Pakistan welcomed on Saturday a letter by 16 European parliamentarians to the European Commission (EC) calling for action against the human rights violations in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK).
“Pakistan welcomes the letter on Human Rights and Humanitarian Situation in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK) addressed by members of the European Parliament to the President and Vice President of the European Commission,” the Foreign Office (FO) said in a statement on Saturday.
As many as 16 Members of European Parliament (MEPs) wrote a letter to the president and vice president of the EC in Brussels, demanding the European Union (EU) to raise its voice against human rights violations in IIOJK.
Pakistan said the letter is yet another demonstration of the continuing global censure of the ongoing human rights violations in IIOJK.
“Despite India continuously peddling false propaganda in futile attempts to push the sham narrative of so-called ‘normalcy’ in IIOJK, the global censure and condemnation of the Indian atrocities in IIOJK continue and have increased in the wake of the egregious violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms in IIOJK after India’s illegal and unilateral actions of 5 August 2019,” Pakistan’s foreign ministry said.
The FO noted that global parliaments have debated the issue of Kashmir, and the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) has discussed the issue at least three times since August 2019. Additionally, two reports by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights have recommended an Independent Commission of Inquiry to investigate the gross human rights violations by India in the occupied territory, added the FO.
Moreover, the FO statement said, the international human rights and humanitarian organizations, as well as global media, have consistently raised the issue of human rights violations in IIOJK.
“India must realise that it cannot ignore the international community’s continuing calls to end its grave and systematic human rights violations of the Kashmiri people,” FO said.
“India will have to ultimately give in to global conscience, end its unabated human rights violations in parts of Jammu and Kashmir under its illegal occupation and take steps for peaceful resolution of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute in accordance with the relevant UNSC resolutions and wishes of the Kashmiri people.”
In the letter, European lawmakers said the long-standing dispute also poses a major threat to peace, stability, and security in the region, being a flashpoint between two nuclear-armed countries and that “we are worried that any miscalculation can lead to unwarranted consequences”.
“We…. members of the European Parliament, are writing you to bring your attention to the alarming human rights and humanitarian situation in Jammu and Kashmir. The miseries of the people of Jammu and Kashmir have been amply documented in the International Human Rights Watch World Report 2021, as well as, the reports of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in 2018 and 2019,” the letter reads.
“This Indian-administered region had already suffered a debilitating lockdown since the revocation of its special status in 2019, and the restraints on the rights to movement, access to information, healthcare, education, as well as, free speech have been intensified by the COVID-19 pandemic.”
The letter contended that the EU should use all its leverage and tools to cooperate with India and Pakistan to honour the pledge made to the Kashmiris by the international community and create an environment conducive to the implementation of the UN resolutions.
“We hope in your strong support for this cause, and we avail this opportunity to convey our assurances of highest consideration,” the letter concluded.