By News Desk
UNITED NATIONS, Geneva—Members of the Kashmir Delegation to UN Human Rights Council floated the idea of a special international envoy to monitor the situation in Kashmir. The suggestion came in a speech delivered by senior Hurriyat leader Ishtiyaq Hameed. The proposal caused unease in the Indian delegation to UNHRC but Indian diplomats chose not to object publicly in order to quash any possibility the Council might discuss the proposal.
This development came as pro-Kashmir activists kept up pressure on India. In speech after speech, India’s human rights record came under tough scrutiny and scathing criticism.
The head of the Kashmir Delegation and senior APHC leader Altaf Hussain Wani briefed world diplomats in his speech on India’s policy of paying cash rewards to anyone who kills a “militant.”
“Indian government has incentivized the extra-judicial execution by keeping reward money for killing people,” Wani said, referring to a recent statement by the Inspector General of occupation police, Javaid Mujtaba Geelani, who announced the increase of monetary rewards from the maximum of US $15000 USD to $19,000.
“This policy of giving the monetary reward for killing the innocent civilian and branding them militants has led to killings and disappearances of several civilians who are falsely dubbed as militants and killed to claim the reward,” Wani said.
Mrs. Shamim Shawl, senior women wing leader of Hurriyat, in her speech before the Council, reminded the world about the famous 2012 Delhi bus gang-rape and murder incident. She drew parallel to the gang-rape at Kunan Poshpora in 1991.
She complained to the Council that India has prevented the parents of a young Kashmir female student, Shaista Hameed, to register a police report. She was killed inside her home because of a stray bullet, most likely fired by Indian occupation soldiers dispersing a peaceful protest nearby.
This is deeply concerned about the state of women, children and also college-going male and female students in Kashmir. Once a picturesque valley, Kashmir under military occupation today is a state overloaded by orphans and ‘half orphans’, where thousands of children are growing up without a parent, mostly a father, due to occupation army’s policy of enforced disappearances of male Kashmiris.
Human rights activist Zartasha Niazi rebuked India for its poor record treating the children in Kashmir. In her speech before UNHRC, she was blunt. “The occupation army in Kashmir ignores child suffering, treats children as combatants, directly targets children and teenagers during peaceful assemblies, and arbitrarily arrests children to use them as bargaining chips against parents who support the freedom movement,” Niazi said, adding, “Today, occupied Kashmir is one of the worst places in the world for children in terms of health, education, and quality of life.”
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.