Pakistan foreign minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has written to UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet to urge India to acquit Kashmiri separatist leader Yasin Malik from all charges and ensure his immediate release from prison so that he can be reunited with his family.
Pakistan’s Foreign Office said in a statement that the foreign minister, as part of Pakistan’s ongoing efforts to draw the attention of the international community to the situation in Kashmir, sent the letter to Bachelet on May 24.
“The letter apprises the High Commissioner, in particular, of the Indian government’s ongoing attempts to persecute and repress the Kashmiris and their leadership and to implicate them in fictitious and motivated cases,” according to the FO.
The Foreign Minister urged the high commissioner and the Human Rights Council to take immediate cognisance of India’s targeting of indigenous Kashmiri leadership through motivated cases, particularly the treatment meted out by Malik.
He asked the high commissioner to urge India to acquit Malik from all baseless charges and ensure his immediate release from prison so that he can be reunited with his family, recuperate his health and return to normal life.
Separately, Foreign Minister Bilawal has written a letter to the Secretary-General of the OIC, Hissein Brahim Taha, apprising him of the dire human rights and humanitarian situation in Kashmir.
Malik recently pleaded guilty to all charges, including those under the stringent Unlawful Activities Prevention Act, before a Delhi court in a case related to alleged terrorism and secessionist activities that disturbed the Kashmir Valley in 2017.
India has repeatedly told Pakistan that Jammu and Kashmir “was, is and shall forever” remain an integral part of the country. It also advised Pakistan to accept the reality and stop all anti-India propaganda.
New Delhi has also told Pakistan that it desires normal neighbourly relations with Islamabad in an environment free of terror, hostility and violence.