Human rights go for a toss in PoK, Gilgit Baltistan, Activists show mirror to Pakistan at UNHRC

Mar 23, 2023

Geneva (Switzerland), March 23 (ANI): Political activists from Pakistan-occupied Kashmir have informed the United Nations Human Rights Council about the serious human rights abuses in the region. While giving an intervention during the 52nd Session of the Council, Nasir Aziz Khan, the central spokesperson of the United Kashmir People’s National Party (UKPNP) said, “Our organization would like to draw your attention to the serious human rights abuses that are taking place in Pakistan and its administered Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan. Human rights violations have been reported in Pakistan for many years, with a range of issues including extrajudicial killings, enforced disappearances, torture, discrimination against minorities, and limitations on freedom of expression and assembly”. He added, “In recent years, the situation has deteriorated further, with a sharp increase in reports of human rights abuses. In Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, there have been strict restrictions on freedom of expression, association, assembly and publication.” Nasir informed the UN that journalists have been targeted for reporting on sensitive issues, and human rights activists have been harassed and intimidated. He added, “There have been reports of brutalities, including extrajudicial killings, and enforced disappearances political opponents and rights activists. In addition, religious minorities, including Christians, Hindus, and Ahmadis, face discrimination and persecution, and there are concerns about the rights of women and girls, particularly with regard to forced marriages and honor killings. They are often the target of blasphemy laws, which can result in imprisonment or even death”. UKPNP Chairman, Sardar Shaukat Ali Kashmiri in his intervention informed the UN Human Rights Council that Article (19)-1 of the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights guarantees everyone the right to hold opinions without interference. “The people of Pakistani-administered Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan, however, have not had this freedom since 1947. Pakistan is systematically violating the land rights of the people of Pakistan in its peripheries”, he said. “In addition, Pakistan has violated UNCIP resolutions on Jammu and Kashmir, out of 56 state subjects, Pakistan controls 53 through the Kashmir Council. Pakistan's powerful lent officers enjoy impunity on the state budget. The local population has been deprived of adequate health, education and development facilities”, said the exiled Kashmiri leader.