‘Kashmiris know how to sacrifice’, says Sheikh Rashid at Seminar “730 Days of Hell: Kashmir Under Siege”

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: The Minister of Interior Sheikh Rashid Ahmed has said that “Kashmiris know how to sacrifice”.


While addressing a Seminar titled “730 Days of Hell: Kashmir Under Siege” organised by the India Study Centre (ISC) at the Institute of Strategic Studies Islamabad (ISSI) on Wednesday, the minister said that South Asia is going to be one very important region and Pakistan is going to play an important role.

The interior minister said that India wants to destabilize Pakistan. He added that India has started a hybrid war against Pakistan, particularly on media and social media. He said that some journalists were coming to Pakistan but India stopped them.

Sheikh Rashid said that India is trying to rise economically, socially and politically but without resolving the issue of Kashmir, India’s dream will not materialize.

The minister further said that though, most of the Kashmiris don’t have access to the internet or connection with the outside world, still, they are trying their best to fight their case both domestically and internationally.

The interior minister said that Prime Minister Imran Khan fought the case of Kashmir very courageously and he was supported by Turkey, Iran and Malaysia. He said that the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) too has always extended its full support to the just cause of Kashmir.

Earlier in his introductory remarks, the Director ISC highlighted the importance of the event and said that on August 5, 2019 India in a unilateral move revoked Article 370 and 35 A. This move brought with it a whole new level of atrocities against the Kashmiri people in the form of continuous curfew and an effort to change the demography of Jammu and Kashmir.

In his welcome remarks, the Director-General ISSI Ambassador Aizaz Ahmed Chaudhary said that in pursuit of Hindutva ideology and the desire to create a Hindu Rashtra, India decided to revoke Article 370 and 35 A. India also tried to divide the Gupkar alliance as no Kashmiri will ever accept an attack on their identity.

Ambassador Aizaz Ahmed Chaudhary also expressed his fear that in order to distract attention from the situation in Kashmir, India could resort to a false flag operation.

In a video message, the Secretary-General of OIC Dr. Yousef A. Al-Othaimeen said the OIC always extended strong support to the people of Jammu and Kashmir in many decisions at the Summit and resolutions at the Ministerial meetings. These decisions and resolutions are an expression of the Islamic world’s solidarity with the Kashmiri people in their struggle for the right of self-determination.

Pakistan’s Permanent Representative to OIC Ambassador Rizwan Saeed Sheikh said that OIC is the only organisation that has a special envoy for Kashmir.

Ambassador Rizwan Saeed Sheikh said that the 48th session of the Council of Foreign Ministers is slated to be held in Pakistan next year. Taking advantage of the occasion, Pakistan should come up with an action plan and look at resolution 2334 of the UN Security Council which on Palestine rejects the Israeli settlements on the occupied territories. Such an acknowledgement by the Security Council on the Kashmir issue is necessary.

In the video message, the Co-Chair Dechert LLP International Arbitration and Public International Law Group, USA Arif Hyder Ali, presented four legal options that included a claim before a Conciliation Commission pursuant to the Convention on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (the CERD Convention), second, a claim before the International Court of Justice (the “ICJ”) for violations of the Apartheid Convention, third,  claims brought by a state partner of the Kashmiri people before the ICJ for discrete human rights violations in Kashmir based on the customary international law of human rights. The fourth option could be the possibility of international arbitration against India under a bilateral investment treaty.

Addressing the gathering, the Human Rights Activist Mushaal Hussain Mullick said that after August 5, 2019, there was a lot more media coverage of the Kashmir dispute but later the focus shifted towards the fight against COVID-19. Pre August 5, 2019, it was only Indian forces that were responsible for the misery of the Kashmiri people but now, Indian people are also snatching jobs and economic opportunities from the Kashmiri people.

Expressing his views, the Executive Director RSIL, Islamabad Jamal Aziz said that post-August 5, 2019, there is a greater realization about the importance of lawfare. However, he stressed that lawfare cannot take place in a vacuum and it has to be a part of larger policymaking.

Ambassador Arif Kamal also endorsed the fact that August 5, 2019 was an assault on the Kashmiri identity. Modi tried to create new realities. But this assault has been rejected by all in the valley.

The Director-General, Institute of Multi-Track Dialogue and Diplomatic Studies Dr. Sheikh Waleed Rasool focused on the demographic trends in Jammu and Kashmir and expressed his concern that following August 5, 2019, it will not take long when the Muslim and Hindu population will be the same.

The event was attended by people from different walks of life.

The event was concluded with the resolve that Pakistan will stand firm with the Kashmiri people in their just fight for their right to self-determination.

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