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April 7, 2018

Countrywide Kashmir Solidarity Day observed

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April 7, 2018

ISLAMABAD: Kashmir Solidarity Day was Friday observed across the country, including Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK), to condemn the ongoing state terrorism and violence by the Indian army in the Indian Held Kashmir (IHK).

A resolution to this effect was adopted in a special meeting of the federal cabinet in Islamabad on April 2 with Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi in the chair. Rallies, functions, and walks were held in different parts of the country and around the globe by Pakistanis and Kashmiris to expose Indian atrocities and highlight the need for peaceful resolution of the long-standing dispute.

In AJK, the main rally was taken out in Muzaffarabad, whereas similar rallies were taken out from the deputy commissioner's offices in Neelum, Jhelum Valley, Bagh, Rawalakot, Haveli, Kotli and other AJK districts. Rallies were also held in various parts of Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa by political parties and other groups.

The main public procession organised by the Kashmir Liberation Cell at the District Complex, Muzaffarabad was addressed by the AJK Prime Minister Raja Farooq Haider Khan, Member British Parliament Lord Nazir Ahmad, President Pakistan People’s Party AJK Chaudhry Latif Akbar and representatives of all political parties. The AJK prime minister said the whole valley had been besieged by the Indian security forces cutting down all communication means since last Friday when 17 innocent youth were killed by the oppressor and more than 200 were injured in a single day.

He said the people of Jammu and Kashmir had been struggling for their legitimate right to self-determination for the last seven decades. He said India had failed to suppress public uprising despite using heaviest force and brutal atrocities against innocent people.

Haider demanded the Government of Pakistan to withdraw all bilateral accords, including Simla agreement, with India which according to him had confined the international status of Kashmir issue to bilateral one as the other side was not willing to resolve this bilaterally and was trying to suppress the indigenous uprising in Kashmir.

Lord Nazir Ahmed condemned recent killings and oppression in the IHK and announced to launch a public awareness campaign in London from April 15 to 17 about Indian atrocities and raise the issue in Parliament.

Lord Nazir said during Indian Premier Modi's visit to Britain from April 15, he will raise the issue and launch a public campaign by posting banners and posters on buses and other public transport about Indian atrocities.

"I will raise the issue in Parliament asking my government to complain Modi about gross human rights violations," he added. Moreover, Senate Opposition Leader Sherry Rehman submitted a resolution against the Indian authorities in the Upper House of Parliament on Friday.

In his message, President Mamnoon Hussain urged the international community to take notice of gross human rights violations in the IHK and fulfill its obligations under the United Nations Security Council resolutions on Kashmir.

“The recent mindless killing spree, carried out by the Indian security forces that took away lives of more than 20 Kashmiri youth and injured in excess of 200 unarmed protestors, is a testament to the atrocities being perpetrated against innocent Kashmiris,” the president said. “In their historic struggle, the courageous and determined people of Indian Held Kashmir have rendered unparalleled sacrifices. The Indian state-terrorism has failed to deter the people of Indian Held Kashmir from their struggle for freedom from Indian oppression.”

The president further said, “The government and the people of Pakistan reaffirm their continued and resolute moral, diplomatic and political support to the oppressed people of Indian occupied Jammu and Kashmir in their valiant struggle for the fundamental right to self-determination.”

“Pakistan calls upon the international community to be cognizant of its responsibilities in the matter and urges India to facilitate the visit by independent fact-finding teams of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and the Independent Permanent Human Rights Commission (IPHRC) to look into the gross human rights violations in Indian occupied Jammu and Kashmir, being perpetrated by Indian occupation forces and to fulfill its obligations under the UN Security Council resolutions on Kashmir,” he further said.

In his message, Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi sought help of the international community in sending fact-finding missions to the Indian Held Kashmir to investigate gross human rights violations by the Indian occupation forces.

He urged the world powers to raise their voice in seeking an end to the gross violations of human rights and the reign of terror unleashed by Indian occupation forces in the IHK, and fulfill the promises it made with the people of the valley 70 years ago.

The prime minister said it was high time India was asked to provide access to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and the Independent Permanent Human Rights Commission (IPHRC) Fact-Finding Missions to investigate the human rights violations.

The prime minister said for the past seven decades, the people of Jammu and Kashmir had waged an unprecedented struggle against brutal Indian repression. A total of 20 Kashmiri youth were martyred in operations and subsequent action against protesters by Indian forces earlier this week.

Over 200 civilians were also injured in the action. Pakistan strongly condemned the brutal and discriminatory use of force by the Indian occupation forces.

The federal cabinet emphatically condemned the suspension of communication services, especially the internet in the valley, and underscored that such reprehensible Indian attempts aimed at silencing the voice of the Kashmiris from reaching the international community would never succeed.

Meanwhile, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres has expressed concern over the deteriorating situation in IHK where a fresh wave of violence by the Indian forces has claimed the lives of 20 Kashmiris.

"The Secretary-General has expressed and will continue to express his concern at the situation (in Kashmir). I think we spoke about it earlier in the week, reminding all parties of the need to protect civilians,” spokesman Stephane Dujarric told reporters in New York on Thursday. According to the spokesman, the UN chief was “very closely” following the situation and good offices of the UN were open to act as a bridge between India and Pakistan.

The spokesman stressed that while India was opposed to UN mediation in resolving the Kashmir dispute, Pakistan had continuously sought the secretary general’s good offices to resolve the decades-long dispute.

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