‘Indian Military Occupation of Kashmir in 21st century is shameful’
— Armed resistance is recognized under International Humanitarian law and under ICJ judgments, say experts
By Mohammad Umar Bhat ISLAMABAD: India is moving away from United Nations resolutions but International humanitarian law is still applicable under present circumstances of Kashmir conflict, said experts at a webinar hosted by Legal Forum for Kashmir (LFOVK) on Wednesday. An associate professor from LUMS and International law expert, Dr Sikandar Ahmed Shah, said that Kashmiri armed rebels are combatants and are fighting for the right of self-determination of Kashmir which has been under illegal occupation since 1947.
“India stands in violation of Geneva conventions, Rome statue and is continually violating bilateral agreements with Pakistan,” he said.
Dr Sami Ur Rehman, an assistant professor from International Islamic University Islamabad and an expert on armed conflict, stated that international law is very much applicable in Kashmir as it is an international armed conflict with 3 nuclear countries claiming their stake in the disputed Kashmir region.
“India also stands in violation of Common Article III of Geneva conventions which protects the persons which are not taking part in the hostilities,” he added.
Jammu Kashmir Liberation Cell Director Raja Sajad stated that due to Pakistan and Indian militaries deployed along the Line of Control (LoC) “the conflict will turn a threat to the peace of the world.” if Kashmir dispute is not solved as soon as possible.
“The national and International organization have reported gross human rights violations across Indian occupied Kashmir but India is reluctant to allow any organization work in disputed territory,” he said.
Sajad, who is working on armed conflict, emphasized that Pakistan should announce withdrawal from Shimla Agreement as India has violated all bilateral agreements. The International Climate and Environment Activist Catharine Constantinides from South Africa termed Indian military occupation a shameful in today’s era.
“In the era where there is United Nations, international laws, international court of justice but still many parts of the world including Kashmir and Palestine are still under occupation,” he explained.
“We need to take the issue of Kashmir and Palestine on vast agenda on a continuous basis so that suffering people may get some relief,” said Mandela Washington Fellow Catherine,
She expressed her sympathy with the victims of the Indian military occupation of Kashmir said, “children and women are most vulnerable during such conflict. We need to use social media to our full extent to raise our voice and voice of oppressed nations.”
LFOVK is holding a series of webinars to trigger a debate over Kashmir’s international armed conflict character.
Under “International armed conflict and Kashmir”, LFOVK draws various expert opinions from across the globe by inviting international law experts, diplomats, politicians and lawyers.