PM urges world to break silence on Kashmir

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ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has asked the world community to break its silence on the Kashmir dispute and come forward to halt the Indian atrocities on the innocent people of Indian-occupied Kashmir (IOK).

Nawaz, who was on a daylong whirlwind visit of Azad Kashmir’s capital Muzaffarabad on Friday, discussed the Kashmir situation with the leaders of Kashmir from the two divides of it before leaving for the United Nations where he will address the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) Summit next week at the New York headquarters of the world body as the leader of Pakistan’s delegation.

The prime minister vowed that the Kashmir issue would be fully highlighted at the UNGA sitting. Most of the leaders of the people of Kashmir, who had interaction with Nawaz Sharif, hail from the IOK and are currently living in Azad Kashmir after migration or being forced by the Indian troops to leave their native areas.

The leaders expressed their gratitude to the premier for taking them into confidence before proceeding to the United Nations. The leaders belonging to the All Parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC) briefed the prime minister on the situation and the recent ugly developments in the IOK. He also held out an assurance that Pakistan will continue its moral, diplomatic and political support for right to self-determination of the Kashmiri people.

Nawaz Sharif said the international community, too, had accepted the right to self-determination of Kashmiris. He said the cruelty in occupied Kashmir will die its own death.

The prime minister urged the United Nations to fulfil its pledge to the Kashmiri people for their right to self-determination as per the resolutions of the Security Council. He said that Pakistan would raise the Kashmir issue at every global forum.

The prime minister regretted that brutalities against the people of occupied Kashmir had reached the extreme level. He said Kashmiris are demanding nothing but justice and the right to self-determination. He said history bears testimony to the fact that such movements cannot be suppressed through the use of force. He expressed the confidence that the movement of Kashmiris would succeed.

Federal ministers Senator Pervaiz Rashid, Chaudhry Barjees Tahir, Special Assistant to the PM on Political Affairs Asif Saeed Kirmani, SAPM on Foreign Affairs Syed Tariq Fatemi and other senior high officials were also accompanying the prime minister who was earlier received by President Azad Kashmir Sardar Masood Khan, Prime Minister Raja Farooq Haider Khan and Speaker Legislative Assembly Shah Ghulam Qadir.

Welcoming Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and the Hurriyat leaders in Muzaffarabad, President Azad Kashmir Masood Khan said that Indian atrocities in occupied Kashmir had crossed all limits, killing hundreds of innocent people while seriously wounding thousands in the last few months. He said that despite all the brutalities,Pakistan has sent special envoys to various capitals of the world to sensitise them on the extremely inhuman acts of the occupation forces. “We are greatly thankful to the prime minister, the government and people of Pakistan for adopting a comprehensive strategy in this regard,” said the AJK president.

Nawaz Sharif said the spirit of freedom struggle of the people of IOK is deeply embedded in his mind and heart which has always enabled him to vociferously advocate and raise the Kashmir issue on various forums. The prime minister said that he has always conveyed the true feelings and emotions of the Kashmiri people in his speeches and discussions held with world leaders on various occasions.

“I would once again highlight the Kashmir issue in my address at the UNGA summit session and also in the bilateral meetings with world leaders during the upcoming visit,” said the prime minister. He said the Indian forces have inflicted unprecedented atrocities against the innocent people of IOK who are struggling for their just right to self-determination.

“This right to self-determination was given to the people of IOK by the United Nations itself, which has unfortunately failed so far to implement its own resolutions. Pakistan is rightly supporting this just and indigenous struggle for freedom of Indian Occupied Kashmir. Pakistan’s unwavering diplomatic, moral and political support reflects the commitment we made with our brothers and sisters living in IOK. This commitment is strengthening with each passing day, and the day is not far away when the struggle of Kashmiri people will culminate at the freedom of IOK,” said the prime minister.

Ghulam Murtaza Shafi, Secretary General Hurriyet Conference, presented gratitude to the prime minister on behalf of APHC for consultation prior to attending the session of UNGA. He said that the people of IOK greatly value the prime minister for his unequivocal support to the struggle for independence.

“You have truly reflected the sentiments of the Kashmiri people for which we are immensely grateful to you. Your support is with the people of Kashmir and we expect that you would be further highlighting the Kashmir issue during your upcoming visit to the United States,” said Ghulam Murtaza Shafi.

He also presented a document containing proposals from APHC to the prime minister. The premier said that the world must take stock of the increasing atrocities against the innocent people of IOK. He further said that hundreds of freedom strugglers have been blinded and thousands injured by the use of pellet guns in the last few months only. He said that genuine freedom struggles cannot be subdued by injustices and use of force.

The premier said truth ultimately wins by defeating cruelty and injustices, which is an established fact. “It is my conviction that the people of IOK will be victorious in their just struggle for independence,” he said.

The Hurriyet Conference leaders also included Mir Tahir Masood, Muhammad Farooq Rehmani, Muhammad Saghar, Abdul Majeed Mir, Advocate Pervez, Syed Yousaf Nadeem, Syed Faiz Naqashbandi and Muhammad Rafiq Dar.

Meanwhile, Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Raheel Sharif called on Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif at the Prime Minister House in Islamabad. Matters pertaining to internal and regional security were discussed during the meeting. Vowing to continue war against militancy and terrorism, the prime minister expressed his satisfaction over security situation in the country.

Well-placed sources told The News that the two also discussed the recent developments regarding the Kashmir dispute and India’s continued oppression against the innocent people of Kashmir who are aspiring for their birth right to self-determination and freedom from the Indian oppression.

They also discussed the Kashmir situation with reference to the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) summit that would be addressed by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif next week in New York, the sources added.