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February 5, 2020

Nation observes Kashmir Solidarity Day today

Top Story

February 5, 2020

ISLAMABAD: The National Assembly and Senate on Tuesday unanimously passed resolutions expressing unflinching and unwavering support to the Kashmiri people in their just struggle for the right to self-determination, as the nation observes Kashmir Solidarity Day today (Wednesday).

The resolutions asked India to immediately reverse its illegal actions of August 5 and October 31, repeal the draconian laws, withdraw its occupation forces and immediately lift the lockdown in the valley.

In the National Assembly, the resolution, moved by Chairman Kashmir Committee Fakhar Imam on the event of Kashmir Solidarity Day reaffirmed Pakistan's consistent political, moral and diplomatic support to the Kashmiri people till the realisation of their legitimate right to self-determination as per the UN Security Council resolutions. "This House pays glowing tributes to the sacrifices rendered by the Kashmiri people for their right to self-determination," the resolution said.

The House, while condemning the illegal actions of India in occupied Kashmir including detention of Kashmiri youth, political leaders and communication blockade, through the resolution reaffirmed that Jammu and Kashmir remains an internationally-recognized dispute that continues to be on the agenda of the UN Security Council since 1948.

The House through its resolution also voiced concerns over the presence of 900,000 troops, saying it had turned the valley into an open prison and made it the most militarized zone in the world. The resolution condemned the horrifying violence against women, especially the use of rape as a weapon of war against them, and deplored the continuing restrictions on the freedom of expression in the occupied valley, describing it as gross violations of fundamental rights.

The resolution appreciated the role played by the world leaders, parliamentarians, international media, human rights organizations,particularly China, Malaysia, Turkey and Iran in raising their voice against the Indian atrocities in IOK.

The resolution called upon the UN Security Council to enforce a peaceful settlement of Jammu and Kashmir dispute in accordance with its resolutions. It urged the Indian side to implement forthwith numerous pending UNSC resolutions that call for a free and impartial plebiscite to determine the will of the people for the final disposition of the outstanding dispute.

It also acknowledged that two-day consultation took place at the United Nations Security Council, which accepted Kashmir as an international dispute. The resolution expressed concerns at Indian tactics to alter the demography of occupied Jammu and Kashmir, saying it is in violation of international laws.

The resolution endorsed the call made by UN High Commissioner to the Human Rights Council for a comprehensive international investigation into human rights violations in occupied Kashmir.

The members of the National Assembly through the resolution also expressed serious concerns over the prolonged imprisonment of Kashmiri leadership in IOK while mentioning the names of Syed Ali Gilani, Shabbir Shah, Yaseen Malik, Asiya Andrabi and Dr Qasim Fakto.

It demanded that India immediately allow access to international organizations, parliamentarians and international media to the occupied Kashmir so that they are able to record the human rights situation there.

The resolution also called upon the Organization of Islamic Cooperation to immediately convene an OIC Special Summit on Kashmir. The resolution totally rejected the belligerence and war mongering of BJP government, saying it poses threat to regional peace and stability. It expressed the unshakable resolve of Pakistani nation to thwart any Indian aggression.

Speaker of the National Assembly Asad Qaisar in his remarks maintained that Pakistan would not budge even a singe inch from its stand of solution of the Kashmir issue as per the UN Security Council’s resolutions. He made it clear that the Kashmir issue was the most import aspect in Pakistan's parliamentary diplomacy. He pointed out that he himself, the deputy speaker, parliamentarians and chairman of the parliament’s Kashmir committee strongly presented the case of Kashmir at one dozen parliamentary forums while defying opposition of the Indian delegations. “The National Assembly has played a leading role in making efforts for peaceful solution of the Kashmir issue,” he said.

Earlier, taking part in discussion, the Minister for Human Rights Shireen Mazari said it is for the first time that the world has accepted Pakistan’s narrative on the Kashmir dispute due to effective diplomacy of Prime Minister Imran Khan. She said the prime minister has exposed the Nazi inspired ideology of RSS. She said it is also our success that the UN Security Council has held discussions on the lingering dispute and the EU Parliament prepared a draft resolution, condemning in categorical terms the blatant human rights violations in occupied Kashmir. Deploring the atrocities unleashed by Indian forces in occupied Kashmir, the minister said the occupation forces are using rape as a weapon of war against the Kashmiri women. She said the UN needs to fulfill its obligations towards the resolution of Kashmir dispute. She also questioned if the world body could resolve the East Timor issue, then why the same could not be done in the case of Kashmir.

Dr Mazari, however, was critical of the performance of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs saying the ministry could not follow the vision of the prime minister on Kashmir. “The prime minister took forward the Kashmir issue but the Ministry of Foreign Affairs cannot follow his vision,” she said. She said that she was in favour of sending parliamentary delegations abroad because the Foreign Office did not possess the potential to take forward the Kashmir issue alone. Dr Mazari observed that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, having a narrow approach to the issue, did not take many measures which should have been taken earlier, and missed opportunities. She pointed out that for the first time, the Ministry of Human Rights apprised representatives of human rights in the United Nations about atrocities on children, women and youth in IOK.

Responding to criticism of the opposition parties, the minister observed either the opposition was not aware of what the government did on Kashmir or it was doing politics on this vital issue.

Sardar Nasrullah Khan Dreshek said Kashmir is the jugular vein of Pakistan and the prevailing situation demands unity in ranks of people from all walks of life to effectively and forcefully raise the plight of Kashmiri people at international level.

