Indian forces using ‘chemical weapons’ in Occupied Kashmir: AJK president

Indian forces using ‘chemical weapons’ in Occupied Kashmir: AJK president

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MIRPUR (AJK): President of Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) Sardar Masood Khan on Sunday demanded of India to stop its human rights violations and crimes against humanity in Indian Occupied Kashmir.

Addressing a seminar on the occasion of International Human Rights Day organised by the Kashmir Liberation Cell, the AJK president said implantation of non-Kashmiri settlers in settlements in IOK were a violation of Articles 27 and 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention and a grave breach of Additional Protocol I.

He said India’s construction of illegal settlements for Kashmiri pundits and former army personnel in orders to transform the demography of Jammu and Kashmir were a clear violation of international laws and conventions.

The president said the tale of Kashmir was a tragedy and was the gravest human rights issue facing the world today.

The planned massacre of Kashmiris at the hands of the Indian forces was synonymous to genocide and was tantamount to war crimes, he said, adding that Kashmiris had been made homeless in their native land.

“The word ‘violations’ is a euphuism considering the horrendous war crimes being carried out in Kashmir,” said Masood.

The AJK president pointed out that India had been using chemical weapons in IOK and evidence in this regard had come forward of its use on the populations of Anantnag and Pulwama.

“The suffering of Kashmiris is not an event of yesteryear but the barbarity continues to this day.”

The president commended the efforts of Jammu Kashmir Liberation Cell and the Kashmir Media Services for helping document the atrocities and violations committed in IOK.

He said: “We need to regularly update the data and ultimately use it in enlightening the international organizations of horrendous war crimes taking place in IOK.”

The president said in near future effective steps would be taken to include the Kashmir issue in the syllabi of schools and universities to enable the younger generation better understand the conflict.

Masood said India had taken up a three pronged war against Pakistan; first, by killing our Kashmiri brothers and sisters in IOK; second, cross-border shelling on civilian population in AJK; and third, engaging in a proxy war by carrying out acts of terrorism in various territories of Pakistan.

“This year alone,” he said, “India has committed over 1,550 cross-border violations killing over 60 civilians and injuring hundreds of others in Azad Kashmir.”

“Through 5,000 village committees comprising 30,000 armed RSS-sponsored goons, India is terrorising local population of IOK and forcing them to evacuate their homes and properties.”

The president added Muslims, especially the Gujjar population in Jammu -numbering around one million – are the main victims of the genocide, forced disappearances and evacuations carried out by Indian forces.

Lamenting dual standards of the international community, the president said the world has intervened when it came to East Timur, South Sudan and Yemen; but have yet to take a significant and concrete stance on Kashmir due to various strategic, political and economic interests with India.

He said, “Upholding the rights of every human being in accordance with the UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights is the duty of every UN member nation and India must be brought to justice for the serious human right violations committed in IOK.”

The president said the people of Kashmir were the most unarmed people and were not involved in any sort of terrorism.

“Their unarmed struggle,” he added, “for their right to self-determination has been demonised by India as an act of terrorism.”

The president said the people of Kashmir have sacrificed their lives not to maintain the status quo but to attain their freedom through the exercise of their right to self-determination.

Khan said India was trying to create ill-will and driving a wedge between the people of Kashmir and Pakistan by trying to diplomatically and politically demonising the latter.

He said, “A symbiotic relationship exists between the people of Pakistan and Kashmir which cannot be weakened through any machinations.”

The president sent a clear message to India saying that their efforts of sabotaging the freedom struggle will never succeed and the people of Kashmir will never bow down nor will the freedom struggle be subdued through India’s use of force.

The people of Kashmir, he said, have made a solemn vow to continue their struggle and will attain their freedom at any cost. APP

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