Qaiser calls UNGA role in stopping Indian aggression in IoK

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SIDDEEQ SAJID

Islamabad

National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser and Women Parliamentary Caucus Secretary General Munaza Hassan have sent a letter to United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) President Maria Fernanda Espinosa Graces on Saturday and demanded her to stop India from ending its special status and restore human rights of Kashmiri people.

In a letter, both speaker and Munaza Hassan said that the Indian government on August 5 revoked Article 370 and bifurcated the state into two union territories; Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh. This is a clear breach, of the UN Security Council Resolutions on the Jammu & Kashmir dispute, which call for a plebiscite. In addition, this unconstitutional move under Indian law is also a blatant violation of international law. India is currently an occupying force in the state, therefore, seeks to unlawfully annex the territory as its own.

The removal of Jammu and Kashmir’s special status would allow non-Kashmiri Indians to settle and buy property in the state. This is a flagrant violation of India’s obligations under Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention; which prohibits the transfer or deportation of persons in Occupied Territory. Kashmir is currently India’s only Muslim-majority state; thus, these illegitimate actions can change its demographic structure which is a cause for deep concern.

Presently there is a telecom and media blackout in Indian Occupied Kashmir (IoK), and a curfew is being enforced. This lockdown is an attempt to silence Kashmiris and obstructs their right to self-determination against Indian occupation; a right guaranteed to all peoples as per the UN Charter.

In the past, women and girls, in IoK, have been a perpetual target of different forms of abuses. They are sexually assaulted, harassed, molested and raped as they are seen as a symbol of their community’s identity and honour. Hence, under these circumstances, it must be taken under consideration, that women and girls in IOK are in a highly vulnerable situation. When males of the family- husbands or sons are killed or are nowhere to be found, inevitably, women- mothers, widows or half-widows are left grieving and must carry the family’s responsibility to ensure their survival. Furthermore, the consequence of this conflict will lead to various long term social and psychological trauma.

Now it seems, that Kashmiri women are bound to experience a new phase of trials and tribulations. We believe that it is imperative for all those in decision making positions, to not only demonstrate solidarity but take necessary actions to reinstate the fundamental human rights of the people of IOK.

They demanded to UNGA president that, as a champion of a people-centric approach, we are relying on your expertise and empathy to address this disconcerting state of affairs. Women and girls are first to be harmed and the last to be heard in any conflict. You are requested to act as the voice of the voiceless and power of the powerless.