United Nations Human Rights Council 33rd Session
19 September 2016 at Geneva
Item 4: Human Rights Situations that Require the Council’s Attention
Intervention by:Jamil MAQSOOD NGO AIPD-GL
Item 4 General Debate
The area of Pakistan Administered Kashmir (referred to as ‘Azad Kashmir’ by Pakistan) and Gilgit Baltistan all parts of the erstwhile principality of Jammu and Kashmir has been illegally held by Pakistan since 1947. For the last 70 years, the Government of Pakistan has not only neglected this area’s development, it has systematically indulged in politically repressing the people. Though Pakistan Administered Kashmir is supposed to be a self-governing state, it really has remained a colony of Pakistan, with Pakistan’s central government taking all decisions.
Over the years, apart from a total lack of development and basic political rights, the people of Pakistan Administered Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan have suffered from human rights abuses, largely carried out by the Pakistani army and other security agencies. The voices of the Kashmiri people to free themselves from Pakistani rule have resulted in the state taking repressive action. This has resulted in regular instances of human rights abuses including forced disappearances, torture to political repression and electoral rigging and suppression of freedom of speech. According to the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, the country’s intelligence agency, the ISI carries out extensive surveillance operations on the press and pro-independence groups, they have carried out arbitrary arrests in which people have been tortured and several have died.
Further, the Pakistan army has used the area of Pakistan Administered Kashmir for the training purposes in areas bordering Indian Kashmir, to launch terror attacks or jihad against India. According to the Asian Legal Resource Centre (ALRC) persons are arrested and disappeared if they refuse to join or try to leave the forces engaged in “jihad” inside Jammu & Kashmir in India or fail to provide information to the intelligence agencies about the movements of people across the International Border/Line of Control. A significant number of cases point to the ISI’s involvement in these disappearances.
The local population of Pakistan Administered Kashmir does not enjoy fundamental social and political rights. As brought out by Human Rights Watch, the Pakistani Government represses democratic freedoms, muzzles the press, banned books and practices routine torture. Tight controls on freedom of expression have been a hallmark of Government policy in the area. Pakistan has prevented the creation of independent media in the territory through bureaucratic restrictions and coercion. Under the interim constitution of ‘Azad Kashmir’, which Pakistan enforced in 1974, aspiring candidates are “pre-screened” to ensure that only those who support Kashmir’s annexation with Pakistan can contest elections. Anyone who wants to take part in public life in Pakistan Administered Kashmir has to sign a “Pledge of loyalty to Pakistan”, while anyone who publicly supports or peacefully works for an independent Kashmir faces persecution. The electoral law undermines the basic political rights of Kashmiris’ by barring them from seeking office if they oppose Kashmir’s accession to Pakistan. Those who favorindependence invite the ire of Pakistan’s intelligence agencies and military, and risk being beaten and jailed. Numerous political leaders of Kashmir have either been killed or are languishing in jail. In May 2013, Sardar ArifShahid was assassinated, one of the most prominent Kashmiri politicians for opposing the diktat of Pakistan.
Economically, Pakistan has ensured that this region is one of the most under-developed areas of the country, with all resources from this area being taken away for the development of other areas of Pakistan.
It is time that the International community focuses its attention on the rampant violation of human rights in Pakistan Administered Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan. There is a need to hold Pakistan accountable for not only denying the Kashmiris their political rights but carrying out widespread human rights abuses against them.
UKPNP Activities during 39th Session of UNHRC at Geneva
UKPNP activities in 37th session of UNHRC at Geneva
United Nations Human Rights Council 31th Session
NGO: African Development Association (ADA) ECOSOC
Intervention by: Sardar Shaukat Ali Kashmiri
Item 4 General Debate
Thank you Honourable Chairman,
So called Azad Kashmir is a land of strict curbs on political pluralism, freedom of expression, and freedom of association; a muzzled press; banned books; arbitrary arrest and detention and torture at the hands of the Pakistani military and police; and discrimination against refugees from Jammu and Kashmir state. Kashmiri nationalists are singled out for discrimination because they do not support the idea of Kashmir's accession to Pakistan.
