Aziz urges visiting OIC human rights commission to highlight Kashmiris’ plight

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Islamabad: A high-level delegation of the Organisation of Islamic Countries’ (OIC) Independent Permanent Human Rights Commission (IPHRC) called on Adviser to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz in Islamabad on Monday.

Welcoming the delegation, Aziz, who is Pakistan’s de facto foreign minister, discussed human rights violations by occupation forces in India-held Kashmir, which had intensified since July 2016.

Aziz condemned the practice of using live ammunition and pellet guns by Indian forces, as a result of which more than 150 innocent Kashmiri Muslims have been killed, 20,000 injured and scores — including young girls and children — blinded, said a press release issued by the Foreign Office spokesperson.

Aziz also shed light on the imposition of a curfew in India-held Kashmir, which he said had made the lives of innocent people miserable.

“The Indian government created a deliberate shortage of essential food supplies, medicines, children food, petroleum products and other basic amenities,” the statement read. “Children were denied their basic right to education as a number of schools were burnt and shut down. Hurriyat leadership either remains imprisoned or under house arrest. People were barred from offering Friday prayers in a blatant violation of religious freedom.”

Aziz said he hoped IPHRC delegation’s visit would provide an opportunity to gain a better understanding of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute and witness firsthand the plight of Kashmiri refugees who had migrated to Azad Jammu and Kashmir to escape the Indian atrocities.

“Indian denial of allowing the UN Commissioner for Human Rights’ fact-finding mission and IPHRC to visit India-held Kashmir was regrettable. Pakistan, in contrast, welcomed both,” the statement quoted him as saying.

The adviser also urged the IPHRC delegation to highlight human rights violations in held Kashmir and sensitize the international community about the human rights violations faced by Kashmiris at the hands of Indian forces.

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