I feel so proud of the Gambia, a small Muslim country at the world map. The country has made the entire Muslim community proud of its action by making Aung San Suu Kyi face the first legal action over the Rohingya genocide. I hope the International Court of Justice will indict the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi as a war criminal for his unprecedented crimes against humanity in Gujrat and Kashmir one day.

This tiny African country has taken the case of oppressed Rohingyan Muslims to the world court who were butchered like Kashmiris and buried in mass graves. It has filed a complaint in the form of a lawsuit at the top court of the United Nations formally levelling the charges of genocide against Myanmar. I gave the same suggestion to the present government. I asked the government to move a petition against Prime Minister Narendra Modi to drag him as a war criminal for his crimes against humanity in Kashmir. Nevertheless, I was disappointed to see that the government of Pakistan has taken no action so far.

The ruler of Gambia, which is 7000 miles away from the Rohingya, felt the pain of his Rohingya Muslims. He came forward to rescue them by knocking the door of international court against those who are responsible for mass genocide of Rohingya Muslims. Whereas, our rulers few kilometres away from Indian Occupied Kashmir could not show the courage to make such a move.

It is unfortunate that none from the Muslim Ummah, including my own country Pakistan, could take any initiative against India’s latest belligerence. Though I suggested to the government to use this option many a time on the assembly floor, but to no avail. Subsequently, on Sept. 26, 2019, I penned a letter to Prime Minister Imran Khan urging him to take the Kashmir case to the International Criminal Court (ICC). In the letter, I had noted the procedure for referring the case to ICC under the Rome Statute. It reads, “Any individual, group or state can send information to the OTP regarding alleged crimes falling under the jurisdiction of the court. To date, the OTP has received more than 12,000 of such communications, which can form the initial basis of the Office’s preliminary examinations. The OTP conducts a preliminary examination to decide whether there is a reasonable basis to initiate an investigation.”

Moreover, in the said letter to the Prime Minister Imran Khan, I had clearly stated “I would like to invite your attention to the only option left for Pakistan and Kashmir to move the matter to the International Criminal Court (ICC) under the Rome Statute where in the oppressed Kashmiri victims through the representatives in Azad Kashmir and other parts of the world would come forward to file this petition in ICC to drag PM Modi as War criminal and you have very rightly stated that PM Modi is a war criminal. I have already advocated my point of view in the Senate Standing Committee for Foreign Affairs in the presence of our Foreign Minister and meeting with Foreign Secretary Foreign Affairs.”

In another letter to Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Oct. 19, 2019, I again urged him to take the case of continuous unprovoked ceasefire violation and targeting of the civilian population by India to the United Nations General Assembly and International Court of Justice. Apart from this, on Sept. 16, 2019, I moved a resolution in Senate Standing Committee on Kashmir Affairs and Gilgit-Baltistan which was unanimously passed. I demanded to take Prime Minister Narendra Modi as a war criminal to the International Criminal Court under the Rome Statute. I informed the audience that the Kashmiri leaders as “direct victims” can file a petition for this trial, according to the Rome Statute. The Senate Standing Committee on Interior has passed dozen of resolutions demanding the government to file a petition against Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in ICC and ICJ. Despite all efforts to approach ICJ and ICC, sadly no action has been initiated by the government till today.

The Gambian Minister of Justice and Attorney General Mr Abubacarr Marie Tambadou picked the courage. They presented the case before the UN quoting one of its reports compiled with graphic details as to how army troops brutally conducted a crackdown. They presented evidence of how the heartless Buddhist-majority of Myanmar killed thousands of Rohingyan while the women were raped and properties destroyed in 2017. This forced more than 800,000 Rohingyan to take refuge in Bangladesh and some other neighbouring countries. Mr Ba Tambadou visited a Rohingya refugee camp in Bangladesh in May 2018 and interviewed many displaced families. The research with many untold stories compelled him to take a stand against this brutality.

