By Sardar Shaukat Ali Kashmiri
22 June 2016
United Nations Human Rights Council 32 Session
Human Rights Situations that Requires the Council’s Attention.
General Debate: Item-4 On behalf of ECOSOC-status NGO: CIRAC
Intervention by: Sardar Shaukat Ali Kashmiri
We have grave concerns about security and human rights situation in Pakistan, particularly the so-called Azad Kashmir and Giligt Baltistan.
Pakistani held Kashmir is a land of strict curbs on political pluralism, freedom of expression, and freedom of association. We find there a muzzled press, banned books, arbitrary arrest, detention and torture at the hands of the Pakistan military and police. Discrimination against refugees from Jammu and Kashmir state is rampant. Singled out are Kashmiri nationalists who do not support Kashmir's accession to Pakistan. Anyone who wants to take part in public life has to sign a pledge of loyalty to Pakistan, while anyone who publicly supports or works for an independent Kashmir is persecuted.
Islamabad is using Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA) and military courts against secular, progressive, nationalist political workers, civil society activists and human rights defenders who are struggling for their basic human rights. In Gilgit Baltistan peaceful human Rights defender Baba Jan and other activists were sentenced to 40 years life imprisoned by an Anti Terrorist Court (ATC).
We urge upon HRC to take serious note of these medieval practices and other HR violations and put pressure on Pakistan for immediate and unconditional release of all political workers including Baba Jan and his colleagues.
Pakistan is involved in plundering of natural resources of the region. Islamabad is constructing mega dams as part of a proposed China-Pakistan Economic Corridor project which runs across our region before it enters Pakistan. Mega projects in a disputed territory of Kashmir are a clear violation of international laws and UNCIP resolutions on Kashmir.
In year 2013 renowned Kashmiri nationalist leader, chairman of All Parties National Alliance (APNA), Sardar Arif Shahid was assassinated in Rawalpindi, Pakistan. We have raised this issue in the Council to put pressure on Pakistan to institute a judicial enquiry into the target killing of Sardar Arif Shahid but no action has been taken yet.
Mr. Chairman, Pakistani Administered Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan are overwhelmingly controlled by the so called Ministry of Kashmir Affairs and Kashmir Council from Islamabad which enjoy supremacy on all administrative positions and keeping hegemony on socio-political structure and economy of both regions.
Sardar Shaukat Ali Kashmiri is an exiled Kashmiri leader from Pakistan Occupied Kashmir. Now based in Berne, Switzerland, he heads United Kashmir People's National Party.
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