United Nations (UN) Human Rights Office report accuses India of ‘excessive use of force’ and human rights abuses in Kashmir.
In a first, UN Human Rights Office calls for international probe into IOK human rights violation
In the first ever UN Human Rights Office report on Kashmir, The UN human rights chief Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein called for international investigation into the abuses in Kashmir.
Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein said he would urge the Human Rights Council, which opens a new session next week, “to consider establishing a Commission of Inquiry (COI) to conduct a comprehensive independent international investigation into allegations of human rights violations in Kashmir”.
“Alleged sites of mass graves in the Kashmir Valley and Jammu region should be investigated,” he said in a statement.
It should be noted that COI is UN’s highest-level probe, generally reserved for major crises like the Syrian conflict.
Pakistan welcomes UN report
The government of Pakistan whole-heartedly accepted the first ever UN report on Kashmir and called reiterated UN’s call for international probe into Indian-Occupied Kashmir human rights violation.
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf chief and a strong contender for the post of Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan tweeted: “We welcome this Report & ask the OIC, EU as well as human rights bodies to put their weight behind this Report and seek the probe into the human rights violations by India in IOK.”
We welcome this Report & ask the OIC, EU as well as human rights bodies to put their weight behind this Report and seek the probe into the human rights violations by India in IOK. https://t.co/GaZYIhHvGV
— Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) June 15, 2018
The official Twitter handle for the Government of Pakistan tweeted: “
#Pakistan welcomes UN High Commissioner for Human Rights proposal to establish a Commission of Inquiry for international investigation into human rights violations in #Indian occupied #Kashmir. ~Foreign Office Spokesperson Dr. Muhammad Faisal.”
#Pakistan welcomes UN High Commissioner for Human Rights proposal to establish a Commission of Inquiry for international investigation into human rights violations in #Indian occupied #Kashmir.
~Foreign Office Spokesperson Dr. Muhammad Faisal pic.twitter.com/Is6WERHJQo
— Govt of Pakistan (@pid_gov) June 14, 2018
The spokesperson for Ministry of Foreign Affairs Dr. Mohammad Faisal linked the report to the recent killing of renowned Kashmiri journalist Shujjat Bukhari. He tweeted: “Kashmiri jounalist Shujjat Bukhari’s targeted killing within hours of his tweet on the OHCHR report on Jammu & Kashmir – terrible coincidence, raises serious questions – India should investigate and ensure that the perpetrators are brought to justice.”
Kashmiri jounalist Shujjat Bukhari's targeted killing within hours of his tweet on the OHCHR report on Jammu & Kashmir – terrible coincidence, raises serious questions – India should investigate and ensure that the perpetrators are brought to justice
— Dr Mohammad Faisal (@ForeignOfficePk) June 14, 2018
Independence Day: Sale of Kashmiri flags on the rise
Sale of Kashmiri flags, badges and other decoration items have gained impetus ahead of Independence Day after the federal government had announced to observe August 14 as Kashmir Solidarity Day.
MUZAFFARABAD, Azad Kashmir/KARACHI, Pakistan: Sale of Kashmiri flags, badges and other decoration items have gained impetus ahead of Independence Day after the federal government had announced to observe August 14 as Kashmir Solidarity Day, ARY News reported on Thursday.
As marking of 73rd Independence Day is right around the corner, the preparations have gained momentum as a huge rush of people were seen at different stalls of Kashmiri flags, national flags buntings, badges, set up by vendors in different areas of Karachi.
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All Karachi Tajir Ittehad Chairman Ateeq Meer said that people are very enthusiastic and passionate for purchasing celebratory items to mark Independence Day.
It must be noted that government has decided to observe Independence Day; 14 August, as Kashmir Solidarity Day and 15th of this month as Black Day to express harmony and solidarity with Kashmiris in their recent plight caused by the Indian government.
The national flag will fly half-mast on 15th of this month. A notification to this effect has been issued by the Ministry of Interior.
