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Imran Khan Urges World to Remember Kashmir on Human Rights Day

by Newsweek Pakistan
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Aamir Qureshi—AFP

Pakistan’s prime minister says his government committed to protection of human rights of all its citizens

Prime Minister Imran Khan on Tuesday urged the global community to remember the plight of residents of India-held Kashmir on Human Rights Day, as he condemned New Delhi’s ongoing “siege” of the disputed region.

In a message posted on Twitter, the prime minister demanded an end to the human rights abuses allegedly perpetrated by the Indian armed forces in Jammu and Kashmir. “On Human Rights Day, we must appeal to the world’s conscience, to upholders of international law [and] to the UNSC to act against the illegal annexation of IOJK by the Indian occupation government,” he said.

“We condemn the Occupying Indian govt’s siege of IOJK ongoing for over 4 months now & demand an end to the gross abuse & atrocities being inflicted on Kashmiri men, women & children by Indian Occupation forces in violation of all Int Humanitarian & Human Rights Laws,” he added. “We salute & stand resolutely with the brave Kashmiris struggling for their right of self determination.”

Human Rights Day is celebrated annually across the world on Dec. 10, the date when, in 1948, the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed and adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. On Aug. 5, New Delhi scrapped through a presidential order the special autonomy that India-held Kashmir had enjoyed since Partition in 1947.

Claiming to suppress extremism, the Bharatiya Janata Party-led government has maintained a communications lockdown in the region for nearly five months now. Hundreds of thousands of soldiers are also deployed in the region to suppress dissent from Kashmiris who do not agree with this unilateral move. P.M. Khan has repeatedly stated that he will serve as an ambassador for the residents of India-held Kashmir to project their concerns to a global audience. He has also urged the international community to condemn India’s actions.

Separately on Tuesday, P.M. Khan also tweeted a message calling on Muslims to recognize that human rights have always been enshrined in Islam. “On international Human Rights Day Muslims need to remember that the message of equality, justice & protection of human rights for all was given more than 1,400 years ago by our Prophet (PBUH),” he said. “This embodied the cardinal principles of respect for human rights & human dignity.” He said the ideals preached by Islam’s Prophet were the inspiration for his government. “Inspired by the ideals preached by our Prophet PBUH, especially in his last sermon, and duties enshrined in our Constitution, my govt is committed to the protection of human rights for all its citizens without discrimination,” he added.

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