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Iran Press TV

India committing war crimes in Kashmir under cover of coronavirus pandemic: PM Imran Khan

Iran Press TV

Thursday, 30 April 2020 3:31 PM

Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan has accused New Delhi of committing war crimes against Muslims in the Indian-administered Kashmir under the cover of the coronavirus pandemic.

In a post on his Twitter account on Thursday, Khan said the administration of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi was attempting to change the demography of Kashmir and continued massacre across the Muslim-majority Himalayan region.

He urged the international community to take notice of the crimes in violation of the 4th Geneva Convention and international humanitarian laws.

"Under cover of COVID19 global pandemic, the Modi Govt with its fascist ... ideology continues its war crimes in IOJK," Khan said in reference to Indian controlled Kashmir.

Khan added that India "violates the Fourth Geneva Convention by continuing its genocide of Kashmiris: & by attempting to change the demography in Occupied Jammu & Kashmir," he added.

Khan also stated that Kashmir is recognized as a disputed territory by the United Nations and the world has a responsibility to take note of Indian war crimes there.

Last year, Khan had warned in a speech that the issue of Kashmir could lead to a nuclear war between Islamabad and New Delhi if the international community failed to intervene.

Tensions have been soaring for months in the wake of Modi's move to strip India's portion of Kashmir of its autonomy and bring it under direct rule.
Paramilitary soldiers question a motorist at a checkpoint during a government-imposed nationwide lockdown in Srinagar on March 30, 2020. (Photo by AFP)

After the decision on the special status in August last year, New Delhi dispatched thousands of additional troops to the Himalayan region, declared a strict curfew, shut down telecommunications and internet services, and arrested political leaders and pro-independence campaigners.

India's behavior has drawn criticism from the people of Kashmir and Pakistan as well as human rights groups and the UN.

Earlier this month, India introduced a new law that would make its citizens eligible to become permanent residents of the Indian-controlled Kashmir, raising fears of demographic change in the Himalayan region.

Kashmir has long been a flashpoint between India and Pakistan, which have fought three of their four wars over the disputed Himalayan territory. Both countries rule parts of Kashmir while claiming it in full.

India and Pakistan frequently exchange heavy fire across the militarized de facto border in the disputed Kashmir valley.

In addition, India's ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has blamed the spread of the coronavirus on a Muslim group meeting in New Delhi in mid-March, but similar gatherings within Hindu communities have escaped criticism.

The country's Muslim minority population has since witnessed a string of attacks by Hindu extremists.

Muslim leaders say the event should not be used as an excuse to target the community as a whole.

Inter-communal tension has risen in India since Prime Minister Modi was re-elected for a second term in 2019.

Modi's government is accused of encouraging religious intolerance and seeking to transform India into a Hindu state.

As part of its discriminatory policies against Muslims last year, India's parliament passed a new citizenship law under which migrants from Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Afghanistan will be allowed to claim Indian citizenship – but not if they are Muslim.

The act has led to protests in which at least 50 people have died in attacks on Muslims by Hindu nationalist mobs.

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