Exploitation of natural resources in Gilgit-Baltistan and so-called Azad Kashmir has deprived the natives of the region of their own natural wealth. Pakistan is involved in plundering of natural resources of the region without consulting the local population. Islamabad is constructing mega dams. The proposed China-Pakistan Economic Corridor project will cause environmental damage to air quality, water resources, soil erosion or contamination. Kashmiris are denied royalty because Islamabad says royalty is only paid to provinces and Kashmir is not a province of Pakistan. Mega projects in a disputed territory of Kashmir are a clear violation of international laws and UNCIP resolutions on Kashmir.
Pakistan's province of Punjab has recently passed the Women's Protection Act despite stiff opposition from conservative clerics, religious and feudal leaders. However, we appreciate it as it gives legal protection to women from domestic, psychological and sexual violence. Forced conversion of Christian and Hindu girls, rape, gang-rape, domestic violence, honour killing (Karo Kari), vani (exchange of women in settling the disputes), and forced/child marriages are some examples of women's rights violations in Pakistan. There is need to do more and abolish all evil practices and discriminations, violence against women and young girls in Pakistan.
We urge upon HRC to put pressure on Pakistan to stop victimization of nationalist leaders of Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan. All political prisoners including Baba Jan and his colleagues should be released immediately and unconditionally who faced trial under Anti-Terrorist Acts (ATC) and are facing 40 years’ life imprisonment.
I thank you, honourable chairman.
Sardar Shaukat Ali Kashmiri
Exiled Chairman UKPNP
addressing United Nations Human Rights Council`s General Assembly 32 Session at Geneva.
United Nations Human Rights Council 39th session September-2018
Item 4- General Debate. Human Rights Situation that Require the Council Attention.
NGO: (AIPD) Intervention by Jamil Maqsood.
I’ would like to draw your kind attention towards deteriorating state of human rights in Pakistan and Pakistani administered Kashmir regions which are so called Azad Kashmir and Occupied Gilgit- Baltistan. Pakistan as member of this august council and signatory to various international conventions have been failed to introduce meaningful democratic system in its administered parts of erstwhile state of Jammu & Kashmir.
Mr. Chair: In the age of flow of information the people of these areas under Pakistani control have been deprived to have electronic media. The students have been deprived to have books on Jammu Kashmir history. All the books have been confiscated from the bookshops and one can’t find any credible source even for the research purposes. The media in Pakistan is under pressure by the secret agencies, judiciary is lacking independence.
The counter terrorism operations resulted significant human rights issues included extrajudicial and targeted killings; disappearances; torture; lack of rule of law, and frequent mob violence and vigilante justice with limited accountability. Arbitrary detention; lengthy pretrial detention; a lack of judicial independence in the lower & also at high courts; governmental infringement on citizens’ privacy rights; harassment of journalists, and high-profile attacks against journalists and media organizations. Government restrictions on freedom of assembly, movement, and freedom of religion and discrimination against religious minorities, and sectarian violence continued. Lack of criminal investigations or accountability for cases related to rape, violence based on gender, gender identity and sexual orientation, sexual harassment,
Mr. Chair: The diversion of river Neelam near Muzaffarabad (Pakistani Administered Kashmir), has created drastic environmental effects in the region. Controversial Neelam Jhelm Hydro-Power Project and Diamer Basha Dam need urgent heed from this council. The political leaders in Gilgit- Baltistan are facing Schedule four and terrorist like organizations like LeT & JuD are functioning freely despite Pakistani Government tall claims to combat terrorism and to demolish terror infrastructure in the country.
I’ thank you.
Speech of Exiled UKPNP Chairman ,Sardar Shaukat Ali Kashmiri on the occasion of United Nations Human Rights Council 31th Session on 15 March 2016 in Geneva at UN Web TV
United Nations Human Rights Council`s 39th Session at Geneva
Human Rights Situations that Requires the Council’s Attention.
