‘India accountable for IoK HR abuses’

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NEW YORK: A top Pakistani diplomat has urged the world community to intervene and hold India accountable for its “grave” breaches of international humanitarian law and war crimes in occupied Kashmir, as he highlighted the decades of Kashmiri people’s sufferings now compounded by the coronavirus pandemic.
“Our efforts to fight COVID-19 and its humanitarian impact must not remain oblivious to challenges posed by the pandemic in situations of protracted conflicts, foreign occupation and alien domination,” Ambassador Munir Akram told the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), the economic arms of the United Nations.
Speaking in the 2020 Humanitarian Affairs Segment (HAS), he also briefed the 54-member Council on the measures taken by Prime Minister Imran Khan’s government to mitigate the spread of coronavirus and address its effects as well as to provide relief to the vulnerable people and initiate plans to put Pakistan on the road to economic recovery.
Dealing with the worsening humanitarian situation in Indian occupied Kashmir, the Pakistani envoy said the people, who were already reeling under a 10 months digital and physical lockdown, have been denied adequate access to medical supplies and facilities and high-speed internet in the wake of the pandemic.
Hundreds of Kashmiri political leaders and abducted youth continued to languish in crowded jails across India, making them vulnerable to the virus.
“In blatant violation of international humanitarian law, the Indian government has also denied access to all U.N. and non-UN humanitarian agencies and civil society organizations,” Ambassador Akram told the meeting.
“While the world’s attention was riveted on combating the Covid-19 virus,”, he said, “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.
“Defying the UN Secretary-General’s global call for ceasefire, India has also intensified its violations of the ceasefire along the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir and the ‘Working Boundary’, he said, pointing out more than 1,000 ceasefire violations since January 1, and targeting civilians on the Pakistan side of the LoC, killing 6 and injuring 82 civilians.–Agencies