Wed Dec 13 2017, 8:36:54 +03

India's human rights violations in occupied Kashmir constitute 'war crimes': Pakistan Prime Minister

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(New York-AlummahWorld- Muharram 02, 1439H) Addressing the United Nations General Assembly, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, the Prime Minister of Pakistan accused India of “massive and indiscriminate force” in occupied Kashmir. Abbasi urged an international investigation and warned of escalation on their military frontier, the Line of Control.

“Pakistan has acted with restraint. But if India does venture across the LoC, or acts upon its doctrine of limited war against Pakistan, it will evoke a strong and matching response,” he said.

Human rights violations by India in India-held Kashmir clearly constitute war crimes and violate the Geneva Conventions, Abbasi said, adding that India refuses to implement the UN Security Council resolution on Kashmir that mandates a UN-supervised plebiscite for the people of Jammu and Kashmir "to freely decide their destiny".

"India's deployment of 700,000 troops in IHK to suppress Kashmiri movement is the most intense foreign military occupation in recent history," he reminded at UN general assembly.

Abbasi said Pakistan urges the international community to call on India to halt pellet gun attacks on unarmed Kashmirs, stop "use of rape as instrument of state policy", end media blackouts, rescind its "draconian emergency laws", and free all Kashmiri political leaders.

"We ask that the United Nations Secretary-General and the High Commissioner for Human Rights send an inquiry Commission to occupied Kashmir."

He also underscored that any strategy to combat global terrorism must focus on addressing the issue of State sponsored terrorism, as well as resolve the root causes behind such violence.

“[Root causes] are not only poverty and ignorance, terrorism is even more an extreme response to real or perceived political and other grievances, including foreign intervention, oppression and injustice,” the Pakistani leader told world leaders. 

“Unless such root causes are addressed, it will be difficult to counter the twisted narrative of terrorist groups,” he added. 

In his address, Prime Minister Abbasi also drew attention to climate change as the new and existential threat to humankind’s future with its consequences felt around the world – from the United States to Nepal – and called on global leaders to collectively rally behind the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. 

He also noted the importance of the Sustainable Development Goals for all of humanity and said that initiatives such as China’s ‘Belt and Road’ offered a clear path to prosperity as well as a model of South-South cooperation “worthy of emulation.”

Taliban 'safe havens' in Afghanistan

Prime Minister Abbasi reiterated in his speech that Taliban 'safe havens' are not located in Pakistan "but in the large tracts of territory controlled by the Taliban in Afghanistan". He said cross-border attacks did occur, but those were mostly conducted by anti-Pakistan terrorists from the "safe havens" across the border.

“To end all cross-border attacks we ask the Afghan government and the Coalition to support and complement Pakistan's ongoing efforts to strengthen border controls and monitor all movement across it.” 

The prime minister said the people of two countries had suffered the most from four decades of foreign intervention and civil wars in Afghanistan, blighting Pakistan with the flow of extremists and terrorists, guns and drugs and millions of refugees.

“They have set back our economic development by decades. Even today, Pakistan is host to over 3 million Afghan refugees,” he said.

Prime Minister Abbasi said, “No one desires peace in Afghanistan more than Pakistan”. However, after 16 years of war in Afghanistan, it was clear that peace would not be restored by the continuing resort to military force.

“Neither Kabul and the Coalition, nor the Afghan Taliban, can impose a military solution on each other.” 

He said Pakistan believed that the urgent goals in Afghanistan should include concerted action to eliminate the presence in Afghanistan of Daesh, Al Qaeda and their affiliates, including the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan and Jamaat-ul-Ahrar, which was recently declared a terrorist organisation by the Security Council. 

He suggested promotion of negotiations between Kabul and the Afghan Taliban in the Quadrilateral Coordination Group (QCG) or any trilateral format to evolve a peaceful settlement in Afghanistan.