Wednesday, 31 August 2016

Dr Shabir Choudhry seeks help from UN Secretary General

Your Excellency, the UN Secretary General BAN Ki – moon

01 September 2016

Your Excellency, I appreciate your concern about human rights abuses in Kashmir. However, many people are still waiting to see what concrete steps your Excellency is planning to take to alleviate misery of the suffering Kashmiri people.

Your Excellency, whereas, the focus of attention has always been human rights abuses in Kashmir administered by India; people of former Princely State of Jammu and Kashmir living under Pakistani administration also continue to suffer since 1947.

It is possible that some may think that life, liberty and human rights of people of the Valley of Kashmir is more valuable than the poor souls living on the Pakistani side of the divide; however, we strongly feel that we are not a second class citizens of Jammu and Kashmir, and our honour, liberty and life is equally valuable.

Your Excellency I want to draw your attention to the UNCIP Resolution of 5 January 1949, section 7 reads:
All authorities within the State of Jammu and Kashmir will undertake to ensure in collaboration with the Plebiscite Administrator that:
(a) There is no threat, coercion or intimidation, bribery or other undue influence on the voters in plebiscite;

(b) No restrictions are placed on legitimate political activity throughout the State. All subjects of the State, regardless of creed, caste or party, shall be safe and free in expressing their views and in voting on the question of the accession of the State to India or Pakistan. There shall be freedom of the Press, speech and assembly and freedom of travel in the State, including freedom of lawful entry and exit’;

Your Excellency, as you know, this Resolution and the UN Charter protects my fundamental rights, yet I am victimised by government of Pakistan because of my political views and political activities. Pakistan has banned my books which criticise Pakistan’s Kashmir policy, and oppose forces of extremism, violence, religious intolerance and hatred.

I actively, but peacefully promote fundamental human rights of people of Jammu and Kashmir, and help to create conducive environment in which people of Jammu and Kashmir feel safe to express their sentiments about the future of the forcibly divided State of Jammu and Kashmir. Government of Pakistan and their agencies do not appreciate what I do and they have unleashed a systematic campaign against me. I have become a victim of the Pakistani secret agencies who have made life very difficult for me.

They have influenced the system and blocked renewal of my Identity card. Application for the renewal was made on 12 June 2015. My father died on 29 September 2015, and because of issues related to non issuance of the NIC, I could not travel to Azad Kashmir (of course via Pakistan) with the dead body of my father where he was put to rest in our native village.

In Pakistan and Azad Kashmir without a valid National Identity Card or a NADRA Card one can face enormous problems; and one could face imprisonment too. Without this ID card I and my family faced, and continue to face serious problems related to inheritance of my late father’s property and bank balance. 
Denial of ID Card results in curbing of my following rights:
1/ Right to travel to my homeland;
2/ Right to bank, as my banks are froze;
3/ Right to meet my friends and relatives;
4/ Right to visit a grave of my late father;
5 Right to buy a property;
6/ Right to sell a property
7/ Right to inherit my father’s property etc.

Apart from that, and despite my rights, Pakistani secret agencies have activated their system, which has unleashed vicious and malicious propaganda against me to:
  • Defame me;
  • Alienate me from friends and family;
  • Hurt me financially; and
  • Pressurize me in hope that I will buckle under this hate campaign and family and friends pressure?
Urgent Appeal, reference: AHRC-UAC-150-2015 on December 30, 2015. The Urgent appeal stated:
The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received information that the National Database and Registration authority (NADRA), a state regulatory body, has refused to renew the National Identification card of Dr. Shabir Choudhry, allegedly on the instruction of the intelligence agencies. Dr. Shabir Choudhry, a Pakistani citizen, is a well known intellectual of the Kashmiri cause and prolific writer, and has courageously given voice to the struggle of Kashmiris on both side of the India-Pakistan border.

Dr. Choudhry was unable to travel to Pakistan to bury his father and attend his last rituals and is also facing extreme difficulty in obtaining his inheritance or power of attorney of the property left by his deceased father. The renewal application has been pending with NADRA since 12 June 2015. The embassy of Pakistan has been non cooperative in the matter, despite being approached repeatedly by the victim. No reason is given for the delay while the high commissioner and First Secretary Counsellor Section, of Pakistan High Commission London have been non committal in the matter. The victim was informed by the concerned authorities that his application was blocked for an unspecified reason.

(A complete copy of the Urgent appeal is attached for your consideration.)

The Asian Human Rights Commission wrote a separate letter to the UN Special Rapporteur on the Question of the Human Rights of Migrants and UN High Commissioner for Refugees calling for their intervention into this matter. It is sad to note that I have not heard anything from them in this matter.

Your Excellency, I need your help in this matter, not only for my sake, but also for the sake of tens of thousands of other Kashmiri people who are suffering and do not know what to do. Also Your Excellency’s intervention in this matter will send a clear message that this breach of fundamental human rights will not be accepted by the UN and the world community.

I hope that Your Excellency will help me to highlight my case and support me in my fight against injustice. Below are details of my ID Card and ref number:
Tracking no for my application is: 503501064937; and my expired NIC no is: 811022-823762-1
Your Excellency, I look forward to hearing from you.

Yours sincerely

Dr Shabir Choudhry

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