Sartaj highlights special significance of Kashmir Solidarity Day

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ISLAMABAD, Feb 4(APP): Advisor to the Prime Minister on Foreign
Affairs SartajAziz Saturday said the Kashmir Solidarity Day, observed
every yearon February 5, had special significance this year because the recent uprising in Indian occupied Kashmir, following theJuly8 extra judicial killing of popular youth leader,BurhanMuzaffarWani, had shaken the conscious of the international community.
Kashmiris were subjected to a holocaust in November 1947, he
recalled, when Indian forces killed more than 500,000defenceless Kashmiri men, women and children. ButKashmiriscontinued their struggle for their right of self determination promised to them in five different UN Security Council resolutions between 1948 and 1954, he added.
Since 1990, when the movement again gathered pace, over 100,000Kashmirishad been martyred, and tens of thousands
arrested or maimed, the Advisor said in a statement.
Throughout this period, he said, Indian authorities armed with
inhuman laws, such as Public Safety Act and AFSPA, had tried to muzzle the Kashmiri voice for freedom and refused to allow the UN Human Rights Commission, other human rights groups or the international media free access to the occupied Kashmir to verify the massive human rights violation or to report on them.
“But the day of July 8, 2016, marks a turning point in this
historic struggle of the Kashmiri people”, SartajAziz said. The brute force unleashed in the next few days led to the merciless killing of 150 youth, 20,000 were seriously injured andmany hundreds were blinded either completely or partially.
He said the brutality, which had continued unabated in the past
seven months, had not, however, dampened the resolve of Kashmiri youth
to secure their right of self determination. Even prominent Indian
leaders and a section of the Indian media were now raising their voice against this brutality. “They have testified that Kashmiri youth are
in open revolt against the Indian government and are no longer afraid of losing their lives in this struggle for their fundamental rights,” he added.
Julyturning point, he said, was the total rejection of Indian
narrative by the international community that Kashmir was an integral part of India and that people of Kashmir were satisfied with the present arrangement but some disturbances took place because of cross border terrorism.
“The whole world now acknowledges that this is an indigenous
youth led movement which has become stronger because of the Indian government’s misguided efforts to change the demographic composition
of the state and its insensitivity to the rights of minority communities in India.
“There have been debates in the parliaments of many countries and
civil society and human rights organizations in Europe and North America
and specially in the United Kingdom and Nordic countries, have been mobilizing public support for their campaigns to force India to halt
the bloodshed in Kashmir and resume the dialogue process with Pakistan
and the Kashmiri leadership to find an acceptable solution to the longstanding dispute, still on the UN agenda.”
Sartaj Azia said India had been desperately trying to divert the attention of the global community from this blood stained reality of Kashmir, by intensifying cross border firing along the Line of Control
and pretending to be a major “victim” of cross border terrorism from Pakistan.
In that game of brinkmanship, he pointedout,the Indian narrative
had been totally rejected. “It is now widely acknowledged that Pakistan itself is a much bigger victim of terrorism including that sponsored
by India and that in the past three years, Pakistan has achieved commendable success in tackling the menace of terrorism and extremism.”
He expressed his deep concern over the Indian government’s drive to change the demography in occupied Jammu & Kashmir, which was a blatant violation of UN resolutions on Kashmir.
The UN Secretary General, SartajAziz said in conclusion, had
declared 2017 as the year of peace. One major hotspot of violence was
the Line of Control between Indian occupied Kashmir and Azad Jammu and Kashmir. There was an urgent need for the international community to
take effective steps to stop the Kashmiri bloodshed by India and resolve
the Kashmir dispute by organizing a referendum in accordance with UN resolutions, to make a final determination if the Kashmiri people really want to live perpetually under Indian occupation.
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