The United Nations is witnessing quick developments on Kashmir conflict. The latest is the floating of a proposal to appoint a UN Special Representative for Jammu and Kashmir. The move is in its initial stages. Several countries are involved in private discussions on the proposal, and a lot depends on Pakistan’s ability to leverage its influence.
According to media sources, the Kashmiri delegation to the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) has requested the world’s top rights body to appoint a Special Representative for Jammu and Kashmir, another step that increases diplomatic pressure on India in the seven-decades-old Kashmir dispute.
“My organization would request the Council for appointment of Special Representative on the situation in Jammu and Kashmir so that facts may come to light,” Syed Faiz Naqshbandi, Hurriyet AJK leader, told member states of the Council.
His statement comes as the United Nations ends its 50-year silence on Kashmir with three policy statements at Human Rights Council in September, March and June, all chastising India for gross human rights violations in occupied Kashmir.
Senior woman leader from occupied Kashmir, Mrs Shamim Shawl, devoted her speech at the UNHRC to the UN General Assembly Resolution of December 17, 1979. The resolution laid out a Code of Conduct in all conflict zones. “The use of pellet guns blinding and killing people,” she said, “is a gross violation both under international humanitarian law and international law. The use of lethal pellets guns has created an atmosphere of threat and fear among young generation.”
Mrs Shawl represented the International Muslim Women’s Union. She informed the Council about the case of Aadil Farooq Magrey, a Grade 12 student killed by Indian army in Shopian area of occupied, on Tuesday, June 6, 2017. The Indian soldiers involved in the murder belong to the 44 Rashtriya Rifles unit.
Sardar Amjad Youssef Khan, the Executive Director Kashmir Institute Of International Relations (KIIR), commended the top UN Rights Chief for his policy statement on Kashmir.
“My organization welcomes the update by the High Commissioner For Human Rights on the situation in Jammu and Kashmir, where he mentioned his request to the Governments of India and Pakistan to invite teams from the office of the High Commissioner to examine the situation of human rights on both sides of the temporary ceasefire line known as the LOC,” Sardar Amjad Youssef said.
He also welcomed the statement made by the Permanent Representative of Pakistan to the United Nations, Ambassador Farrukh Amil. “We also welcome the statement made by Pakistan to facilitate the team from the OHCHR and his request to India to facilitate the UN Mission. This Mission is critical because of the deteriorating situation in occupied Kashmir,” Sardar Amjad Youssef said.
Hurriyet leader, Altaf Hussain Wani, in his speech to the Council, drew the diplomats’ attention to the crackdown on the Kashmiri civil society and restrictions on holding peaceful assembly.
During the first five months of 2017, at least 40 people were killed and hundreds injured in different incidents in Kashmir involving the Indian occupation army.
The eight-member Kashmir Delegation for UNHRC’s 35th session consists of Altaf Hussain Wani, Syed Faiz Naqshbandi, Hassan al-Banna, Pervaiz Shah, Sardar Amjad Youssef Khan, Mrs Shamim Shawl, Ahmed Quraishi- and Professor Shagufta Ashraf.