Wed, 29 Mar 2023

Geneva [Switzerland], June 25 (ANI): The members of the United Kashmir People's National Party (UKPNP) led by Shaukat Ali Kashmiri on Friday staged a protest at the UN human rights head office in Geneva to highlight the atrocities being committed against the people of Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK).

The protest lasted for a day after which the Chairman of United Kashmir People's National Party (UKPNP), Sardar Shaukat Ali Kashmiri, Central Spokesperson of UKPNP, Nasir Aziz Khan and Central Secretary of Foreign Affairs Committee, UKPNP, Jamil Maqsood submitted a memorandum to the UN High Commissioner with an appeal to take action against the Pakistan government.

In the memorandum, the UKPNP raised concerns about Pakistan's policy to use religion as a weapon and terrorism as a foreign policy tool while accusing Pakistan was using Kashmir as a launching pad for terrorism and training camps to suppress the secular, democratic and progressive voices of the entire region.

It demanded Pakistan change its policies and asked the country to take serious actions against the terrorist organisations and groups.

It also demanded Pakistan should dismantle terrorist infrastructure from Gilgit Baltistan region of PoK, while raising concerns on the state of human rights and security situation in the former Princely state of Jammu and Kashmir.

UKPNP further expressed concerns about growing extremism, violence and intolerance in various parts of the region, urging the controlling authorities to ensure the safety of all citizens and apprehend the culprits.

"The entire State of Jammu and Kashmir is one political entity, and it is a political dispute, and Pakistani attempts to give it a religious flavour will have an adverse effect on social, cultural and politics of the region. Pakistan attempts to promote religious intolerance and hatred will further divide the people of Jammu and Kashmir; and generate more extremism, violence and terrorism," the statement read.

It asked the concerned controlling authorities to ensure the safety of all citizens, and treat them equally by respecting their civil, political, social and religious rights.

UKPNP further accused Pakistan of violating the state subject and settling its citizens in PoK to change the demography of these areas.

Pakistan is also slowly but gradually changing local demographics through the issuance of domicile certificates to Pakistani nationals. This phenomenon is increasing anxiety and anger against all such policies of Pakistan," UKPNP said in its memorandum.

UKPNK also raised concerns about tight controls on freedom of expression and the situation of media and journalists in Pakistan.

It noted that, this control is highly selective. Militant organizations have had free rein to propagate their views and disseminate literature. However, those critical of the Pakistani government, have faced continual repression.

"The media and the journalists in Pakistan and in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir and Gilgit- Baltistan illegally occupied by Pakistan, never had a situation so bad where people fear for their lives and lives of their loved ones," the memorandum further read.

UKPNP appealed to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to organize a UN fact-finding delegation to visit Gilgit Baltistan and bring on record the extreme repression of the people by Pakistan.

The protest was joined by the assembly of eminent members of civil society, political activists, journalists and citizens from different parts of the globe. (ANI)

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