Bern [Switzerland], June 21 (ANI): Expressing deep concerns over human rights violations in Pakistan and its occupied Jammu and Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan, United Kashmir People's National Party (UKPNP) has appealed to the United Nations to send a fact-finding mission to investigate the matter.
The concerns were raised in a letter addressed to the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), amid the 47th session of the UN Human Rights Council at Geneva.
"UKPNP is opposing Pakistani policy to use religion as weapon and terrorism as a foreign policy tool and our region as a launching pad and training camp to press the secular, democratic and progressive voices of the entire region," the letter said.
"So-called Azad Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan are part of the erstwhile Princely State of Jammu and Kashmir, which has been illegally held by Pakistan since 1947. For the last 73 years, the Government has not only neglected this area's development, but it has also systematically indulged in politically repressing the people," it said.
The UKPNP said the so-called Azad Kashmir has remained a colony of Islamabad, with Pakistan's central government taking all decisions. "Over the 74 years, apart from a total lack of development and basic political rights, the people of so called Azad Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan have suffered from human rights abuses, largely carried out by the army and other security agencies with impunity."
According to Pakistan's Human Rights Commission, the country's intelligence agencies carry out extensive surveillance operations on the press and pro-independence groups. They have carried out arbitrary arrests in which people have been tortured and several have gone missing.
There is a long and ignominious history of the state, or powerful elements within it, declaring politically active citizens of Pakistan traitors, foreign agents or externally funded saboteurs of national peace and security, the letter added.
"Through this letter, we would like to draw your attention towards the state of human rights in Pakistan and its occupied Jammu and Kashmir Gilgit Baltistan and would like to share links of different credible sources and reports issued by different organisations including Amnesty International Reports on Pakistan, Asian Human Rights Commission, Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, Reporters without Borders, BBC and others reports," the letter read.
The UKPNP urged the UN that a fact-finding mission should be sent to "investigate serious human rights violations in Pakistani and it's held so-called Azad Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan". (ANI)