of UKPNP, Sardar Shaukat Ali Kashmiri
ongoing 31st Session of the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva, the
exiled Kashmiri leader Sardar Shaukat Ali Kashmiri urged the UN Human Rights
Council to take notice of deteriorating human rights situation in the region.
Chairman of UKPNP, Sardar Shaukat Ali Kashmiri
Shaukat Ali Kashmiri, Exiled Chairman of United Kashmir People’s National Party
(UKPNP), addressed the United Nations Human Rights Council’s General Assembly
and said that so called Azad Kashmir is a land of strict curbs on political
pluralism, freedom of expression, and freedom of association; a muzzled press;
banned books; arbitrary arrest and detention and torture at the hands of the
Pakistani military and police; and discrimination against refugees from Jammu
and Kashmir state. Kashmiri nationalists are singled out for discrimination
because they do not support the idea of Kashmir's accession to Pakistan.
Recently Sixteen books on various aspects of Kashmir have been banned by the
government of so-called Azad Kashmir.
Kashmiri also raised the issue of exploitation of natural resources in
Gilgit-Baltistan and so-called Azad Kashmir has deprived the natives of the
region of their own natural wealth. Pakistan is involved in plundering of
natural resources of the region without consulting the local population.
Islamabad is constructing mega dams. The proposed China-Pakistan Economic
Corridor project will cause environmental damage to air quality, water
resources, soil erosion or contamination. Kashmiris are denied royalty because
Islamabad says royalty is only paid to provinces and Kashmir is not a province
of Pakistan. Mega projects in a disputed territory of Kashmir are a clear
violation of international laws and UNCIP resolutions on Kashmir.
province of Punjab has recently passed the Women's Protection Act despite stiff
opposition from conservative clerics, religious and feudal leaders. However, we
appreciate it as it gives legal protection to women from domestic,
psychological and sexual violence. Forced conversion of Christian and Hindu
girls, rape, gang-rape, domestic violence, honour killing (Karo Kari), Vani
(exchange of women in settling the disputes), and forced/child marriages are
some examples of women's rights violations in Pakistan. There is need to do
more and abolish all evil practices and discriminations, violence against women
and young girls in Pakistan.” Said Shaukat Kashmiri
Kashmiri urged upon UN HRC to put pressure on Pakistan to stop victimization of
nationalist leaders of Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan. All political prisoners
including Baba Jan and his colleagues should be released immediately and
unconditionally who were trialled under Anti-Terrorist Acts (ATC) and are
facing 40 years’ life imprisonment.