PAKISTAN/KASHMIR: In the Pakistani part of Kashmir several political activists and students have been arrested for observing the demands for an independent Kashmir, free from India and Pakistan. Mr. Sardar Liaquat Hayat, the Central President of the Jammu Kashmir National Awami Party, and several activists of the Jamu and Kashmir National Awami Party (JKNAP) and Jammu Kashmir National Students Federation (JKNSF), were arrested without any judicial warrants or charges. At the time of arrest on July 19, 2009, they were protesting against the call by the prime minister of Kashmir to annex Kashmir with Pakistan. Police conducted raids in Rawalakote city and arrested Liaquat Hayat, Wajid Ayyub and Shaihid Sharaf without arrest warrants from their homes. The same day the ruling party of Pakistani Kashmir organized a public rally to commend the so-called Kashmir’s accession to Pakistan at Rawalakote city.
July 19 is observed in Pakistan as the annexation of Kashmir to Pakistan since 1948, during the day governments of Pakistan and Kashmir (Pakistani) demanding the whole of Kashmir (including Indian territory) from the UN to be annexed to Pakistan as the unfinished agenda of creation of Pakistan.
On the same day in another incident, law enforcement personnel abducted and humiliated four Kashmiri students belonging to the JKNSF in Rawalpindi, Punjab province-Pakistan, for demanding the liberation of Kashmir from both Pakistan and India. It is alleged by the nationalist groups that leaders of the JKNAP and the JKNSF have been harassed, tortured and detained in the past as well for demanding basic human rights in the parts of Kashmir under Pakistani occupation. The JKNAP and JKNSF were opposing the annexation of Kashmir to Pakistan and demanding, the reunification of all the divided parts of Jammu Kashmir and its complete independence from India and Pakistan, based on secularism, democracy, equality, rule of law and social justice.
The Asian Human Rights Commission urges the government of Pakistan, who runs the affairs of their part of Kashmir through the federal ministry of Kashmir affairs, to release the activists of JKNAP and JKNSF and provide the right of freedom of expression and freedom of association to their part of Kashmir. The people of Kashmir have a legitimate right to protest peacefully. Denying the people this right is a serious violation of their basic human rights and contravenes the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR 1948) and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR 1966) as Pakistan is a signatory to both the covenants as a member nation state.
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About AHRC: The Asian Human Rights Commission is a regional non-governmental organisation monitoring and lobbying human rights issues in Asia. The Hong Kong-based group was founded in 1984.
Asian Human Rights Commission, AHRC-STM-161-2009
July 31, 2009