Describing the move as “abhorrent”, Pakistan has condemned the Indian court’s decision to convict Kashmiri leader Yasin Malik in a case related to alleged terrorism in the occupied region in 2017 and urged the government to refrain from victimising the representatives of the Kashmiri people.
Special Judge Praveen Singh directed the NIA authorities to assess Malik’s socio-economic situation to determine the fine to be imposed. Arguments on the quantum of sentences will be heard on May 25.
Malik, who is the Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front chairperson, was arrested by the NIA in 2019 in connection with the case that it had opened in 2017, reported The Indian Express.
In its FIR, the NIA alleged that Kashmiri freedom fighters were receiving funds from Pakistan, including from Jamaat-ud-Dawah’s Hafiz Saeed, to foment trouble in the Indian occupied Kashmir through stone-pelting, burning down of schools, and organising strikes and protests.
Malik had himself withdrawn his defence lawyer after anticipating that he would not get an impartial trial.
Reacting to the decision, the Foreign Office described the NIA case as “manifestly dubious and motivated”
“Predictably, the one-sided case has not only convicted Yasin Malik on fictitious charges in defiance of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights but also attempted to make conjectural insinuations about Pakistan,” it read.
Pakistan on Wednesday summoned the Indian diplomat to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and handed over the demarche conveying Pakistan’s strong condemnation of the framing of fabricated charges against Malik, who was imprisoned in Tihar Jail.
The FO was of the view that such cases “exposed” the Indian designs to undermine the identity of IOJK. “The conviction of Yasin Malik and conjuring up of motivated cases against the Kashmiri leadership is patently the continuation of the malicious Indian campaign to deprive the Kashmiris of their true leadership.”
It reiterated that the Kashmiri leader’s incarceration further illustrated India as a “serial violator of human rights and usurper” of the fundamental rights of the Kashmiris. It claimed that India was making attempts at defiling the legitimate struggle of the Kashmiris for their right to self-determination as “terrorism”.
“The struggle for the right of self-determination in Kashmir is indigenous and cannot be dampened by the draconian strong-arm tactics of the Indian government,” it read.
Pakistan urged the international community to counsel India to drop all fabricated charges against all political leaders of IOJK, including Yasin Malik, to ensure their safety and to offer them complete legal protections.
“India must release all political prisoners detained on trumped-up charges, stop human rights violations in IOJK, lift the brutal military siege, and let the Kashmiri people exercise their right to self-determination in accordance with their aspirations and relevant UN Security Council resolutions.”
Mushaal Mullick, the wife of Yasin Malik, in a video statement slammed the Indian government and said she will not forgive anyone if her husband was hanged by the Indian government. She lamented the world’s “dubious reaction” to Kashmir and Ukraine.
“If standing for freedom is a crime then every Kashmiri is a criminal! The killer is the state, the killer is the Judge, the killers, occupiers can never give justice!” she said in a tweet.