General Debate: Item-4 NGO: CIRAC (ECOSOC)
Intervention by Sardar Shaukat Ali Kashmiri
Our organization would like to draw HRC attention towards grim human rights violations in Pakistan and its held part of Jammu & Kashmir.
Pakistan is violating UN resolutions on Jammu Kashmir and constructing dams in disputed areas of so-called Azad Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan. Pakistan has diverted Neelum River for Hydropower Project, which is depriving people of Muzaffarabad from their water lifeline. The hundreds thousands of resident of Muzaffarabad facing environmental disaster, there are chances of spreading of diseases because of pollution. Chief Justice of Pakistan recently said that if someone opposes construction of dams would be trial under article 6 of Pakistan, which is related to high treason. Our natural resources are plundered and local people are forced to leave their own land.
Mr Chairperson, Independent judges and lawyers are under threat Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui of the Islamabad High Court has expressed his displeasure over interference of secret agencies in the judicial affairs Justice Siddiqui stated that ISI interferes and decide to formed benches of the courts. While hearing the cases of missing persons, the Justice appealed to Pakistan's Chief of Army Staff (COAS), for "barring his persons from intervention in the matters of other institutions," adding that Army Chief Bajwa should take cognisance of the upsetting situation prevailing in the country.
He further claimed that judges live in danger as the officials of the security agencies are tapping their telephones. Addressing a representative of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) who appeared in the court, Justice Siddiqui said, "Your personnel try to form a court bench of their own wish and the army chief should be aware of the misdeeds committed by them". "Enforced disappearance of citizens, businessmen, and other influential persons has become a routine in the capital city," he added. Justice Siddiqui further ordered that the intervention of secret agencies in the affairs of the judiciary, executives and other departments should be restrained and warned the secret agencies should abide by the law.
Mr. Chairperson, Justice Athar Minullah of Islamabad high court said that he and his family members are under surveillance by secret agencies of Pakistan he and his family members are under threat. I would also like to urge upon this august council to take urgent heed to the violations of state subject rule and land encroachment by the Pakistani military officers and businesspersons in so-called Azad Kashmir and Gilgit- Baltistan to satisfy local population.
We urge upon the Council to take serious note on Pakistan’s human rights situation and send a fact-finding mission to these areas to stop serious human rights violations and protect life of voiceless and marginalized people of so-called Azad Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan.
United Nations Human Rights Council 35th session June -2017
Item 4- General Debate. Human Rights Situation that required Council Attention.
NGO: (AIPD) Intervention by Jamil Maqsood
Thank you Mr. President,
We are sadly concerned about deteriorating human rights situation in so-called Azad Kashmir and Gilgit- Baltistan. People of both regions living in the regrettable situation since long. They do not have the freedom to exercise their fundamental rights. Exploitation of natural resources in both peripheries of Pakistan is at its highest level. Both regions have systematically deprived of their natural resources including the right to development by the exploration of these resources.
China Pakistan Economic Corridor has paved the way for biggest source of exploitation of our natural resources and it has created drastic environmental effects on the region. Simultaneously it has jeopardized natural habitat of wildlife and huge population. This project is a sheer violation of the international laws as well as United Nations resolutions on Jammu & Kashmir.
Mr. President, In recent months, Pakistan has introduced draconian laws to press freedom of expression and freedom of thoughts to curtail its minorities and other ethnic groups under so-called security doctrine. Pakistan protection Ordinance (POPA) was termed by the ICJ as repressive and hastily drafted. That act was immediately come into effect in Pakistani peripheries and nationalists and progressive political workers have become its victim. Political leaders in Gilgit- Baltistan has been victimized under Anti- Terror Laws and establishment of military courts as the parallel judicial system has further demonized fundamental freedoms of the people in Pakistan and Pakistani Administered parts of the erstwhile state of Jammu & Kashmir.
