ISLAMABAD, Feb 5 (APP): Chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on Kashmir Shehryar Khan Afridi Friday called upon the world community, US President Joe Biden and the United Nations Secretary General to pressure India’s Hindutva regime for releasing Kashmiri leaders detained post abrogation of Articles 370 and 35-A on August 5, 2019.
Speaking to the media with regard to the Kashmir Solidarity Day before flying for Kotli with Prime Minister Imran Khan, Shehryar Afridi said the incarcerated top Kashmiri leadership including Syed Ali Geelani, Masarat Alam Bhat, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, Syed Shabbir Shah, Yasin Malik, Ashraf Sehrai, Asiya Andrabi, Naheeda Nasreen, Fehmida Sofi and others must be released forthwith.
He also called for immediate lifting of Internet and communications blockade enforced in the Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK).
“This communication blackout by the Hindutva regime aims at withholding information and to keep the Kashmiri people disconnected from the rest of the world. India’s occupational regime wants to keep the Kashmiris caged in the world’s biggest prison,” the minister said.
Afridi urged the Biden administration to immediately take cognizance of the human rights abuses and use of RDX by occupational forces to destroy houses and properties of the Kashmiris under the Hindutva plan of genocide of Kashmiri people.
He also urged the United States administration to ensure immediate lifting of Internet curbs and communications blackout, release of political leaders and bringing an end to India’s illegal and unilateral actions in the IIOJK.
Calling for a more proactive parliamentarians’ role in highlighting the Kashmir cause to make India accountable for its crimes against humanity in the IIOJK, Shehryar Afridi said the implementation of UNSC resolutions on Kashmir was a collective responsibility of all the member states of the United Nations.
Afridi said there was a growing momentum among the parliamentarians worldwide for working together to galvanize the world conscience to halt India’s aggression and make it accountable for its atrocities against the Kashmiris.
He said the political leaders and legislators in several countries, including the US, Canada and Europe, along with the Chairperson of the European Parliament had also expressed their concerns on the IIOJK situation.
“Pakistan is committed to the peaceful resolution of Jammu and Kashmir dispute under Prime Minister Imran Khan’s vision, shared at the UN General Assembly sessions through a full spectrum of parliamentary and diplomatic outreach, engagement with media, think-tanks, academia, intelligentsia and civil society,” he said.
While advocating for the right to self-determination to the people of IIOJK, Shehryar Afridi said the Indian occupation forces could not strip the Kashmiris of their right to determine own destiny as enshrined in the UNSC resolutions.
He said Kashmiris’ struggle for self-determination had gained a new impetus recently under the fascist Modi regime.
“India has lost currency on its narrative of foreign involvement in Kashmir,” he said, adding the Modi-led Bharatiya Janata Party regime’s actions were propelled by the racist ideologies of fascist Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS).
He said the Indian occupation forces were martyring innocent Kashmiris in staged encounters under the garb of so-called cordon and search operations, “India’s extra-judicial killing of hundreds of innocent Kashmiris, including women and children, is in complete violation of the fundamental precepts of international humanitarian law,” he added.
He mentioned that since August 5, 2019, India had been implementing a well-planned strategy of military occupation, land confiscation, influx of non-Kashmiris and creation of alien settlements in the disputed territory.
He said the IIOJK was in grave danger of being completely colonized by outside settlers with the indigenous Kashmiris losing their political and cultural identity, their rightful demographic majority and ownership of their properties in their own homeland.
“The demographic apartheid is aimed at affecting the outcome of a plebiscite envisaged in the UNSC resolutions,” Afridi said.
He said the highly condemnable Indian action was a clear violation of the UNSC resolutions, bilateral agreements between Pakistan and India and international law, and in particular constitutes violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention which stated that “the occupying power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies”.
He said the communication blockade by India was another form of collective punishment and clear violation of Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which mandated, “everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression.”