Shehryar Afridi calls on US President, leaders to help Kashmiris under curfew

Afridi urges the Biden administration to put pressure on Hindutva regime of India to lift communication curfew, release political prisoners.

ISLAMABAD: Chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on Kashmir Shehryar Khan Afridi on Friday called upon the world community, US President Joe Biden and the United Nations Secretary-General to put pressure on the Hindutva regime of India to immediately release political prisoners detained post abrogation of Article 370 and 35-A August 5, 2019, in violation of international human rights laws and charters of the United Nations.

Speaking to media about the Kashmir Solidarity Day before flying for Kotli with Prime Minister Imran Khan, Shehryar Afridi said that Syed Ali Geelani, Masarat Alam Bhat, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, Syed Shabbir Shah, Yasin Malik, Ashraf Sehrai, Asiya Andrabi, Naheeda Nasreen, Fehmida Sofi and others, all the political prisoners fighting for freedom from India must be released forthwith.

The Chairman also called for the immediate lifting of internet and communications blockade enforced in South Kashmir on the eve of Kashmir Solidarity Day.“This communication blackout by Hindutva regime aims at withholding information and to keep the Kashmiri people disconnected from the rest of the world. India’s occupational regime wats to keep Kashmiris caged in the world’s biggest prison.”

In his tweet, he also said: “#Kashmir remains a question mark over repute of the United Nations. @UN must act to pressure Hindutva regime of India to stop genocide of Kashmiris and give right of self determination to the Kashmiri people. Else, people would lose faith in UN.”

The minister urged the Biden administration to immediately take cognizance of the human rights abuses and use of RDX by occupational forces in destroying houses and properties of the Kashmiris under the Hindutva’s plan of genocide of Kashmiri people. He urged the US administration to ensure immediate lifting of internet curfew and communications blackout, the release of political leaders and bringing an end to India’s illegal and unilateral actions in the IIOJK. Urging for a more proactive Parliamentarians’ role in highlighting Kashmir cause to make India accountable for its crimes against humanity in IIOJK, Shehryar Afridi said the implementation of UNSC Resolutions on Kashmir is a collective responsibility of all the Member States of the United Nations.

Afridi further added that there is a growing momentum among international Parliamentarians worldwide to work together to galvanize world conscience to halt India’s aggression and make it accountable for its atrocities against Kashmiris in IIOJK. The political leaders and legislators in several countries, including the US, Canada and Europe, including the Chairperson of the European Parliament have also expressed their concerns on IIOJK. “Pakistan is committed for peaceful resolution of Jammu and Kashmir dispute under Prime Minister of Pakistan’s vision shared at the UNGA Sessions through a full spectrum of Parliamentary and diplomatic outreach, engagement with media, think-tanks, academia, intelligentsia and civil society,” he said.

While advocating for the right of self-determination to People of IIOJK, the minister stated that Indian Occupation Forces cannot strip off the right of Kashmiri people to determine its destiny as enshrined in UNSC resolutions under the auspices of UN. Kashmiris’ struggle for self-determination has gained a new impetus recently under Modi’s regime.

“Pakistan wants peace in the region & is ready to move forward if the wishes & aspirations of #Kashmiri people are recognized according to #UNSC Resolutions. Our yearn for peace however shouldn’t be taken as weakness. Any misadventure by enemy would be responded with full force.”

“India has lost currency on its narrative of foreign involvement in Kashmir. BJP regime’s actions are propelled by racist ideologies of fascist RSS,” added that the Indian occupation forces are martyring innocent Kashmiris in staged encounters under the garb of a so-called cordon and search operations, “India’s extra-judicial killing of hundreds of innocent Kashmiris including women and children is in complete violation of the fundamental precepts of international humanitarian law,” he said.

He mentioned that since August 5th, India has been implementing a well-planned strategy of military occupation, land confiscation, the influx of non-Kashmiris and creation of alien settlements in the disputed territory. He said that IIOJK is in grave danger of being completely colonized by outside settlers with the indigenous Kashmiris losing their political and cultural identity, their rightful demographic majority and ownership of their properties in their homeland. “The demographic apartheid is aimed at affecting the outcome of a plebiscite envisaged in the UN Security Council resolutions,” said Afridi.

Indian action is a clear violation of the UN Security Council resolutions, bilateral agreements between Pakistan and India and international law and in particular constitutes a violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention which states that “the Occupying Power shall not deport or transfer parts of its civilian population into the territory it occupies,” he concluded.

Raja Furqan Ahmed

Raja Furqan Ahmed is the News Editor of The Pakistan Daily.

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