Joint Resistance Leadership writes to UNHRC, seeks setting up of CoI on Kashmir

The Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL) comprising Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Mohammad Yasin Malik on behalf of people of Jammu Kashmir sent a petition to United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) demanding setting up of an independent international Commission of Inquiry (CoI) for holding comprehensive investigation into human rights violations in Kashmir.
In a statement issued here, JRL said the petition describes the overall situation of human rights abuses by forces in Kashmir. “These HR violations necessitate establishment of an independent international commission of inquiry”.
Citing recent report on human rights situation by High Commissioner of United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC), the petition has called upon President of United Nations Human Rights Council Vojislav Šuc to exercise his influence and good offices to persuade the members of the Council to help establish CoI on Kashmir.
The petition has also drawn attention of the Council towards the pending Kashmir dispute, which remains the fundamental cause of the human rights violations and suffering of people of J&K and to provide an opportunity to the people of the state to exercise the right to self-determination as promised to them in the resolutions of UNSC.
“The people of Kashmir suffer daily violations of their basic human rights. Death and destruction have exhausted the most scenic and tranquil location in the world – the Valley of Kashmir. Today, the carefree sounds of children’s laughter have been replaced by the piercing sounds of gunfire. Time is not on the side of the people of Kashmir. More and more atrocities are being committed by the Indian security forces and every day a larger segment of the population becomes alienated,” reads the petition.
It states that the extent of this tragedy was revealed to the world in January this year when 8-year old nomad girl was abducted, drugged, gang-raped and murdered. “Those who wanted to conceal this atrocious crime included two sitting ministers of righting BJP. Rape was used as a weapon of war. There are hundreds of incidents of innocent women whose honor was violated.”
“The Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) and Disturbed Areas Act in Kashmir empowers police to arrest and detain within sweeping bounds. These prevailing draconian laws provide total impunity to the Indian army in Kashmir,” reads the petition.
It further states that apart from magnitude of violence by forces, the use of shotgun pellets has blinded hundreds of youth in Kashmir.
“Detention of thousands of political prisoners by authorities besmirches India’s boast as the world’s most populous democracy and insistence that its military occupation of Kashmir is welcomed and endorsed by the Kashmiri people. The detention of these political leaders is to punish their successful and peaceful campaign for Kashmir’s freedom,” it stated.
The petition added that convening of 38th regular session of the Human Rights Council this week in Geneva presents the world community a unique opportunity to discuss the human rights situation of Kashmir and recommend practical steps and procedures to address the human rights atrocities in the region.
“We beg to draw your attention to the human urgency of the situation in Kashmir and the implications it has for the credibility of the United Nations which, as the President of the Council, you have done so much to strengthen and enhance,” it added adding, “We will strongly argue that people of J&K be allowed to exercise right to self-determination as promised by United Nations. The UN must lead the way towards the resolution”.