It is a fact that Indian troops under PM Modi replicate the same model of genocide and brutalities in Kashmir which were done by Myanmar’s heartless soldiers against Rohingyan Muslims. Indian Army is busy committing the same war crimes against oppressed Kashmiris in terms of mass murdering, mass graving, mass blinding through pelleting, rapes, tortures, enforced disappearances, political repression and locking down of the whole valley through brutal curfew. The resemblance in the modus operandi of both oppressors is uncanny. It was shocking to see the visit of PM Narendra Modi to show his solidarity to Myanmar during the days of genocide there. And we heard not a single word of sympathy for Rohingya Muslims.

The actions of both armies – that of India and Myanmar – are nothing but “Crimes against Humanity” speaking in the jargon of international law. I hope the United States will describe the actions of the Indian army as “Ethnic Cleansing” the way the USA described the excesses of Myanmar troops as “Crimes against Humanity.” Modi should also face similar charges what Myanmar is to face over the allegations of genocide in ICJ and ICC. It is for the first time that the court in Hague has also investigated genocide claims on its own without relying on the findings of other tribunals like Bosnia commission. The ICJ clearly states, “the application argues, member states can bring actions against other member states over disputes alleging breaches of international law.” The Gambia has invoked the 1948 convention on the prevention and punishment of the crime of genocide in this matter.

Therefore, Pakistan also needs to do the same even Pakistan is not a signatory to Rome convention. Myanmar being not the signatory has been roped in the investigation for trial. Hence, India will not be able to refuse inquiries given the precedent set with the initiative of The Gambia. I appeal before other Muslim countries to support The Gambia in this noble cause and endorse the actions of Gambia through their respective legal teams by showing their presence on the first hearing of the case in December this year. I propose that Prime Minister Imran Khan should also direct his Ministries of Law and Justice and Foreign Affairs to become a party in this matter before ICJ. The state should let the Attorney General of Pakistan be present in the hearing, as this is a God-given opportunity to help directly and indirectly to the oppressed Kashmiris.

The vice-president of the Gambia, Isatou Touray describes her state as “a small country with a big voice on matters of human rights.” Indeed The Gambia with a big voice stands taller than any other Muslim country and all the so-called champions of human rights. Indian troops started “Muslim Cleansing Operations” by imposing a curfew on Aug. 5, 2019, first to keep the entire acts of brutalities as secret. The soldiers are systematically killing the Kashmiris through forced disappearances, rapes, gang-rapes, sexual assaults, detentions, torture on Kashmiris and destruction of their houses, mosques, madrassas and shops. These Human Rights Violations include gang rapes and mass disappearances of approximately 8,000 to 10,000 people by the Indian military. Also, as many as 100,000 Kashmiris have been killed and several thousand wounded and blinded through torture tactics in custody.

While over 70,000 Kashmiris have been killed by the Indian forces in the last three decades, nearly 24,000 Rohingya Muslims have been killed by the Myanmar state forces since August 15th, 2017. More than 34,000 Rohingya were burnt alive and over 18,000 Rohingya women and girls were raped. The figures showing brutalities against the Kashmiris are more or less the same as of Rohingya Muslims hence, ICJ should not ignore the genocide in Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK). The international court of justice is the ultimate authority to act against the violation of “Genocide Convention”.

I hope these two International courts, the ICJ and the ICC, will take cognisance and demonstrate full responsibility. I hope they will come up to the expectations of the oppressed communities in the world, especially the Kashmiris who are facing the brutalities of Modi Government in Kashmir. The world community needs to raise their voices against the crimes being committed by the Indian Army against in Kashmir just like the representatives of The Gambia which couldn’t remain silent on genocide of Muslims in Myanmar.

It is encouraging to note that the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) under Rome Convention has already opened a preliminary investigation of Myanmar Genocide, though Myanmar is not even a signatory to the Rome convention. Let us hope that the ICC also orders a similar investigation against India in the near future. I hope the government of Pakistan takes the Kashmir case to ICJ and ICC on humanitarian grounds, based on the pieces of evidence I have provided to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. I do not find any reason for the government to delay moving against the Indian PM Narendra Modi for his war crimes against humanity. I also propose to the government to invite Mr Abubacarr Marie Tambadou, the Gambian Minister of Justice to Pakistan to award him with the highest civil award of Pakistan.