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September 25, 2020

Pakistan tells UNGA about ‘fresh reign of terror’ in IOJ&K

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September 25, 2020

ISLAMABAD: With eyes of the world now on proceedings of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) which is holding virtual meetings, Pakistan has brought to the notice of world capitals how a ‘fresh reign of terror’ has been unleashed by India in Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IOJ&K), keeping 8 million Kashmiris hostage under 900,000 Indian troops.

Pakistan has emphasized that the Security Council should play its due role by urging India to immediately lift the inhuman military siege and rescind illegal actions taken since 5 August 2019.

As part of Pakistan’s efforts to keep the United Nations Security Council and the Secretary General fully apprised of the grave situation in the Foreign Minister has addressed another letter to the Council President, Mr. Abdou Abarry of Niger.Among other things, the Foreign Minister has further highlighted the gross and systematic violations of human rights in IOJ&K, India’s illegal measures to change the demographic structure of the occupied territory, and the threat to peace and security posed by India’s belligerent rhetoric and actions.

The Foreign Office on Thursday the Foreign Office pointed out that the letter by Qureshi notes recent joint communication by 18 Special Procedure Mandate Holders of the Human Rights Council,who have stated that the human rights situation in IOJ&K is in “free fall”.

The Foreign Minister’s letter further underscores that the recent measures taken by India such as the “Jammu & Kashmir Reorganization Order 2020”, “Jammu & Kashmir Grant of Domicile Certificate Rules 2020” and “Jammu and Kashmir Language Bill 2020”, are designed to change the demography of IIOJK from a Muslim majority to a Hindu majority territory and to obliterate its distinct identity – which is a clear violation of international law, particularly the 4th Geneva Convention.

“Noting the jingoistic and hostile statements from New Delhi,the Foreign Minister has also highlighted the indiscriminate and unprovoked violations of ceasefire by India on the Line of Control and the Working Boundary, including deliberate targeting of civilian population and civilian areas.He reiterated Pakistan’s proposal to strengthen UNMOGIP in the region to effectively carry out its mandate”, added the Foreign Office. He expressed the hope that the Security Council would take cognizance of this serious and urgent matter that requires an immediate redressal. This was imperative for the provision of humanitarian relief to the Kashmiris trapped in the occupied territory as well as for the maintenance of regional peace and security.

Meanwhile Pakistan once again in the spirit of regionalism and as per Pakistan’s commitment to the SAARC platform reiterated Pakistan’s willingness for hosting the 19th SAARC Summit at Islamabad.

Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi, addressed the Informal Session of SAARC Council of Ministers held virtually on the sidelines of UNGA. Ministers of all SAARC Member States and the Secretary General SAARC participated.

He expressed hope that the artificial obstacles created in its way would be removed and SAARC would be enabled to function as an effective instrument of regional cooperation.

Once again Foreign Minister Qureshi underlined that peaceful resolution of outstanding disputes was a pre-requisite for achieving development, economic growth, poverty alleviation and social uplift of our masses. He emphasized the importance of faithfully following the UN Charter and implementing UN Security Council Resolutions.

However, Qureshi did not name Kashmir directly, but bcondemned and opposed any unilateral and illegal measures to change the status of disputed territories in violation of UN Security Council Resolutions. Such unilateral measures, he added, run counter to the shared objective of creating a regional environment of amity and cooperation and these must be opposed resolutely. The Foreign Minister also emphasized that the fight against COVID-19 could truly be successful only if the whole region was able to contain the virus. The Foreign Minister also highlighted the changing nature of challenges being faced by the region such as the pandemic, climate change and food insecurity and said that SAARC had to prepare itself to deal effectively with these challenges. At another virtual meeting of ministers, Pakistan called for the “constant vigilance” of elements from within and without that can act a ‘spoilers’ in the Afghan peace process. Addressing the ministers conference, the foreign minister said that the peace process could be harmed by spoilers and it was necessary to monitor them “to guard against their machinations”. Qureshi said that Pakistan was happy it had played its role in facilitating peace talks between the Taliban and the US in Doha earlier this year, calling on all parties and stakeholders in the Afghanistan peace process to seize this “historic opportunity” for peace in the country. The foreign minister addressed the Kashmir issue, stating that sustainable peace in the region would remain a ‘dream’ unless the Kashmir dispute was not resolved according to the United Nations’ resolutions. “The unprecedented, brutal and inhumane siege and communications blockade, especially since India’s illegal and unilateral August 5 move has destroyed lives,” he said.