Envoy urges UNSC to open eyes to Indian war crimes in IoK

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Foreign Desk Report

NEW YORK: Pakistan has called on the UN Security Council to intervene and hold India accountable for its grave breaches of international humanitarian law and war crimes in the occupied Jammu and Kashmir, and to take steps to settle the decades-old dispute.
“Inaction by the Security Council in cases of foreign aggression and occupation comes at a high human cost,” Ambassador Munir Akram warned the 15-member body, which held a virtual meeting on the ‘Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict’ on Wednesday.
The Pakistani envoy urged the Council to focus on the root causes of emerging and long-standing conflicts, including Kashmir and Palestine, and find inclusive political solutions.
India, he said, had “callously” exploited the coronavirus crisis to enhance its control of the occupied territory, already reeling from a nine-month-long digital and physical lockdown, to place the valley under a “double lockdown” severely impeding Kashmiris’ access to medicines, medical help and information on ways to deal with the pandemic.
“While the world’s attention was riveted on combating the COVID-19 virus, India has taken further steps, almost by stealth, to change the demography of occupied Jammu and Kashmir by promulgating new ‘domicile’ regulations that would enable settlers from all over India to colonize the occupied state in violation of Security Council resolutions and the Fourth Geneva Convention,” he told the high-level meeting in his continuing efforts to expose Indian atrocities in Kashmir.
Ambassador Akram said the Indian security forces had again resorted to indiscriminate use of “pellet guns”, arbitrary arrests, extra judicial killings and live ammunition against civilians to suppress the legitimate resistance of the Kashmiri people for self-determination.
In April alone, 33 Kashmiris were killed, 152 injured and 945 arbitrarily arrested, he said. In another inhumane practice, the Indian security forces refused to return the bodies of killed Kashmiris to their families.
Defying the UN Secretary General’s global call for ceasefire, the Pakistani envoy said India had intensified its violations of the ceasefire along the Line of Control in the disputed Kashmir region and the “Working Boundary,” committing 989 violations since January 1, and also targeting civilians on the Pakistan side of the Line of Control, killing 6 and injuring 82 civilians.