Federal Minister for Human Rights Shireen Mazari criticised her government on Monday for not taking action on the plight of Kashmiri people in the light of the findings of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) report which she termed a major development and success, therefore she said the government needs to establish an inquiry commission on an urgent basis. She labelled this ignorance as a major blunder by the government, outlining the path that the Pakistani government should adopt an immediate strategy to deal with Kashmir conflict in the light of the UNHRC report. She was addressing as chief guest at a public talk on Human Rights Violations in Indian-Held Kashmir organised by the Institute of Strategic Studies Islamabad (ISSI). She lamented that the Pakistani government should have allowed a committee to investigate the Pakistani side of Kashmir. “Pakistan needs to keep re-emphasising the fact that when India took the Kashmir issue to the United Nations, it did not cite Pakistan as a transgressor. Sideways, we need to move beyond the rhetoric we are addicted to. Too many Kashmiris have died and too many generations have been lost,” she remarked boldly. The event coincided with the celebrations marking International Human Rights Day which signifies the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by the UN General Assembly in 1948. Other speakers on the occasion included All Parties Hurriyat Conference Convener Ghulam Muhammad Safi, human rights activist Tahira Abdullah and Kashmir Institute of International Relations Executive Director Sardar Amjad Yousaf Khan. Human Rights Minister Shireen Mazari said presently, the violation by Indian forces have broken all bounds. Never before were women and children targeted with pellet guns or dragged along the streets of Srinagar, she said. An area which has been neglected is the abuse and violence against women in IHK and international women organisations need to be approached in this regard. She cited the principles underlying the Good Friday Agreement as valid for the Kashmir issue, namely, the principle of self determination, de-weaponisation following an agreement and two separate parallel agreements: one between India and Pakistan and one between Pakistan, India and all other stakeholders involved. Sideways, she also pointed out how the Indian government is trying to change the demography of Kashmir and if successful, this would destroy the whole concept of having a plebiscite. The main points raised by the other speakers were that Kashmiris have the same rights as other people the world over; hence all authorities must respect this. They said moreover, the UNHRC report on Kashmir urges that this matter be discussed at all fora. The office of the UNHRC is unambiguously clear that the violations are structural in nature. All the speakers also agreed that any negotiation should be trilateral in nature and should be inclusive of Kashmiri participation. Pakistan should not be hesitant in reiterating the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions on Kashmir – any solution must have the UNSC resolutions as the central principle always. Earlier, in his remarks, ISSI Director General Ambassador (r) Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry said that even though great strides have been made, a lot more ground needs to be covered where human rights are concerned. Seven decades have passed since the international community promised and failed to deliver the right of self-determination to the Kashmiri people. The last few years have been particularly hard on the Kashmiris – the use of pellet guns to blind hundreds of men and women is particularly brutal. “What hurts Kashmiris hurts us,” he said Published in Daily Times, December 11th 2018.