Stop arms supply to India, KIIR chief writes to SIG SAUER CEO

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Altaf Hamid Rao.

Providing military equipment to India’s HR abusing regime means more bloodshed, violence in IOK,

Islamabad/ MIRPUR  ( AJK),  (Parliament Times) : Veteran rights activist and Chairman Kashmir Institute of International Relations (KIIR) Altaf Hussain Wani has asked the American origin weapon manufacturing company SIG SAUER to stop arms supply to India whose forces have been involved in the genocide of Kashmiris in the UN-recognized disputed territory of Jammu and Kashmir.

In a letter to addressed to Mr. Ron Cohen, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) SIG SAUER, the KIIR chief while expressing his deep concern over the arms deal between the government of India and Sig Sauer said that providing military equipment to India’s repressive and human rights-abusing regime simply means allowing more bloodshed and violence in the Kashmir region.

The government of India was set to acquire SIG SAUER assault rifles and pistols for police and armed forces to counter the ongoing anti-India resistance movement in Kashmir.

Pertinently, the BJP government had recently approved the acquisition of the new batch of around 72,500 Sig Sauer assault rifles under fast-track procedures. As per reports the new lot of 500 SIG SAUER-716 rifles and 100 SIG SAUER MPX 9mm pistols will be provided to the J&K police and other law enforcement agencies deployed in the Indian occupied territory of Jammu and Kashmir.

Referring to the disputed nature of the Kashmir issue, Mr. Wani said, “Jammu and Kashmir is an UN-recognized disputed territory that awaits a settlement under the UNSC resolutions, which guarantee the right of self-determination to the people of Kashmir”.

India, he said, has since long been reluctant to implement these resolutions, and instead of fulfilling its international obligations, the Indian rulers have used all means of oppression to stamp down any sign of political dissent in the region.

Given the Indian army’s worst human rights track record, the KIIR chairman said, “There is fear that the fresh arms supply to India would further deepen the persisting humanitarian crisis in Kashmir as Indian forces deployed in the region would use this weapon to kill Kashmiris who are demanding nothing more than the legitimate rights guaranteed to them by the international community”. Citing to the lethality of the weapons he said that the 3.82kg Sig Sauer-716 assault rifle has a more powerful 7.62x51mm cartridge as compared to the 5.56x45mm intermediate cartridge of the INSAS (Indian Small Arms System) rifles and has the capacity to fire 650-850 rounds per minute in 500 meters range. Similarly, he mentioned that the 2.94 kg SIG MPX 9mm pistol fires at a cyclic rate of 850 rounds per minute.

He said that in Kashmir, the Indian military has frequently used the so-called non-lethal lethal weapons to control political unrest in Kashmir that have led to uncounted deaths and serious human rights abuses.

“In any situation where it is impossible to avert the risks that arms will be used to commit human rights abuses, companies should stop supplying weapons altogether, especially to the irresponsible states like India whose forces have been involved in the genocide of Kashmiris”, he maintained.

It may be recalled here that last time France, Germany, and many other countries had refused to provide arms to Gujarat police in India after the 2000 riots that led to the ruthless massacre of thousands of Indian Muslims.