Pakistan draws world attention to plight of Kashmiri women in IOJ&K

Staff Reporter

 

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has drawn the attention of international community to the plight of Kashmiri women in Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir who have been frequent targets of sexual violence by the occupation forces.

Expressing solidarity with Kashmiri Women on international day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict, Foreign Office Spokesperson Aisha Farooqui in a statement on Friday said that Pakistan condemns India’s use of rape as an instrument of state policy to subjugate the Kashmiri people in the occupied territory.

She said the world must wake up to these war tactics in Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir in violation of International Humanitarian and Human Rights Law as well as applicable UN Security Council Resolutions.

She said, in the past three decades, more than 11,000 women have been victims of rape or gang-rape at the hands of Indian occupation forces in occupied Jammu & Kashmir. We reaffirm our complete solidarity with these Kashmiri women and their families.

She said women in Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir have frequently been targets of violence and aggression as a means to punishing their families and communities for standing up against illegal and forcible Indian occupation.  She said abduction and molestation of young women during so-called “cordon-and-search operations” has been used as a punitive tool by Indian occupation forces to punish entire communities.

The Spokesperson said that these repugnant acts of violence against women are enabled through a pervasive culture of impunity, reinforced by draconian laws such as Armed Forces Special Powers Act that shield the Indian security forces from prosecution from their crimes of sexual violence.

Aisha Farooqui said India’s resort to sexual violence in the conflict situation of IOJ&K has been documented by the two reports of the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights as well as global media and civil society organizations.

The spokesperson said that horrific mass rape of Kashmiri women in Kunan Poshpura villages of Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir on 23 February 1991 and said that it is one of many evidences of systematic use of rape by Indian occupation forces to terrorize the entire population.

She said the UN Security Council, OHCHR, the UN human rights mechanisms, the UN Secretary General’s Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict must take cognizance of these crimes and hold Indian state actors to account who abet and partake in acts of sexual violence against women in held Kashmir.