ISLAMABAD: “India’s contention that Kashmir issue is, primarily, an issue of cross-border terrorism, is a claim that no one in the world is prepared to accept today”, the Foreign Affairs Adviser Mr. Sartaj Aziz said.
The Indian government has broken its own record of brutality in the Indian Occupied Kashmir (IoK), not only in target killing but also by indiscriminately killing over 100 young unarmed Kashmiri protestors. The Indian forces have blinded hundreds of Kashmiris, including children, and injured over 16,000 protesters with live ammunition, pellet guns and gas shells. That is why the New York Times labeled the year 2016 as a “Year of dead eyes” in Kashmir. “Nobody believes that thousands of young boys and girls, who have been agitating ceaselessly since July, 2016 are terrorists”, Sartaj Aziz added.
India cannot also ignore the fact that the people of IoK are losing faith in Indian democracy since in the recent sham by-election in Srinagar on 9th April, the voter turnout was only 7% and when the re-polling was done it collapsed to 2%, the Adviser pointed out. The second by-election in Anantnag has been postponed to 25th May and the Election Commission has demanded thousand of additional troops to be able to conduct the poll, he further said.
The OIC’s ‘Declaration’ adopted by the 13th Summit in Istanbul, in April last, out-rightly rejected Indian attempts of equating the Kashmiris’ freedom struggle with terrorism, Mr. Aziz mentioned. The discovery of over 7,000 ‘unnamed and unmarked mass graves’ have proven through forensic analysis, undertaken by independent investigators, that those buried were Kashmiris belonging to IoK. Political analysts and members of civil society from across the globe have concluded that the large scale uprising, which is going on in IoK, involving mostly young unarmed Kashmiris confronting fully armed Indian occupation forces, clearly shows that Kashmir is a burning issue requiring urgent International attention.
The Adviser said that Pakistan has always welcomed the statements and endeavours aimed at addressing the human rights issues in IoK and the resolution of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute. The recent offer of the Turkish President, Mr. Recep Tayyip Erdogan, to strengthen the dialogue process among the stakeholders for resolving the Kashmir issue and his call for a multilateral approach to settle the Jammu and Kashmir dispute with an immediate end to bloodshed in Indian occupied Kashmir must be welcomed, Mr. Sartaj Aziz emphasized. In this context, the Indian counter proposal that it is ready for bilateral dialogue with Pakistan is no longer credible because in the past two decades India has scuttled all opportunities for a meaningful dialogue to resolve the Kashmir issue in accordance with the UN Security Council’s relevant Resolutions on Kashmir.