ISLAMABAD / SRINAGAR:Thousands of angry demonstrators defied a curfew on Saturday to attend a schoolboy’s funeral in Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK), a day after his body was found riddled with pellets as Pakistan made an international appeal for ending the bloodshed in the disputed territory.
The 11-year-old boy’s body was found late Friday on the outskirts of Srinagar after Indian forces used pellet guns to break up protesting crowds despite the government vowing to replace the weapons. The boy’s killing sparked clashes with security forces across the restive region.
Kashmir has been hit by months of violent protests over the killing by Indian soldiers of a young freedom fighter Burhan Wani on July 8. The killing of the schoolboy took the death toll to 81 in the worst violence to hit the Muslim-majority territory since 2010.
Highlighting this continued bloodshed, Pakistan’s Permanent Representative to UN Tehmina Janjua on Saturday impressed upon the UN Human Rights Council (UNHCR) to conduct a fair, independent and transparent investigation into the extrajudicial killings and other human rights violations in the IOK.
Janjua said people of Kashmir had been struggling for over six decades to realise their right to self-determination and lost over one hundred thousand lives since 1989.
“India is desperately seeking to deflect attention from its state terrorism by claiming that the uprising has no internal roots and equating the Kashmiri struggle with terrorism,” she added.
Earlier, in an interview with Radio Pakistan’s News and Current Affairs Channel, Janjua said the international community has been fully appraised about the human rights situation and the atrocities being committed by India against the innocent Kashmiris in the territory.
“Pakistan’s special envoy Awais Ahmad Khan Leghari who was sent to Geneva had an opportunity to meet and discuss the situation in Kashmir with important dignitaries,” she added.
Separately, Pakistan’s delegation to the UNHCR, strongly rebutted India’s untenable stance on Jammu and Kashmir and slammed its persistent interference in Balochistan.
In a strong-worded statement, the Pakistan delegate termed India’s attempts to deny its illegal occupation of Jammu and Kashmir a ‘travesty of history.’
“The sudden Indian focus on Balochistan is consistent with their playbook of seeking to distract attention from the repression unleashed in the IOK.
“The increasing international attention being given to the plight of the Kashmiri people is being desperately countered by New Delhi by attempting to shift attention elsewhere,” the statement said.
The delegation said Pakistan had scrupulously avoided commenting on India’s internal human rights situation but New Delhi’s persistent, irresponsible flouting of international norms had compelled it to point out the ‘abysmal human rights record’ of the Indian government
“Over one-third of Indian territory is under a full blown peasant insurgency. There is a despicable human rights situation in Manipur, Mizuram, Tripura, and Assam, and ethnic groups in India’s north-east have been battling for their rights since many decades in the face of terrible repression,” it said.