Sherry Rehman on Kashmiris’ right to self-determination

Islamabad: Commemorating the day of Kashmiris’ right to self-determination in the Senate, Parliamentary Leader of the PPP in the Senate, Senator Sherry Rehman said the important date marks the promise of the UN and the international community to the people of IIOJK who now live under a colonising, violent rule of a neo fascist regime in India and how they have converted a valley of flowers and beauty to a dark valley of death. It is now Illegally Indian occupied Jammu and Kashmir.

“The international community has made a promise of a free and fair plebiscite. The right to self-determination Is one of the most fundamental rights guaranteed by the UN, all international charters and by all our countries constitutions where we live as citizens,” She added.

Rehman said, “This is about reminding the international community of the important promise they have made and how they have turned away from that promise and how they do not see what is going on”.

“What the Modi regime has done is actually unconscionable and unprecedented in the history of any nation. He has brought his violent, colonising rule to an entire valley of people. From the use of pellet guns to blinding and completely crippling young people who come out on the streets to ask for their rights. Can the international community not see this?” she questioned.

She said, “We have had important reports from the UN, EU and human rights organizations from all over the world, including India’s mainstream human rights organization, reporting on the level of impunity given freely to Indian occupation forces numbering over 800,000 to 900,000. They have made this beautiful valley into a valley of blood and tears. A valley of mass graves and illegal detentions, where you have people disappearing overnight, throttled by the guns and torture of the Indian military and security forces, who are protected by the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) and The Jammu and Kashmir Public Safety Act, 1978 (PSA). Had this been anywhere else, the whole world would have objected”.

“Modi sarkar tried to take over the Kashmiris’ right to domicile, and not just to self determination but to live and breathe freely.
The Kashmiris cannot breathe the air of safety, freedom is a very far cry. The women are raped, their children are under detention. 14-year-old children have been documented by the Indian human rights organizations to be held in detention and nobody knows where. There have been hundreds and thousands of people who have disappeared and the brave Kashmiri people have constantly resisted the guns, tanks and the constant state of being jailed and living in an open jail. While the international community has turned away from it” Rehman added.

The Senator said, “Journalists are being punished for reporting the reality, international observers and parliamentarians are not allowed to visit. Why is it that the world cannot see the atrocities being committed? Pakistan is not asleep and is standing with its Kashmiri brothers”.

“As today is SZAB’s birth anniversary, I wonder how he would have fought the case of Kashmir both at the UN with the international community and at the OIC. The summit he held was never repeated. With all global leaders, SZAB would have made his voice heard and would have made Pakistan proud. He would have seen to it that the Kashmiris’ voice is heard,” she added.

The Parliamentary Leader of the PPP in the Senate, Senator Sherry Rehman concluded by saying, “I urge all political leaders to ensure that Pakistan’s and most importantly, Kashmir’s voice is heard because they are under a lockdown, curfew and a kind of martial law that the world has not seen but still the international community is silent. We look to the UN and those powers that support it. There’s a great deal of transitioning happening in the world and the newly elected US administration knows what is what and does not need to do any homework which our government is still doing. It is our job and responsibility as legislators to seek that attention in the interest of Kashmiri people who deserve to be heard. There should be special hearings in the Congress of the US where they discuss all kinds of issues. Human rights violations all over the world are addressed so why not the people of Kashmir? Why not give them a chance, a voice and relief from this oppressing, colonizing, brutal and neo fascist Modi regime?”