Mufti Abdul Shakoor regretted the silence of international human rights organizations on the situation in occupied Kashmir. He said the blatant human rights violations there were not tolerable to the Pakistani nation.

Ali Gohar said the sacrifices of Kashmiri people will not go in vain and they will see the dawn of independence one day. Referring to the love of Kashmiri people for Pakistan, he said the Kashmiri people martyred by Indian forces are buried wrapped in Pakistani flags.

Shahnaz Baloch called for accelerating efforts to pressurise India to stop its human rights violations in occupied Kashmir.

Minister for Science and Technology Fawad Chaudhry said the extremist government in India should not misconstrue Pakistan’s desire for peace as weakness. Referring to the war hysteria created by the Indian leadership, he said our nation is fully prepared to respond to any aggression. He said the Indian side should not forget the lesson taught by our air force to their air force in broad daylight last year.

Abdul Qadir Patel said nothing good could be expected from Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi as he is the same person who carried out massacre of Muslims in Gujarat. He said Modi’s politics are based on hatred and he is an enemy of Muslims. Patel also questioned as to why the Pakistan government was looking to countries which created the Kashmir issue.

Kishwar Zehra said war is no solution to any matter and we need to evolve an effective strategy to highlight the plight of Kashmiri people.

Amir Haider Khan Hoti of ANP said the Pakistani nation stood by its Kashmiri brethren against the Indian atrocities.

Naureen Farooq said India has broken all records of brutalities in occupied Kashmir. She said the Kashmiri people want to become part of Pakistan.

Kesoo Mal Das said Modi has a fascist mindset and his acts and policies are being condemned worldwide. He said the minorities of Pakistan including Hindus stand by the oppressed Kashmiri people.

Minister for Aviation Ghulam Sarwar Khan said the Muslim countries need to support Pakistan for the resolution of Kashmir dispute.

Naz Baloch said the government should hold an international conference on Kashmir by taking on board the friendly countries. She pointed out that genocide is being carried out in occupied Kashmir. She paid tributes to the sacrifices of Kashmiri people.

Asad Mahmood of the JUI-F said the Kashmiri people stand firm in their just struggle for right to self-determination. He was also critical of PTI government’s performance with regard to highlighting the Kashmir issue.

Khurram Dastgir accused the government of compromising on Kashmir, saying it miserably failed on all diplomatic fronts with particular reference to the vital issue. The PML-N parliamentarian advised the government to re-direct its foreign policy, saying the focus of Pakistan’s policy should be on China, Russia and Turkey instead of depending on the United States. “The United States had already declared India as its strategic partner in December, 2017, therefore we need to change the focus of our foreign policy,” he said.

The Senate also unanimously passed the resolution to express solidarity with the people of IOK. Through the resolution, the Senate paid rich tributes to the heroism and valour of the people of IOK on the eve of Kashmir Solidarity Day.

The Senate resolutely rejected the Indian illegal attempt to annex IOK and urged the international community to uphold the UN resolutions that guarantee the Kashmiri people’s inalienable right of self-determination.

The Senate also witnessed a lengthy debate, marred by charges and counter-charges of bypassing the Parliament and the rules of procedure on a copy of the Money Bill, the Tax Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2020, tabled in the House, which was opposed by the opposition senators, who wanted voting on it, dubbing it as an ordinance, being laid with mala fide intention.

Leader of the House Syed Shibli Faraz offered to apologise to the House and even indirectly hinted at resignation, if he was proved wrong in relation to the bill, insisting the constitutional and procedural path was adopted rejecting the opposition’s allegations on this count. He proposed seeking opinion of legal and constitutional experts, saying he himself was satisfied that they had laid the bill, which was already moved in the National Assembly.

On the contrary, opposition senators, including Leader of Opposition Raja Zafarul Haq, PPP parliamentary leader Sherry Rehman, who raised the matter, prior to Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Muhammad Azam Swati laid the money bill, argued that it should be brought as a bill, as it was presently an ordinance, questioning why was it promulgated when the two Houses were in session.

To this Swati explained that the ordinance was promulgated on December 28 and at that time none of the Houses was in session and they had introduced it in the assembly and now laying in the Senate for the House committee’s recommendations thereon. The minister also at least twice said that the chair had made it an issue and that the Senate Secretariat guidelines were available to him.

Amid strong opposition from the opposition, the chair directed the members to submit their proposals to the secretariat by 12:00 noon Friday and afterwards the committee would hold deliberations and submit recommendations to the House.

Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi called upon the international community to do more to support the people of IOK in this time of trial and tribulation.

“Each additional second on the lockdown clock is a burden on the world’s collective conscience. The international community must act in support of the fundamental freedoms and basic human rights of Kashmiris and urge India to allow the UN Fact Finding Mission to IOK to ascertain the reports of grave human rights violations there,” Qureshi said.

He pointed out that India must allow the United Nations Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP) unhindered access to carry out its duties in IOK.

“If India has nothing to hide, it must allow international media and civil society to visit and report on the human rights situation in IOK,” he said in a statement issued by the Foreign Office.

Special Assistant to PM on Information and Broadcasting Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan said women from all walks of life would hold a rally in front of the office of United National Human Rights Commissioner in Islamabad to express solidarity with their brave sisters and children of IOK enduring Indian atrocities for many years.

She said the participants of the rally would present a resolution, seeking international community’s intervention to stop Indian tyranny on the Kashmiri women and children.