Speakers at Pakistan UN mission webinar reaffirm full support to Kashmiris’ freedom struggle

Speakers at Pakistan UN mission webinar reaffirm full support to Kashmiris' freedom struggle

NEW YORK, Oct 27 (APP): Speakers at a webinar organized by the Pakistan Mission to the United Nations to mark the ‘Kashmir Black Day‘ Thursday reaffirmed their support to Kashmiri people in their just struggle for the UN-pledged right to self-determination, with the hope that the UN and world powers will push India to settle the decades-old dispute.

“Today, 75 years ago, on this day, without any legal justification, India forcibly took control of the State of Jammu and Kashmir, against the will of people,” Ambassador Munir Akram said in his opening remarks, pledging Pakistan’s steadfast support to the Kashmiri people.

“In the aftermath of the Kashmir insurgency and the first Pakistan-India war over Kashmir,” the Pakistani envoy said, “the Security Council decided that the ‘Final disposition’ of the State of Jammu and Kashmir would be made through a plebiscite under UN auspices”.

India, he added, accepted the decision but has since blocked its implementation through force and fraud.

Participating in the webinar on ‘”Freedom Struggle for Kashmiris for Right to Self-determination’ were a range of distinguished speakers.

They included Victoria Schofield, a historian and commentator on international affairs; Salman Khan, a human rights activist; Dr. Ershad Mahmud. a journalist, analyst, historian and expert on Kashmir Affairs; Dr. Mubeen Shah, a former President of Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry; Rasool Bakhsh Raees, an academic, researcher and strategic analyst; Shaista Shafi, a Kashmiri activist; Lars Rise, a politician who belongs to Noway’s Christian Democratic Party, Abdel Hamid Siyam, a former UN officials who is now working as a journalist for an Arab newspaper; Dr. Shahida Wizarat, Dean of the College of Economics and Social Development at the Institute of Business Management and Hassan Khan, who represents the Daily Times (Pakistan).

The speakers gave historical perspective and analysis of the Kashmir dispute and underscored the righteousness of the cause, urging for redoubling efforts to end the illegal Indian occupation of the disputed region. There were repeated calls for the United Nations and the world powers to pressure India to end its human rights abuses in Kashmir and resolve the Kashmir dispute on the basis of UN Security Council resolutions and the wishes of the Kashmiri people.

Also, comparisons were drawn between the struggles of the Kashmiri and Palestinian people for their right of self-determination, while deploring the apathy of world powers towards their cause.

They also condemned the persecution of journalists in occupied Kashmir and clamp down on the flow of information.

In his remarks, Ambassador Akram said that India’s deployment of 900,000 troops in Jammu and Kashmir was the densest occupation in recent history, and it has perpetrated a vicious campaign of repressive actions, including abduction and enforced disappearances of 15,000 young Kashmiri boys; rape and sexual violence; incarceration of the entire Kashmiri leadership; collective punishments, with the destruction and burning of entire villages and urban neighbourhoods.

“There is an imminent threat of genocide of Kashmiris,” the Pakistani envoy said, adding that the brutal campaign of oppression is driven by the ideology of “Hindutva”.

The occupation authorities have imposed complete physical lockdown and a total information blackout, he said.

The Hurriyat leadership, who are the true representatives of Kashmiri political aspirations, have been under continued detention, Ambassador Akram said. The recent sham trial and conviction of Kashmiri leader Yasin Malik on concocted charges was the most recent example of India’s attempts to punish Kashmiri leaders.

In a classic settler-colonial project, he said, India has initiated the process of demographic change in occupied Kashmir in an attempt to convert Jammu and Kashmir from a Muslim majority State to a Hindu majority territory.

“All the unilateral measures undertaken by India since 5 August 2019 are blatant violations of international law, including the relevant UN Security Council resolutions and the Fourth Geneva Convention.”

Summing up, the hour-and-half discussion, Ambassador Akram said the international community cannot continue to neglect the grave situation in Jammu and Kashmir and the accompanying threat to international peace and security.

“The innocent people of Jammu and Kashmir have waged a valiant struggle against Indian occupation, spanning over seven decades, he said. Like all occupied peoples of the world, the moral and legal case for their freedom has the full force and backing of international law, he said, noting that world leaders, parliamentarians, international human rights organizations, the media as well as United Nations human rights mechanisms have been unanimous in their condemnation of India’s illegal and inhuman actions in Kashmir.

Pakistan, he said, remains resilient in its moral and political support to Kashmiris right to self-determination.

“Pakistan will not desert the Kashmiri struggle, no matter how much pressure we face from India, or from other powers.

“We have remained steadfast and we will remain steadfast in supporting the Kashmiri struggle,” Ambassador Akram added.

Summing up the hour-and-half discussion, Ambassador Akram said the international community cannot continue to neglect the grave situation in Jammu and Kashmir and the accompanying threat to international peace and security.

“The innocent people of Jammu and Kashmir have waged a valiant struggle against Indian occupation, spanning over seven decades, he said. Like all occupied peoples of the world, the moral and legal case for their freedom has the full force and backing of international law, he said, noting that world leaders, parliamentarians, international human rights organizations, the media as well as United Nations human rights mechanisms have been unanimous in their condemnation of India’s illegal and inhuman actions in Kashmir.

Pakistan, he said, remains resilient in its moral and political support to Kashmiris right to self-determination.

“Pakistan will not desert the Kashmiri struggle, no matter how much pressure we face from India, or from other powers.

“We have remained steadfast and we will remain steadfast in supporting the Kashmiri struggle,” Ambassador Akram added.