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Council of Advocates International report on Kashmir civil liberties. PCP Report.

Ottawa. January 18. The fundamentalist militants have expedited the process of Talbanization of civil society in Kashmir. Women in Kashmir are the latest victims of their brutal attacks against civil liberties and social values. Council of Advocates International seeks immediate attention of UN High Commissioner for Human rights and international rights groups. In a letter to the UNHCHR Geneva Office, Council secretary general Hamid Bashani expressed his deep concern over the situation and appealed UNHCHR and other international rights groups to ask India and Pakistan to meet their obligations and protect the innocent people. Following the full text of the letter.



I am writing this letter to draw your kind attention towards the gross violations of human rights in Jammu and Kashmir. The people of Kashmir are at the most critical juncture of their history, and need your prompt assistance to protect their fundamental rights and civil liberties.



As you know the governments of India and Pakistan has been flagrantly disregarding the fundamental and democratic rights of the people of Kashmir for last fifty year. The democratic right of the self-determination of 12 million people of Kashmir was brutally denied and both countries grossly violated their fundamental rights. Their failure to resolve the issue has created a situation in which the fundamentalist militants have completely taken over the civil society .The Kashmiry women are now the principal victims of these militants in their brutal attack against civil liberties and cultural and social values of Kashmir. The Militants have recently intensified their attempts to terrorize and force the women in Kashmir to follow the militant's religious fundamentalist decrees and give up their freedom and civil rights .You may be already aware of this situation, however, I am taking this opportunity to revisit the problem to outline some important issues.



As you know the people of the divided Jammu and Kashmir suffered a great deal of political repression and lack of democratic and civil rights throughout their recent history, but it was nothing as compare to what they have been experiencing since 1987. With the emergence of militancy, the people of Kashmir have become hostages in the hands of security forces, militants and their political fronts. Their first target was the democratic and political rights of the people of Kashmir. Under the pretext of fighting for freedom, the People of Kashmir were forced by terrorist outfits to give up their democratic rights at gunpoint. They were asked to stay out of elections and democratic process in which they could have possibly exercised their democratic rights including right to vote. They were forced to surrender their constitutional and political rights; they earned after a long and complex struggle in history. Universally recognized and constitutionally guaranteed right to life, liberty and Security of the people of Kashmir was denied. The Kashmir Pundits were assassinated, their children were killed and militants raped women. Their Properties were destroyed and they were forced to leave their homeland and take refuge in the Camps for displaced people in unspeakable conditions.



An organized attempt was made against civil liberties and social and cultural formation of Kashmir. In 1990, the Allah Tigers and several other militant groups closed down cinemas, liquor shops and beauty parlors in Kashmir. Militants on social and cultural issues issued several Islamic decrees. In organized attacks against civil rights and civilization, people were deprived of their right of freedom of expression, freedom of choice, mobility and property rights and all other rights they enjoyed under the law of the land. Violent attempts were made to segregate and compartmentalize the society on gander bases. Kashmir cities witnessed the most heinous crimes and discrimination against women in an all out war against their fundamental rights. Their faces were deformed by throwing acid in an attempt to impose dress code recommended by religious fanatics.



The government of India completely failed to meet its constitutional obligations to protect its innocent Citizen's lives and their rights violated by militants. The way the situation was handled further increased the violations of rights and led to the full-scale genocide, killing more than fifty thousand innocent Kashmiries. India deployed huge military and paramilitary forces, which massively violated the Constitutional and legal rights of general populace. Under the pretext of operation against militants and terrorism the troops were engaged in indiscriminate killing of common people, brutal torture, and gang raps. Hundreds of cases of false imprisonment, extra -judicial killings custodial deaths were reported during last ten years.



The government of Pakistan is insisting on its Kashmir policy, completely disregarding the fact that the support it is extending to the militants and their political proxies is not for freedom or for the right of self-determination of the people of Kashmir. This support is for religious fanatics and fundamentalist outfits attempting to push the civil society back to the dark ages. Pakistan's policy in Kashmir is same as it was in Afghanistan without considering the different objective conditions and political culture of Kashmir. The cross border terrorism financed and supported by Pakistan is greatly damaging the legitimate struggle of the people of Kashmir for freedom, democracy and social justice the situation is deteriorating with the passage of time. The new militant groups are Surfacing with terrible agenda and ruthless goals. Recently, after beheading four women in Rajouri district, militant outfits have directed Muslims to follow a set of guidelines like the Taliban had done in Afghanistan. Lashker-e-Jabbar and many other fundamentalist groups have directed women to wear burqas and men to wear caps and grow beards. It has asked women to desist from going to schools and colleges, have a male escort while going out of the house and sit separately from men in the buses. This situation indicates that terrorist outfits are acting on their nefarious agenda of Talbanization of civil society and implementation of anti-cultural policy.



India and Pakistan are under the constitutional, legal, moral and political obligation to stop the mass Killings and process of total extermination of the people and culture of Kashmir. On the name of Humanity, we appeal to you to pursue the governments of India and Pakistan to take immediate steps to Protect the innocent people from militants and resolve the issue peacefully in accordance with the democratic principle of the right to self-determination. In this hour of our great trial, we are looking forward for your immediate attention and assistance.

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