A cross-party group of Members of the European Parliament have called for a ban on the use of pellet guns on civilians in Jammu and Kashmir.
Wajid Khan, a Labour Member of the European Parliament representing the North West of England, has authored the letter to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Speaking to The News, Wajid Khan said that the letter demands the end of one of the many “human rights abuses” in Kashmir – the use of pellet guns against civilians – by forces. The letter particularly points out that using pellet guns is against international human rights law and that the immunity that the Indian military currently enjoy is untenable and cannot continue.
Wajid Khan told The News: “I am delighted that so many of my colleagues from different countries, different backgrounds and different political opinions have come together to condemn human rights abuses in Kashmir. The use of pellet guns on innocent women, men and children is completely barbaric and for too long it has been ignored by the international community. I sincerely hope that Mr Modi ensures that this terrible procedure ends soon.”
On the prospect of a better future for Kashmir, Khan commented: “A new future is dawning for Kashmir. I sincerely hope that everyone can work together to build a free and prosperous Kashmir. At one point, peace in Northern Ireland seemed a distant dream. We can do this if we work together. I really hope Modi takes our letter into account and acts to ban pellet gun usage, as a first step.”
The letter reads: “We, the undersigned, in our capacity as elected Members of the European Parliament, are writing to you to express our grave concern about the past and ongoing human rights violations against people in Kashmir, as reported in a recent OHCHR1 report.