Qamar Khalil's life in imminent danger if deported
Qamar Khalil's life in imminent danger if deported
The International Human Rights Council (IHRC) is concerned about the threat to life to Mr. Qamar Kalil of UKPNP who has been denied asylum by the First Tier Tribunal Immigration and Asylum chamber
Sir, Mr. Qamar son of Muhammad Khalil khan resident of village Muhajar colony district Pallandri, District Sudhnoti Azad Kashmir has been very vocal against the atrocities of the Pakistani authorities in Azad Kashmir. He is an active member of United Kashmir People’s National Party (UKPNP) since 2007.
He was later alleviated to the General Secretary Pallandari District Azad Kashmir in 2011. During his tenure as General Secretary he organized many protests and rallies bringing to light the plight of Kashmiri people, turning the authorities against him.
On 4th January 2012 he was arrested and tortured in custody he was released on 11 January and was subsequently taken to hospital as he was severely injured. In contravention to legal procedure an FIR was released after he was released from custody, a point that was used by the home department to challenge his asylum application.
Dear sir we would like to clarify here that, in Pakistan First Information reports (FIR) are not a first step to subsequent criminal proceedings rather these are used as coercion and pressure tactics to subdue one’s political opponent. Several studies in Pakistan have testified to the same.
Fearing repercussions Mr. Qamar fled to UK on 02 June 2012 on student visa, after his college was shut down his family stopped financing his stay. He applied for asylum while staying at Croydon. As he continued with his activism in UK, the authorities in Pakistan filed another FIR against Qamar on 23rd October 2014.
On 6th September 2016 Qamar’s asylum appeal number PA/ 04129/ 2015 was rejected by First Tier Tribunal Immigration and Asylum chamber, wherein the judge held that there are no imminent danger of persecution or threat to life for the appellant.
The situation for human rights defenders in Pakistan is dire, particularly for activist who raise their voice against the state pogrom of ethnic groups. Members of these groups are threatened by state and non state actors such as religious fundamentalist groups that do the dirty work for the state.
Qamar’s family in Pakistan also received one such letter on 9th December 2019 by Hizb ul Mujhahidin-an internationally proscribed and pro-Pakistani militant organization that is active in the regions of Jammu and Kashmir and seeks for the integration of Jammu and Kashmir with Pakistan. The letter threatened Mr Qamar’s father with dire consequences if Qamar did not curtail his activism in UK. Qamar’s family informed police station Pallandri district via application on 12TH December 2019 of the threat received.
That Free speech is severely restrained in Pakistan is no secret, those daring to speak out against the injustice are silenced routinely using coercion and threat, many such have been murdered for refusing to bow to the whims of the state.
In 2013 Arif Shahid- Chairman of All Parties National Alliance (APNA)- an amalgamation of all nationalist political parties of Azad Jammu Kashmir (of which UKPNP is a active constituent) was murdered. He was shot dead by unidentified men near his home in Rawalpindi. The cold blooded murder of Mr. Arif has remained uninvestigated and no arrest were ever made a fact that testifies to state’s collusion in his murder
IHRC recognizes United Kashmir People’s National Party (UKPNP) as a secular, progressive and democratic political organization of the region, striving peacefully for the cause of civil society, political, socio-economic and human rights of the people of Pakistani Administered Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan. Since its inception United Kashmir People’s National Party has advocated for the unification and independence of Former Princely State of Jammu and Kashmir. UKPNP is opposing Pakistani policy to use religion as weapon and terrorism as foreign policy tool and our region as launching pad and training camp to suppress the secular, democratic and progressive voices of the entire region.
Since Mr. Qamar’s departure from the country the state of affairs and security situation have deteriorated the country is moving towards authoritarianism and anarchy; a fact evident from the country human right index as measured by US state department, Amnesty international, Human Rights watch and others.
IHRC's own observation in this regard confirm the findings of these reports. The state annihilates all irritants that challenges or questions the official narrative. Journalists, bloggers and political activist are routinely threatened and disappeared with unbridled impunity. IHRC has been documenting the cases of such disappearances. The trend that emerges consistently in all these cases is that no one is safe and immune anymore. IHRC is apprehensive that if Mr. Qamar is deported to Pakistan he too shall be targeted and eliminated we therefore strongly urge you to intervene in the matter and stop his deportation forthwith