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Remarks by the Foreign Minister on “Standing with unheard voices of Kashmir” institute of regional studies

Islamabad, February 03, 2021 (PPI-OT): Let me begin by complimenting the organizers of this important seminar on “Standing with the Unheard Voices of Kashmir”. Our presence here today, ahead of the Kashmir Solidarity Day on 5th February, is a reaffirmation of our steadfast support to the innocent Kashmiris who have been subjected to 73 years of brutalization by the Indian occupation forces in the Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK). As we all know, the situation in IIOJK has worsened since India’s unilateral, illegal and inhuman actions of August 5th, 2019.

India’s re-invasion and re-occupation of the illegally occupied territory through barrel of the gun have further alienated the Kashmiri people. Over 900,000 occupation troops have perpetuated the worst reign of terror upon the innocent Kashmiris. It has been eighteen months, since the continuous military siege, communications blockade, media blackout, and unprecedented restrictions on the fundamental freedoms were imposed in Indian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir.

The extra-judicial killing of young Kashmiris in fake “encounters” and staged cordon-and-search operations has become a regular occurrence in IIOJK. Over 300 innocent Kashmiris have been martyred by the Indian occupation forces since 5th August 2019. In further acts of brutalization, even mortal remains of martyred Kashmiris are not handed over to their families for proper burial. Kashmiri houses are being destroyed to inflict “collective punishment” on the Kashmiri communities and neighbourhood.

The senior Kashmiri leadership, including founding leader of Kashmiri organization “Dukhtaran-i-Millat” and the “Iron Lady of Kashmir”, Asiya Andrabi; leader and founder of the Jammu and Kashmir Democratic Freedom Party, Shabbir Ahmed Shah; prominent leaders such as Yasin Malik; Masarat Alam Bhat; Mohammad Ashraf Sehraie and others remain jailed, including the infamous Tihar Jail in India on fake, malicious and trumped up charges. Thousands of Kashmiri youth remain incarcerated, including many at undisclosed locations away from their families.

Ladies and Gentlemen, The real objective of the RSS-BJP regime behind its illegal actions of August 5th was obvious. India wanted to change the demographic structure of the occupied territory in violation of the UN Security Council resolutions and the international law, including the 4th Geneva Convention. In its march towards this illegal and inhuman end, the BJP government has already issued over 1.8 million bogus domicile certificates to non-Kashmiris to settle them in IIOJK to undermine the plebiscite in accordance with the UNSC resolutions.

Despite unprecedented atrocities and brutalization at the hands of Indian occupation troops, Kashmiris have refused to be subjugated by India. The Kashmiris’ resolve for freedom from Indian occupation has only become stronger in the face of Indian atrocities. Through their supreme sacrifices, Kashmiris have made it crystal clear that Jammu and Kashmir is not the so-called “integral part” of India.

It never was… It never will be! Ladies and Gentlemen, Today, the world is witnessing rise of ultra-nationalism, racism, fascism, religious hatred and intolerance in India in the garb of “Hindutva” supremacist ideology, championed by the RSS-inspired BJP Government, which has been using violence to achieve its illegitimate objectives.

This “Hindutva” ideology is not only a threat to the Kashmiris, but to India’s own nationals as well, particularly Muslims. Targeted attacks and discriminatory measures against Muslims are rampant in the BJP’s India — ranging from policies of systematically disenfranchising Muslims to physical assaults and other anti-Muslim actions under the boggy of “Love-Jihad” and “Corona Jihad” designed to demonize, dispossess and further marginalize the Muslims.

Ladies and Gentlemen! Pakistan continues to expose the horrific atrocities perpetrated by Indian occupation forces in IIOJK. The Jammu and Kashmir dispute has become the headline news. I cannot think of a time when the issue of Jammu and Kashmir was internationalized on this scale before. Several credible reports from human rights organizations and media outlets have already censured India on its ongoing military siege, clampdown on communications, media blackout and use of other measures to perpetuate its illegal occupation of IIOJK.

On the diplomatic front, India is facing humiliation after humiliation internationally following its illegal and unilateral actions in IIOJK. Since August 5th, 2019, three meetings of the UN Security Council have been held, to deliberate on the Jammu and Kashmir dispute, which is a categorical rebuttal of India’s fictitious claim of the dispute being an “internal matter.”

In addition, a number of parliaments including the European Union, UK and the US Congress have reviewed the situation in IIOJK on different occasions. In a recently held debate at the British Parliament on the “political situation in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK),” the British Parliamentarians have called out the BJP Government for its ongoing, brutal and systematic violence against innocent Kashmiris. The increasing international denunciation of India’s brutal campaign is indeed a step in the right direction.

However, there is still a lot to be done, that will help pave the way for early resolution of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute, which is a pre-requisite for durable peace and stability in South Asia. Ladies and Gentlemen! The unflinching belief of the Kashmiri people in their just struggle for freedom from Indian occupation fills our hearts with great pride. Their resilience in the face of unspeakable atrocities being perpetuated by Indian occupation forces is remarkable.

On its part, Pakistan’s ultimate objective remains the resolution of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute as per the wishes of the Kashmiri people and relevant resolutions of the United Nations Security Council through a free and impartial plebiscite under the UN auspices. The people and government of Pakistan remain committed to extend full support to the just cause of Kashmiri’s right to self-determination. We will not let anyone take away Kashmir from the Kashmiris. This cause and the struggle is just, sacred and non-negotiable. The Kashmir spirit will ultimately triumph, Insha Allah! I thank you!

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