Human Rights in Kashmir
Kashmir is synonymous as a historic and cultural region with the former Princely State of Jammu and Kashmir from the colonial area subject to territorial dispute between India and Pakistan. Currently India controls roughly 50% of the former territory and continues to use the Jammu and Kashmir name. Pakistan controls roughly one third with two administrative regions. China controls the additional third. (China’s control is also disputed by India after it was ceded by Pakistan to China in 1963). Within Kashmir, there are multiple Human Rights issues in the areas occupied and administered by Pakistan.
The aim of the conference was to showcase Human Right abuses in Kashmir and discuss its future. In addition, how to protect the ethnic, religious and linguistic groups within Kashmir.
The Pakistani administered area of Azad Kasmir is an empirical example of where such abuse can be witnessed. Indigenous people being discriminated by the state on the basis of their ethnicity. Pakistan has consistently destroyed their culture, language, agriculture and productivity. Books written by local writers have also been confiscated by the intelligence agencies of Pakistan. The aim being to deprive the younger generation of knowledge of their history and traditions.
Mr Paul Brothwood, foreign policy adviser attended the event that took place at the 41st session of the UN’s Human Right Council (in Geneva on 8/7/19). He highlighted the reasons why it’s so important for the international community to get behind the tortured people of Kashmir. Paul Brothwood said, “global powers such as the US, China and Western Europe must get involved because of the on going problem of Kashmir being used to breed terrorists and export them globally…India and Pakistan have a responsibility to foster better Human Rights in the region”. This, he argued is why it is vital the international community challenges the illegal annexation of Kashmir by foreign powers.
During his speech he made a plea that the local people must be free to cross internal borders, free from terrorism and political kidnappings.
The roundtable discussion provoked a number of issues, which are causing untold sufferings for the people of Kashmir, including water terrorism and the use of child soldiers by terrorist groups.
By Mr Jamil Maqsood (Central Secretary Committee on Foreign Affairs of the United Kashmir People’s National Party- UKPNP)