Aug 29: Pakistan mentioned not just Congress’s Rahul Gandhi’s name but also Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar and the BJP MLA from Uttar Pradesh Vikram Saini in its petition which was moved at the United Nations highlighting alleged human rights violations in Jammu and Kashmir.
Pakistan Human Rights Minister Shireen Mazari has written a detailed letter to 18 UN Special Rapporteurs alleging massive human rights violations by India in Jammu and Kashmir, after it revoked its special status, which she termed as “an annexation by force and therefore an illegal act”.
Mazari said an Indian Cultural Forum went on a fact-finding mission to Jammu and Kashmir between August 9-13, and highlighted serious shortages of medicine and other basic necessities there after the August 5 lockdown. The team also highlighted incidences of targetting of civilians with pellet guns, and cited the case of a Rising Kashmir graphic designer who reportedly received 172 pellet injuries.
The Pakistani minister cited several specific cases of “gender-based violence as a weapon of war”. Mazari mentioned a video that surfaced of BJP MLA Vikram Saini on August 6, in which he was shown as saying that Muslim party workers should “rejoice’ at revoking of Kashmir’s special status as “now they can marry the white-skinned women of Kashmir”.
The letter also mentions Haryana CM Manohar Lal Khattar saying on August 10 that with Kashmir now open, “brides will be brought from there to here”. He clarified that it was a “joke”. She also listed how Google has experienced a surge in searches on “how to marry a Kashmiri woman”.
Mazari drew a parallel with earlier reports by UN rapporteurs alleging gender-based violations against Dalit women and girls in India, and said: “What should be of particular concern is the capacity for increased threats of gender-based violence against Kashmiri women, taking into consideration the impunity for large-scale violations of this nature” against Dalit women.
She also attacked the arbitrary arrests and detentions, including arrests of political leaders, citing former CM Mehbooba Mufti who termed the revocation of special status “as the darkest day in Indian democracy”.
Mazari alleged that at least 2,300 people have been detained in Kashmir.
Soon after reports emerged that Rahul has been quoted by Pakistan in its letter to UN, the Congress leader tweeted, “I disagree with this Government on many issues. But, let me make this absolutely clear: Kashmir is India’s internal issue and there is no room for Pakistan or any other foreign country to interfere in it.”
“There is violence in Jammu & Kashmir. There is violence because it is instigated and supported by Pakistan which is known to be the prime supporter of terrorism across the world,” Rahul added.