Usanas Foundation's Petition to International Organizations Against the Targeted Killing of Innocent Politicians by Pakistan-sponsored Terrorists in Kashmir
On June 7th, 2021, Usanas Foundation sent a letter to international organizations such as the United Nations, UN Human Rights Commission, Human Rights Watch, Freedom House, the European Union, International Society for Human Rights, etc., regarding the targeted killing of innocent politicians by Pakistan-sponsored terrorists in Kashmir.
June 7, 2021
This is our fifth letter concerning the killing of innocent civilians by Pakistan-sponsored terrorists in Kashmir. In our previous letters, we have shed light on conspicuous murders of Kashmiri pandits and supporters of the current government in Kashmir. In this letter, we address the killing of the BJP leader and Municipal Councillor of Pulwama’s Tral area, Rakesh Pandita. We strongly reiterate the need for Financial Action Task Force (FATF) to blacklist Pakistan for repeatedly financing terrorist activities, particularly in Kashmir.
Here is a list of targeted killings of local Kashmiri administration by Pakistan sponsored terrorists in Kashmir:
- August 10, 2020: Abdul Hamid Najar, shot, critically injured.
- August 6, 2020: Sarpanch Sajad Ahmad Khanday, shot dead.
- August 4, 2020: Arif Ahmad, shot, critically injured.
- July 8, 2020: Sheikh Waseem Bari, shot dead along with his father and brother.
- June 8, 2020: Sarpanch Ajay Pandita Bharti, shot dead.
- September 23, 2020: Bhupinder Singh, shot dead.
- September 24, 2020: Advocate Babar Qadri, shot dead.
- November 3, 2020: Fida Hussain, shot dead.
- November 3, 2020: Umer Hajam, shot dead.
- November 3, 2020: Umer Rashid Beigh, shot dead.
- January 2, 2021: Satpal Nischal, shot dead.
- March 1, 2021: Akash Mehra, shot dead.
Unfortunately, the list will continue to grow with each passing day if the global community remains oblivious to Pakistan’s terror activities in Kashmir. It is high time that the world realises that state-sponsored terrorism by Pakistan is a threat not only to India but to other countries in the region and beyond.
Rakesh Pandita, a democratically elected leader who his municipality residents loved for his diligence and hard work, was shot by militants in the Tral belt of South Kashmir’s Pulwama district on June 2, 2021. He was taken to a hospital, where he succumbed to his injuries. A young woman accompanying him was also injured in the assault and is currently in critical condition at a hospital in Srinagar. For now, the area has been cordoned off to nab the attackers. Indian media’s ground reports suggest that Pakistani terror group Lakshar-e-Tayyiba’s front organisation has claimed responsibility for the killing.
During the past few months, several mainstream national political parties have been killed by militants in similar incidents across the Valley. Under the direction of the Home Ministry, most of the party members in the region have been shifted to safer locations under the supervision of the police. It is evident that the militants are trying to terrorize political; workers and supporters, create panic amongst them to control the local populations and prevent them from working for the peaceful developmental process.
Such attacks only prove that the Pakistani supported terrorist organisations see better governance and administration of the region as an existential threat. They fear that if people get a taste of their better life under responsible, democratic governance, public support for their cause will reduce. To destabilize the region, they imbue fear into the public's hearts, terrorize them, threaten them, and even kill them. The targeted killings are to send out a clear message— to deter any support to joining the national mainstream political parties of India.
The people of Kashmir have responded; they have voted for economic development and responsible governance, which has unsettled Pakistan. Kashmiri people have accepted a mainstream Indian party and want to integrate with the rest of India. Fearing that Kashmir would slip out of Islamabad’s illegal control, they have resorted to unprecedented violence and terrorism. Reports also suggest that Pakistan’s intelligence agency Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) has been pressurizing terrorist groups to intensify their illegal activities—IED attacks, fidayeen attacks, and political killings.
Pakistan has been a constant supporter of terrorist activities, and now they openly and proudly talk about it in their National Assembly. On October 29, 2020, Fawad Chaudry, Pakistan’s Science and Technology Minister, said, “We have hit India in its own territory. The success in Pulwama, it is the success of this community under Imran Khan government. You and I are all a proud part of it. The way we attacked India after Pulwama in their own territory," in the National Assembly, while fellow members thumped their hands on their desks with pride.
On February 14, 2019, a convoy of vehicles carrying security personnel on the Jammu Srinagar National Highway was attacked by a vehicle-borne suicide bomber at Lethpora (near Awantipora) Pulwama district, Jammu and Kashmir, India. The attack resulted in the deaths of 40 CRPF personnel and the attacker. The responsibility for the attack was claimed by the Pakistan-based terrorist group Jaish-e-Mohammed.
In the past, Pakistan supported terrorists who committed cultural genocide by driving non-Muslims out of Kashmir. Now they are committing the genocide of those voices who do not subscribe to their separatist and jihadist ideology. They are killing local Muslims who chose peace, prosperity, reason, diversity and democracy over terrorism, hatred, extremism and deceit.
We insist strong actions are taken and sanctions placed against those Pakistani army generals and intelligence officers killing Baluch people and assisting terrorist organisations in Kashmir and other theatres such as Balochistan, Sindh and Afghanistan. These officials should be identified and blacklisted from travelling abroad. A red corner notice—which would ensure that they cannot escape punishment by hiding abroad—must be issued against them. Fawad's statement in the Pakistan National assembly leaves no doubt about Pakistan's involvement in supporting Kashmir terrorist groups. Hence there should be no delay in FATF blacklisting Pakistan.
We request that urgent action be taken against Pakistan to stop their funding and support terrorist activities before more innocent lives are lost. We also request that Pakistan be listed on the Financial Action Task Force blacklist for their non-cooperative behaviour curbing terrorist financing and support. Lastly, the military officers and politicians supporting the proxy war in Kashmir and the genocide of innocent civilians must be tried for crimes against humanity.