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HR minister seeks UN intervention on Indian aggression

HR minister seeks UN intervention on Indian aggression

Islamabad: Human Rights Minister Dr Shireen M Mazari on Monday wrote a letter to UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet over the use of cluster munitions by India across the Line of Control in Pakistan and the use of violence by its forces against the people in the occupied Kashmir.

In the letter, Dr Mazari said the use of cluster bombs by India targeting civilians in Neelum Valley of the Azad Jammu and Kashmir was a violation of norms of customary international law as well its international treaty obligations.

This fresh wave of violations of IHL by India come a little over a year since the OHCHR’s “Report on the Situation of Human Rights in Kashmir. In light of these violations of IHL, the OHCHR should remind India of its obligations under humanitarian law, specifically of the duty to protect civilians and, to this end, distinguish between the civilian population and civilian objects, on one hand, and combatants and military objectives on the other,” she said.

The minister said it was essential that the Human Rights Council establish a Commission of Inquiry on Kashmir, tasked with conducting a comprehensive independent international investigation into human rights violations in the area.

She urged the OHCHR to immediately take note and act on the new Indian government’s policy of increasing the military action against Kashmiris in the occupied Kashmir. “Clearly, cluster munitions, by their very nature, are indiscriminate. By not only using the weapons, which are indiscriminate in themselves but also using them specifically against the civilian population in Neelum Valley, the government of India is actively violating norms of customary international law as well its international treaty obligations,” she said.

The minister said the timing of the strike was of even greater concern as it reflected India’s appalling lack of seriousness to respect human rights as well as humanitarian law and India’s own international treaty obligations, in its relationship/dealings with the Kashmiri people.

“In light of these violations of IHL, I request the OHCHR to remind India of its obligations under humanitarian law, specifically of the duty to protect civilians and, to this end, distinguish between the civilian population and civilian objects, on one hand, and combatants and military objectives on the other. There is ample evidence to suggest that the use of cluster bombs in most situations has been deemed to be indiscriminate, thereby failing to satisfy the requirement of proportionality,” she said.

Article source: https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/508991-hr-minister-seeks-un-intervention-on-indian-aggression

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