KIIR seminar terms India’s 5th August move as a violation of international law

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Altaf Hussain Wani,

Seeks end to state-sponsored terrorism in IoK, peaceful resolution of K-dispute

ISLAMABAD, (Parliament Times) :  Speakers at a seminar hosted by Kashmir Institute of International Relations (KIIR) while condemning in strong terms the abrogation of article 370 and 35- A by the Modi led Indian fascist regime to have termed the illegal annexation and dissolution of the occupied Jammu and Kashmir into two union territories as a flagrant violation of international law.

The seminar titled “Changing Demographics of Indian Occupied Kashmir and Understanding the New Domicile Law” was attended and addressed by former ambassadors, intellectuals, academicians, legal experts, as well as the representatives of all Parties Hurriyat Conference including Ambassador (r) Azaz Ahmed Chudhary, Ambassador (r) Ishtiaq Indrabi, justice (r) Shah Khawar, noted lawyer and expert on international law, Ahmer Bilal Sofi, Muhammad Ali, Ahmed Qureshi, Muhammad Farooq Rehmani, Syed Yousuf Naseem and the KIIR Chairman Altaf Hussain Wani.

Deliberating on the international and legal dimensions of the Kashmir dispute the speakers said that the 5th August move and subsequent actions taken by New Delhi viz-a-viz the occupied Jammu and Kashmir constitute a serious violation of the UN resolutions # 157, which strongly bars the Indian state from bringing any change in the status of the disputed territory, unilaterally. Besides violating the international law the speakers pointed out that these actions fraught with serious political implications were reflective of the India’s imperialistic and hegemonic designs, which they said were extremely detrimental for peace and stability in South Asia.

The induction of new domicile law for the citizens of Jammu and Kashmir they said was introduced with a mala fide intention to pave a way for settling outsiders in the occupied territory.

To change the demographic complexion of the occupied Jammu and Kashmir, the speakers said that the Modi government’s sole agenda was to erase Kashmir’s distinctive identity and bring a material change in the region by removing all the constitutional hurdles especially the article 35-A, which legally acted as strong deterrent to protect the state’s demographic character. Referring to Indian government’s settler colonialism agenda they said that the nefarious plan has been set in motion in Kashmir where occupation authorities have issued 0.4 million permanent resident certificates (PRCs) to non-state subjects since the new domicile law was enforced in the region. Apart from this the speakers added that New Delhi has planned a dangerous plan to establish Sanik colonies and separate townships for Kashmir Pundits in the valley. The India’s new domicile law for Kashmir they said was replica of Israel’s settler colonialism polices. “The redefinition of Jammu and Kashmir Domicile Law is a disastrous recipe to deprive Kashmiris of their land, resources, jobs, identity, culture, and above all the promised right of self-determination”, they maintained. Regarding the amendments in the law relating to control of building operations in the Indian occupied state (J&K) they said would expedite the process of demographic changes in the occupied territory besides enabling the BJP to materialize its long-cherished goal of turning the Kashmiri Muslims into the minority in their own homeland.

The speakers deplored the Indian attempts to delegitimize the Kashmiris’ the legitimate struggle for right to self-determination, suppress the the sentiment of Azadi, discredit and debase the pro-freedom leadership, and to dilute Kashmir’s special identity. Paying eulogizing tributes to the sacrifices rendered by the Kashmiri people they said that the people of occupied Jammu and Kashmir have demonstrated unprecedented courage, resilience, courage, and determination in the face of Indian brutality and state-repression.

The speakers also paid rich tributes to Kashmiri martyrs who have laid down their precious lives in pursuit of the noble cause of freedom from Indian subjugation, lauded the pro-freedom leaders for their unwavering commitment, indomitable role and peerless contribution towards the ongoing liberation struggle against Indian occupation.

The participants of the seminar expressed deep concern over the continued bloodshed, systematic killings of Kashmiri youth by Indian forces in occupied Kashmir and the international community’s policy of indifference and apathy towards the miseries of Kashmiri people. The participants of the seminar also voiced their concerns over the prolonged detention of Hurriyat leaders, intellectuals, and lawyers, members of the civil society, businessmen and journalists who were arrested and detained under draconian laws before and after 5th August 2019.

The declaration released at the end of the seminar denounced in strong terms the stepped up Indian state terrorism, genocide of Kashmiri youth and use of excessive force against civilians by Indian occupation forces. The declaration also condemned the recent spate of state-sponsored-violence that resulted in widespread destruction, loss of economy and death of hundreds of Kashmiris particularly the youth during these turbulent times, the arrest of minors under the notorious Public Safety Act (PSA).

The declaration deplored the Indian naked aggression, unprovoked shelling and targeting of civilian population on the line of control (LoC).

The seminar further acknowledged the fact that the right of self-determination was an inalienable and non-negotiable right of the people of Jammu and Kashmir. “A just settlement of the Kashmir dispute in accordance with relevant Security Council resolutions is imperative for a lasting peace and stability in the South Asian region’, the declaration said adding that India’s policy of intransigence is the biggest hurdle in peaceful settlement of the lingering Kashmir dispute.

The seminar realized the fact that Kashmir dispute is fundamentally a political and legal issue that needs to be addressed in its true legal and historical perspective. “For any positive change to take place in Kashmir, India needs to reverse its current course particularly withdraw the actions it had taken since 5th august 2109”, the speakers said adding that that there was no military solution to the Kashmir issue and that India must acknowledge the ground reality and sit across the table with Pakistan and genuine representatives of the Kashmiri people to work out modalities for a peaceful settlement of the festering dispute.

They said that Indian government should allow an unhindered access to international human rights organizations to investigate ongoing human rights situations in the region.

The seminar appreciated the first-ever report issued by the Office of United Nations Human Rights Commission, the OIC and the All Parties Parliamentary Kashmir Group of the UK parliament report on the situation in occupied Jammu & Kashmir and terms these reports as eye-opener for International Community and an indictment of New Delhi’s destructive & dodgy role in Kashmir.

Hailing Pakistan’s continued political, moral and diplomatic support to Kashmir cause and its commitment to peaceful settlement of Kashmir dispute the speakers urged the prime minister Imran Khan to convene an All Parties Conference (APC) to devise a comprehensive National Action Plan (NAP) to significantly highlight the Indian aggression at international level and to galvanize international support to alleviating the sufferings of Kashmiri people. They also urged the incumbent democratic dispensation of Pakistan to launch a vigorous diplomatic campaign at the international level to stop India’s naked aggression in the occupied Kashmir.

They also demanded s the international community to hold the Indian government accountable for the war-crimes being committed by its occupation forces in occupied Kashmir.

The Seminar further called on the international community particularly the UN to pressurize India to put an immediate halt to the continued bloodshed, systematic violence, and flagrant human rights violations in occupied Kashmir; stop the blatant use of lethal weapons and pellet-firing shotguns, which have been responsible for blinding, killing and traumatizing people in occupied Kashmir; repeal all black laws granting sweeping immunity to occupation forces; revoke restrictions on media, internet, and social network; restore fundamental freedoms in occupied Kashmir i.e. freedom of expression, freedom of religion, freedom of thought, freedom of belief, freedom of peaceful assembly and freedom of association; Ensure safety and early release of Kashmiri prisoners languishing in jails, detention, and interrogation centers in and outside occupied Jammu and Kashmir; allow a fact-finding mission to visit Kashmir to investigate the grave situation in the disputed territory inline with recommendations of the UNHRC report.