Islamabad, November 01, 2018 (PPI-OT): The All Parties Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Kashmir launched its inquiry report into massive human rights violations in Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK) at the British Parliament on 30 October 2018. Chairman APPKG Chris Leslie MP launched the report in presence of President Azad Jammu and Kashmir, Sardar Masood Khan, a large number of British Lords and MPs, members of the Kashmiri community and representatives of human rights activists and media, says a press release received here today from London. Several parallels can be drawn and commonalities can be found between the UN OHCR on Jammu and Kashmir published earlier this year and the one launched by APPKG.
Both the reports are a serious indictment against Indian high-handedness in IOK. Pakistan has welcomed the report. The report highlights the draconian laws due to which Indian security forces are committing human rights abuses in the IOK with impunity and urges Indian government to repeal them. The major recommendations of the inquiry report are the following:
1. The Government of India must repeal the Armed Forces (Jammu and Kashmir) Special Powers Act 1990 and enable prosecution of its armed forces and security personnel in the civilian judicial system.
2. The Government of Jammu and Kashmir must urgently provide a strict and limited statutory basis for administrative detention powers, in line with international legal principles, by repealing or amending the Public Safety Act 1978.
3. The Government of India must initiate a comprehensive public investigation into the identities of bodies in mass and unmarked graves, with an independent forensic verification process and provide for a full freedom of information mechanism for the families of suspected victims of enforced disappearance.
4. The government of India should immediately ban the use of pellet firing shotguns.
5. The Government of Jammu and Kashmir must open its prisons to international inspection.
6. The Government of India and Pakistan should work to resume regularised visa-regulated civilian travel across the Line of Control and reunite the separated families. Chris Leslie MP thanked the Government of Pakistan for its cooperation in producing the report and facilitating their visit to Azad Jammu and Kashmir. Sardar Masood Khan endorsed the report and appreciated the efforts of the APPKG, led by Chris Leslie MP in highlighting the plight of the innocent Kashmiris. However, speaking about the catastrophic human rights situation in IOK, he termed the report “tip of the iceberg”. The President hoped that the UK Government would play its role in resolving the issue of Kashmir through peaceful means.
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