Human rights abuses in all the administered areas areas of Kashmir have been reported by non governmental agency's such as Human Rights Watch

Jammu and Kashmir[edit | edit source]

Main article: Human rights abuses in Jammu and Kashmir

Human rights abuses in Jammu and Kashmir, a disputed territory administered by India, are an ongoing issue, ranging from mass killings, forced disappearances, rape, encounter killings, torture and the use of child soldiers by insurgents to political repression and suppression of freedom of speech. The Indian central reserve police force and border security personal[1] and various paramilitary groups have been accused,[2] of committing systematic human rights abuses against the Muslim majority and Hindu minority population.[3]

Paramilitary groups[edit | edit source]

During the eruption of armed rebellion the Islamic insurgency has claimed to have specifically targeted the Hindu Kashmiri Pandits minority and violated their human rights.[4] Reports by Indian government state 219 Kashmiri pandits were killed and around 1,40,000 migrated due to millitancy while over 3000 stayed in the valley.[5][6] Reports from Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and the International Commission of Jurists confirmed Indian reports of systematic human rights violations by Pakistan-backed militants.[7]

According to a resolution passed by the United States Congress in 2006, Islamic terrorists infiltrated the region in 1989 and since then nearly 400,000 Pandits were either murdered or forced to leave their ancestral homes.[8]

These groups which received weapons and other support from Pakistan targeted the Hindus in the Kashmir valley forcing an estimated 100,000 to flee and an estimated 350,000 are displaced since 1990.[9] The Hizb-ul-Mujahideen which was founded in 1980's as a militant wing of Jamaat-e-Islami in conjunction with Lashkar-e-Tayyiba carried out a massacre of 23 people including women and children in Wandhamaforces and two years later in another joint operation they massacred 35 Sikh men in Chattisinghpora.[10]

Pakistan-backed paramilitary groups have also been accuse of using children as young as 10 to act as messengers and spy's. They have also use children to throw grenades at security forces and to plant explosive devices.[2] Militant groups have also kidnapped journalists, tortured and killed them and have intimidated newspapers into not publishing story's on human rights abuses. [11]

Indian security forces[edit | edit source]

In July 1990 Indian military was given special powers under Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958(AFSPA), which human rights groups claim gives the security force virtual immunity for crimes committed.[12] On the 26 of February 2009 the chief minister stated the act should be repealed, the security forces however said that revoking the act would be detrimental to security and help terrorist moral.[13] In 1992 the International Labour Organization has described the abuses carried out as having "reached a staggering proportion" and that they were "unprecedented in it's brutality".[14] International NGO's as well as the US state department have documented human rights abuses carried out during India's counter terrorism operations, disappearances, torture and arbitrary executions have all been carried out with impunity.[7]

Human rights watch has also accused the Indian security forces of using children as spy's and messengers, although the Indian government denies this allegation.[2] India has also created auxiliaries made up from captured or surrendered militants. These groups have targeted reporters and human rights activists, they have also been accused of committing over 200 rapes in an attempt to intimidate the local population.[9][11]


The security forces have also recruited ex service personal to set up village defense committees, these groups have carried out extra judicial killings, assaults and other human rights violations.[11] An investigation by the Jammu and Kashmir state human rights commission has found 2730 bodies in unmarked graves at 38 sites in northern Kashmir. At least 574 of these were identified as being local people, though the government had previously stated the graves held only militants they had been unable to identify and that most had been Pakistani.[15]

Pakistan administered Kashmir[edit | edit source]

Azad Kashmir[edit | edit source]

Main article: Human rights abuses in Azad Kashmir

Pakistan, an Islamic Republic, imposes multiple restrictions on peoples' religious freedom.[16] Religious minorities also face unofficial economic and societal discrimination and have been targets of sectarian violence.[16]

The constitution of Azad Kashmir specifically prohibits activities that may be prejudicial to the state's accession to Pakistan, and as such regularly suppresses demonstrations against the government.[16] A number of Islamist militant groups operate in this area including Al-Qaeda, with tacit permission from Pakistan's intelligence.[16] As in Indian administered Kashmir, there have been allegations of human rights abuse.

A report titled "Kashmir: Present Situation and Future Prospects", which was submitted to the European Parliament by Emma Nicholson, Baroness Nicholson of Winterbourne, was critical of the lack of human rights, justice, democracy, and Kashmiri representation in the Pakistan National Assembly.[17] According to the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, Pakistan's Inter Services Intelligence operates in Pakistan-administered Kashmir and is involved in extensive surveillance, arbitrary arrests, torture, and murder.[16] Generally this is done with impunity and perpetrators go unpunished.[16] The 2008 report by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees determined that Pakistan-administered Kashmir was 'Not free'.[16] According to Shaukat Ali, chairman of the International Kashmir Alliance, "On one hand Pakistan claims to be the champion of the right of self-determination of the Kashmiri people, but she has denied the same rights under its controlled parts of Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan".[18]

Gilgit-Baltistan[edit | edit source]

The main demand of the people of Gilgit-Baltistan is a constitutional status to the region as a fifth province of Pakistan.[19][20] However, Pakistan claims that Gilgit-Baltistan cannot be given constitutional status due to Pakistan's commitment to the 1948 UN resolution.[20][21] In 2007, International Crisis Group stated that "Almost six decades after Pakistan's independence, the constitutional status of the Federally Administered Northern Areas (Gilgit and Baltistan), once part of the former princely state of Jammu and Kashmir and now under Pakistani control, remains undetermined, with political autonomy a distant dream. The region's inhabitants are embittered by Islamabad's unwillingness to devolve powers in real terms to its elected representatives, and a nationalist movement, which seeks independence, is gaining ground. The rise of sectarian extremism is an alarming consequence of this denial of basic political rights".[22] A two-day conference on Gilgit-Baltistan was held on 8–9 April 2008 at the European Parliament in Brussels under the auspices of the International Kashmir Alliance.[23] Several members of the European Parliament expressed concern over the human rights violation in Gilgit-Baltistan and urged the government of Pakistan to establish democratic institutions and rule of law in the area.[23][24]

