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(2017-03-29) A high-ranking delegation of the Independent Permanent Human Rights Commission (IPHRC) of OIC, led by the Chairperson Mr. Med. S. Kaggwa visited Azad Jammu & Kashmir (AJK). The IPHRC delegation is visiting Pakistan and AJK to gain a better understanding of the Jammu & Kashmir dispute and to interact with the refugees from the Indian occupied Jammu & Kashmir who escaped Indian atrocities. India, so far has not responded to the IPHRC’s request for access to IoK to assess the human rights situation there.

During the visit to AJK, the IPHRC delegation called on the President and the Prime Minister of AJK who briefed them on the intensified, ongoing human rights violations of innocent Kashmiris by Indian occupation forces in IoK. The situation has aggravated since July, 2016. Use of live ammunition and pellet guns by Indian forces against defenseless civilians has resulted in martyrdom of more than 150 innocent civilians, 20,000 injured and scores of people, including young girls and children being blinded. While IPHRC delegation was in AJK, Indian occupation forces in IoK martyred 4 more innocent and defenceless Kashmiris, including three teenagers, which they noted. The Government of Pakistan strongly condemned the martyrdom of 4 Kashmiris in IoK and injuries inflicted on scores.

The delegation also visited refugee camps and interacted with Kashmiri refugees who had migrated from IoK to escape Indian atrocities. The people of AJK are strongly distressed at the plight of their relatives in IoK. Indian barbarities are a cause of deep anguish and pain for the Kashmiris. Divided families are unable to share moments of joy and sorrow and are forced to witness marriages and funerals from afar.

They also interacted with Hurriyat leadership, who briefed them about the situation in IoK. The delegation was informed that Indian occupation forces prevent people from offering Friday prayers and children from attending schools. Hurriyat leadership either remains imprisoned or under house arrest. IoK is one of the most heavily militarized zones on the planet with 1 soldier to every 17 civilians. The delegation was also briefed about Indian attempts to divert the attention of the international community from the blatant human rights violations in IoK through repeated, unprovoked ceasefire violations.

The IPHRC has a Standing Mechanism to monitor the gross human rights violations in Indian occupied Jammu & Kashmir. India continues to deny international bodies access to IoK. The visit is a manifestation of Pakistan’s commitment to unflinching political, moral and diplomatic support to the just cause of the oppressed people of IoK towards realization of the right to self determination promised to them under the UN Security Council resolutions.

29 March 2017

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