A UN Envoy For Kashmir? A Speech That Shocked India
- The most critical statement on India at the UN in recent times
- Indian defense minister accused of launching youth assassination campaign in Kashmir
- World Muslim Congress delivers a charge sheet against India at the UN
- Sardar Amjad Yousaf, from AJK, reads out World Muslim Congress’s charge sheet against India
- ‘Mr. President, India has robbed Kashmiris of all human rights’
- An emotional appeal backed by evidence for international intervention in Kashmir
- Indian snipers kill young Kashmiris, throw their bodies in paddy fields
- 3-year-old Burhan Bashir is like Aylan Kurdi. Burhan was killed by Indian bullets
By News Desk
GENEVA/ISLAMABAD—The UN Human Rights Council on Monday saw one of the toughest, most critical statements made against India in recent times. The statement was brief and packed with strong arguments and punch lines, and concluded with one demand from the member states: to appoint a permanent UN envoy for Kashmir.
The statement was made by the representative of World Muslim Congress (WMC) at the UN, Sardar Amjad Yousaf Khan, who is a Kashmiri activist and the executive director of Kashmir Institute for International Relations (KIIR).
India normally resists such statements and tries to convince other states to expunge such statements from UN record.
However, this time the Kashmiri representative came well prepared. Instead of delivering a long speech, Sardar Amjad read out a brief charge sheet against India in front of the 30th session of UNHRC, the world’s top rights protection body.
“Mr. President,” Sardar Amjad began, before handing it straight to India.
He added, “The human rights situation of Indian-occupied Kashmir requires special attention of this Council. The Indian state has robbed all human rights of the people in that territory, including the right to life. Over 700,000 strong army equipped with sweeping powers, which provide them complete impunity against any prosecution, is engaged in gross and systematic human rights violation. Over one hundred thousand people have been killed, 10,000 disappeared and thousands killed in custody. Killing spree continues unabated and without any accountability.”
He accused India of launching illegal covert assassinations against young Kashmiri activists, killing not only the men but also their children. In one case, three-year-old Burhan Bashir was shot dead outside his house along with his father. The assassins are suspected to be Indian army snipers tasked with killing peaceful Kashmiri pro-freedom activists.
Sardar Amjad told UNHRC that India’s defense minister Manohar Parrikar was responsible for the wave of youth assassinations in Kashmir.
“On May 22, 2015, the Indian defense minister in a statement said the Indian government will use terrorists to kill terrorists in Kashmir,” Sardar Amjad reminded world diplomats and human rights defenders listening to his statement. “Since then Kashmir valley is witnessing a new wave of mysterious killings. Bullet ridden bodies of youth are thrown in orchards and paddy fields. During last four months’ 25 youth were killed by the personnel’s of state task force.”
“On Sept. 17, 2015, Bashir Ahmed and his three year old son Burhan Bashir where killed in Sopore area of Kashmir Valley. The world cried for toddler Aylan Kurdi, and rightly so, but the world chooses to look the other way when toddler Burhan Bashir is killed by Indian bullets. Why so, this is questioning every Kashmiri poses to this august forum,” said Sardar Amjad.
He mentioned the illegal detentions of Kashmir women leader Asiya Andrabi and freedom activist Masarrat Alam under draconian laws, and ended the statement on a powerful note.
“The World Muslim Congress urges this council to appoint a special representative on Kashmir to take note of human rights violations. I thank you, Mr. President.”
The Kashmir Delegation consists of Altaf Hussain Wani-Delegation leader and senior Kashmir freedom leader, senior APHC leader-Syed Faiz Naqshbandi, Sardar Amjad Yousaf Khan-Executive Director Kashmir Institute of International Relations (KIIR), Ahmed Quraishi-Executive Director Youth Forum For Kashmir (YFK); an international Kashmir Lobbying Group, Prof. Shagufta Ashraf-human rights defender working with women & children and Zartasha Niazi-human rights defender.