Muzaffarabad: Azad Jammu and Kashmir President, Sardar Masood Khan has called upon United Nations and the civilized world to help end to the cruelest, inhumane and degrading treatment of Kashmiris in the Occupied Jammu and Kashmir.
“We fully agree with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’s statement that torturers must never be allowed to get away with their crimes, and systems that enable torture should be dismantled or transformed,” Masood said in a video message released on International Day in Support of Victims of Torture observed on Friday across the globe.
AJK President asserted that torture is a crime against humanity. It is prohibited by international law and all religions. Yet this crime is committed every day by the Indian forces and authorities in the occupied territory, most brutally and systematically.
He appealed to the United Nations not to generalise and blur the focus on torture where it is pervasive. In the Occupied Jammu and Kashmir, he said, torture is most rampant and most egregious.
“Torture has been committed by the BJP-RSS regime by reoccupying and colonising Jammu and Kashmir against the will of its14 million people, dividing their state into two parts, and enforcing decrees whereby the entire territory is now ruled by a foreign capital, Delhi, Khan said. He added that all this without the consent of its people. “As we mark this day today, in the IOJK young men are hunted down and killed in cold blood in fake encounters, demonstrators are blinded and sexual molestation is used as a weapon of war,” he maintained. The president went on to say that Convention against torture seeks to uphold human dignity and human security of each individual and community. Kashmiris, he said are being deprived of their homeland by importing Hindus from all over India and settling them in the occupied territory through new domicile rules. “Stripped of their permanent residence rights, Kashmiris are being robbed of their jobs, livelihoods, businesses and land. Systematically, the demography of the occupied territory is being altered permanently.
The state president said what India is doing in IOJK is a war crime according to the Fourth Geneva Convention, the ICC Statute and international humanitarian law. Referring to arbitrary arrest of political leaders and political activists, Masood said thousands of political detainees, illegally incarcerated, are being subjected to the cruelest and vicious torture leading in many instances to death and disability.
He demand that political prisoners in the Tihar jail in India – Yasin Malik, Asiya Indrabi, Shabbir Shah – should be released forthwith and Syed Ali Geelani and other Hurriyet leaders – hundreds of them holed up in cramped prisons – should be set free.
Some 13,000 boys and children, as young as 10, are caged in concentration camps where they are being tortured and brainwashed. The international community led by the United Nations should campaign for their release.
He also demanded India should be asked to repeal all draconian laws that empower occupation forces to commit crimes with impunity. The most acute torture the people of Jammu and Kashmir are suffering for the past 73 years is the denial of their right to self-determination. Let the UN take the lead to restore this right to Kashmiris, he pointed out President appealed to the most powerful nations and custodians of international law is to take moral and legal choices and speak out for Kashmiris. Don’t appease India. Call a spade a spade. Call out India for the darkest crimes it is committing against Kashmiris. Dismantle its machine of terror and torture. “Kashmiris are citizens of Planet Earth. Listen to their screams of SOS. Save their bodies; save their souls. Silence too is a crime while such massive torture is taking place right before our eyes,” Khan concluded.