
As the voice of Kashmiri youth, he implored the international community to come forward and play its effective role.
“The first and foremost goal for all Kashmiris, including its youth, is the peaceful resolution of Kashmir dispute in accordance with relevant resolutions of the Security Council which have promised the people of Jammu and Kashmir their right of self-determination.”
In the meantime, the Kashmiri youth delegate said, mechanisms must be put in place to check the impunity of the Indian government and stop the settler colonial policies which were creating further political, economic and territorial marginalization of the Kashmiris and it’s youth.