UK company report alleges ‘war crimes’ in J&K | India News – Times of India

LONDON: In what’s seen by the Indian authorities as a Pakistan-backed propaganda exercise, a London law firm published a report, containing alleged testimonies from more than 2,000 people living in Kashmir, which it said provided evidence of “war crimes and violence conducted by India in J&K”.
A complaint against the Indian Army, ministers and senior officials was also passed on to the Metropolitan Police war crimes unit calling for an investigation into alleged war crimes by Indian authorities in Kashmir.
An Indian source said the firm is linked to authorities in Turkey and was acting on Pakistan’s behalf. He added that the Indian high commission had not been contacted by any UK authority about the police complaint. “The report is too frivolous to merit any response. It alleges genocide and human rights violations but is totally silent on crossborder terror promoted by Pakistan,” said the source.
Stoke White international law firm, which has offices in Istanbul and London, specialises in Islamic law and has strong Turkish connections. It claims to have its own investigations unit based within the law firm which it says is “dedicated to investigations covering public interest matters”. It said in a statement that it had passed its report titled ‘India’s war crimes in Kashmir’ onto the Metropolitan Police war crimes unit this month to investigate and called for the arrest of senior officials for carrying out war crimes and torture in J&K.
Last year, the same firm filed a case against the UAE and Saudi Arabia, accusing them of committing war crimes in Yemen. Saudi Arabia has regional tensions with Turkey. Pakistan has, on the other hand, extended its ties with Turkey and Turkey is currently trying to project itself as the new Caliph in the region and carrying out Pakistan’s bidding.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has repeatedly taken the Pakistan position on Kashmir while India does not support Turkey’s position on Cyprus. Stoke White was instrumental in bringing about the Ankara agreement for Turkish nationals which has allowed thousands of them to settle in Britain.
The UK has universal jurisdiction on war crimes under the Geneva Conventions Act 1957. In a statement, the Metropolitan Police said: “We can confirm the Metropolitan Police War Crimes team received a referral on 18 January 2022 concerning allegations of core International crimes alleged to have been recently committed in the Kashmir region in India. The war crimes team is reviewing the allegations in line with CPS (Crown Prosecution Service) guidelines and a decision will be taken whether to open an investigation.”
The 41-page report claims the testimonies expose war crimes and human rights violations in J&K, including extrajudicial killings, enforced disappearance and arbitrary detention as well as harassment of NGOs and journalists.
But the report peddles Pakistani narratives and refers to PoK as “Pakistani-administered Azad Kashmir” and to J&K as “Indian-administered Kashmir”. One chapter says: “Following the abrogation of Article 370 and 35A in 2019, Indian authorities increased their military might against Muslims in Kashmir. ” It refers to the revocation of Article 370 as a “structural assault by the Indian government”. It refers to JeM and LeT as “non-state armed groups” and fails to mention they have offices in Pakistan.

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