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As part of Pakistan’s ongoing efforts to draw the attention of the international community to the alarming situation in the Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu & Kashmir (IIOJK), Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has addressed a letter to UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Ms. Michelle Bachelet, on 24 May 2022. The letter apprises the High Commissioner, in particular, of the Indian government’s ongoing attempts to persecute and repress the Kashmiris and their leadership and to implicate them in fictitious and motivated cases.

The Foreign Minister underscored that the malicious trial and conviction of Mr. Yasin Malik on trumped-up charges was primarily aimed at silencing him as a human rights and political activist, and to deprive the Kashmiris of their true leadership. He also cautioned that in line with the well-documented pattern of Indian behaviour, there was credible risk of “custodial murder” in case of Mr. Yasin Malik. The Foreign Minister expressed deep concern at the inhuman condition of Mr. Malik’s detention in the infamous Tihar Jail since 2019.

The beleaguered Kashmiri population consistently persecuted at the hands of the occupying power was looking towards the United Nations to bring about their decisive emancipation from Indian oppression.

The Foreign Minister urged the High Commissioner and the Human Rights Council to:

– Take immediate cognizance of India’s outrageous targeting of indigenous Kashmiri leadership through motivated cases, particularly the vicious treatment meted out to one of the most prominent Kashmiri leaders, Mr. Yasin Malik, who has been leading a peaceful freedom struggle for the last many decades.

– Urge India to acquit Mr. Yasin Malik from all baseless charges and ensure his immediate release from prison so that he can be reunited with his family, recuperate his health and return to normal life.

– Urge India to release all Kashmiri political leaders and human rights defenders arrested on fabricated charges.

-Compel and counsel India to halt its gross human rights abuses against the people of IIOJK and implement the recommendations of the two OHCHR Kashmir Reports.

-Prevail on India to repeal the draconian laws including UAPA, and accept a UN-supervised investigation into the human rights situation in the IIOJK, allow access to independent monitors for assessment of the ground situation in IIOJK, and;

– Let the people of IIOJK determine their own future through a free and impartial plebiscite under the auspices of the United Nations as enshrined in the relevant UN Security Council resolutions.

24 May 2022

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