“New Domicile Law in Indian-Occupied Kashmir”,
New Domicile Law in IOK contravenes International Law and UNSC Resolutions: High Commissioner Nafees Zakaria
High Commissioner Mohammad Nafees Zakaria participated in a Virtual Seminar, entitled “New Domicile Law in Indian-Occupied Kashmir”, organised by Jammu Kashmir Self-Determination Movement International (JKSDMI) and the Daily Kashmir Times, today.
The Seminar was attended by Andrew Gwynne MP Chairman Labour Friends of Kashmir, Shadow Minister Afzal Khan MP, Jonathan Gullis MP, Yasmeen Dar, senior member Labour Party’s National Executive Committee Raja Najabat Hussain, Chairman JKSDMI and Asia Hussain, Chair, WEST Midland JKSDMI. President Kashmiri Youth Parliament Mr Ubaid Qureshi also joined the zoom meeting from Azad Jammu & Kashmir.
In his opening remarks, Raja Najabat Hussain said July is the month when many sons of Kashmir lost their lives and hence Kashmir Martyrs’ Day is observed on 13 July every year. Kashmiris world over pay tribute to the martyrs, and renew their commitment to keep raising voice in support of their right to self-determination as enshrined in the UNSC resolutions on Kashmir dispute, he added.
In his remarks, the High Commissioner said such seminars are a reminder that Kashmiri people yearn for their right to self-determination. He said India promulgated Domicile Law, in clear violation of relevant international law and Geneva Convention. It also violates the United Nations Security Council resolutions, which prohibit any material change in disputed territory, he stated. Mr Zakaria informed the participants about Foreign Minister’s letter to the United Nations Secretary General alerting the international community on 1st August about India’s sinister designs. He also apprised about the contours of the illegal legislation, J&K Reorganisation Order 2020, which would engineer rapid demographic change in the disputed territory.
Mr Zakaria underlined that India has been systematically changing demography of IOK over the years. The methodology prominently included genocide, mass killings and perpetual genocide as tools to change the demography. The 1947 Genocide of Jammu, scores of massacres since 1989, discovery of thousands of mass graves in 2009 and forced expulsions are clear manifestations in this regard.
The High Commissioner reiterated Pakistan’s principled stance on the issue of Kashmir. He said that Pakistan’s support to the Kashmiris’ just cause remains unflinching. He briefed the participants on the efforts undertaken to apprise the world leaders and the UN Secretary General on the grave human rights situation in IOK, decades long sufferings of Kashmiris, at the hands of Indian occupation forces, which have aggravated since India took illegal measures on 5th August to change the status of IOK with 11-month old military siege and communication blockade, compounded by Covid-19 pandemic. He stressed that lack of concrete measures against the perpetrators has emboldened them to commit crimes against humanity with impunity.
The speakers raised serious concerns over deteriorating human rights conditions in IOK and expressed solidarity with the oppressed Kashmiris in their struggle for self-determination. They particularly condemned the newly promulgated Domicile Law in IOK and warned about the consequences of any forced demographic change in the occupied territory. They said it is illegal for the Indian Government to grant Kashmiri domicile to any non-Kashmiri individual.
The speakers were of the view that Kashmir is an international issue and, therefore, the international community should play its role to end human suffering in IOK and resolve the dispute according to the UNSC resolutions. They expressed serious concerns over communication and media blackout in the occupied territory.
The Kashmiri leaders said the images of the victims coming from Kashmir are horrifying and demanded to end the oppression immediately and unconditionally. They also called upon the UK Government to play its due role to stop the human rights abuses and bloodshed of innocent Kashmiris.