A delegation of Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front UK-chapter met with officials of the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) in London and apprised them of the prevailing grim situation of human rights in occupied Kashmir.
According to media sources, the delegation was led by the head of Diplomatic Bureau of JKLF-UK, Professor Zafar Khan, and comprised senior leaders including Mahmood Hussain, Tariq Sharif and Sayed Tehsin Gilani.
During the meeting the current situation in Kashmir and in particular the ever-growing repressive aggression unleashed by the Indian government and its armed forces against the peaceful people of the occupied territory was discussed.
The delegates apprised the British FCO that Kashmir was recognised by the United Nations as a disputed territory whose political status was yet to be determined by its inhabitants but India and its leadership was in denial of this historic fact. India denies the existence of over a dozen UN resolutions on the issue, they added.
The JKLF leaders told the FCO officials that Indian attitude toward Kashmiri dissent was violent and aggressive. “Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi had given Home Minister, Rajnath Singh and the Army Chief, General Bipin Rawat a free hand to end the Kashmiri dissent in two months. India’s COAS considers hundreds of thousands of Kashmiri dissenters as ‘militants’ and has expressed his desire to use military methods against their peaceful resistance and dissent against his military’s violence,” they added.
The JKLF leaders informed the British FCO that repression by Indian state had become systematic as India was at war with the people of Kashmir. There are hundreds of half widows, thousands of orphans, thousands of mass graves and hundreds of blind and half blind children in Kashmir as a result of use of pellet guns on peaceful protesters, they said.
The JKLF delegates also apprised the UK officials that harassment of common people through search operations had reached new heights as demonstrators’ homes are raided at night and young people in particular are taken away, adding that Kashmiris are being used as human shields by Indian army.
They told the British FCO that India claimed to be the largest democracy of the world but nothing like democracy existed in Kashmir. “Political leadership is denied its fundamental right to free speech and assembly and joint resistance leadership was subjected to house arrests and was either lodged in police custody, or as in the case of JKLF Chairman Muhammad Yasin Malik, regularly incarcerated at Central Jail, Srinagar,” they added.
The JKLF leaders told the British official that the Indian media is so biased, one sided and partisan that like Indian government and the military, it also sees in every Kashmiri dissenter, stone pelter, political activist, and resistant leader, a Pakistani. “This is a gravest injustice to the people that have continuously striven to determine their destiny for almost 70 years. The Indian media fails to see that over a hundred thousand civilians killed, thousands disappeared, widowed, half-widowed, orphaned, maimed and blinded by Indian forces since 1988,” they added.
The delegates also apprised the British FCO that India had refused to allow the UN Human Rights Council access to occupied Kashmir to take stock of the excesses committed by Indian troops against peaceful protesters in the territory.
“We expect that British High Commissions in New Delhi and Islamabad respectively keep abreast of the dire and repressive situation, not only inside Indian held Kashmir but also of the suffering of civilian population along the cease-fire line that forcibly divides 20 million people of Jammu Kashmir,” the JKLF leaders maintained.