UK: Conclave on Kashmir denounces human rights abuses by Pakistan in PoJK

31 July, 2022 | Pravina Srivastava

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United Kashmir People's National Party organised "International Kashmir Conference" in Leeds, United Kingdom, to protest the violation of human rights in Pakistan-occupied Jammu and Kashmir (PoJK) ...

United Kashmir People’s National Party organised “International Kashmir Conference” in Leeds, United Kingdom, to protest the violation of human rights in Pakistan-occupied Jammu and Kashmir (PoJK) and to denounce military’s and powerful non-State actors’ appropriation of land there and in Gilgit-Baltistan (GB).

A conference on July 28th was convened where prominent individuals from the Kashmiri diaspora, including politicians, academics, and advocates for human rights, gathered to discuss the matter.

The former state of J-K was proclaimed to be one political entity during the conference, with unity, stability, and prosperity as the main objectives.

Speakers in the conference emphasized that freedom to gather and protest is a basic human right that cannot be curtailed or taken away from the people in large numbers.

It was emphasized that the use of force cannot stop the people of PoJK from demonstrating against injustice, increasing inflation, a shortage of power, and high taxes.

This conference stated that Pakistan had continued to perpetrate aggression, violence, and extremism against the people of the former State of Jammu and Kashmir since 1947. It is necessary to put a stop to the sorrow of separation.

Massive populations of people in PoJK and GB are being forced to relocate due to the theft of natural resources and harm to the Himalayan ecosystem caused by the construction of megadams and the redirection of river flows, and the locals who have been long without access to even water resources are also suffering as a result.

However, conclave fiercely denounced Pakistani forces’ abuse of unarmed nonviolent protestors who were protesting against excessive prices, a lack of power, clean drinking water, and systemic resource exploitation.

The Conference also noted that although China is not a party to the J-K conflict, they have been in possession of and have been occupying a sizable portion of the Aksai Chin and Shaksgam Valley since 1962–1963.

They said that a peaceful solution to the conflict must be obtained and that the occupying armies from Pakistan and China must leave J-K.