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No peace in South Asia until Kashmir issue is resolved: FM Qureshi

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NEW YORK: The Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi has said that the dream of peace in South Asia cannot be materialized unless the Kashmir issue is resolved fairly in accordance with the aspirations of the UN Security Council and Kashmiris.

“There will be no peace in South Asia until the just and equitable resolution of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute in accordance with the resolutions of the Security Council and wishes of the Kashmiri people,” Qureshi said in his remarks at an informal meeting of the OIC Contact Group on Jammu and Kashmir held in New York on Thursday.

The following are remarks by the Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi at the Breakfast Meeting with Members of the OIC Contact Group on Jammu and Kashmir on September 23, 2021;

 

“Secretary-General Dr. Yousef Al-Othaimeen,

Honourable Foreign Ministers,

And all distinguished colleagues,

Let me begin by expressing my profound gratitude to all of you for convening today for this informal meeting of the OIC Contact Group on Jammu and Kashmir.

Today’s interaction would help us take stock of the political and security environment and the deteriorating humanitarian and human rights situation in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJ&K) and consider ways and means to address these challenges.

Excellencies,

Since 05 August 2019, over 8 million Kashmiris continue to face lockdown, military siege, arbitrary detentions, and unprecedented restrictions.

Operating under draconian laws with complete impunity, Indian occupation forces are committing unspeakable atrocities to silence the voice of the Kashmiris and break their will to resist the occupation.

Under a suffocating military siege and in the face of ravaging COVID-19 pandemic, the Indian army has continued cordon-and-search operations, put down protests violently, continued the use of pellet-guns and torture, imprisoned Kashmiri political leaders, abducted children and women, staged fake “encounters”, and indulged in a killing spree of Kashmiri youth in IIOJK.

Following the extremist “Hindutva” ideology, the RSS-BJP regime has also embarked on a design to change the demographic structure of the occupied territory and obliterate the distinct identity of the Kashmiri people.

To further its plans, over 4.2 million fake domicile certificates have been issued already under the so-called “Jammu and Kashmir Grant of Domicile Certificate (Procedure) Rules, 2020”.

This is what the Indian leadership itself ominously calls a ‘Final Solution’ for the Jammu and Kashmir dispute.

Excellencies,

The most recent example of Indian barbarity was the treatment of mortal remains of the great Kashmiri leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani, who passed away on 01 September 2021 after prolonged illegal Indian detention and house arrest.

Syed Geelani was incarcerated for 50 years but never wavered from his demand for Kashmir’s freedom.

Despite his advancing age and failing health, he was not allowed to seek medical treatment abroad.

Even as his family mourned his loss, and prepared for his funeral, a heavy contingent of India’s occupation forces entered their home, and over the protests of family members, forcibly snatched Syed Geelani’s body, denied him the last rites of a Muslim funeral and buried him in a non-descript place rather than the ‘Cemetery of Martyrs’ as desired by Syed Geelani before his death.

If that was not enough, Geelani’s family members were later charged for draping his body in the Pakistani flag – as he had wished.

The Government of India was so afraid of Syed Geelani and what he stood for that they resorted to this inhumane act even after his passing away.

This clearly shows that India would trample all civil and human values to perpetuate its brutal occupation of IIOJK.

Excellencies,

To sustain the focus of the international community on Indian transgressions and to hold India accountable, the Government of Pakistan has recently released a comprehensive and well-researched Dossier containing the entire range of gross, systematic, and widespread violations of human rights perpetrated by Indian forces in the IIOJK.

The 131-page dossier covers accounts of 3432 cases of war crimes perpetrated by senior officers of the Indian occupying forces. The crimes catalogued in the dossier are corroborated by audio and video evidence that we have meticulously gathered over time.

I will take this opportunity to request the Secretary-General of the OIC to circulate the dossier among all members of the OIC and have it widely disseminated.

Excellencies,

There will be no peace in South Asia until the just and equitable resolution of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute in accordance with the resolutions of the Security Council and wishes of the Kashmiri people.

Last February, we accepted revival of the 2003 ceasefire understanding along the Line of Control (LOC) in Jammu and Kashmir.

We expected that India would take positive steps to enable the resumption of engagement for resolution of the dispute. Instead, India intensified its repression.

Pakistan is prepared to engage with India for a resolution of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute. However, the onus is on India to create a conducive environment. It must:

– Reverse its unilateral and illegal measures instituted since 05 August 2019;

– Stop its human rights violations in IIOJK;

– Halt and reverse the demographic changes in the occupied State.

Excellencies,

The Jammu and Kashmir dispute, with Palestine, is one of the two longest standing items on the UN and OIC agenda.

Pakistan greatly appreciates the OIC’s continued and unequivocal support on the Jammu and Kashmir dispute.

This Organization has been at the forefront of efforts to support the just and legitimate struggle of the people of IIOJK for their inalienable right to self-determination, as reflected by the decisions and resolutions of the Islamic Summits and Council of Foreign Minister sessions, and the statements issued by the General Secretariat and IPHRC.

The OIC’s Contact Group has made invaluable contribution in galvanizing global attention to the worsening situation in IIOJK.

In view of the grave situation, it is imperative that the OIC enhances its efforts to facilitate a lasting solution to the Jammu and Kashmir dispute. The oppressed people of Kashmir, now more than ever, count on OIC and the Muslim Ummah.

I also request Your Excellencies’ active support in raising the issue at relevant UN foras, including the General Assembly and the Human Rights Council.

Before concluding my remarks, I once again thank you for your participation today. I also look forward to hosting you all for the upcoming Council of Foreign Ministers Session in Islamabad next year.

Thank you.”

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