WASHINGTON, Feb 3 (APP): Federal Minister for Planning,
Development and Reforms, Prof Ahsan Iqbal on Thursday said
that if the United States and the world leaders truly want
to fight ISIS forces and terrorism, they must address the
concerns of Muslims in areas like Kashmir.
“If we want to create an environment which is conducive
for peace and ensures harmony, then we have to address the
causes of injustices,” the Minister said at a seminar organized
by the Pakistan Embassy in Washington to observe the Kashmir
Solidary Day and to express solidarity and support of the
people of Jammu and Kashmir.
The Minister said that if a referendum can be held in
East Timor and South Sudan to get people their fundamental
rights, there was no justification to not let the referendum
held in Kashmir, where people were subjected to worst kind
“If a referendum is not held in Kashmir, people there
will be justified to think that the international community
has double standard,” Ahsan said, adding that the countries
and powers which have stakes in global peace and security
must address the sufferings of people in Kashmir as they
addressed the sufferings of people in East Timor and South
The Minister urged the Pakistani and Kashmiri diaspora
to approach the US Congressmen and Senators and convince
them that if the United States, which as a world leader
has a responsibility for global peace, truly wants to fight
the ISIS, they must also discharge its responsibilities of
addressing concerns of Muslims in areas like Kashmir.
“This will help to deny the extremists and the ISIS
forces the narrative which they throw towards people who
are suffering, narrative through which they are able to
mislead some of the youth,” he added.
Ahsan said that he met ” a number of Congressmen and
had useful discussion as to how we can fight terrorism and
extremism.” He said President Trump at a function also made
a very powerful speech in which he said that fighting ISIS
and terrorism was his number one priority.
“We all agree that the terrorism and extremism are the
greatest challenge facing the humanity, that terrorism and
extremism are the enemies of mankind,” he added.
The Minister said that one of the causes that fuel
terrorism and extremisms was the conflicts in Muslim
societies which are being ignored by the international
community and the sufferings of the Muslims societies
are paid no attention, which provide space to these
These groups, he said, then are able to exploit and
mislead people and offer them radical alternatives of
extremis and terrorism and some people are misled by
such slogans. “If we want to fight extremism, we will
have to make sure that the international community is
sensitive and do something to end the sufferings of
people subjected to violence,” he added.
He said that if the countries are punished and
sanctioned for violating Security Council Resolutions,
the same rule was also applicable to those countries
which are not meeting the requirement of the Security
The minister said Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was
fully committed to the cause of Kashmir and the government
will continue to provide full moral support to the people
of Indian Occupied Kashmir fighting for their right to
Ambassador Jalil Abbas Jilani in his comments pointed
out the new generation of Kashmiris has risen spontaneously
against India’s illegal occupation and they are not deterred
by Indian brutalities.
He hoped that the sacrifices of Kashmiris for their
right of self-determination will bear fruit. The international
community must demand that India deliver on the commitments on
plebiscite to the UN and the World.
Dr. Imtiaz Ahmad, President, Kashmir American Council and
another Kashmiri leader Dr. Akram also addressed the gathering
and lauded the moral support and efforts of Prime Minister Nawaz
Sharif for highlighting the Kashmir issue on world forums
including United Nations.
Prominent members of Pakistani American and Kashmiri-American communities participated in the seminar.
Professor Ahsan Iqbal, Minister for Planning, Development and
Reform was the Chief Guest on the occasion.