Premier says this is the time for US President to mediate on Kashmir issue

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan said this was the correct time for US President Donald Trump to mediate on the Kashmir issue, as India renewed its atrocities in the occupied valley with use of cluster bombs.

Condemning the attack by the Indian army along the Line of Control (LoC), PM Imran urged the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) to take notice of the attack.

“I condemn India’s attack across LOC on innocent civilians and it’s use of cluster munitions in violation of international humanitarian law and it’s own commitments under the 1983 Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons. UNSC must take note of this international threat to peace and security.”

He added, “It is time to end the long night of suffering for the people of occupied Kashmir. They must be allowed to exercise their right to self-determination according to UN SC resolutions.”

The prime minister further said the only road to peace and security in South Asia runs through a peaceful and just settlement of Kashmir.

“President Trump offered to mediate on Kashmir. This is the time to do so as situation deteriorates there and along the LoC with new aggressive actions being taken by Indian occupation forces. This has the potential to blow up into a regional crisis,” the prime minister added.

Earlier this week, President Trump had again offered to mediate between Pakistan and India on the Kashmir dispute.

“If they [Pakistan and India] wanted somebody to intervene or to help them,” Trump said in response to a question from a reporter at the White House about his earlier offer to mediate the Kashmir issue, “I spoke with Pakistan about that, and I spoke, frankly, to India about it. But that’s been going on, that battle, for a long time.”

The prime minister has also convened a meeting of the National Security Committee today to discuss issues pertaining to national security in the wake of cluster bomb attack.

The Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) on Saturday said the Indian army had been using cluster bombs to target civilians along the LoC.

“Indian Army uses cluster ammunition along LoC deliberately targeting Civilian population. This is a violation of the Geneva Convention and international humanitarian law,” the military’s media wing said in a statement.

“Indian Army on night July 30th/31st targeted innocent citizens including women and children in Neelum Valley through Artillery using cluster ammunition. Resultantly two civilians including a four-year-old boy martyred while 11 got critically injured,” the ISPR added.

The statement further said, “Because of severe impact on non-combatants, use of cluster ammunition is prohibited under Convention on Cluster Ammunition. This blatant Indian aggression against all international norms exposes the true character of the Indian Army and their moral standing.”

Cluster munitions, or cluster bombs, are air-dropped or ground-launched explosive weapons that releases smaller ‘bomblets’ over a wide area. They pose serious risks to civilians during and after attacks, as the unexploded bomblets can kill or maim civilians long after a conflict has ended, and are costly to locate and remove.