Today is 72nd anniversary of United Nations’ commitment to uphold the fundamental human rights of the people of Jammu and Kashmir. On this day, in 1949, the United Nations Commission for India & Pakistan (UNCIP) pledged the realization of the Kashmiris’ right to self-determination through a free and impartial plebiscite under the auspices of the United Nations. This day reminds the international community, especially the United Nations Security Council, of the imperative of honouring this commitment towards the people of Jammu and Kashmir.
The importance of the inalienable right to self-determination has been acknowledged in various human rights Covenants and decisions of the United Nations General Assembly and the Security Council. Owing to Indian intransigence, the Security Council has failed to fulfill its pledge to the Kashmiri people.
For over seven decades, the life of Kashmiris in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK) has been a chronicle of State-sponsored cruelty and terrorism. Around 900,000 occupation forces have converted the region into the largest militarized zone in the world. Post-5 August 2019, India has unleashed a new reign of terror in IIOJK, maintaining an inhuman military siege, perpetrating egregious violations of human rights of the innocent people especially women, children and the elderly with unprecedented impunity, and seeking to illegally change the demographic structure of the occupied territory. For more than 500 days now, Indian occupation forces have been further brutalizing the besieged innocent Kashmiris, brazenly denying their basic rights of communication, freedom of expression, freedom of assembly, freedom of religion, and above all, freedom to determine their own future. Kashmiris have been deprived of their fundamental rights to life, food and health despite the rampant Covid-19 pandemic.
The recent spate of unprecedented Indian state-sponsored terrorism in IIOJK and discriminatory steps against minorities, especially Muslims, are a clear manifestation of the ‘Hindutva’ ideology espoused by the RSS-inspired BJP regime. The world must ensure that human rights abuses do not go unpunished and that the perpetrators of these heinous crimes against humanity are held accountable.
Being a direct party to the Jammu and Kashmir dispute, Pakistan will continue to underscore the imperative of holding a free and impartial plebiscite under the UN auspices in accordance with the United Nations Security Council resolutions. Our strong and steadfast support for the Kashmiri people will continue till the realization of their inalienable right to self-determination.