Detailed Statement by Sardar Masood Khan, President Azad Jammu And Kashmir, At OIC Council For Foreign Ministers, Submitted for Circulation and Record
Islamabad, November 30, 2020 (PPI-OT): Honourable Secretary General,
Honourable Foreign Ministers,
We are grateful to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and its Secretary General Dr. Yousef Al-Othaimeen for raising the issue of Jammu and Kashmir and staunchly supporting the right to self-determination of the Kashmiri people. The OIC’s voice is important because it signals to the world that all 57 member states of this organization endorse the just cause of the Kashmiris who have been subjected to unspeakable horrors and atrocities for the past 73 years. We are also thankful to the Secretary General for sending his Special Envoy Ambassador Yousef M. Al-Dobeay to Islamabad and Muzaffarabad to assess the deteriorating situation in Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir.
But since August 5 last year, the night of the suffering of the Kashmiri people has darkened. Since that day, the entire occupied territory of Jammu and Kashmir has been under constant siege enforced by 900,000 troops. The besieged state and its people are cut off from one another and the rest of the world. A blanket communication blockade has muzzled their voice. The occupied territory has been divided and turned into a federal territory.
This was the first instance of brazen colonialism and foreign occupation in the 21st century. Kashmiris are being killed, maimed, tortured, forcibly disappeared and arbitrarily detained on an industrial scale. There is a reign of tyranny and terrorism in the territory. These besieged Kashmiris are getting no relief whatsoever from the international community. They have been left to be annihilated en masse. The situation is sombre and apparently irretrievable. The biggest crime against humanity being committed right now is the organised influx of Hindus from all over India and their illegal settlement in the occupied territory.
In the past few months, two million people have been inducted in the occupied territory; in the coming one to two years this number would swell to 5 to 6 million. The result would be a complete demographic transformation from a Muslim majority State to a Hindu majority colony. This rapid population re-engineering is leading towards disenfranchisement, dispossession and displacement of Kashmiri Muslims. Their national identity is being obliterated.
That’s not all. Through amendments in land acquisition laws, outsiders are being enabled to acquire Kashmiri land to build illegal settlements there. Half a million jobs reserved for Kashmiris are being doled out to non-native Hindus from India. In short, Kashmiris’ jobs and livelihoods are being stolen and their land is being grabbed. These are crimes against humanity, war crimes and genocide. The US-based Genocide Watch has warned that Kashmiris under Indian occupation are at an advanced stage of genocide facing mass extermination.
All this is in pursuance of the extremist Hindutva doctrine which led the ruling BJP government to annex the occupied territory to its federation without the consent of its people and in stark violation of UN Security Council resolutions on Kashmir. Thousands of political leaders and activists are in jail. We believe 20,000 detainees are incarcerated without recourse to due process. The occupation forces are committing crimes with impunity and immunity from prosecution. According to Indian civil society organizations, last year some 13,000 young men, including children as young as 10, 11 and 12, were imprisoned in concentration camps located in Kashmir and northern India.
The draconian laws under which India is committing these crimes have an eerie similarity with the Nuremberg Laws. Detention centres are horror chambers like Auschwitz. The land laws, the domicile certificate rules, Unlawful Activities Prevention Act, Armed Forces Special Powers Act and Public Safety Act – are all black laws that authorize ethnic cleansing and enforce lebensraum. After abolishing the occupied State’s assembly and constitution and taking down its flag – distinctive symbols of the State’s disputed status – the occupied forces have now started a farce of local elections to legitimize its alien domination.
It will not succeed in its endeavours because of Kashmiris’ relentless struggle under most difficult circumstances. India has not confined its war crimes to the occupied territory. It attacks the people of Azad Kashmir across the Line of Control. Its aggression kills and terrorizes a population of 600,000 people living along the Line of Control. This year Indian hostile fire has killed 30 civilians, injured scores and destroyed critical infrastructure. India irresponsibly resorts to nuclear brinkmanship and threatens Azad Kashmir and Pakistan with war.
India is consciously doing all this to divert attention from its egregious human rights violations in Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir. Inside Azad Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan, India is sponsoring, engineering and committing acts of terrorism. It has unleashed ruthless terrorism, subversion and hybrid warfare against Pakistan, in violation of the UN Charter and international law. Recently the Government of Pakistan has provided irrefutable evidence of Indian terrorist activities in Azad Jammu and Kashmir and Pakistan. We condemn these acts strongly and call on OIC to press India to stop terrorism against Pakistan and Azad Kashmir.
We are grateful to all those parliaments, media houses, social media platforms and civil society organizations that have called out India and spoken up for Kashmiris. The tragedy is that governments are not speaking up, either in the multilateral fora or in capitals to mount pressure on India to stop its atrocities in Kashmir. This has emboldened India to accelerate its murderous campaign in the besieged territory. I appeal to the OIC Secretary General to engage India: To convey the collective and grave concern of all its 57 members on the horrendous human rights situation in IOJK.
Demand from India to respect the right to self-determination of the Kashmiris and pave the way for its exercise by the Kashmiri people in accordance with the UN Security Council resolutions. Engage proactively with the UN Security Council and the Human Rights Council to seriously deliberate on the situation in Jammu and Kashmir and come up with a substantive solution. Urge the UN Secretary General to appoint a Special Envoy on Jammu and Kashmir.
Urge the UN Secretary General’s Special Advisor on the Prevention of Genocide to take cognisance of genocidal practices in Kashmir by using open-source data provided by the media and human rights organizations. Urge the Human Rights Council to constitute a Commission of Inquiry to investigate serious and systemic violations of human rights instruments and treaties. Urge the Indian government not to destroy Islamic symbols in the occupied territory or to desecrate the sacred sites of Muslims. Urge Muslim nations to support a Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions movement against India and, as an interim measure, stipulate that all merchandise coming from India should have Halal certification.
I thank you.
For more information, contact:
President of Azad Jammu and Kashmir
President Secretariat, Muzaffarabad Azad Jammu and Kashmir
Kashmir House, F-5/2, Islamabad
Tel: +92-582-2920401, +92-519-214692