Pakistan will steadfastly back Kashmiris’ struggle for freedom from India’s yoke: Munir Akram

NEW YORK, Aug 05 (APP):Pakistan will continue to support the “just and legitimate” struggle of the Kashmiri people for the exercise of their UN-pledged right to self-determination, Ambassador Munir Akram said at an event marking one year since India revoked the special status of Indian Illegal Occupied Kashmir that escalated tensions in the region.

“We will not desert the Kashmiri struggle, no matter how difficult we face the pressures from India or from other powers,” he said at a webinar entitled “Kashmir: A Year Under Siege” on Tuesday.

“We have remained steadfast and we will remain steadfast in supporting the Kashmiris,” the Pakistani envoy said, noting the Kashmiri resistance remains robust despite the sufferings that have been imposed on the Kashmiris by the Indian occupation forces.

“The political prisoners, the thousands of young men who have been incarcerated in jails across India, despite collective punishments, despite the extra judicial killings, the Kashmiri resistance has not capitulated to the Indian oppression,” he added.

Ambassador Akram said he was of the view that in Kashmir, history would eventually bend towards justice.

Dr Ghulam Nabi Fai, Secretary-General of the Washington-based World Kashmir Awareness Forum, moderated the online discussion which was watched by a large number of people through live broadcast on Facebook and Twitter.

Other notable speakers who voiced support for the cause of Kashmiri people included President of Azad Kashmir, Masood Khan; the Convener of the Tehreek-e-Hurriyat, Ghulam Muhammad Safi; Chairman of the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) Council of Social Justice, Dr Zahid Bukhari; British author Victoria Schofield; Palestinian political activist Professor Sami Al-Arian, Malaysian Senator Mohammad Nur Manuty; and Independent Permanent Human Rights Commission, Jeddah, Justice Adama Nana.

In his remarks, Ambassador Munir Akram said Pakistan has been trying hard to convince governments of the rights of Kashmiris, the legitimacy of the cause, and the need to support their cause, rather than oppose it, as some have done in the past.

In this regard, he said Pakistan had recently sent to the UN Security Council two documents, outlining the legal case of the Kashmir dispute and the other on the massive human rights violations in the Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir. These documents will be circulated as official documents of the Security Council and will become part of the record.

Ambassador Akram said Kashmir was now under international spotlight.

“For fifty years, the Kashmir issue had remained in a cold storage. Pakistan took the matter to the Security Council on 16th of August last year after 40 years. The Prime Minister of Pakistan (Imran Khan) came to the UN General Assembly in September last year and spoke on behalf of Kashmiri people. We raised this issue in the Human Rights Council which adopted a joint statement, with over 50 countries expressing support for the cause of Kashmir”.

While discussing the major impediments, he said that some governments were reticent to speak on Kashmir for three reasons — geopolitics; economics; and the Indian influence on smaller countries.

“We need to change these reasons,” the Pakistani envoy emphasized.

“This change will happen from the strength of the Kashmiri struggle against Indian oppression. It will also come when India will see the damage done by its illegal actions in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir to its own economic and strategic interests, as well as to its reputation.”

But, he said, “The balance of forces is changing in favour of the Kashmiri people for several reasons, the Kashmiri resistance remains robust, Pakistan remains steadfast in supporting the people of Kashmir, and the mismanagement of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Government on domestic and international front was reducing India’s attraction as an investment destination.

Concluding his remarks, Ambassador Akram said, “There has never been a legitimate freedom struggle in the history of the world which has not achieved its objectives”.