UNSC meets today to discuss occupied Kashmir shutdown
The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) will meet today to discuss the alarming human rights situation in occupied Kashmir, Radio Pakistan reported.
This is the second time in less than six months that UNSC will meet to discuss the situation in the occupied valley. In August last year, the Security Council had, for first time in over five decades, met to discuss the critical human rights situation in the occupied valley.
The meeting had come about after Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi revoked the special status of the valley in August, 2019 and imposed a military curfew and communications blackout in the area, sending in hundreds of thousands of Indian troops to quell protests.
Thousands of people, including the top political leadership of occupied Kashmir, as well as two former chief ministers and the mayor of capital Srinagar, were detained. International media also reported that the detainees had been tortured by the occupying Indian troops.
The international community had voiced concerns about the situation of occupied Kashmir in the aftermath of the move by the Indian premier, with several political leaders, including US congresspersons, urging India to lift the blockade and return normalcy to the region.
Islamabad had also condemned the Indian move and asked New Delhi to immediately lift the restrictions in the valley, urging India to respect the right to self-determination of the people in Kashmir. In late December, FM Qureshi had penned a letter to the United Nations in this regard as well.
In the letter, Qureshi had warned India of a timely and befitting response to any aggression along LoC, and expressed concerns over military movement and missile deployment in occupied Kashmir, asking the UN to take notice of the issue.
According to Qureshi, China had backed Pakistani concerns regarding the volatile situation on the LoC and in Kashmir, asking the UN Military Observer Group posted along the border areas between Pakistan and India to brief the UNSC on the ground realities of the area.
As the UNSC meets to discuss occupied Kashmir for a second time in less than six months, FM Qureshi is set to arrive in New York to meet UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and UN General Assembly (UNGA) President Tijjani Muhammad-Bande.
Indian SC rules internet shutdown unconstitutional
On January 10, the Indian Supreme Court in its decision had ruled that shutting down internet in occupied Kashmir was unconstitutional in a rebuke for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government.
The same day, foreign diplomats from several countries also visited occupied Kashmir for the second time since August, however, some European nations and others declined to go after being refused permission to travel independently.
The visit came after India came under severe criticism for rights violations in Kashmir. Access to the region for foreign observers, including diplomats, rights groups and journalists, is tightly controlled by Delhi, and even top Indian political leadership is not allowed in the valley.
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