Pakistan expresses solidarity with Kashmiri Women on International Day

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ISLAMABAD:      Today, on the International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence
in Conflict, we draw the world’s attention to the plight of Kashmiri women in
Indian Occupied Jammu & Kashmir (IOJ&K),who have been frequent targets
of sexual violence by Indian occupation forces.

In the past three decades, more than 11,000 women have been victims of
rape or gang-rape at the hands of Indian occupation forces in occupied Jammu
& Kashmir. We reaffirm our complete solidarity with these Kashmiri women
and their families.
Women in IOJ&K have frequently been targets of violence and
aggression as a means to punishing their families and communities for standing
up against illegal and forcible Indian occupation. Abduction and molestation of
young women during so-called “cordon-and-search operations”has been used
as a punitive tool by Indian occupation forces to punish entire communities.

These repugnant acts of violence against women are enabled through a
pervasive culture of impunity, reinforced by draconian laws such as Armed
Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) that shield the Indian security forces from
prosecution from their crimes of sexual violence.

India’s resort to sexual violence in the conflict situation of IOJ&K has
been documented by the two reports of the UN Office of the High
Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) as well as global media and civil
society organizations.

The horrific mass rape of Kashmiri women in Kunan Poshpura villages
of IOJ&K on 23 February 1991 is one of many evidences of systematic use of
rape by Indian occupation forces to terrorize the entire population.

Lack of accountability of perpetrators and absence of justice for victims
of rape of this and other incidents in the occupied region continue to define
India’s deliberate disregard of rule of law and human rights.

Pakistan condemns India’s use of rape as an instrument of state policy
to subjugate the Kashmiri people in the occupied territory. The world must
wake up to these war tactics in IOJ&K, in violation of International
Humanitarian and Human Rights Law as well as applicable UN Security
Council Resolutions.

The UN Security Council, OHCHR, the UN human rights mechanisms,
the UN Secretary General’s Special Representative on Sexual Violence in
Conflict must take cognizance of these crimes and hold Indian state actors to
account who abet and partake in acts of sexual violence against women in
IOJ&K.