De-escalate tensions along borders, rights activities to India, China, Pakistan

KT NEWS SERVICE. Dated: 6/24/2020 12:31:45 AM

”Resolve all disputes amicably”

JAMMU, Jun 23: International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) and its member organizations in India and Pakistan, the Association of Parents of Disappeared Persons (APDP), the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI), the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP), and People s Watch,
expressed their deep concern over the recent escalation in tensions between India and China and
called upon the governments of both countries to de-escalate military operations, including
infrastructure build-up, ensure a peaceful settlement of all territorial claims, and resume high-
level political and diplomatic dialogue to ease the tensions.
In a joint statement, these organisations said, “Although there have been sporadic tensions and eruptions of conflict since 1948 over the ‘disputed’ territory of Jammu & Kashmir, different parts of which are under Indian, Chinese, and Pakistani control, these clashes are the first to have resulted in loss of life along the LAC since 1975. This is the real test of years of engagement between the top leaders of the two Asian giants. As a start, the status quo ante should be restored. Political leaders and the media in both countries also need to exercise discretion and restraint in one of the most sensitive ecological, strategic, and political spaces in the world.”
It also added with concern that clashes between Indian and Pakistan armed forced across the Line of Control (LoC) have also intensified recently, resulting in both military and civilian casualties. At least 12 people have been killed and 102 injured in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir and 14 have been killed on the Indian side as a result of artillery fire by Pakistani and Indian armed forces across the LoC since the beginning of the year. At least four civilians were reportedly killed as recently as June 17, 2020 as a result of artillery fire inside POK, it further added.
“A course of action that moves towards de-escalation must be prioritized by all parties involved, to avoid further de-stabilizing and militarizing the broader region, which could impact civilians whose rights have been already been curtailed and under attack for decades”. It is high time for the governments of China,
India, and Pakistan to emphasize dialogue above any other actions, in order to ensure that the safety,
security, and the rights of all, particularly the people of Jammu & Kashmir, are upheld and protected,” said Adilur Rahman Khan, FIDH Secretary-General.
Sanjoy Hazarika, Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI) International Director said that the “recent escalation of tension resulting in border clashes between China and India threatens to further
deteriorate the already volatile situation between Pakistan and India along the Line of Control in disputed and divided Jammu & Kashmir. A permanent solution should be sought through sustained dialogue, with the rights and aspirations of the Kashmiri people kept front and center. In the meantime, the safety and security of the civilian population on both sides of the Line of Control must be ensured by both India andPakistan.
FIDH, APDP, CHRI, HRCP, and People s Watch have called for an immediate cessation of all hostilities and for access to be granted to independent observers and the media to monitor the situation.



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