United Nations, May 16 (KMS): The UN Special Rapporteur on minority issues, Fernand de Varennes has warned by holding a G20 meeting of the working group on tourism on 22-24 May in Srinagar, the Indian government is seeking to normalize what some have described as a military occupation.
Fernand de Varennes issued a statement, today, describing the massive rights violations, including torture, extrajudicial killings, denial of political participation rights of Kashmiri Muslims and minorities, following the suspension of democratic rights and local elections with direct rule from New Delhi on 6 August 2019.
He said, “The situation there has —- if anything – become much worse since myself and fellow UN independent experts transmitted a communication to the Government of India in 2021. We then expressed our grave concerns that the loss of political autonomy and the implementation of the new Domicile Rules and other legislation could alter the demographic composition of the former state of Jammu and Kashmir, may result in political disenfranchisement, and significantly reduce the degree of political participation and representation of the Kashmiri and other minorities previously exercised in the former state, undermining their linguistic, cultural and religious rights.”
“Human rights violations have risen dramatically in Jammu and Kashmir since 2019 when the Government of India revoked the special status of the territory”, warned a UN Independent Expert, one week before a scheduled G20 meeting is scheduled to be held in Srinagar.
The Independent Expert noted that there have been reports of significant numbers of Hindus from outside the region moving into the region so that dramatic demographic changes are under way in Jammu and Kashmir to overwhelm native Kashmiris in their own land”.
According to de Varennes, the G20 is unwittingly providing a veneer of support to a facade of normalcy at a time when massive human rights violations, illegal and arbitrary arrests, political persecutions, restrictions and even suppression of free media and human rights defenders continue to escalate.
“International human rights obligations and the UN Declaration of Human Rights should still be upheld by organisations such as the G20”, he added, concluding that “the situation in Jammu and Kashmir should be decried and condemned, not pushed under the rug and ignored with the holding of this meeting.”
Meanwhile, Dr. Rasheed Ahmed Khan, International Relations expert said it is unfortunate that India is going to host the G20 meeting in IIOJK in an attempt to get legitimacy for its illegal occupation of Kashmir. India always kept on misleading the international community on the Kashmir dispute whereas Kashmir is an internationally-recognised disputed territory, he added.
He said as the Kashmir dispute is the main bone of contention between Pakistan and India, the G20 nations must refrain from participating in the event being held in the disputed territory. The International community is well aware of the importance of the Kashmir issue in the region and also aware of Indian atrocities on innocent Kashmiris, he maintained.
Dr Muhammad Khan, International Relations expert said no international conferences can be organized in any disputed territory as per International laws and norms. He said by hosting the G20 meeting in the disputed territory, India is violating international laws and UN resolutions as well.
He said Pakistan must advocate the Kashmir dispute and consult with the United Nations over Indian illegal decisions. “We should engage our mission in G20 countries to convince them not to participate in the meeting expected to be held in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir.
Disclaimer: India seeking to normalize military occupation by holding G20 meeting in Srinagar: UN Special Rapporteur - Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not necessarily reflect Latheefarook.com point-of-view