Mr. President, The cybercrime act has inflicted damage to the civil society activists and human rights defenders. This act has barred human rights defenders to criticize undemocratic legislation of the state. Practically the state of Pakistan has become a hell for the progressive people, human rights defenders and journalists. Especially in the absence of indigenous media, the world community is very blind about human rights violations in these regions. The local culture and languages are on the verge of destruction by the oppressive regimes of Pakistan.
Mr. President, we urge you to take an urgent heed to these developments taking place in Pakistan so that the life of hundred thousand political workers, civil society and human rights defenders could be saved from Pakistan security apparatus,.
I thankyou Mr. President.
United Nations Human Rights Council 34th Session 15th March 2017
Item 4: General Debate: Human Rights Situations that Require the Council’s Attention
NGO: (AIPD) Intervention by: Jamil Maqsood
Thank you Mr. Chairman,
Our organization is deeply concerned about state of human rights and security situation in so-called Azad Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan. People of Pakistani administered Kashmir still live in a pathetic condition and don’t have any freedom to exercise their fundamental rights.
Exploitation of natural resources in Gilgit-Baltistan and so-called Azad Kashmir has deprived the natives of the region from their own natural wealth. Pakistan is plundering natural resources of both regions without the consultation of local population. Islamabad is constructing mega dames, through proposed China Pakistan Economic Corridor project which runs across our region before it enters Pakistan. Mega projects in a disputed territory of erstwhile state are a sheer violation of international laws and UNCIP resolutions on Kashmir. The sexual exploitation of the young girls of Pakistani Administered Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan has created massive anxiety in the local population which need urgent heed of this council. Civil society activists and nationalist political workers and their families are constantly under harassment by the state agents and members of the banned outfits like Lashker-e-Tayyaba. The region is continuously governed by undemocratic institutions like Ministry of Kashmir affairs and Kashmir council and lent officers.
Recently nationalist leaders have been arrested in Gilgit Baltistan who were peacefully protesting for the restoration of fundamental human rights and were demanding ownership o their natural resources. Baba Jan, Iftikhar Hussain and other political activists, who were charged under anti terrorist act (ATA) are facing 40 years life imprisonment.
Kashmir history books have been banned under so called national action plan in Pakistani administered Kashmir and right of assembly and association has barred in Pakistani peripheries. We urge upon the HRC to take serious note against these and other serious human rights violations and to put pressure on Pakistan for immediate release all political prisoners and guarantee freedom of expression and thoughts under its administered parts of Kashmir.
In 1960’s Pakistan constructed Mangla Dam in Mirpur Pakistani Administered Kashmir. Pakistan had agreed to provide free electricity to natives and pay royalty for the use of the water and electricity generated by the dam. But this commitment never fulfilled. Kashmiri are denied of royalty because Islamabad says Kashmir is not a province of Pakistan, and royalty is only paid to provinces. Out of 1300 Mega watts locally produced only 330 Megawatts aren’t provided for the local consumption... But the region has been enormously facing electricity shortage routinely. Hence I on behalf of my NGO and my native countrymen request the UN commission to take note of this unfortunate situation and flagrant human rights abuses by Islamabad and its local cronies.
I thank you Mr. Chairman
United Nations Human Rights Council 36th Session September- 2017
Item Agenda 4 General, Human Rights Situationthatrequire Council Attention.
NGO (AIPD) - Intervention by Jamil Maqsood
Thank you, Mr. President.
Our Organization is deeply concerned about systematic abuse of human rights in so-called Azad Kashmir and Gilgit- Baltistan. People in both peripheries are living in constant state of uncertainty and deprivation. The state of freedom of expression and assembly has been limited. The extension of cybercrime laws into both regions have curtailed freedom of information and rights to free speech. The trade unions activities have also been controlled by introducing various legal instruments on behalf of Government of Pakistan. The press is not allowed to publish the reports concerning local development, corruption and liking and disliking and recruitment of local employees in various institutions. Those who speak for the merit, justice, and development are constantly harassed and intimidated by the secret agencies of Pakistan and local police. Even former Prime Minister of Pakistan isn’t safe from the intimidation of secret agencies of his country.
