Geneva, March 10 (KMS): The International Human Rights Association of American Minorities (IHRAAM) organised a seminar on the sidelines of the 37th session of UN Human Rights Council in Geneva to discuss the challenges including geo-political, economic and military posturing that severely affect the desire of people both recognized and unrecognized to exercise their right to self-determination.
The seminar was chaired by Barrister Abdul Majeed Tramboo, the permanent representative of IHRAAM. In his opening remarks he contextualized the status of global human rights in different parts of the world. His entire narrative revolved around the situation in Kashmir.
Dr Alfred de Zayas, independent expert for the democratic and independent order, lamented the international practice of double standards. He remarked that twenty million people had, so far, died in the struggles for right to self-determination. He declared that the people of Kashmir should be allowed to express their aspirations in a referendum.
Barrister Tramboo referred to the present situation of occupied Kashmir where democratic space to the resistance leadership has been substantially curbed. They are either under house arrest or in the notorious Indian prisons. He referred to the detention and house arrest of all the prominent leaders including Syed Ali Gilani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, Muhammed Yasin Malik, Shabbir Ahmed Shah and Farooq Ahmed Dar.
He said the harassment of leadership on false presumptions by the Indian NIA is totally unjustified. “All fundamental freedoms including freedom of expression and right to travel have been snatched. The international community needs to take notice of this grave situation,” he pleaded.
The Chairman of South Asia Centre for Peace and Human rights, Professor Nazir Ahmed Shawl, said the human rights of the people of Kashmir continue to remain in a state of suspension and most of their fundamental freedoms stand curbed. He said the authorities in their attempt to extinguish any dissent to their rule are practising the worst form of state terrorism. Indian government is advancing a misleading narrative about the freedom struggle. It is developing a grave situation through unprovoked firing on the borders and mayhem inside the occupied territory, he added.
Others who addressed the seminar included Daniela Donges, Ambassador Ronald Barnes and Leon Kaulhao Siu.