Indian troops using rape as weapon of war to punish Kashmiris: Mushaal

Islamabad, November 25 (KMS): Mushaal Hussein Malick, the wife of illegally detained Kashmiri Hurriyat leader, Muhammad Yasin Malik, has said that Indian troops are using rape of women as weapon of war to punish the entire population of Indian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir.

Mushaal Hussein Malick, who is Chairperson of Peace and Culture Organization (PCO), addressing a seminar organised by IPRI (Islamabad Policy Research Institute) on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, today, said India has been violating the clauses regulating sexual violence under international humanitarian law and international human rights law. She said that rape and violence used as a weapon of terror constitute a crime against humanity and those responsible should face criminal sanctions.

Mushaal said that the Indian army, police and paramilitary personnel had been involved in sexual violence in IIOJK and they have raped or gang-raped more than 11,000 women in the territory since 1989. She pointed out that most vulnerable people in war zones are women and children.

The PCO Chairperson maintained that women in IIOJK have horrified titles of half-widow or half mothers and according to Kashmir human right organisations, around 2,500 women have been forced to live as half-widows.

She also cited the report of Kashmiri human rights organisations that revealed that over 22,940 women have become widows as a result of the ongoing state terrorism by India since January 1989, as their husbands were killed by Indian troops or police.

Narrating her own story, Mushaal said that she and her two year old daughter also faced the worst kind of mistreatment in IIOJK when she went there to meet her husband. “Indian government patronizes rape as a weapon of war and I have witnessed cases of rape in Indian occupied Jammu and Kashmir,” she added.

Mushaal urged the International community and world rights bodies to come forward as women in IIOJK have been enduring egregious human rights abuses, including sexual violence, rape, and molestation for over seven decades.

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