Pakistan reaffirms support for Kashmir cause

ISLAMABAD: President Dr Arif Alvi and Prime Minister Imran Khan on Tuesday reaffirmed the country’s unequivocal support for the people of occupied Kashmir in their struggle for freedom from ruthless Indian occupation in accordance with the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions.

“The right to self-determination is a vital component of human dignity. The negation of this right is the negation of human freedom, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and UN Human Rights Covenants,” the president said in a message on the occasion of Right to Self-determination of Kashmiri Day observed on January 5.

“India is the biggest violator of this inalienable human right,” he said.

The president stressed that the UN must honour its commitments and urged upon the global community not to shy away from its responsibility towards the oppressed people in Kashmir.

He said on 5th January 1949, the UN Commission on India and Pakistan (UNCIP) adopted the resolution guaranteeing a free and fair plebiscite in the region to enable the people of Kashmir realise their right to self-determination.

He said since August 5, 2019, through continuous illegal and unilateral steps, the Indian government had created an environment of fear and chaos in the region.

More than 500 days of the military siege, and draconian restrictions on fundamental freedoms and rights, including the right to life and health, despite the Covid-19 pandemic, had challenged the conscience of the international community and India’s credentials of being a respectable member of the comity of nations, he added.

The president said: “Indian actions have been widely rejected by the international community, the United Nations, and international human rights organizations. The current situation in the Kashmir is the worst in recent history where people have been deprived of all basic rights, including rights to freedom of expression and assembly, as well as self-determination.”

The people of occupied Kashmir, he said, were being subjected to collective punishment by the Indian occupation forces, which had turned the territory into the largest militarised zone in the world and were seeking to change the demographic structure of the occupied territory in violation of the international law, including the 4th Geneva Convention.

Separately, in a series of late-night tweets to mark the annual Right to Self-determination of Kashmiri Day, the premier noted the UN had on January 5, 1949, guaranteed the right to self-determination for the people of occupied Jammu and Kashmir through a plebiscite.

“We observe this day as a reminder to the U.N. and its member states of their unfulfilled commitment to the Kashmiri people,” he said.

“Despite suffering 73 years of brutal Indian occupation, generation after generation of the Kashmiri people remain steadfast in the demand for their inalienable right to self-determination as guaranteed to them under the UN Charter and by the UN Security Council,” he said.

“We call on the international community to take action against the well-documented human rights violations being committed with impunity by Indian occupation forces against innocent Kashmiri men, women and children; and to ensure Kashmiris get their right to self-determination.”

In a subsequent press statement, released by his office, the prime minister noted that around 900,000 occupation forces had turned occupied Jammu and Kashmir into the largest militarised zone in the world.

“Post-August 5, 2019, India unleashed a new reign of terror in the region, maintaining an inhuman military siege, perpetrating egregious violations of human rights of innocent people, especially women, children and the elderly with unprecedented impunity, and seeking to illegally change the demographic structure of the occupied territory,” he said.

Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi reaffirmed Pakistan’s full support to the people of Kashmir in their demand for realisation of their inalienable right to self-determination. He urged India to allow the UN to investigate the grave human rights violation in IOK and said the international community must continue to support Kashmir for basic human rights and fundamental freedom.

Information Minister Shibli Faraz urged the international community to shun its silence on the Indian crimes against humanity in occupied Kashmir. In his tweets on Tuesday, he said that the 5th January reminds us that the UN resolution accepting the right to self-determination of Kashmiris has yet not been implemented. The information minister said that PM Imran being an advocate and ambassador of Kashmiris is forcefully pleading the case of valiant Kashmiri people at all international forums and unmasking the evil face of India.

Paying tribute to the struggle of Kashmiri people, Faraz said that the oppression unleashed against them has not deterred them from seeking their fundamental democratic right to self-determination.

Kashmir Committee Chairman Shehryar Afridi reaffirmed that the entire Pakistani nation stands by their Kashmiri brethren until they achieve their right to self-determination. Addressing a seminar in connection with Kashmiris’ Right to Self Determination Day in Islamabad today (Tuesday), he said, “We all are united for the Kashmir cause.”

Afridi said that Pakistan will continue its moral, diplomatic and political support to the Kashmir cause. The Kashmir Committee chief said the promise made to the Kashmiris for right to self-determination must be fulfilled. He said that India’s ugly face, its false propaganda and its nefarious designs against Pakistan have been exposed by EU DisinfoLab.

Kashmiris on both sides of the Line of Control (LoC) and the world over observed the Right to Self-Determination Day on Tuesday, with a renewed pledge to continue their liberation struggle till it reaches its ultimate goal.

It was on 5th January in 1949 when the UNSC passed a resolution supporting the Kashmiris’ right to decide their future by themselves through UN-sponsored plebiscite.

The day was marked by various activities, including rallies, seminars and conferences across the world to remind the UN that it must implement its relevant resolutions to settle the Kashmir dispute and save Kashmiris from the Indian brutalities.

Meanwhile, Hurriyet leaders and organisations called upon the UN and international community to fulfil their pledge by granting Kashmiris their basic right of self-determination.

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