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Stop arming J&K militants, US watchdog tells Pak
Smriti Kak Ramachandran
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 8
An international human rights organisation has asked Pakistan to stop providing arms and finances to terror groups. A set of recommendations issued by the US-based Human Rights Watch to the Government of Pakistan has called for a complete suspension of aid to militant groups.

“Stop providing arms, finance, sanctuary and training to militant groups that have failed or are unwilling to abide by international humanitarian law,” reads the terse message.

It further says: “Continued assistance to such militant groups will show Pakistan complicity in the resulting abuse”.

The international watchdog in explicit terms has directed Pakistan Government to refrain from “providing land mines and other intrinsically indiscriminate weapons to militant groups”.

Pakistan has also been criticised by the organisation for not holding any militant accountable for crimes committed in Jammu and Kashmir. “Instead, many militants enjoy sanctuary in Pakistan after they commit abuses across the border. Leaders of militant groups have never made any public statements renouncing their policy of attack on civilians or given any indication that those responsible for such abuses should be held accountable,” the organisation says in a report released recently.

While Pakistan, on the defensive, has been quick to point out that it has launched crackdown against militant camps operating from within its territory, there is a scathing attack on its support to militant groups in the report.

The report reads: “Former militants told the Human Rights Watch that Pakistan’s army and intelligence services, in particular the ISI, continue to support armed groups operating in Jammu and Kashmir.”

The organisation has asked Pakistan to “assist efforts of independent humanitarian organisations to obtain access to all Pakistani citizens detained in Indian prisons for taking part in militant activities”.

Urging them to take responsibility, it says “collaborate with the Indian Government in identifying Pakistani citizens killed in armed encounters so that their families can be informed”.

The organisation has also urged the Pakistani authorities to issue a standing invitation to relevant UN special rapporteurs and working groups to visit “Azad Kashmir and to conduct independent investigations into abuses committed by all parties ”.

“Should a mandate be given by the Human Rights Council, appoint a special rapporteur on the human rights situation in Jammu and Kashmir and Azad Kashmir, cooperate fully with the special rapporteur, including allowing necessary visits and implementing the rapporteur’s recommendations,” the Human Rights Watch report specifies.



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