Pakistan’s efforts to highlight gross human rights violation in Indian Jammu & Kashmir

Pakistan since its inception has raised its voice against the oppression of the people in the Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir, who for decades have been striving to get their right to self determination.

August 5, 2019 – India’s Annexattion of Occupied Jammu & Kashmir

Immediately following India’s unilateral and illegal actions of 5 August 2019, Pakistan downgraded its diplomatic relations with India, suspended all bilateral trade following decisions taken in a National Security Committee meeting.

The Prime Minister addressed the Parliament to share full spectrum of Pakistan’s response. Immediate instructions were issued to all Missions abroad to undertake all possible efforts to highlight Indian atrocities in the wake of August 5. Resident diplomats briefed on multiple occasions by the Foreign Minister on the most recent situation as well as Pakistan’s response to it.

Pakistan categorically rejected India’s illegal and unilateral steps and raised with international community; humanitarian, legal, peace and security fallout of the Indian actions.

The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) has discussed the Jammu & Kashmir dispute three times since 5 August 2019 (on 16 August 2019, 15 January 2020 and 5 August 2020 respectively). These consultations have reaffirmed the Council’s role in the dispute, repudiating the Indian position that their actions in IIOJK were an “internal affair”.

Declaring himself as “Ambassador of Kashmir”, the Prime Minister has persuasively presented the gravity of human rights and humanitarian situation in IIOJK to the 74th as well as the 75th UN General Assembly Sessions and sensitized the international community of the danger of non-resolution of J&K dispute to regional as well as global peace and security.

On the sidelines of the UNGA Session in 2019, the Prime Minister and Foreign Minister held 120 meetings with world leaders, UN authorities and relevant international organizations and sensitized them on the unprecedented human rights violations, inhuman military siege and continued communication blockade in IIOJ&K.

Since August 2019, the Prime Minister and Foreign Minister have sent around 21 direct communications to the P-5 leadership and UN Security Council and UN Secretary General on the issue.

On 9 July 2020, in his reply to Prime Minister Imran Khan’s letter, the UN Secretary General reiterated the United Nations’ position that the situation in Jammu & Kashmir is governed by the Charter of the United Nations and applicable Security Council Resolutions. He also reiterated his call for a ceasefire along the Line of Control (LOC). He further indicated again, availability of his good offices.

During his visit to Pakistan in May 2021, UN General Assembly President Mr. Volkan Bozkir called on all the parties to refrain from changing the status of Jammu and Kashmir and stated that a just solution should be found through peaceful means in accordance with UN Charter and UNSC Resolutions on the issue.

Two successive reports by the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights (OHCHR), in June 2018 and July 2019, have been instrumental in internationalizing the Jammu & Kashmir dispute.

The Human Rights Watch (HRW) in its report of 19 February 2021also gave an extensive overview of the human rights violations in IIOJK.

On 22 December 2020, the UNHRC Special Rapporteurs sent 6th Joint Communication to Indian Government which expressed concerns over “intimidations, searches and confiscations committed during raids” by the Indian occupation forces in IIOJK.

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights filed an intervention application in the Indian Supreme Court on 2 March 2020, against India’s own Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA).

Foreign Minister represented Pakistan in the 42nd HRC Session of (September 2019) and delivered a statement on Jammu & Kashmir on behalf of over 50 countries.

During all Sessions of HRC held post 5 August 2019 (42nd to the 47th Session) Indian violations of international law and norms in IIOJK have been strongly condemned by various member countries and NGOs.

OIC is a consistent supporter of Kashmir Cause. The OIC Secretariat as well as its Independent Permanent Human Rights Commission OIC-IPHRC has issued multiple statements and reports condemning Indian illegal and unilateral actions as well as serious human rights violations in IIOJK.

On the conclusion of the 47th Session of the OIC Council of Foreign Ministers (CFM) in Niger, the meeting’s Chair issued the Niamey Declaration, which reiterated the “OIC’s principled position on the Jammu and Kashmir dispute for a peaceful settlement in accordance with the relevant UNSC resolutions.”

A resolution on situation in IIOJK was adopted unanimously by the 47th Session of OIC Council of Foreign Ministers (CFM) held on 27-28 November 2020, which categorically rejected all illegal and unilateral actions taken by India since 5 August 2019.

The OIC Contact Group on Kashmir in its several meetings, most recent being on 5th February 2021 on the occasion of Kashmir Solidarity Day, have unanimously called for rescinding India’s unilateral actions, condemned human rights violations of Kashmiri people, and reaffirmed support for the Kashmiris’ right to self-determination.

During his visit to Pakistan in March 2020, the OIC Secretary General’s Special Envoy for Jammu and Kashmir, Yousef M. Al Dobeay emphasized that Kashmir and Palestine remained the top most items on the OIC agenda and assured to take all necessary steps to alleviate the sufferings of the Kashmiri people.

In a 2020 report on Muslim communities in non-OIC countries, the OIC General Secretariat raised serious concerns on the treatment of Muslim population in IIOJK. The report covered anti-Muslim actions of BJP-RSS regime extensively, highlighting the aftermath of India’s illegal actions of 5th August.

Two resolutions have been tabled in the US Congress urging India to lift its restrictions in IIOJK while three successive, unprecedented hearings on human rights in IIOJK have been held.

On February 2021, the New York State Assembly passed a landmark resolution to observe 5th February as “Kashmir American Day”. The resolution pledged to provide both the American public with greater awareness of Kashmiris’ struggles, and “the Kashmiri diaspora community with a symbol of hope for the future”.

In a debate held at the British Parliament in January 2021 on the political situation in Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK), strong concerns have been expressed by the British Parliamentarians with regards to the gross human rights violations being perpetrated by India in IIOJK.

45 members of the Parliament (MPs) from the United Kingdom co-signed a letter calling on the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres to intervene and prevent India’s unconstitutional attack on Kashmir’s autonomy. Over 85 US Congressmen have urged India on different occasions, to address concerns over the human rights situation in IIOJK.

On 4 August 2020 Speaker of the National Assembly wrote letters to his counterparts from across the globe drawing their attention towards the continued human rights and military siege in IIOJK.

Among European leaders, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, on her bilateral visit to India, called the humanitarian situation in IIOJK “unsustainable” while the Swedish Foreign Minister has called for lifting of the restrictions in the region.

Statements by Azerbaijan, Turkey and Malaysia were given during the 74th UNGA which expressed concern regarding the ongoing human rights situation in IIOJK.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan addressed a joint session of the Pakistani parliament on 14 February 2020, for a record fourth time, and pledged to continue Turkey’s unflinching support for Pakistan’s stance on Jammu &Kashmir and stated that the plight of the people of IIOJK meant as much to Turkey as it did to Pakistan.

The grave situation in IIOJK, after 5 August 2019, has been effectively highlighted in international and national media.

As a rough estimate, since 5 August 2019, almost 1500 articles/ op-eds/ news reports on situation in IIOJK appeared in mainstream international media such as Washington Post, The Guardian, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Boston Globe, Chicago Tribune, The Economist, The Times etc.

Prime Minister`s Op-ed titled as “The World Can’t Ignore Kashmir. We Are All in Danger” published in The New York Times on 30 August 2019, was translated in different languages and published in many countries.

Our Missions abroad widely engaged with the media, think tanks and wrote Op-eds or worked behind the scenes for publication of articles in leading newspapers in important capitals of the world.