In 2009, the Pakistan government implemented an autonomy package for Gilgit-Baltistan which entails rights similar to those of Pakistan’s other provinces.[19] Gilgit-Baltistan thus gains province-like status without actually being conferred such a status constitutionally.[19][21] The direct rule by Islamabad is replaced by an elected legislative assembly and its chief minister.[19][21]

There has been criticism and opposition to this move in Pakistan, India, and Pakistan administrated Kashmir.[25] The move has been dubbed as an eyewash to hide the real mechanics of power, which allegedly are under the direct control of the Pakistani federal government.[26] The package was opposed by Pakistani Kashmiri politicians who claimed that the integration of Gilgit-Baltistan into Pakistan would undermine their case for the independence of Kashmir from India.[20] 300 activists from Kashmiri groups protested during the first Gilgit-Baltistan legislative assembly elections, with some carrying banners reading "Pakistan's expansionist designs in Gilgit-Baltistan are unacceptable"[20]

In December 2009, activists of nationalist Kashmiri groups staged a protest in Muzaffarabad to condemn the alleged rigging of elections and killing of a 18-year old student.[27]

Large protests erupted during the February_2012_Kohistan_Killings.[28]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Hindwan, Sudhir (1998). Verma, Bharat. ed. "Policing the police". Indian Defence Review (Lancer) 13 (2): 95. ISSN 0970-2512. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Hartjen, Clayton; S. Priyadarsini (2011). The Global Victimization of Children: Problems and Solutions (2012 ed.). Springer. p. 106. ISBN 978-1461421788. 
  3. Soman, Zakia; Jimmy Dabh (2010). Peace and Justice. Pearson Education. p. 9. ISBN 9788131729441. 
  4. Paradise lost. BBC news.
  5. "Front Page : "219 Kashmiri Pandits killed by militants since 1989"". Chennai, India: The Hindu. 2010-03-24. http://www.hindu.com/2010/03/24/stories/2010032461230900.htm. Retrieved 2012-08-03. 
  6. "219 Pandits Killed in J&K Since 1989". news.outlookindia.com. http://news.outlookindia.com/items.aspx?artid=731448. Retrieved 2012-08-03. 
  7. 7.0 7.1 Forsythe, David P. (2009). Encyclopedia of human rights, Volume 1. Oxford University Press. p. 306. ISBN 978-0195334029. 
  8. "Pallone introduces resolution condemning human rights violations against kashmiri pandits". U.S. House of Representatives. http://www.house.gov/list/press/nj06_pallone/pr_feb15_kashmir.html. Retrieved 30 August 2012. 
  9. 9.0 9.1 Catherwood, Christopher; Leslie Alan Horvitz. Encyclopedia of War Crimes and Genocide (1st ed.). Infobase. p. 260. ISBN 978-8130903637.  Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "Catherwood" defined multiple times with different content
  10. Kushner, Harvey W. (2003). Encyclopedia of Terrorism. Sage. pp. 171-172. ISBN 0-7619-2408-6. 
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 Karatnycky, Adrian (2001). Freedom in the World: The Annual Survey of Political Rights and Civil Liberties. Transaction. p. 616. ISBN 978-0765801012. 
  12. Egyesült, Államok (2008). Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2007. House, Committee on Foreign Affairs, and Senate, Committee on Foreign Relations. p. 2195. ISBN 9780160813993. 
  13. Chatterji, Angana P. (2012). Ania Loomba, Ritty A. Lukose. ed. South Asian Feminisms. Duke University Press. p. 195. ISBN 978-0822351795. 
  14. Record of proceedings. International Labour Organization. 1992. p. 88. ISBN 92-2-107530-3. 
  15. Watch, Human Rights (2012). World Report 2012: Events of 2011. Seven Stories. p. 329. ISBN 978-1-60980-389-6. 
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 16.3 16.4 16.5 16.6 Freedom in the World 2008 – Kashmir (Pakistan), United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, 2008-07-02
  17. EU Report Rattles Pakistan, Outlook (magazine), 2006-12-08
  18. European Parliamentarians express concern for Gilgit-Baltistan, German Information Center, New Delhi, 2008-04-12
  19. 19.0 19.1 19.2 19.3 Indian Express: Gilgit-Baltistan: A question of autonomy
  20. 20.0 20.1 20.2 20.3 [Pakistan's disputed Northern Areas go to polls http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE5AB1ZE20091112] Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "gilgit_polls" defined multiple times with different content
  21. 21.0 21.1 21.2 DAWN: Gilgit-Baltistan autonomy
  22. Political unrest in Gilgit-Baltistan, Dawn, 2009-07-26
  23. 23.0 23.1 European MPs concerned at rights violations in Pakistani Kashmir, Thaindian News, 2008-04-13
  24. European Parliament concerned on Gilgit-Baltistan, Indian Express, 2009-12-20
  25. Gilgit-Baltistan package termed an eyewash, Dawn, 2009-08-30
  26. Discontents in Gilgit-Baltistan, Daily Times (Pakistan), 2010-04-21
  27. Killing of youth in GB by-polls condemned, Dawn, 2009-12-27
  28. "Tension prevails in GB after Kohistan killings". Thenews.com.pk. http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-13-12854-Tension-prevails-in-GB-after-Kohistan-killings. Retrieved 2012-10-04. 
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