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Pakistan endorses anti-rape protocol, India rejects

LONDON: Pakistan has endorsed the declaration to end sexual violence in conflict zones but India has refused to become part of the ‘International Protocol on the Documentation of Sexual Violence in Conflict’.

Since India didn’t endorse the declaration, it was not invited to the global summit against sexual violence in conflict, which has attracted celebrities and dignitaries like Angelina Jolie, John Kerry and several Nobel Laureates. India knew that it will have to sign the ‘International Protocol on the Documentation of Sexual Violence in Conflict’ and that it will be then asked hard questions over the widespread human rights violations in the Indian-occupied Kashmir.

Pakistan joined 115 other countries here to express its support for the international protocol against the rape of women in conflict zones.“India’s refusal to join the conference and endorse the document means that India has no intention of ending the rape and torture of women in several of its parts, particularly in Kashmir,” a Western delegate told the News here.

The conference has been hosted by the British government and according to the sources, the country tried its best to make India part of the global consensus against sexual violence against women but failed as India refused to engage on this issue. Not only in Kashmir but also in several parts of India, women come under sexual attacks including gang rape, kidnap and sexual torture on daily basis and there has been a speedy spike in cases involving Western women. Several Indian human rights groups have been campaigning against the culture of rape and called on their government to join the international consensus against rape but failed to win over their government.

Although, the mention of Kashmir has been omitted in the summit but Western diplomats and the governments understand that it’s India that is now counted amongst those countries where rape had gained almost epic proportions.

The Pakistani delegation is led by Foreign Affairs Adviser, Sartaj Aziz and Pakistan Ulema Council (PUC) Central Chairman Hafiz Tahir Mahmood Ashrafi. Sartaj Aziz attended the event on the last day but Ashrafi attended the event for three days and delivered several speeches explaining the Islamic position on the issue of rape.

Hafiz Ashrafi said that he was pleased to represent the Muslim scholars and clerics at the summit and that no other religion had given women the honour and status that has been bestowed upon them by Islam. He further said that the religion that has prohibited the killing of women during wars could never support the violence against them.

He asked the delegates to work towards ending the conflicts because it is Muslim women who suffer the most in conflict zones. He told the delegates that the Indian held Kashmir has become a forgotten zone where the Indian Army has been raping the Kashmiri women for more than two decades without the world powers taking notice of the horrific crimes.

The News