UNITED NATIONS, Oct. 20, (Asia Free Press): Pakistan tells UN panel that enforced disappearances in Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir was a “grim reality” of the seven-decade conflict there, and called for pursuing investigations into the cases, reported state run media.
In a statement, during the interactive dialogue with Working Group on Enforced Disappearances in New York, Pakistan’s Councellor Saima Saleem said, “Enforced disappearances in IIOJK have led to torture, custodial killings, rape and sexual molestations, arbitrary detentions, extrajudicial killings and traumatizing victim’s families.”
Thousands of unmarked graves of such victims have surfaced in recent years, she said.
The occupying power, she added, continues to deny responsibility for 8,000 people forcibly disappeared from the occupied territory and is reluctant to carry out a forensic investigation into the 7,000 unmarked mass graves.
The Pakistani delegate also spoke during an interactive dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression and Opinion, Irene Khan.
Ms Saleem said the oppressed people in IIOJK have been denied freedom of expression and opinion.
After India annexed occupied Kashmir on August 5, 2019, she said a crackdown on the freedom of expression followed, including complete internet black-out during which
Kashmiris could not call the COVID-19 helpline services for medical assistance. Trade and commerce was adversely affected, leading to thousands of job losses.
Journalists faced formidable challenges amid a blanket ban on coverage of demonstrations and protests as also of human rights violations by occupation forces.
They faced torture, harassment and arbitrary detentions under draconian laws.
Foreign journalists have not been allowed in the occupied territory, the Pakistani delegate told the Special Rapporteur.