Ladies and Gentlemen,

It has been two years since the Indian government, in stark violations of the international law, United Nations Security Council Resolutions and bilateral agreements, revoked the special status of the Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir.

To consolidate its illegal actions and occupation, India deployed 100,000 additional troops in the valley taking the total to almost a million. The Indian government has made the illegally occupied territory, the world’s largest open prison by curbing liberties and civil rights of 8 million innocent Kashmiris. It has imposed curfew, internet and media blackout and introduced various steps, including a series of new domicile laws, to change the demographic structure of the disputed territory.  These legislations are illegal and in breach of the relevant United Nations Security Council Resolutions and the Fourth Geneva Convention.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Over the past two years, the Indian forces have further intensified their inhumane crackdown and military siege. The already precarious human rights and humanitarian situation in IIOJ&K has further deteriorated due to the oppressive actions by the Indian government.

The gross human rights violations in IIOJ&K have been repeatedly exposed in the reports of the international media, human rights organizations and parliaments around the world.

The UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights has extensively documented India’s gross and systematic violations of human rights and recommended an Independent Commission of Inquiry in two separate reports, issued in June 2018 and July 2019. These reports were termed as the voice of the United Nations by Secretary General Antonio Guterres.

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and multiple UN Special Procedure Mandate Holders have also expressed serious concerns at the human rights situation in IIOJ&K. Unfortunately, India continues to deny access to the international media, human rights organizations, including the office of UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and Special Procedure Mandate Holders.

The miseries of the people of IIOJ&K have also been amply documented in the International Human Rights Watch Report 2021.

The Vice President of the European Parliament, Dr. Fabio Massimo Castaldo, has sent a letter to the President of the European Commission and the High Representative calling for urgent action to address the alarming human rights situation in IIOJ&K. The letter has been co-signed by 15 other MEPs.

In September 2019, the European Parliament held an open debate on the situation in Jammu and Kashmir. A large number of MEPs condemned the Indian actions and deteriorating human rights situation and called upon India to lift the military siege.

The Chair of the European Parliament’s Sub-Committee on Human Rights, MEP Maria Arena, also wrote a letter to the Indian Home Minister raising serious concerns on the situation of human rights in India last year.

The situation in IIOJ&K is dire and represents the worst humanitarian tragedy of our times. The travesty of justice and international law must come to an end.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The international community should play its role and impress upon India to immediately lift the military siege, rescind the illegal and unilateral actions of  August 5, 2019, comply with the United Nations Security Council resolutions, cease its gross human rights violations and allow access to international human rights and humanitarian organizations, observers and international media to the occupied territory.

Pakistan will continue to extend political, diplomatic and moral support to the people of Jammu and Kashmir for realizing their right to self-determination guaranteed to them by the United Nations Security Council.

I encourage you all to be the voice of innocent Kashmiris to expose Indian atrocities in IIOJ&K and elicit a strong international response.

Thank you.