Pakistan urges UN to prevent Andrabi’s ‘judicial murder’

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WASHINGTON: Pakistan urged UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Friday to prevent the “judicial murder” of a Kashmiri leader and human rights activist and to persuade India to drop all “fabricated charges” against her.

Aasiya Andrabi, who risks conviction by a sham court on Jan 18, is the founder of a Kashmiri rights group called the Dukhtaran-i-Millat, or Daughters of the Nation.

In a letter addressed to Mr Guterres, Pakistan’s Permanent Representative to the UN Munir Akram said the world must stop giving a “free pass” to India over its “systemic crackdown on the legitimate and indigenous freedom movement in Kashmir”.

In a similar letter to UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet, Pakistan’s envoy in Geneva Ambassador Khalil Hashmi argued that the world body’s “timely intervention may help prevent miscarriage of justice”.

The United Nations, he said, could also “assist in breaking the vicious cycle of impunity and human rights violations in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJ&K).”

By acting on time to save Ms Andrabi, the United Nations would also “send a strong message of hope to the Kashmiri people, especially women leaders and human rights defenders”, Ambassador Hashmi wrote.

In New York, Ambassador Akram said: “With Indian judiciary showing little proclivity to stand up for the rights of Kashmiris, there is an imminent and real threat to the life of Ms Andrabi and her associates, who are staring at a real possibility of a judicial murder.”

In its annual report on the situation in Kashmir, a Washington-based think-tank, the US Institute of Peace noted that “Kashmir has once again emerged as a major flashpoint between South Asia’s nuclear-armed rivals, India and Pakistan.”