Islamabad: (Parliament Times) Sardar Masood Khan, President Azad Jammu and Kashmir, has welcomed and appreciated a letter addressed to the Indian government by six members of the US Congress’ House Foreign Affairs Committee seeking information about the number of detainees held under the Public Safety Act and demanding that the US Congress members and journalists be allowed free access to the Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir to ascertain human rights situation on the ground.
The President thanked Honorable members of the US Congress – David Cicilline, Dina Titus, Chrissy Houlahan, Andy Levin, James McGovern and Susan Wild – for their communication in which they have raised pertinent questions about the internet and communication blockade, arrests of local politicians and activists and the imposition of a prolonged curfew.
Sardar Masood Khan said that the number of people of detained after August 5 is public knowledge despite Indian restriction on the media. He cited the findings of the National Federation of Indian Women which reveal that 13,000 boys, some of them as young as 12, 13 and 14 have been detained and have been transferred to prison houses all over India where they have been tortured.
The six US Congress members have also expressed concern that rubber bullets are being used for crowd control and in certain instances, protestors have been blinded by the use of these bullets. They have sought information about such blindings including of children. They have also inquired about the Indian government’s steps for ensuring the rights of protestors.
The AJK President also thanked US lawmakers – Ilhan Omar, Ted Yoho, Abigail Spanberger and Michael Fitzpatrick – who expressed deep concern over the human rights situation in IOK and India’s conduct in IOK in a hearing on “Human Rights in South Asia” held by a sub-committee of the US House of Representatives on October 22. These lawmakers had asked India to lift curbs on telecommunications and movement of people, as well as release political detainees.
The President said that the scathing criticism in the Sub-committee hearings in regard to the serious Indian human rights violations in the Indian Occupied Kashmir is a “wake up call” for the international community. “India is preparing for genocide and a pogrom in IOK. The time for the international community is to act now; otherwise, it would be too late”, he said.
President Masood said that India was planning to plant its think tanks in Washington D.C. to silence these voices, but despite these crude attempts India would not be able to impose a “gag order” in Washington, Brussels and London because the world has woken up to the reality of state-sponsored terrorism practised in Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir.
“India’s false narrative on Kashmir is losing credence and credibility. However, Obtaining knowledge about the Indian crimes against humanity in IOJK, though welcome, is not enough. The world powers and the UN Security Council must intervene to save the people of Kashmir from brutalization and colonization.
The AJK President inquired: “What is India afraid of? Ballot boxes in Jammu and Kashmir which may give a verdict against India’s forcible occupation of the territory? But the verdict is already clear, the people of IOJK have rejected India’s tyranny under illicit writ”