Rights violation in P O K
displaced people of Kashmir are suffering from the brutal
suppression of Pakistani security forces: Terrorism of
fundamentalist militant outfits, constant torture of local police
and unspeakable horrors in the hands of ISI. International rights
groups must intervene and extend their assistance to these
unfortunate people. This was stated in a report on the violations of
rights in Kashmir, here in Toronto. The report was issued by Carmen
Miranda, Coordinator, Council of Advocates international.
the background of the report the Council of Advocates international
said that in March, it received complaints of massive human rights
violations from the refugees and displaced People of Kashmir living
in Azad Kashmir and Pakistan. The refugees stated their Plight and
said that they were displaced because of cross border shelling
between Indian and Pakistanís military, terrorism and violence.
Most of them were misguided and in some cases forced by the
fundamentalist outfits to leave their homes and cross the border.
Once they crossed the border to Azad Kashmir, they became Hostage in
the hands of ISI and fundamentalist Militant outfits.
were forced to live in those camps with their women and children in
horrific and unspeakable situation. These camps were built as
showcases for international delegations and fact-finding missions to
highlight the Indian atrocities. The fundamentalist militants used
these camps for recruitment, shelters for foreign mercenaries,
safe-houses and arm Storages. Refugees From the camps are forced to
transport arms across the border and most of the times are killed by
Security forces. They are unlawfully arrested, tortured and suffer
from the gross violations of human rights.
response, The Council of Advocates International formed a committee,
which investigated and prepared this report. Council secretary
general Hamid Bashani expressed his deep concern over the situation
and saidĒ the government of India and Pakistan is constitutionally
obligated to ensure the safety and security of the people and
protect their rights. Their failure to resolve the issue has
catastrophic impact and with the passage of time may worsen the
situation. Following is the summary of the report:
February 7,2002, Mushtaq Ali and Naseer Khawaja were contacted by a
group of Muzaffrabad based militant leaders. During the lengthy
meeting they were asked to transport arms across the border. The duo
refused to comply and were threatened with dire consequences. The
next day they were arrested by ISI and were transported blindfolded
in a house where they were held incommunicado for ten days. They
were brutally tortured and humiliated. Every single day, They were
severely beaten and kicked with boots.
their release the local police started visiting them frequently and
threatened to charge them with theft, arms trading and other
criminal acts. During each visit, The police would beat them and ask
them for money. They left Muzaffrabad and are now hiding in
Pakistan. Two elderly refugee men and a woman testify that two of
their young relatives, Javeed Abu, 23 and Sameer shaik 19, were
contacted by the militants and ISI personnel and them same method
was applied to recruit them to transport Arm across the border.
After two weeks they received news that they were killed by security
forces in an encounter while crossing the border.
Kashmiri refugee women testified that over the period of the last
four months the local police and other intelligence agencies
personnelís have visited them on regular basis or asked them to go
to the safe houses for investigation. Under the pretext of this
investigation they were taken to different Places and were sexually
assaulted and repeatedly raped. No case was ever registered against
them, but they were threatened to charge with criminal offenses.
They also testified that they knew some other women who went through
more brutal situations but never spoke because of the stigma
attached to rape and Sexual assault cases.
Butt, a 31-year-old displaced Kashmir reported that he was arrested
by The Army (ISI) and accused of spying for Indians Intelligence
agencies. He was beaten with rifle Butts, Punched and kicked in the
face. His only crime was that he refused to accompany a group of
militants as a Guide to cross the border. He was kept in a
Safe-House for one week during which time he was beaten every day.
He was released after the promise of full cooperation. Muhammad Deen,
a fifty one year old refugee, tried to cross the border to go to his
home with his wife and 16 year old son. He was shot dead by
Pakistani army personnel without any warning or chance to return.