Mr. President: Our organization is constantly speaking for the right to development of Pakistani peripheries but no change has occurred yet. It is the responsibility of this council to monitor Human rights situation, freedom of expression, belief and opinion in Pakistan and its administered Kashmir regions. It is sad to inform you that in recent years’ thousands of progressive and secular political workers have been abducted by the secret agencies in various parts of Pakistan. Mr. Punhal Sario who was working on disappeared Sindhi political workers have gone missing since two months and no one knows about his whereabouts. The religious minorities are continuously hunted by Blasphemy laws countrywide.
Mr. President: Eights years old Saad Haroon was abducted three years back from Rawalpindi Pakistan. The police have arrested abductor and later he managed to escape from the police custody. It shows an overall failure of the law enforcement agencies dealing such criminal cases. Another dreadful incident happened yesterday near Muzaffarabad where the personnel of Pakistani military has tortured local youth and their pictures and video of torture have been widely circulated on social media. There is no redress against such gruesome violation of human rights. The banned outfits like LeT and others are openly working by changing their names. In the recent election in Lahore known Terrorist Hafiz Saeed has launched Milli Muslim League (MML) that contested elections is exposing Pakistan’s deep statecraft of none cooperation with the world community to alter such activities of these groups. The training camps are still intact in our region and Pakistan didn’t refrain to its so-called security doctrine with regard to Indian administered Kashmir.
Mr. President. We urge you to take an urgent cognizance of human rights violations in Pakistan and its administered Kashmir and use your influence for the recovery ofPanhal Sario, Saad Haroon and release of Baba Jan and his colleagues.
I thank you.
United Nations Human Rights Council 34th Session 15th March 2017
Human Rights Situations that Requires the Council’s Attention.
General Debate: Item-4 NGO: CIRAC
Intervention by Nasir Aziz Khan
I am privileged to share with the world community the concerns regarding human rights violation in Pakistani administrated Kashmir and Gilgit Balistan. The people of these areas are living in a pathetic condition where life itself is a burden and Azadi or (freedom) is a long standing desire.
So called Azad Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan are part of the erstwhile Princely State of Jammu and Kashmir, has been illegally held by Pakistan since 1947. For the last 70 years, the Government has not only neglected this area’s development, it has systematically indulged in politically repressing the people. Though so called Azad Kashmir is supposed to be a self-governing state, it really has remained a colony of Islamabad, with central government taking all decisions.
Human Rights Watch reported that the Government represses democratic freedoms, muzzles the press and practices routine torture. Tight controls on freedom of expression have been a hallmark of Government policy in the area. Islamabad has prevented the creation of independent media in the territory through bureaucratic restrictions and coercion. Under the interim constitution of ‘Azad Kashmir’, which enforced in 1974, aspiring candidates are “pre-screened” to ensure that only those who support Kashmir’s annexation with Pakistan can contest elections.
Human Rights Commission of Pakistan has reported that hundreds of young political workers and rights activists are behind bars under Anti-Terrorist Act, which was enacted primarily to eliminate dangerous terrorist activities. Any voice for Rights in Gilgit-Baltistan is suppressed by law enforcement agencies.
We urge upon HRC to take serious note on Pakistan’s human rights situation and put pressure on government to repeal all discriminatory clauses from constitution , stop victimization of political opponents and protect the life and liberty of people under its administration.
I thank you Mr.Chairman
United Nation Human Rights Council 36th Session September 2017 at Geneva
Exiled Chairman UKPNP Sardar Shaukat ali Kashmiri along with UKPNP Spokesman Nasir Aziz Khan, Baloch-Sindhi nationalists met with UN's Working Group on Enforced Disappearance WGEID on 20th June 2016 in Geneva Switzerland.
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