Foreign Office Spokesperson Mumtaz Zahra Baloch, in her weekly press briefing, told the media that Syed Ali Shah Geelani was a true voice and face of the Kashmiris’ struggle for their rights and freedom.
“Today is the second death anniversary of the iconic Kashmiri leader, Syed Ali Shah Geelani. He breathed his last in a long-drawn house arrest on 01 September 2021. In a horrific act, his dead body was snatched by the Indian occupation forces from his family, and hurriedly buried in a graveyard in the absence of his family and friends. His family and friends were not allowed to pay their final respects or bury him in a graveyard of his choice,” the spokesperson recalled.
She said the late Geelani’s unflinching commitment to the Kashmiris’ right to self-determination, in the face of persistent persecution and tremendous personal hardship, had inspired generations of Kashmiris in resisting the occupation and tyranny.
Geelani would be remembered for his matchless sacrifices and unconditional love for Kashmir and for Pakistan, she added.
“Today, we pay rich tribute to his life-long dedication for justice and freedom, and reaffirm our support to the people of IIOJK. We also urge the Government of India to give unhindered access to his family and followers to his final resting place,” the spokesperson remarked.
To a question, she said Jammu and Kashmir was an internationally recognised disputed territory, whose final disposition was to be made in accordance with the United Nations resolutions and the wishes of the Kashmiri people.
“Any other process cannot serve as a substitute to the grant of the right to self-determination of the Kashmiri people. Any other developments in IIOJK will be observed and examined in Pakistan and we will give our reaction if there are any further developments. Pakistan’s position is very consistent and clear that India must rescind its illegal acts of 5th August, 2019 and create an environment for peace and dialogue in the region.”
To another question, she said, “India has, time and again, tried to project a false narrative of normalcy in IIOJK by organizing different events. We believe that such stunts cannot legitimize India’s occupation or suppress the true sentiments of the Kashmiri people. India’s facade of normalcy is challenged by the harsh reality that IIOJK remains one of the most militarized zones in the world with extreme curbs on freedom of expression and assembly.”
She said that Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar would visit Nairobi, Kenya to participate in the Africa Climate Summit to be held on September 4 to 6 and Foreign Minister Jalil Abbas Jilani would accompany him.
She said the visit would be taking place at the invitation of President William Samoei Ruto of Kenya. At the summit, the prime minister would articulate Pakistan’s perspective on the global climate crisis and highlight national efforts to rebuild in a climate-resilient manner after the last year’s devastating floods. The prime minister’s key messages in Nairobi would include the need for enhanced climate cooperation at all levels to confront the common challenge of Climate Change in an effective manner.
In Nairobi, the prime minister was also expected to hold a series of bilateral meetings with his counterparts from Africa, including Kenya, and other high-level dignitaries, she added.
The spokesperson said the Africa Climate Summit was the initiative of Kenya and the African Union. Pakistan’s high-level participation in the summit was not only in keeping with its traditionally proactive climate diplomacy, but was also in line with the ‘Look Africa’ outlook for enhanced engagement with countries in Africa.