On Saturday, Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj addressed the leaders of the world at the meeting of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). She addressed the issue of terrorism in the region, and in a reply to Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi’s highlight of the Kashmir issue; her response was that Pakistan is the country in the region which is responsible for terrorism and has only produced terrorists, whereas India has given the world scientists, innovators, and doctors.

However, the crowd of protestors outside the UN building tell a completely different story. These people were mainly Kashmiris and Sikhs protesting against the atrocities committed by Indian government in both, Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK) and Punjab. These people called out the international community to open their eyes to the violence being committed and stop listening to India portraying itself as the victim.

The protest itself is a significant enough proof of Pakistan’s stance in the UN. It proves that the allegations of Pakistan are not baseless at all. These people raising these concerns are residents of India, and their voice matters more than anyone else’s. This reinforces the fact that the issue of Kashmir is a very real issue, whether or not India accepts it. There are human rights violations taking place there and the Indian government uses any and everything under the capacity of the state machinery to ensure that only their narrative goes out to the world.

It is no secret that the Indian army appointed for IOK is using pellet guns against innocent and weapon less citizens. The images of the victims are all over the internet. The story of the young man who was tied to a jeep and used as a human shield against the protestors is also a known fact. In fact, the officers who indulged in this inhumane behaviour were praised by the high-ups. A recent police investigation in fact debunked the Indian army’s version as fake – further showing the depth the Indian government has sunk to. Disappearances are very common in the area, and rape is used as a tool of war to make people submit to the commands of the Indian government.

These are all burning issues, which the UN cannot afford to ignore. For several years, India has claimed to be a democracy which offers every basic human right according to the Charter of the UN. If such is the case, India should have no problem in conducting a plebiscite or giving the people of IOK agency to decide what they think is best for them. Indian democracy is a sham – especially in Kashmir and Punjab - and it is about time that they are called out for their atrocities.