Shaukat Ali Kashmiri led the United Kashmir People’s National Party (UKPNP) members in a demonstration at the UN human rights office in Geneva on Friday to draw attention to the atrocities being committed against the people of Pakistan Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (PoJK).
After a day of protesting, Jamil Maqsood, the Central Secretary of the UKPNP’s Foreign Affairs Committee, Nasir Aziz Khan, and the Chairman of the United Kashmir People’s National Party (UKPNP), Sardar Shaukat Ali Kashmiri, sent a memo to the UN High Commissioner pleading with her to take action against the Pakistani government.
The UKPNP claimed that Pakistan was using Kashmir as a base for terrorist attacks and training camps to silence the secular, democratic, and progressive voices in the entire region. It also expressed concerns about Pakistan’s use of terrorism as a foreign policy tool and its policy of using religion as a weapon.
It urged Pakistan to alter its policies and take decisive steps to combat terrorist organisations and groups.
In addition, it called for Pakistan to destroy terrorist infrastructure in the Gilgit Baltistan region of POJK and expressed worry over the situation with respect to security and human rights in the once-princely state of Jammu and Kashmir.
The UKPNP also raised worries over the rise of extremism, violence, and intolerance in many regions of the region and urged the relevant authorities to guarantee the security of all citizens and catch the offenders.
“The entire State of Jammu and Kashmir is one political entity, and the conflict inside is a political one. Pakistan’s attempts to give it a religious undertone will have a negative impact on the region’s social, cultural, and political life. The statement read: “Pakistan’s efforts to foster religious intolerance and hatred will further polarise the people of Jammu and Kashmir and fuel further extremism, violence, and terrorism.
It requested that all people’ safety be guaranteed and that their civil, political, social, and religious rights be respected by the relevant controlling authorities.
The UKPNP also charged Pakistan with breaking the law by relocating its residents to PoJK in an effort to alter the demographics of these regions.
Through the granting of residence cards to Pakistani citizens, Pakistan is also steadily transforming the local demographics. According to UKPNP’s memorandum, this phenomenon is making people more anxious and angry about all of Pakistan’s similar practices.
The situation of media and journalists in Pakistan as well as strict restrictions on the right to free speech were other issues brought by UKPNK.
It noted that, this control is highly selective. Militant organisations have had free rein to propagate their views and disseminate literature.
The Pakistani government’s critics, however, have consistently suffered repression.
The memorandum continued, “The media and journalists in Pakistan, Pakistan-occupied Jammu and Kashmir, and Pakistan-occupied Gilgit-Baltistan, never experienced a situation so awful that individuals fear for their lives and the lives of their loved ones.
UKPNP made a request to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to set up a fact-finding expedition to Gilgit Baltistan in order to document Pakistan’s harsh oppression of its citizens.
Eminent members of civil society, political activists, journalists, and citizens from around the world came together to participate in the protest.
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