ISLAMABAD: In a landmark initiative, Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) have written an open letter to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to express their concern on the continued human rights violations in Indian occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IOK).
The European parliamentarians have conveyed particular concern for the blatant use of pellet shotguns which continue to mass blind innocent civilians, women and children, including 19-months old Hiba Nisar.
The MEPs have also communicated concerns over the use of draconian laws, such as Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) and Public Safety Act (PSA) which accord virtual impunity to the Indian occupation forces in IoJK.
In their letter, the MEPs have called upon the Indian government to: Immediately end the use of pellet-firing shotguns in Jammu and Kashmir and bring all relevant Indian laws into compliance with international human rights standards; Urgently repeal the armed Forces (Jammu and Kashmir) Special Powers Act, 1990 and amend the Jammu and Kashmir Public Safety Act, 1978 to ensure its compliance with international human rights law;
Provide full and effective reparation and rehabilitation to those who have been injured by pellet-firing shotguns, and to the families of those killed; Establish independent and impartial investigations into all accidents where the use of pellet-firing shotguns led to deaths or serious injuries;
This significant development follows on the heels of the historic Exchange of Views on the human rights situation in Jammu and Kashmir organized by the European Committee on Human Rights, which was held for the first time in more than a decade, where concerns of Pakistan as well as the people of Jammu and Kashmir regarding India’s human rights abuses in Indian occupied Jammu and Kashmir were discussed.
Earlier the Reports on Jammu and Kashmir by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and the UK Parliament’s All Parties Parliamentary Kashmir Group (APPKG) had publically called out India over its gross human rights violations in occupied Jammu and Kashmir and called upon the Indian government to carry out a comprehensive investigation into its abuses in IoJK.
Pakistan has expressed its gratitude to all European Parliamentarians who undertook this critical initiative. It is a reminder to the Indian Government that it cannot detract the international community from its reprehensible acts of terrorism in Indian occupied Jammu and Kashmir.
On its part, Pakistan will continue to extend moral, political and diplomatic support to its Kashmiri brothers and sisters in Indian occupied Jammu and Kashmir until the realization of the legitimate right to self-determination, says a statement issued by the Foreign Office here on Friday.