As the Indian siege of occupied Kashmir enters 166th day, High Commissioner Mohammad Nafees Zakaria gave an update on the deepening humanitarian crisis in the Kashmir Valley and Muslim majority areas of Jammu . He was addressing the people from various Muslim countries who gathered at the High Commission to offer Juma Prayers today. Reiterating the Government of Pakistan’s policy of moral, political and diplomatic support to the Kashmiris’ legitimate right to self-determination, the High Commissioner reminded that Kashmir is an internationally recognized dispute with unimplemented UN Security Council’s resolutions on it.

Expressing solidarity with the Kashmiris, he invited the attention of the international community towards the plight of Kashmiri people. Mr Zakaria updated the audience that crippling restrictions and military siege since Aug 5, 2019 has not only badly affected daily life of the people, deprived the children and youth of their education and destroyed livelihood of the Kashmiris but the siege has also taken toll on the innocent lives.

Blackout of media, internet and other means of communication by the Indian government remain in place in violation of basic rights, he added, says a press release received from London, here today. . Mr Zakaria quoted “Muslim Women’s Forum” report saying that around 13,000 Kashmiri youth have been arrested and their whereabouts are unknown. He warned that the international community must take immediate notice of the illegal detentions of the Kashmiri youth so that they should not end up in mass graves like thousands of their brethren whom India killed in fake encounters in the past, and they were later discovered buried in unnamed and unmarked mass graves.

He cited International People’s Tribunal Report entitled, “Buried Alive”. (Weblink: http://www.mofa.gov.pk/documents/kashmir/BuriedEvidenceKashmir.pdf) Mr Zakaria urged the gathering to pray for the Kashmiris and create understanding of the issue of human sufferings in the Indian Occupied Kashmir.

On this occasion, a collective Dua was also offered for the Kashmiri victims of Indian atrocities. The High Commissioner has been regularly expressing solidarity with the Kashmiris since the siege started on 5th August 2019 with unilateral measures by India to change the status of Kashmir in violation of UNSC resolutions on Kashmir and related international conventions.

He has also been reminding that there is a verified trail of torture and atrocities duly documented by the organisations of international repute and INGOs such as Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, JKCHR, IPHRC, IPTK, etc. On the occasion, photos depicting Indian atrocities against defenceless Kashmiris were also displayed to help visitors understand the magnitude of the human rights abuses in IOK.