PM says Pakistan ready for plebiscite in IoJ&K

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ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan Sunday said that being a party to the Jammu and Kashmir dispute, Pakistan stood ready to play its role to ensure a free and impartial plebiscite in accordance with the United Nations Security Council resolutions. In his message to the nation on Right to Self-Determination Day annually observed on January 5, the prime minister said, “Every year, the 5th of January reinforces our commitment to uphold the fundamental human rights of the people of Jammu and Kashmir.” On this day, in 1949, the United Nations (UN) made a commitment for the realization of the right to self-determination of the Kashmiri people through a free and impartial plebiscite under the auspices of the United Nations. He said the day also reminded the international community, especially the United Nations, of the imperative of honouring its commitment towards people of Jammu and Kashmir. He viewed that the importance of the inalienable right to self-determination has been acknowledged in all important human rights covenants and decisions of the United Nations General Assembly and the Security Council. Due to Indian intransigence, the UN Security Council has failed to fulfill its pledge to the Kashmiri people. The prime minister said over 72 years of illegal occupation of Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IOJ&K) were a saga of brutalization of the Kashmiri people. “Around 900,000 occupation forces have converted the region into the largest prison in the world. Post-5th August 2019, India has unleashed a new reign of terror in IOJ&K, locking the region down and abusing human rights of the innocent people especially women, children and the elderly with impunity,” he remarked. He said Kashmiri people had been deprived of their rights to life, food, health, freedom of expression, freedom of assembly, freedom of religion and above all, the right to self-determination for over 150 days. The recent wave of unprecedented Indian state-sponsored terrorism in IOJ&K and discriminatory steps against minorities, especially Muslims, were a clear manifestation of the Hindutva ideology espoused by the RSS-inspired Indian Government, he added. The prime minister urged the world to ensure that human rights abuses did not go unpunished and that the perpetrators of these heinous crimes against humanity were held accountable. “Our strong and steadfast moral, political and diplomatic support for the Kashmiri people will continue till the realization of their inalienable right to self-determination,” he added. Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Sunday has said that India’s illegal and unilateral actions of 5 August last year are aimed at altering the disputed status of occupied Kashmir and bringing about demographic change to undermine the right to self-determination of Kashmiris have been widely rejected. In a message on Right to Self-Determination Day observed Sunday, the minister said that India’s unrestrained oppression has reached unprecedented levels with the inhuman lockdown now in place for over 150 days. He said each additional second on the curfew clock is a burden on the world’s collective conscience. He said 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 Occupied Kashmir to ascertain the reports of grave human rights violations there. Meanwhile, President ArifAlvi said that the people of occupied Kashmir are being subjected to collective punishment by Indian occupation forces who have converted the territory into the largest militarized zone in the world. He said the current situation in occupied Kashmir is the worst in recent history where people have been deprived of their fundamental rights, including right to life, food, health, freedom of expression and assembly. The president said more than 150 days of lockdown and absence of fundamental freedoms have challenged the conscience of international community and India’s credentials of being a respectable member of the comity of nations.