World must act to hold India accountable for IoK crimes: FO

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By Asghar Ali Mubarak

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan while condemning the brutalization of Kashmiri people in Occupied Jammu and Kashmir has said the world community must hold India accountable for its crimes in held territory.
The Foreign Office Spokesperson H.E.Ms, Aisha Farooqui in a statement said as the world is grappling with COVID-19 pandemic, India is busy further brutalizing the Kashmiri people in Occupied Kashmir. She said the cold-blooded murder of Peer Mehrajuddin by the Central Reserve Police Force in Budgam, is the latest in the mindless killing spree being carried out by the Indian occupation forces.
According to the statement, the police resorted to indiscriminate use of force including shotgun pellets and tear gas, when hundreds of unarmed men and women took to the streets to peacefully protest the wanton killing. The Spokesperson said India will never succeed in suppressing the Kashmiris’ resolve to realize their inalienable right to self-determination.
She said justice for Kashmiris remains indispensable for peace in South Asia.
The Foreign Office Spokesperson Aisha Farooqui said that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and our Missions across the World continue to provide Overseas Pakistanis with relief and assistance wherever required.
The Spokesperson said that our Embassies and Consulates are working round the clock in facilitating the repatriation of our citizens back home in accordance with a comprehensive repatriation plan devised in consultation with all stakeholders. Foreign Office Spokesperson H.E.Ms, Aisha Farooqui said that the weekly number of nationals returning home has been steadily increased from 2,000 to about 7,000 per week. The Foreign Office Spokesperson said that in the past few days, 570 Pakistani nationals were brought back from the United States on two special PIA flights. These are the first two of the six special charter flights arranged for our stranded citizens in the United States, she added.
“We thank the authorities in the US for their cooperation in safe repatriation of our nationals through these special flights,” she said.
In addition to these, in the past week, 263 nationals returned home safely from Kuala Lumpur and Singapore, 120 from Bangladesh, and 108 from South Africa and several neighboring African Countries including Botswana, Malawi, Mozambique, and Zambia, 65 from six European Countries (Germany, Finland, Switzerland, Austria, Belgium and Czech Republic).The Foreign Office has said that Pakistan is opposed to any move for annexation of the occupied Palestinian territories as it would be a serious violation of International law and a dangerous escalation in an already volatile situation.“We have seen reports about the framework agreement by Israel’s coalition government proposing “annexation” of the West Bank with grave concern,” the Foreign Office Spokesperson Aisha Farooqui said in her Opening Statement at the weekly media briefing in Islamabad on Thursday. The Spokesperson said that the West Bank and Jordan valley are Palestinian territories, illegally occupied by Israel since 1967.
She further stated that, Today is the 284th day of the continued oppression, deliberate acts of terrorizing, inhuman lockdown and military siege faced by the innocent people in the Indian occupied Jammu and Kashmir.
Pakistan strongly condemns the continuing extra judicial killings by Indian occupation forces in fake encounters and phony cordon and search operations in IOJ&K.
The cold-blooded murder of innocent Kashmiris like Peer Mehrajuddin in Budgam on 13 May is another clear manifestation of the state terrorism to which unarmed Kashmiris have been subjected to for the past seven decades.
In April alone, Indian occupation forces martyred 33 Kashmiris and seriously injured over 150 with complete impunity under draconian laws such as Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA), Public Safety Act (PSA) and Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA).As a testament to the inhumanity of Indian occupation forces, even the mortal remains of the shuhuda are not handed over to their families. When thousands of Kashmiri men, women and children take to the streets to protest against Indian brutalities, pellet guns and live ammunition are used against them resulting in further human loss.
Indian occupation forces’ relentless campaign of brutalization including incarcerations and arbitrary arrests, even during the holy month of Ramadan continues unabated. The repression of journalists to muzzle the voices of Kashmiri people and utter disregard for human rights and humanitarian norms even in the middle of a pandemic is reprehensible. India must realize that it cannot suppress the will of Kashmiri people and their indigenous movement against the illegal Indian occupation. The rightful struggle of Kashmiri people will continue till the realization of their right to self-determination in accordance with the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) Resolutions.We call upon the international community to take immediate notice of the alarming situation in IOJ&K and hold India accountable for state-terrorism, extra-judicial killings, and gross and systematic violations of human rights. It is a shared responsibility of world community to seek immediate resolution of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute in accordance with the relevant UNSC Resolutions and aspirations of the Kashmiri people. In its latest report, the Human Rights Watch has noted that hate speech against Muslims, already a serious and growing problem since the election of the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in 2015, increased in connection with the spread of COVID-19. The report has also underlined that several physical attacks on Muslims have also occurred, adding that some mainstream media supportive of the BJP have used terms like #CoronaJihad, causing the hashtag to go viral on social media. The situation grew so serious that the WHO issued a statement of caution, noting that it is very important that we do not profile the cases on the basis of racial, religious, and ethnic lines. The Indian authorities at the national and local level have not taken adequate steps to stem the increasingly toxic atmosphere or conduct adequate investigations of attacks where appropriate”. We have seen reports about the framework agreement by Israel’s coalition government proposing “annexation” of the West Bank with grave concern. Pakistan is opposed to any move for annexation of the occupied Palestinian territories as it would be a serious violation of International law and a dangerous escalation in an already volatile situation. The West Bank and Jordan valley are Palestinian territories, illegally occupied by Israel since 1967. Pakistan supports the position adopted by the UN and OIC on the issue of Palestine and calls upon the international community to uphold and support the rights of the Palestinians.
We reiterate our consistent support for the two-state solution of the Palestine issue as enshrined in the relevant Security Council and General Assembly Resolutions. Pakistan renews its call for establishment of a viable, independent and contiguous State of Palestine, on the basis of internationally agreed parameters, the pre-1967 borders, and with Al-Quds Al-Sharif as its Capital.We would also like to underscore that the Jammu & Kashmir dispute and Palestinian issue continue to be the longest standing items on the UN and OIC agenda. The attempts being made by the occupying powers in Palestine and Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir are essentially similar, particularly with reference to human rights violations, seeking to alter the demographic structure, and posing threat to peace and security. Both these situations are worsening and call for urgent attention of the international community. Yesterday, Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi participated in the Council of Foreign Ministers Video-Conference of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO). The CFM was convened by the Russian Federation in its capacity as current chair of SCO. Apart from the prevailing pandemic situation, matters relating to peace and security in the region including Afghanistan came under discussion.
In his remarks, the Foreign Minister underscored that the Covid-19 pandemic posed a challenge of unprecedented scale and magnitude to humanity that necessitated coordinated responses. The Foreign Minister lauded China’s responsible handling of the crisis and its leading role in assisting the international community, as well as extended gratitude for the continued assistance rendered by China to help Pakistan tackle the pandemic. The Foreign Minister also highlighted the socio economic repercussions of this crisis and in this context, highlighted the salience of Prime Minister Imran Khan’s “Global Initiative on Debt Relief” for developing countries as a means to formulate a comprehensive multi-stakeholder plan of action to shore up economies and promote sustainable growth. He emphasized that SCO’s coordinated efforts in this context would be crucial.
In the context of the regional situation, the Foreign Minister hoped that the Afghan leadership would seize the historic opportunity to work out a comprehensive and inclusive political settlement. The SCO, through the SCO-Afghanistan Contact Group, could play a facilitative role in this regard. The Foreign Minister called for the international community to condemn and hold accountable the perpetrators of State terrorism, including against people under illegal occupation. He also stressed the importance of rejecting xenophobic ideologies including Islamophobia.