Kashmir resolution based on UN resolutions ‘pre-requisite’ for peace in South Asia: Munir Akram

NEW YORK, Aug 05 (APP): Pakistan’s Ambassador to the United Nations, Munir Akram, said on Thursday that a settlement of the Kashmir dispute in accordance with the UN Security Council resolutions was a “pre-requisite” to establish sustainable peace between India and Pakistan, and to avoid another conflict in South Asia.

“If another conflict is to be avoided in South Asia, if prosperity and progress are the priority for South Asia’s peoples, a just and peaceful solution to the Kashmir dispute is a pre-requisite,” he said in his opening remarks at a webinar organized by Pakistan Mission to the UN to mark Youm-e-Istehsal – the second anniversary of the Indian siege of occupied Jammu & Kashmir.

“Sustainable peace between Pakistan and India cannot be established without a resolution of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute between India and Pakistan in accordance with Security Council resolutions and the wishes of Kashmiri people,” Ambassador Akram said.

He referred to a recent letter to the Security Council from Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi in which Qureshi reiterated that Pakistan’s readiness to initiate a dialogue with India if it were willing to create a conducive environment for talks.

To create such an environment, India must: rescind the illegal and unilateral measures imposed on or after August 5 2019; halt its oppression and human rights violations in occupied Jammu and Kashmir; reverse the demographic changes it has initiated there; and end its sponsorship of terrorism against Pakistan.

“The Kashmiris have struggled for a 100 years for freedom, initially from Dogra rule and later Indian occupation,” Ambassador Akram said.

“Despite India’s massive oppression, and the loss of a hundred thousand lives, the Kashmiris have not surrendered their quest for freedom. India has lost any semblance of legitimacy in Kashmir.

“No genuine Kashmiri accepts Indian rule. India is in blatant colonial occupation of the state. Nor will Pakistan resile from its principled national commitment to Kashmir’s freedom,” the Pakistani envoy added.

Members of the OIC Contact Group on Jammu and Kashmir, including Deputy Permanent Representative of Azerbaijan Tofig Musayev, Charge D’Affairs of Turkey Serhad Varli, Deputy Permanent Representative of Saudi Arabia Mohammed Al-Alteek, and OIC Ambassador Agshin Mehdiyev participated in the webinar. They expressed solidarity with the suffering people of IIOJK, and backed their struggle for their UN-recognized right to self-determination.

Also participating were distinguished speakers, including Dr Ghulam Nabi Fai, a Kashmiri leader, Lars Rise, a Norwegian political figure; Timothy Todd Shea, an international humanitarian; Ms Victoria Schofield, a celebrated British author; Salman Khan, founder and chairman of South African Kashmiri Action group, and Muzamil Ayyub Thakur, a Kashmiri activist based in the United Kingdom.

In his remarks, Ambassador Munir Akram said, “In the 730 days long siege, over 900,000 Indian occupation forces have continued to oppress 8 million Kashmiri men, women and children in the world’s largest ‘open-air prison.”

“In this unending siege, the Indian occupation forces imprisoned all the Kashmiri leaders; abducted over 13,000 young men and boys; tortured thousands; violently put down peaceful protests, blinding hundreds of children by the use of pellet guns; conducted extra-judicial killings in fake encounters and cordon and search operations; buried the victims in unmarked graves; imposed collective punishment, destroying entire neighbourhoods and villages; denied the freedom of religion and speech, stifling the media through coercion and incarceration of journalists.”

To impose the “Final Solution” for Jammu and Kashmir advocated by the RSS, the parent of India’s BJP Government, he said, the demography of the occupied territory was being changed by domicile rules and land laws, noting New Delhi had illegally issued over 3.4 million fake domicile certificates in the IIOJK under the so-called “Jammu and Kashmir Grant of Domicile Certificate (Procedure) Rules, 2020”.

“The ongoing exercise of a fresh demarcation, and so-called “delimitation” of electoral boundaries within IIOJK, is clearly designed to further reduce Muslim representation, as demanded for decades by the extremists of the RSS. The aim is to convert Kashmir’s Muslim majority into a minority,” the Pakistani envoy said.

“These actions are violations of Security Council resolutions and the Fourth Geneva Convention and constitute a war crime,” Ambassador Akram said, noting that the gross and systematic violations of human rights in Occupied Jammu & Kashmir had been condemned by the High Commissioner for Human Rights in reports issued in 2018 and 2019; in the High Commissioner’s multiple interventions in the Human Rights Council; in the communications of the Council’s Special Rapporteurs; in reports of international human rights organizations, and in the international media.

While the High Commissioner has recommended the establishment of UN Inquiry Commission to examine the human rights violations in Kashmir, India has rejected this. India also continues to blatantly disregard the request of Office of High Commissioner for Human Rights, civil society organizations and international media to allow them access to Indian Occupied Kashmir to monitor the worsening human rights situation in the occupied territory.

“To coerce Pakistan to relinquish its principled support for the just struggle of the Kashmiri people for self-determination, India continues to actively plan, promote and finance terror and sabotage against Pakistan from the territory of Afghanistan,” the Pakistani envoy said, adding, “We have shared irrefutable evidence with the United Nations and the international community of India’s state sponsorship of terrorism against Pakistan.”

Speaking next, Dr Ghulam Nabi Fai, Secretary-General of World Kashmir Awareness forum, a Washington-based advocacy body, said Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s action in annexing Jammu and Kashmir was not to “resolve” the Kashmir dispute but to “dissolve” it.
“The environment for media in the region has only gone from bad to worse in the last two years, he said adding the overall condition of human rights in Kashmir had worsened in the last two years,” Fai said.

“The abrogation of the Article 370 has also lead to the winding up of various Commissions including the Jammu and Kashmir State Information Commission (SIC) and the Jammu and Kashmir State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) and Consumer Commission, he pointed out. It again had led to the closure of the information and justice sought by people which in turn lead to the continual denial of justice to the people.

In last two years, he said, the judicial processes had not resulted in adjudication of any human rights violation cases, either leading to prosecution of any perpetrators or ordering of any serious inquiries on the human rights violations.

The orders of the Jammu Kashmir High Court had been subservient to the Executive, even in the cases where preventive detention orders were quashed, the police on their own reasoning determined whether the detainee has to be released or re-arrested in another detention order, Fai added.