Pakistan has continuously propagated false narratives against India on whichever International forum it gets a chance to speak at. In another such attempt, Pakistan has deployed a law firm to appeal the UK govt to take action against India over alleged war crimes. Stoke White, a Pakistan-backed law firm in the UK, has requested the UK police to arrest Indian Army Chief General Manoj Mukund Naravane and Union Home Affairs Minister Amit Shah over war crimes in Jammu & Kashmir.
The request by this law firm is specially made in concern with Islamic terrorist Zia Mustafa who was killed during a gun battle between security forces and terrorists in Poonch district in October 2021. Zia Mustafa was a Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorist and the mastermind of the Kashmiri Pandit massacre of Nadimarg which took place in 2003. He was arrested in March 2003 and when he was being taken to identify the terrorists’ hideouts in the jungles of Poonch district, an encounter took place between the terrorists and the police forces, in which Zia Mustafa was killed by the terrorists. It is evident that the Pakistan-backed firm has been lobbying for a jailed terrorist who was killed by other Pakistan-sponsored terrorists during an operation
What is there in the complaint
The law firm Stoke White has submitted a 40-page document as evidence to the Metropolitan Police’s War Crimes Unit. The law firm has requested the Police to take some action against India’s Chief of Army Staff, Home Minister, and eight other top military officers. It has alleged them of the so-called crimes against activists, journalists, and civilians in the UT.
Stoke White Investigations firm, on its website, has said that “Within the framework of the Global War on Terror and counterterrorism, acts of abuse are directed against those Muslims dissenting against Indian occupation by conducting legitimate protest, seeking legal recourse through the law, and embarking on peaceful civil society advocacy.”
Inside the report, it is mentioned that “There is strong reason to believe that Indian authorities are conducting war crimes and other violence against civilians in Jammu and Kashmir.” The report is made by Khalil Dewan. He claims in his report that a Kashmiri was tortured by two Israeli intelligence officials. Testimony of this Kashmiri person is also included in the report which says “The interrogators were not of Indian origin, they were white and had an American sounding accent. They wanted to know about my views on foreign affairs and were disinterested in the Kashmir conflict.”
Legal Forum of Kashmir, a Kashmiri legal activist group, said that it had collaborated in preparing the document submitted to the UK Police. The group tweeted saying, “Our work with Stoke White through people on the ground to help prepare this report and identify the war criminals was fraught with endless difficulties.”
Our work with @stoke_white @swiunit through people on the ground to help prepare this report and identify the war criminals was fraught with endless difficulties. Here is a snippet and the full report.https://t.co/X7y9eqVL7J pic.twitter.com/XNrBP3Fftk— Legal Forum for Kashmir (@LFKashmir) January 19, 2022
Legal Forum of Kashmir claims that the “report also provides unique evidence of the presence of Israeli intelligence operatives during interrogations and torture of Muslims in Jammu and Kashmir.”
In this report, the law firm has also backed Pakistan’s claim that Pakistan has no control over terrorist groups which operate from Pakistan. In reality, there are so many proofs that have proved this claim wrong time and again. The Stoke White firm has also reported the arrests of the Kashmiri students who were celebrating Pakistan’s victory over India in a cricket match.
About Zia Mustafa
The law firm has said that its report is based on over 2,000 testimonies taken between 2020 and 2021. The request of taking action against the Indian Chief of Army Staff and Home Minister along with top military officers was made to the UK police on behalf of Zia Mustafa. The report has also mentioned the revoking of article 370 and called Zia Mustafa a ‘freedom fighter’.
When Zia Mustafa was arrested in 2003, he was the district commander of Lashkar-e-Taiba. He had been involved in the killing of 24 Kashmiri Pandits. These Kashmiri Pandits were living with their families in their homes in village Nadimarg in Pulwama district. During his interrogations after arrest, Mustafa had told the police that LeT leadership in Pakistan had asked him to carry out a massacre in Kashmir.
Kashmiri Pandits’ Massacre in Nadimarg in 2003
Most of the Kashmiri Pandit families living in Nadimarg had left the place during the 1990’s Kashmiri Pandit genocide and exodus. A few families had still stayed back till 2003. They were around 50 of them. On March 23rd, terrorists dressed in army fatigues came to the place. They lined up 11 men, 11 women, and 2 children in front of their homes. All of them were shot dead. After this incident, everyone else of the Kashmiri Pandit community left the place never to return. Zia Mustafa had carried out this heinous act. His arrest was declared on 10th April 2003.
DELIBERATE DISTORTION OF FACT: @APNews reporter @sylviahui deliberately puts a misleading headline to confuse readers— Counter Propaganda Division (@CounterDivision) January 19, 2022
The fact is that a Pakistan hired law firm called ‘Stoke Firm’ has filed an application with Metropolitan Police based on the complaint filed by parents of.. pic.twitter.com/cP6OdahbaW
Killing of Zia Mustafa
In October 2021, Jammu and Kashmir police had said in a statement that “Zia Mustafa, a Pakistani LeT terrorist was taken to Bhata Durian for identification of terrorist hideout during the ongoing operation in which 3 army jawans and a JCO were martyred. During the search when the team approached the hideout, terrorists again opened fire on joint team of police & army personnel in which 2 policemen and an army jawan sustained injuries. Mustafa also sustained injuries &he could not be extracted from the site due to heavy fire.”
Zia Mustafa, a Pakistani LeT terrorist was taken to Bhata Durian for identification of terrorist hideout during the ongoing operation in which 3 army jawans and a JCO were martyred: J&K Police— ANI (@ANI) October 24, 2021
Later police had confirmed his death saying that his body had been retrieved from the encounter site.
The ‘universal jurisdiction’
The London-based and Pakistan-backed law firm has requested the UK police to take action against the Indian Chief of Army Staff, Home Minister, and eight other Army officials by the principle of universal jurisdiction. By this, countries are authorized to prosecute individuals accused of crimes against humanity committed anywhere in the world.
Hakan Camuz is the director of this firm and he has said “We hope that the report would convince British police to open an investigation and ultimately arrest the officials when they set foot in the U.K. Some of the Indian officials have financial assets and other links to Britain.”
He further added “We are asking the U.K. government to do their duty and investigate and arrest them for what they did base on the evidence we supplied to them. We want them to be held accountable.”
Human rights lawyers across the world are increasingly using the principle of universal jurisdiction. This is done mostly when the cases are not filed in corresponding countries or in the International Criminal Court, located in The Hague. Earlier, a German court had convicted a Syrian police officer for committing a crime against humanity in Damascus. The police officer was allegedly overseeing the abuse of thousands of detainees in the jail of Damascus a decade ago.