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November 13, 2019

Syed Ali Geelani asks Pakistan to withdraw from peace pacts with India

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November 13, 2019

HELD SRINAGAR: Islamabad must withdraw "from all aspects" of several peace accords with India and re-designate the de facto Kashmir border Line of Control (LoC) back to ceasefire line, Hurriyat leader Ali Shah Geelani urged Prime Minister Imran Khan on Tuesday.

Syed Ali Geelani, a 92-year-old Kashmiri leader incarcerated at home for almost a decade, said, "Since India has unilaterally ended all bilateral agreements, Pakistan should also announce a withdrawal from all aspects of the Tashkent, Shimla and Lahore agreements," foreign media reported.

"Pakistan should also re-designate the LoC as the ceasefire line since India has now taken the situation back to the status as existed in 1947-48," Geelani said in a rare letter issued by his faction of All Parties Hurriyet (Freedom) Conference.

"India's announcement on 5th August 2019, to forcibly annex the territory of Jammu and Kashmir [Indian Occupied Kashmir] and break up the state is an attempt to physically change its internationally accepted disputed status. This unilateral action is against the UN resolutions that guarantee the people the right to self-determination," he said.

The statement comes as India's lockdown on the disputed Himalayan region completes 100 days when New Delhi stripped the disputed region's historical semi-autonomous status earlier in August.

Geelani asked Imran Khan to take "all possible measures to change the status of the [LoC] fence that separates the divided sides of Jammu and Kashmir." "These steps should be accompanied by the government of Pakistan taking full measures at the UN, and with the international community, to give the people of Jammu and Kashmir the promised right to self-determination. If India continues to refuse this demand, Pakistan should press for due measures and sanctions against India," he said.

Geelani, an influential leader, addressed Imran Khan in what he said was "a critical situation." "It is possible that this is my last communication to you, ill health and issues of old age may not allow me to address you again," he said.

"There come moments in the lives of nations where taking great and brave steps becomes imperative. In such moments, any delays can push nations into decline and defeat," he urged Khan.

He said India wants to completely change the political character of Kashmir and "is also looking at snatching our land from us." "This is exactly like Israeli grabbing of Palestinian land and creating settlements whose residents then further terrorise the Palestinian people while exercising control over the territory."

The Kashmir leader said Pakistan should call for an all-Parliamentary meeting and take some actions at the governmental level. "It should also be made clear that this Indian action of changing the status of this disputed territory, and all further that aim at establishing a new scenario and increased killings and oppression in Kashmir are tantamount to a declaration of war. Pakistan should act according to this declaration of a state of war. The people of Jammu and Kashmir are prepared for any eventuality."

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