Pakistan denounces use of force on Muharram processions in held Kashmir

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has condemned the use of tear gas shells and firing of pellets on mourners taking part in Muharram procession in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir on Sunday.

A statement issued by the FO spokesperson, Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri said, “Due to the illegal and indiscriminate use of pellets, dozens of Kashmiris have reportedly been seriously injured, including with eye injuries causing permanent blindness.”

The statement further said Indian occupation forces in IIOJK have been using pellet guns and lethal cartridges since 2010 resulting in a large number of deaths and grievous injuries to thousands of Kashmiris, including women and children.

Indiscriminate targeting of civilians with pellet guns, the statement said, causing excessive and permanent injuries and even deaths, is a clear violation of human rights and humanitarian law.

“The government of India is in clear violation of the UN Basic Principles on the Use of Force and Firearms by Law Enforcement Officials and the UN Code of Conduct for Law Enforcement Officials,” read the statement.

The Foreign Office said that the BJP leadership must realize that it is directly responsible for these illegal actions of the Indian occupation forces. “No illegal Acts, such as the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) and Public Safety Act (PSA), can provide legal cover to a crime recognized as such by international law,” it added.

The international community must take urgent cognizance of these egregious human rights violations in IIOJK and use all tools at its disposal to hold India accountable for its illegal actions, the official communique said.

“India must be made to fully comply with its international legal obligations,” it further added.

According to media reports, during the past week, police used baton or tear gas canisters to disperse mourners in a few smaller processions in various parts of Srinagar.

The number of youth killed by the troops during cordon and search operations in Srinagar, Pulwama and Shopian rose to 10 since Friday.

Yesterday, at least 40 people were wounded after Indian forces fired shotgun pellets and tear gas shells at a Muharram procession in occupied Kashmir, sources said.

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