Maryam’s interview “stopped forcefully:” Nadeem Malik
An interview of Maryam Nawaz Sharif, a vice president of the PML-N, was “forcefully” taken off air soon after it was run, it was reported on Thursday.
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: An interview of former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s daughter Maryam Nawaz Sharif was taken off air forcefully seconds after it started.
“Just came to know Maryam Nawaz Sharif’s interview has been stopped forcefully just [a] few minutes after it started live,” tweeted show host Nadeem Malik.
Hum News, the channel on which the interview was aired for a few brief moments, released a statement shortly after the incident, saying: “Hum News believes in a free and responsible media. Protecting freedom of expression is one of our core values. At the same time, we stand for the respect and dignity of [the] judiciary in line with our ethical values and the Constitution.”
The development comes days after AbbTakk TV, 24 News, and Capital TV all had their broadcasts cut after screening a press conference by Maryam Nawaz.
Authorities say the three channels were unavailable due to “technical issues”, but Reporters Without Borders (RSF), a global media watchdog, described the outage as an act of “brazen censorship”.
It slammed the local authorities over the removal of three television channels from the country’s airwaves, saying the move was “indicative of disturbing dictatorial tendencies” as pressure mounts on journalists in Pakistan.
Maryam is the daughter of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif — who is currently behind bars for corruption — and a recent press conference she hosted featured a judge reportedly claiming he had been blackmailed into convicting the former premier.
The move came as Prime Minister Imran Khan’s administration vowed to block any media coverage and interviews of politicians “who are convicts and under trial”.
Earlier this month, Geo News TV abruptly took an interview with former president Asif Ali Zardari off air shortly after it began.
Several dead and dozens injured in Pakistan train collision
A collision between a passenger train and a stationary freight train near the central town of Rahim Yar Khan in Pakistan has killed at least 10 people, with more than 70 others injured, according to police and hospital officials.
RAHIM YAR KHAN, Pakistan: A collision between a passenger train and a stationary freight train near the central town of Rahim Yar Khan in Pakistan has killed at least 10 people, with more than 70 others injured, according to police and hospital officials.
The incident on Thursday took place at the Walhar railway station, located about 35km south of Rahim Yar Khan.
“The Akbar Express [passenger train] going from Bahawalpur to Quetta hit a freight train that was parked there at 7.40am,” a local police official told Al Jazeera on condition of anonymity because he was not authorised to speak to media.
Senior police official Umar Salamat told local media the collision took place because the passenger train was diverted onto the incorrect track at the station, hitting the parked freight train.
Rescue operations were under way at the collision site, with workers using equipment to get to some of those trapped in the train wreckage, local media reported.
The injured were taken to a nearby government hospital and to a more advanced facility in Rahim Yar Khan, hospital officials said.
Nine of the dead were taken to the government hospital, with more than 60 people injured in the wreck also treated there, Liaquat Chohan, a senior hospital official, told Al Jazeera.
“The injuries were of multiple types – many had fractures, others had bleeding wounds. Some were crushed under objects,” he said.
At least one dead body was also taken to the Sheikh Zayed hospital in Rahim Yar Khan, where 11 of those wounded in the accident were being treated, hospital official Ilyas Ahmer told Al Jazeera.
“One person’s leg was cut off [in the collision], and another is having serious chest surgery,” he said.
Pakistan’s aging railway network carries both passengers and goods across the country, but suffers periodic derailments and other accidents due to aging infrastructure.
A major Chinese investment in the country is seeking to upgrade the main railway line that connects the length of the country, raising speeds and safety standards.
Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan expressed his condolences for those who were killed and injured, and ordered Railways Minister Sheikh Rasheed Ahmad to speed up work on the country’s rail infrastructure.
“Have asked Railways Minister to take emergency steps to counter decades of neglect of railway infrastructure & ensure safety standards,” Khan tweeted after the accident.