Afridi asks UN, OIC to settle Kashmir issue before it is too late

ISLAMABAD: Chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on Kashmir Shehryar Afridi has urged the world bodies, including the United Nations and Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), to act immediately to help save the suffering humanity in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK) before it is too late.

“I fear there will be no Kashmir to save in two years’ time, if Indian demographic terrorism is not stopped as the regime in Jammu and Kashmir is fast changing the demography of IIOJK and Indian genocide of Kashmiri people is touching new highs,” said Mr Afridi while speaking at a special in-camera meeting of the committee held on Sunday to brief the visiting delegation of the OIC’s Independent Permanent Human Rights Commission (IPHRC).

The 12-member delegation has been in Pakistan since last week and on Saturday it visited the Line of Control (LoC) for the firsthand account of the situation along the heavily militarised dividing line in the disputed Himalayan region of Kashmir.

According to an official handout issued by the National Assembly Secretariat, Mr Afridi regretted that the United Nations had been unable to resolve the issues of Kashmir and Palestine for a long time.

He said the humanity was bleeding in IIOJK but the world was a silent spectator. He apprised the visiting delegation that demographic changes were taking place in IIOJK and 4.1 million new domiciles had been issued to non-Kashmiris brought from mainland India which was a violation of the Indian constitution as well.

The chairman of the committee said the Indian regime was implementing genocide tools and was not providing medical facilities to the freedom-loving jailed Kashmiris.

He said the illegal occupation regime of India was violating the basic rights of freedom of speech and any Kashmiri writing anything on digital media was being put behind bars under the notorious Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.

Mr Afridi urged the UN and the world to wake up from deep slumber and spring into action to help the Kashmiri people.

He said that all political parties of the country took part in elections recently held in Azad Jammu and Kashmir. He said that recently Kashmir Premier League had been launched to help showcase the talent of the Kashmiri youth.

Senator Mushahid Hussain of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) said that despite their political differences, all parties stood together on the issues of Palestine, Kashmir, nuclear programme and China-Pakistan Economic Corridor. He said The New York Times had reported that due to Indian oppression, 500,000 people had been sent jobless and $5 billion had been lost.

He suggested that the OIC must use a third country to help raise the Kashmir issue at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on the model of Rohingya genocide.

Dr Waleed Rasool, the head of Kashmir Committee’s Advisory Board on Academia, briefed the delegates on the “demographic terrorism” being committed by the Indian occupational regime in IIOJK. He said the Indian government had waged a war against Kashmiris.

Quoting Indian official data, Dr Waleed said that India was manipulating the data to turn Muslim-majority Kashmir into a Hindu-majority state by using all unethical means at its disposal.

Speaking on the occasion, head of the visiting delegation Dr Mohamed Saeed Abdullah said that despite the Covid-19 situation, the IPHRC decided to undertake this visit due to the rising human rights situation in Jammu and Kashmir.

“We also issued a report after our first visit to Jammu and Kashmir and this is our follow-up to view the updated situation in Kashmir. It is quite different visiting the Kashmiri areas and reading stories about the suffering of the people of Jammu and Kashmir,” he added.

Published in Dawn, August 9th, 2021