UNITED NATIONS, Dec 31 (APP): Pakistan has urged United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to ask India to drop “fabricated charges” against Aasiya Andrabi, the founding leader of Kashmiri organization “Dukhtaran-i-Millat”, and to provide her complete legal protections.
“India’s systemic crackdown of the legitimate and indigenous freedom movement in Kashmir cannot be given a free pass,” Ambassador Munir Akram said in a letter to the UN chief, released on Thursday.
Ms. Andrabi, popularly known as the “Iron Lady of Kashmir”, has been in custody in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK) since 2016.
“With Indian judiciary showing little proclivity to stand up for the rights of Kashmiris, there is an imminent and real threat to the life of Ms. Andrabi, and her associates, who are staring at a real possibility of a judicial murder,” the Pakistani envoy wrote.
“The international community cannot allow this summary execution of a human rights defender who has spent a lifetime speaking up for the rights of the occupied people.”
Ambassador Akram called on the secretary-general to “urge India to drop fabricated charges against Ms. Andrabi, her husband and her associates, and provide her complete legal protections, including the right to free and fair trial conducted under due process.”
The letter also calls the UN chief to:
1. Urge India to immediately halt its persecution of political leaders, activists and human rights defenders;
2. Immediately release the incarcerated Kashmiri political leadership and allow them to freely express the wishes of the Kashmiri people;
3. Demand from India to hold accountable the relevant officials responsible for arbitrary arrests, inhuman treatment, torture and illegal detention, under a UN sponsored independent investigation;
4. Remove the draconian laws enabling Indian occupation forces to continue human rights violations with impunity;
5. Call on UN’s human rights machinery to look into Ms. Andrabi’s, and other human rights defenders’, cases and ask India to grant UN observers, international human rights and humanitarian organizations and international media access to Kashmir to independently ascertain the situation; and,
6. Call on India to stop branding the indigenous movement of freedom of Kashmiri people, led by people like Ms. Andrabi, as terrorism.
“The ultimate objective of the BJP-RSS regime is to crush Kashmiris just struggle for freedom, and to permanently alter the demography of the occupied territory – making it a wholly Hindu dominated region,” Ambassador Akram said, underscoring that this ominous “Final Solution” is being implemented with the full force of India’s state.
“The crackdown on all voices of dissent and crush the legitimate Kashmiri freedom movement has been intensified,” he said, adding all fundamental freedoms and basic human rights remain abrogated, with thousands of Kashmiri men, including children, have been detained; some have disappeared with no trace.
Hundreds of young men are being extra-judicially killed in ‘fake encounters’ and “cordon and search” operations, the letter said, pointing out that to inflict collective punishment, entire villages and neighborhoods are razed to ground or set ablaze.
At the same time, the letter said, Indian authorities have ensured that the true Kashmiri leadership remains incarcerated in jails across India.