By News Desk
UNITED NATIONS, Geneva—A major event at the United Nations on the exploitation of children in conflicts in the Middle East also focused on Kashmir when a Kashmir activist put the spotlight on India’s role in the occupied territories.
The Arab Commission on Human Rights organized an event on the sidelines of the 31st session of UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva. Major Middle East media outlets covered the event as Mr. Abdelwahab Hani, a UN expert and a member of the UN Committee Against Torture spoke at the event, alongside Ms. Tasha Rashid, a social researcher and Mr. Micheline Macau who leads Ocaproce International.
The presentation by Ms. Zartasha Niazi, who represented Kashmir Institute of International Relations (KIIR), based in Islamabad, Pakistan, drew attention of rights defenders and the media, who interviewed her after the event.
India, she said, has created thousands of orphans in Kashmir over the past two decades. She described the role of India’s occupation army and paramilitaries in Kashmir as ‘shameful’, adding that boys as young as ten to thirteen years old are often arrested, incarcerated and subjected to torture and violence under Indian custody.
She also referred to the 2016 report of Amnesty International on India, which paints a dark picture for the state of freedoms of expression, speech and religion in the world’s supposed largest democracy.
The eight-member Kashmir Delegation for UNHRC’s 31st session consists of Altaf Hussain Wani-Delegation leader and senior Kashmir freedom leader, senior APHC leader-Syed Faiz Naqshbandi and Ishtiyaq Hameed, senior Kashmir freedom leader Mir Tahir Masood, senior woman Kashmiri leader Mrs. Shamim Shawl, 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.
Youth Forum For Kashmir (YFK) is Pakistan’s first pro-Kashmir, registered and nonpartisan International lobbying group led by young Kashmiris and Pakistanis working to ensure justice to Kashmiris living under Indian-military occupation.