Press Trust of india

Pak at UN voices concern over civilians being used as human-shields

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United Nations, May 23: Pakistan has said the civilians are being used as human-shields in “occupied territories” instead of getting protection, an apparent reference to a 2017 incident of a man being used as a “human-shield” by the Indian Army against stone-pelters in Kashmir.

Pakistan’s Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador Maleeha Lodhi speaking at a UN Security Council open debate on Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict here yesterday, said civilians, who should be the primary subject of protection, have become the principal objects of attack.

She said the impact of armed conflicts on civilians is now no longer limited to collateral damage. “Targeted attacks, sexual violence, forced conscription and indiscriminate killings collectively paint an extremely bleak picture of the human costs of modern day armed conflict,” she said.

Lodhi added that the Geneva Conventions are violated, respect for human life violated, and civilians are used as human-shields in occupied territories.

“Worse, perpetrators who commit such crimes are awarded honors by their military commands,” she said, alleging that “these crimes” continue to be perpetrated in Palestine and Kashmir.

Lodhi’s remarks were an apparent reference to the April 2017 incident in central Kashmir’s Budgam district in which Farooq Ahmed Dar, an embroidery artisan, was tied to a jeep by soldiers as a shield against stone pelters.

Despite huge public outrage, shortly after the incident, a senior army officer who had used Dar as human-shield (Major Leetul Gogoi) was honoured with a commendation card by the Army chief for “his sustained efforts in counter-insurgency operations”.

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