Kashmir institute of international relations in collaboration with University of Azad Jammu and Kashmir, Muzaffarabad organized seminar “UN Kashmir Report & Right to Self Determination” to evoke the Sopore massacre. The Sopore massacre which refers to the killing of 55 Kashmiri civilians by the Indian Border Security Force (BSF) after they tried to break the restrictions imposed in the town of Sopore in Kashmir on 6 January 1993. Indian troops allegedly fired bullets indiscriminately on civilians and killed more than 55 civilians. On this bloody Wednesday some shopkeepers were not allowed to come out and they were burned alive inside their shops. Witnesses claim that Indian troops attacked a local coach killing the driver and at least 15 civilians as well as attacking and burning three other cars. In all, official Indian Government reports state that 250 shops and 50 homes were burned down although other sources claim as many as 450 buildings were burned down by the border security force.
The seminar was attended by many dignitaries who highlighted the incident and raised their voice against the human rights violations in IOK. The seminar was addressed by Honorable Vice Chancellor, UAJK Muzaffarabad Dr. Muhammad Kaleem Abbasi, HOD Law department UAJK, Muzaffarabad Mr. Mir Adnan Rahman, Director Kashmir Liberation Cell Raja Sajjad Lateef, Madam Rahat Farooq and Director Programmes KIIR Mr. Altaf Hussain Wani.
Dr. Muhammad Kaleem Abbasi,
Vice Chancellor, University of AJ&K
There are many aspects of the conflict of Jammu and Kashmir but the cases of the ongoing and past gross and systematic human rights violations in the Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir are most horrific and painful. I welcome this report and thankful to the United Nations Commissioner for Human Rights for preparing and issuing this report. We need to highlight the observations and statistics of the miseries and plight of the people of IOK reflected in this report. This is also the need of the hour to highlight and pave the way for the implementation of the recommendations of the report particularly the recommendation to constitute a Commission of Inquiry to inquire into the human rights abuses perpetrated by the Indian Forces in IOK under the Draconian Laws which provide them complete impunity and no access to the Justice system.
I urge the United Nations to play its effective role for the resolution of the longstanding conflict of Jammu and Kashmir which has jeopardized the peace, prosperity and development of the entire South Asia and is nuclear flashpoint between India and Pakistan.
I encourage the faculty members and the scholars of the University of AJ&K to contribute quality research articles, monographs and research books on the miseries and plight of the people of IOK to shaken the conscience of the world community and to get the attention of the Academic, Researchers, Human Rights Activists and Civil Society Activists across the globe.
Mir Adnan Rahman
Head of the Department of Law,
University of Azad Jammu and Kashmir
Conflict of Jammu and Kashmir has many dimensions. Global, Regional and Local as well as Legal, Political, Historical, Humanitarian and Social perspectives. It is important to make a holistic and objective analysis of all the perspectives of the conflict for its proper and general analysis. The Conflict of Jammu and Kashmir is not a territorial dispute rather a question of the right to self-determination of around 20 million state subjects of erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir.
According to the Khurram Pervaiz’s book ‘’Structured Violence’’ compiled and documented by Jammu and Kashmir Coalition of Civil Society, there are around seven lacs Laws Enforcement Agencies. To every five Kashmiris, there is one occupational Forces person. (111 km long and 85 km width valley / the highest militarized zone of the world.) These laws enforcement agencies personnel being supported by the Draconian laws AFSPA and PSA providing impunity and license to kill, maim, rape, torture the innocent and unarmed stone pellters with the incentives and the rewards.
I appreciate the efforts and contribution of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights for preparing and issuing a comprehensive report on the past and ongoing gross and systematic violations of the human rights in Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir.
I strongly endorse all the recommendations of the said report particularly the one that highlighted the significance of the right to Self-determination in the backdrop of the Conflict of Jammu and Kashmir and to constitute a Commission of Inquiry to visit the conflict zone of IOK to prepare a first-hand report on the ongoing violations of the Human Rights in IOK.
Let us reiterate our firm resolution to make untiring efforts for the emancipation and freedom of our brethren sacrificing their lives, honors and loved ones on the other side of the Line of Control.
Raja Sajjad Lateef
Director Kashmir Liberation cell and Phd Scholar
Right to self-determination is the mother of all rights. Without giving this right all other rights are useless. People of Jammu and Kashmir are not demanding any favour from anyone. Their struggle is to exercise right to self-determination. This right of the people is guaranteed in international law and UN resolutions. India has no legal right on Kashmir. She has forcefully occupied this state in 1947. The people of Kashmir are struggling for freedom from very first day of Indian occupation. Indian forces are using lethal force to suppress the voice of the people. It is the responsibility of the committee of Nations that they fulfill commitments of plebiscite.
Altaf Hussain Wani
Director Programmes Kashmir Institute of International Relations
The Report of the office of the United Nations High Commissioner on Human Rights is first ever report by a UN official after 59 long years. This report is of great importance and bears testimony to the Indian attitude in Indian occupied Kashmir. The 49-page report has cataloged the human rights violations by Indian occupation forces in Indian occupied Kashmir, like extra-Judicial executions, involuntary or enforced disappearance, torture, sexual harassment, restrictions on freedom of expression and free assembly. The report highlights the use of excessive force on peace assemblies of people, use of pellet short guns, destruction of public and private property by Indian forces. The report also highlighted the impunity enjoyed by Indian army and other forces for the human rights violations. The report has established that:
1. Indian army and other forces are engaged in gross and systematic human rights violations in Indian occupied Kashmir.
2. The right to self-determination of people of Jammu and Kashmir is protected Under International law and parties to dispute should respect that.
3. High Commissioner recommended to the council to establish and commission of inquiry to investigate past and ongoing human rights violations
4. Asked Parties to dispute to give unhindered access to office of the high commission to both sides of the line of control.
Pakistan welcomed the report and said they are willing to welcome the office of the high commissioners team but Indian rejected the report and not only termed the malicious and a list of unverified events.
We have responsibility to take this report to all levels, this report has become possible due to matchless sacrifices of people of Indian occupied Kashmir and tireless work done by Human rights defenders and activists who documented all the events risking their lives and sending all communication to United Nations special procedures and office of the high commissioner.
The young generation of AJK has a responsibility to use all available mechanisms of United Nations human rights systems and other international forums.
The University Students should connect with University students abroad to create more awareness about historical back ground of Kashmir dispute and ongoing human rights violations and dispel Indian false propaganda.