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Now clampdown on rally, arrest of pro-freedom activists in Pak-occupied Kashmir

Pro-independence rally in Pak-occupied Kashmir
Counterview Desk
In a fresh evidence, international human rights organizations are not just confining their attention on the Indian state of Jammu & Kashmir (J&K), whose special status was taken away by the Government of India in early August, leading to an unprecedented clampdown on the region. They have simultaneously begun focusing on the Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK), where the situation is said to be worsening.
Thus, the International Human Rights Council ((IHRC) Hong Kong (HK), a top human rights organisation, said to be working towards to the promotion peace, equality, fundamental rights and social justice “as enunciated in the UN Human Rights Charter and other instruments of human rights”, has noted now a new wave of independence movement has struck PoK. 
With offices in US, UK, Switzerland and Hong Kong, and having Kirity Roy and Lenin Raghuvanshi as IHRC office bearers from India, in a statement, it has claimed that on September 7 one of the biggest pro-Independence rallies took place in Hajira town of Poonch district in “Pakistan administered Kashmir”, adding, the police clampdown led to injuries of 25 activists and arrested 40 “pro-independence activists”.
About 10 days earlier, IHRC, in a letter to Michelle Bachelet, High Commissioner for human rights, Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), took a similar view of the Indian state of J&K, protesting against the Government of India’s unprecedented clampdown on Kashmir.

Text on rights violations in PoK:

IHRC believes that Jammu Kashmir is an internationally recognized disputed country and demanding for independence is a fundamental political and human right of Kashmiri people.
More than three dozen political activists were arrested at Hajira town of district Poonch in Pakistani administered Kashmir on 7th of September 2019. Pro-Independence rally took place in the streets of Hajira on September 7, 2019 the protesters marched towards Line of Control (LoC) dividing the State of Jammu Kashmir into Indian and Pakistani parts.
According to Al-Jazeera, BBC and many other international media outlets, there were around 35 to 40 thousand people in the rally demanding lifting of curfew imposed by India since August 5, 2019 in the occupied region of Kashmir. They also demanded an end to occupation by immediate withdrawal of Indian and Pakistani armies from Kashmir and a free and fair plebiscite to determine the future of Jammu Kashmir per UN Charter.
It was by all means a peaceful protest and one of the largest rallies in the history of occupied territory According to BBC it was a referendum against the Indian-Pakistani occupation and the marchers demanded complete independence from both. Pakistani authorities and local police fired tear gas shells and used baton charge to stop the protesters at village Dawarandi, around 3 kilometers away from LoC.
During this violence by the state authorities more than 25 activists sustained injuries, the police also arrested 40 pro-independence activists. The activists are kept at Hajira police station, according to Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front and Peoples National Alliance’s press briefings the detainees are being tortured in police custody. Detainees are on hunger strike against the inhuman behavior of authorities. Families and pro-independence leaders are not allowed to meet detainees.
IHRC demands an immediate and unconditional release of political activists. IHRC believes that Jammu Kashmir is an internationally recognized disputed country and demanding for independence is a fundamental political and human right of Kashmiri people. Freedom of expression and assembly cannot be denied and those responsible for using excessive force must be identified and punished.
The United Nations Security Council Resolution of August 13, 1948 clearly states that Pakistan and India must ensure the creation of an environment whereby the people of the picturesque Kashmir valley can decide their future. It has been 71 years since the resolution yet, the Kashmiri people have been subjected to worse kind of slavery.
IHRC also demands the Indian government to lift the curfew from the occupied region of Kashmir, where around 9 million people are forced to go incommunicado since August 5, 2019. More than 40 days have passed and yet there is no independent source to verify what actually is going on with these 9 million people including women and children in Kashmir valley. 

Letter to UN official on clampdown on Kashmir:

The International Human Rights Council (IHRC) calls upon the UN High Commissioner for human rights, UN agencies and other international human rights organization to urge the Indian Government to immediately lift the curfew from Kashmir. The IHRC also urges the Indian Government to reverse its decision of revocation of Article 370 of the Indian constitution.
The international community must ensure that the human rights of Kashmiris are guaranteed and that India be made answerable to the genocide of innocent Kashmiris. The UN and other human rights must stand in solidarity with the Kashmiris in their demand for self-determination and dignity.
The Indian new regime has unleashed a regime of terror on hapless Kashmiris who have been suffering at the hands of two nuclear states for three generations now. Violence in Kashmir has resulted in at least 40,000 dead since a separatist insurgency against Indian rule ignited in 1989.
The region is the only Muslim dominant state in India it is also the most militarized region in the world. The Kashmir dispute is the oldest unresolved international conflict in the world today dating back to 70 years when Pakistan and India emerged as two states.
Kashmiris not unlike their brethren in Palestine are denied their right to determine their own destiny they are being terrorized and forced into submission to a regime that denies them the liberties and freedom as human beings. The powerful and resourceful usurpers are trying to gain international sympathies by terming the freedom strugglers as terrorists.
Thousands of men, women and children have been killed or wounded in the conflict; Prime Minister Modi’s government is particularly notorious for its bias and prejudice against Muslims of the country. The latest development of revoking Article 370 of the constitution thereby stripping Kashmir of its special autonomous status is being condemned within and outside India. 
Expecting widespread protest against the move Indian government deployed thousands of new troops to the region. More than 100 people, included political leaders and activists, have been arrested as part of the lockdown for being a threat to the peace
Moreover on August 4, officials in Kashmir cut off internet access and placed several prominent leaders under house arrest including two former chief ministers of Indian-administered Kashmir, Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti. The unprecedented move has caused shortage of food and medicines in the region causing furor amongst international human rights organization.
India announced a strict curfew and communications blackout throughout Kashmir, with the movement of goods and people in and out of the region also strictly controlled. Keeping Kashmiris incommunicado is meant to hide the Indian atrocities and keep the world community in dark.
Complete media blackout – which includes mobile networks, internet and landlines – is allowing the Indian authorities to act with impunity by detaining those in opposition to the removal of Article 370.
There have been increasing reports of police and paramilitary forces using force and pellets guns against protesters. Shotgun pellets have been used as a crowd control method in Kashmir- the only region in India where these are being used- maiming hundreds of Kashmiris.
The systemic use of torture and extrajudicial killing by the forces as a counter insurgency tool is no secret either. The Local rights advocates fear a growing humanitarian crisis fed by years of conflict and unchecked human rights abuses. They also warn that mounting rights abuses and political disengagement could push more young people towards militancy in Indian-administered Kashmir.
The ongoing curfew has turned the picturesque and pristine region into a ghetto and people’s freedom of movement being severely restricted. The humanitarian crisis that has been brewing in the region has not deterred Indian government from relaxing the curfew nor is there any sign of it ending any time soon.

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