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Page last edited on 12 March, 2003

Violations of Human Rights and U.N. Mandate in Kashmir

[Courtesy Dr. Godlas and Dr. Honerkamp
of the University of Georgia]

On this page I have provided representative quotes from and links to the the following document:

The KASHMIRI WAR: Human Rights and Humanitarian Law

A Briefing Paper
of the 
Humanitarian Law Project (HLP)
International Educational Development (IED)
Association Of Humanitarian Lawyers
Prepared by  Karen Parker, J.D.
Presented to
The United Nations Commission on Human Rights
1996 Session, March, Geneva

"This is not a war between India and Pakistan. It is a war taking place in Kashmir between Kashmiri people and their occupiers. It is not a religious war -- it is a war to fight the oppression of the occupying invader and to gain freedom. It is a fight to gain the rights promised to the Kashmiri people by the United Nations many long years ago and as yet unfulfilled."

Kashmiri War and Humanitarian Law - Part I Click on this link to read this section of the report in its entirety. The information I have compiled below summarizes Part I.
This material in Part I provides an introduction, a synopsis of the entire issue, and important background information.  In addition it gives the details of the United Nations actions in Kashmir.

"India seized much of Kashmir in 1947 during the break-up of British colonial rule in the region. In 1949, the United Nations Security Council and its Commission for India and Pakistan decided that Kashmiris themselves should determine their future rule, and authorized a UN-administered plebiscite of Kashmiris to determine their status.  This plebiscite has not yet been held."

"Kashmiris have resisted Indian rule all along, and there have been many periods of upheaval since 1947. The current crisis dates from 1988 and over its nearly 8 years has steadily escalated. At the present time, India has an occupation army of at least 600,000 military and paramilitary troops in Indian- occupied Kashmir."

Kashmir Report - Part II Click on this link to read this section of the report in its entirety. The information I have compiled below summarizes Part II.
A) THE KASHMIRI RIGHT TO SELF-DETERMINATION
"The United Nations itself promised the people of Kashmir the opportunity to express their wishes regarding their governance and the international status of their country. "

B) THE KASHMIRI WAR AND HUMANITARIAN LAW
"The Kashmiri War is a war of national liberation in defense of the right to self-determination.  It is legally invalid to refer to this war as a civil war."

C) THE WAR -- EVERYDAY REALITY
"The war reaches all parts of Indian-occupied Kashmir. "

D) SOME RECENT EVENTS
"In October, 1994 India released Shabir Shah from detention. There was great rejoicing in Kashmir, as Shabir Shah is considered by many the Nelson Mandela of Kashmir."

"According to extremely credible sources in India, there are Indian-created counterinsurgency groups that are formed and sent into the field to engage in terrorist acts to discredit the Kashmiri people and their leaders and groups."

"The All-Parties Hurriyet Conference (APHC) and other Kashmiri groups have condemned the kidnaping [of Western tourists] and killing [of one of them] and reiterate that they have no knowledge of the Al-Faran group [which claimed responsibility], making more likely that the group has been created by India as part of its counterinsurgency operations.  APHC leader Shabir Shah of the People's League called the killing 'un-Islamic' ..."

Kahsmir Report - Part III Click on this link to read this section of the report in its entirety. The information I have compiled below summarizes Part III.
A) INDIA'S  HUMANITARIAN LAW VIOLATIONS
"Grave breaches of humanitarian law continued unabated in 1996.  Civilian casualties mount and estimates now indicate over 25000 killed since January of 1990."
(1) murder and torture of captured combatants --POWs.
(2) rape of Kashmiri women carried out on a large scale.
(3) constant and continuing armed attacks against the civilian population in Kashmir.
(4) the refusal by Indian authorities to allow public, independent, unfettered monitoring of the situation.
(5) attacks on hospitals and medical personnel.
(6) interference with communications and humanitarian assistance.
(7) destruction of Kashmiri villages, cultural artifacts, etc..
(8) torture of POWs and civilians.
(9) serious violations of the rights of civilian and military detainees.

B) VIOLATIONS OF RIGHTS OF DETAINEES IN KASHMIR
Discusses four Indian legislative acts widely invoked in Kashmir that clearly violate international standards and warrant special attention.

C) THE ECONOMIC DESTRUCTION OF KASHMIR
"While much attention has been given to the war crimescommitted by Indian forces and the complete abrogation of civiland political rights in the area, little attention has been givento what our delegate refers to as the economic ruin of Kashmirand the tremendous drain on India's resources represented by themilitary oppression of Kashmir."

D) FINAL ASSESSMENT
"The people of Kashmir are in dire need of help...It will take years and millions of dollars to repair the damage. ..Kashmir would be a free, independent, democratic country if given the right to self-determination as promised to them by the United Nations in 1948-49...."

E) WHAT SHOULD THE UNITED NATIONS DO
"Now more than ever, the UnitedNations must renew efforts to bring about the promised plebescite. "

Appendix: U.N. ACTIONS ON KASHMIR


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Last updated on 12 March, 2003

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