Govt to launch countrywide campaign highlighting 'Kashmir issue': Qureshi

Web Desk
January 23, 2020

Designed by PM Imran, a seven-to-eight-day programme will kick off from Jan 25

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ISLAMABAD: Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said Thursday a new campaign aimed to portray the ground realities in occupied Kashmir would kick off from January 25.

Addressing a press conference at the Foreign Office, Qureshi said the seven-to-eight-day programme was designed by Prime Minister Imran Khan. "From January 25 we will launch a campaign on the print, electronic, and social media, aiming to highlight these issues locally and internationally," Qureshi said.

"On January 27, there will be a cultural show focusing indeed, on Kashmir , at the National College of Arts, Islamabad," he added. "Photo exhibitions will take place in major art galleries [across Pakistan], showing Kashmir's struggle, the pellet-gun victims, the homeless, and the mujahideen (martyrs), and a pictorial presentation of them will take place on January 28.”

"On January 30, a seminar will be held in the capital that will be headed by our Kashmir committee chairperson Fakhar Imam to highlight the issue. On January 31, Imam and other members of his committee will hold a press conference here," he noted

"On February 3, in convention centre, our youth, our future will interact with us and we will put before them the ground realities of Kashmir," he expressed, adding that "we will distribute the ration bags in the refugee camps" in Azad Kashmir on the same day.

'Thank Pakistani diaspora for great support'

"Kashmir Day event will be arranged on February 4 at the President House and we will call upon the diplomatic core and will present documentaries before them. For February 5, we have several activities planned, a human chain in AJK to give a message across the line of control to the Kashmiris there that they are not alone, we stand with them,” he expressed.

"Kashmir rallies will also be held and we urge the chief ministers of all provinces to lead the rallies in their respective provinces.

"Prime Minister Imran Khan, on the same day, will go to AJK's legislative assembly and will address over there in Muzaffarabad and, in the evening, he will also address a public gathering in Mirpur,” he noted.

"A media campaign and slogans have also been prepared for the campaign," he said. "I would like to thank the Pakistani diaspora for their great support to our foreign missions, they arranged massive rallies in London, New York, and Toronto.

"We have directed all the missions to organise a reception where activists of the Pakistani community and the Kashmiris will be invited and they will informed about our stance and ground realities of Kashmir."

'Arranged' tour

"We have also asked President and Prime Minister of AJK to write letters to the heads of state and inform them about the situation and ask them to intervene so that the imposed restrictions may be lifted in Kashmir," he said.

"After that, we request people to arrange on February 5 in their districts rallies and we also urge the educational institutions to arrange events so that youth becomes aware," he expressed.

Slamming a foreign envoys' recent tour to occupied Kashmir, he said: "They made an 'arranged' tour of the European envoys to show them the situation in Kashmir. The envoys were taken only to Sri Nagar and Jammu, the detained leadership were not allowed meet to the envoys."

The foreign minister noted that Pakistan had not tried this before "as India emphasised that according to the Simla Accord, Islamabad and New Delhi have to settle their difference unilaterally," FM Qureshi said, noting that India believed in "unilateralism".

Issue raised at UNSC 'after 50 years'

"The issue is becoming dangerous by the day, so the government finally decided to raise it in the UNSC [United Nations Security Council]," he said. "On 16 August, this issue was taken up in the UNSC, India tired all its options to stop it but their work failed and it took place,” he mentioned.

"I wrote a letter on December 12 to Secretary General UN and UNSC saying that 'conditions have worsen then ever before, you had discussed the issue on August 16 in a closed door meeting, Pakistan wants UNSC to be briefed on this issue yet again," he informed the media.

"On January 17, with Pakistan's efforts and support from China, the issue was finally taken up in the UNSC after 50 yeas," he said. "A constructive debate was done on the matter, the UNSC's political department and the UNMOGIP [United Nations Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan] briefed the Security Council on the matter," he said.

Both briefings, in a summarised form, had said what Pakistan said carried weight and that there have been continuous ceasefire violations, he added. "Yes, there can be a difference in the amount of occurrences but it is confirmed that it is taking place," he noted.

'Conditions have worsened'

"Pakistan gives complete access to the UNMOGIP, while India curbs their access and puts restrictions on their observes, they are restricted to Srinagar, Jammu and are not allowed to move forward," he regretted.

"We are saying that the conditions have worsened, the UNMOGIP needs to do something about it, with the false-flag operations' chances increasing by the day," he lamented.

"There are 15 members of the UNSC and all of them participated in the discussion that lasted for more than an hour," he said. "I got a chance to meet the GS of the UN and briefed him on the current situations, that how many deployments had been done on the border by India," he noted.

"How the fences have been cut, when we say that they had done it, so they defend it by saying that we had removed it for maintenance," he noted.

Qureshi said Pakistan had tried to highlight the issues internationally as well as when the prime minister met US President Donald Trump, whom he told openly that if Washington did not intervene in due time, the conflict would have effects beyond the region as two nuclear powers may confront each other.

PM Imran 'completely presented case' to Trump

India was adamant to move towards war but if Trump and the US stayed quiet, the conflict would worsen, he said, referring to PM Imran's discussion with Trump.

"PM Imran completely presented the case in front of the US president. A report by all the Kashmiri parties involved about the prevailing situation was published on November 5 and you can see that report by yourself,” he said.

"The European Union, which had never discussed the issue, had a full-fledged discussion on it," he noted. "As I speak to you there are two public hearings have taken place on this issue in the US Congress.

"Human rights organisations are saying that we cannot hide these issues as they are so major. Pakistan and PM Imran have a clear stance that we will keep raising this issue with utmost honesty, morality, and diplomacy," Qureshi said.

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