Imran Khan Blames India for Human Rights Violations in Kashmir

Imran Khan. Photo: PTI
Imran Khan. Photo: PTI

Imran Khan said today that the leadership of Pakistan and India now need to come to the table to resolve the Kashmir issue and end the blame games.

By Rakesh Raman

Cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan – who is poised to become the Prime Minister (PM) of Pakistan – said today that Pakistan would like to have good relations with India if India is ready to resolve the Kashmir issue which has been hanging fire for decades.

He blamed India for human rights violation in Kashmir which is a disputed territory between India and Pakistan. “Kashmir remains our biggest contention. The human rights violations are happening for over 30 years and the people of Kashmir have suffered massively,” Imran Khan’s party Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) tweeted on his behalf today.

A new report by the UN Human Rights Office also suggests that there is an urgent need to address past and ongoing human rights violations and abuses and deliver justice for all people in Kashmir, who for seven decades have suffered a conflict that has claimed or ruined numerous lives.

Recently, a veteran Congress leader Saifuddin Soz suggested that Kashmiris will “prefer to be independent” if they are given a choice to express their free will.

Soz endorsed former Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf’s assessment over a decade ago that Kashmiris will prefer freedom instead of living as citizens of India. He also criticized Indian government for diluting Kashmir’s autonomy that was enshrined in Article 370 of the Constitution of India.

Meanwhile, the UN has demanded an unconditional access to Kashmir to record the extent of human rights violations in the troubled state. Similarly, irked by extreme human rights violations in Kashmir, a British Parliamentary Group has decided to release a report on this issue.

Chris Leslie MP, Chairperson All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Kashmir, chaired the meeting a few days ago to discuss the state of unrest in Kashmir.

Imran Khan added that the leadership of Pakistan and India now need to come to the table to resolve this issue and end the blame games.

“We are stuck at square one. If India comes and takes one step towards us, we will take two steps toward them. Right now it is one sided where India is constantly just blaming us,” Imran Khan complained.

Kashmir has always been a conflict area between India and Pakistan since 1947 when both these countries got freedom from the British rule. In order to stake their claims over Kashmir, India and Pakistan have fought two bloody wars in 1965 and 1971, besides incessant skirmishes between the rival armies.

Pakistan is leaving no stone unturned to internationalize the burning Kashmir issue as local Kashmiris are facing the wrath of Indian security forces. Now it is expected that it will be easier for Pakistan to mobilize international community in its favour because of Imran Khan’s popularity as a cricketer all across the world.

Although the full election results have not yet been declared, Imran Khan’s party PTI is emerging as the single largest party in the 272-seat National Assembly of Pakistan. While PTI needs 137 seats to form the government, it was leading at 120 seats. It is expected that PTI will take other parties support for government formation.

Pakistan’s National Assembly has a total of 342 members. While 272 members are directly elected, the other 60 seats are reserved for women and 10 for religious minorities. The other members are selected through proportional representation among parties with more than five per cent of the vote. A party can form the government if has at least 172 seats.

By Rakesh Raman, who is a national award-winning journalist and social activist. He is the founder of a humanitarian organization RMN Foundation which is working in diverse areas to help the disadvantaged and distressed people in the society.

Photo courtesy: Imran Khan / PTI

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Rakesh Raman