ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF WAR CRIMES IN MAQBOOZA KASHMIR BY INDIA’S EXTERNAL AFFAIRS MINISTER ASSERTS KHURRAM PARVEZ:
POSTED BY HABIB YOUSAFZAI, KASHMIR DIASPORA ALLIANCE
Press Release: 29 June 2013
On 28 June 2013, Salman Khursheed, India’s External Affairs Minister, on a visit to Srinagar, said about the Kunan Poshpora mass rape/torture case that, “I am ashamed that it happened in my country”. Further, he said that in war there is suffering. But, post war, there must be forgiveness. Finally, he stated helplessness in dealing with the situation.
It took 22 years for someone in the Indian Government to partially acknowledge the Kunan Poshpora mass rape. It is obviously not enough. Justice cannot be substituted by mere acknowledgements. Prosecution of 125 accused Rajputana Rifles personnel is the only meaningful response required. Anything else, including the present lip service, will be construed as sustained impunity for the perpetrators. We do not need their acknowledgements. We know the very long list of criminal acts of the Indian troops in Jammu and Kashmir and we understand what it means when the State was silent and provided impunity for so many years. It is the struggle for justice that makes lies unsustainable and therefore truth comes out. We need justice and these statements after decades of lies and denial of justice do not impress us. Reconciliation minus justice is unacceptable.
Salman Khursheed, as the External Affairs Minister of India would be aware of the international connotations of his statement in which he appears to accept that the Indian State is at war with the people of Jammu and Kashmir. Consequently, international law including the rules of war must apply to the Indian State and its role in the commission of gross human rights violations. India is party to the Geneva Conventions, 1949, and the Genocide Convention, 1948. India’s role in Jammu and Kashmir must be considered in light of the laws relating to Genocide, Crimes against Humanity, War Crimes and numerous other internationally recognized crimes.
Further, by accepting helplessness in dealing with the situation, the Indian External Affairs Minister makes a strong argument for Indian State institutions to step aside and immediately allow Jammu and Kashmir to be brought to the attention of international law and institutions. In April this year, various human rights groups from India, Nagaland and Jammu and Kashmir while acknowledging the scale of human rights violations and the denial of justice, sought that a United Nations monitoring group be created to be based in Jammu and Kashmir, to monitor and report on the past and ongoing human rights violations in Jammu and Kashmir.
After the partial acknowledgement by the Indian External Affairs Minister, the Indian army now is in the dock. They should end the era of obfuscation and refusal to cooperate with the processes of justice.
– Villagers of Kunan Poshpora
– Support Group for Justice for Kunan Poshpora
– Jammu Kashmir Coalition of Civil Society