News Desk |
Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi will speak to the United Nations Secretary General (UNSG) Antonio Guterres to discuss the ongoing human rights violations and unprecedented lockdown in Indian-occupied Kashmir.
The Foreign Minister is expected to speak to the UN Secretary General Guterres, who is currently in Paris, around 5pm today. Shah Mahmood Qureshi will apprise the UN Security General on the ongoing situation and India’s violations of the Human Rights Charter and international laws.
Modi Challenged: Lift the Curfew
Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, on Friday, challenged the Modi-led Indian government to lift the curfew in the occupied Himalayan valley. The Foreign Minister challenged Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, to demonstrate his rhetoric that “all is well” in Kashmir by holding a public meeting in the occupied region.
Addressing a meeting of the heads of diplomatic missions at the Foreign Office, Shah Mahmood Qureshi stated, “If everything is fine in Kashmir, why is there a curfew, why is there a communications blackout, why parents are not willing to send their children to school, and why so many restrictions are in place to curb civilian movement?”
The meeting of the diplomatic corps, based in Islamabad, was convened for the second time since the Modi administration revoked Article 370 and abolished Kashmir’s special constitutional status, forcefully annexing the disputed Himalayan region as a federally administered territory.
The Foreign Minister apprised the diplomats that Indian claims of “all is well” in Indian-occupied Kashmir are baseless and false. He informed them that as per the information accumulated by Pakistan, the situation in the disputed region is “very grave.”
Foreign Minister challenged the Indian rhetoric that no major protests have been staged across Jammu & Kashmir to voice opposition against the abolishment of Article 370.
Shah Mehmood Qureshi questioned, “If the Kashmiris are so happy with the decision of the Indian government, why doesn’t Modi visit Srinagar and hold officials meeting in the valley?”
The Foreign Minister stressed that India has imposed an unprecedented lockdown on the valley, and tens of thousands of troops have been deployed to quell protests, which is substantial proof that the Kashmiris have rejected New Delhi’s unlawful decision.
Qureshi noted that multiple petitions have been filed in the Indian Supreme Court to challenge the decision of the Modi-led government. The Foreign Minister argued that this is a clear indication that even the Indian people are in opposition of this unlawful decision on Kashmir.
Pakistan seeks Peaceful Dialogue
Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi apprised the diplomats of Pakistan’s stance on the rapidly escalating tensions with India. Qureshi stressed that Pakistan has always preferred to seek peaceful dialogue as a means to resolve the Kashmir dispute and other issues with India. However, he lamented that New Delhi has always rejected Pakistan’s overtures for peace.
Qureshi stressed that war is simply not an option because nuclear conflagration would be suicidal for both nations.
Earlier on Friday, as part of Islamabad’s efforts for diplomatic outreach, Shah Mahmood Qureshi penned down another letter to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, urging her to take immediate notice of the rapidly deteriorating human rights situation in Indian-occupied Kashmir (IoK).
In his letter, the Foreign Minister has articulated Pakistan’s apprehensions over the intensified violence and heightened human suffering as India continues to dismantle the fundamental rights of the people of Kashmir. He stressed that India has employed heightened draconian measures to forcefully implement its unlawful and unconstitutional decision of abolishing Kashmir’s special constitutional status.
Since the Modi-led government abolished Article 370 and stripped Kashmir of its special status, the occupied Himalayan valley has entered its 19th day under curfew and security lockdown.
Salute to the brave sons of Kashmir who come out for protest against RSS's Nazism and worst state terrorism in Srinagar ahead of Friday congressional prayers .#KashmirProtests
— MNA (@Engr_Naveed111) August 23, 2019
Despite the ongoing curfew and restrictions on movement, thousands of Kashmiris responded to the calls to protest given by the Hurriyat leadership, and the streets of Srinagar were filled with protests chanting slogans for freedom before the Friday congressional prayer. The unarmed protesters were attacked with Indian troops carrying pellet guns and tear gas.
Prime Minister Imran Khan has alerted the international community that the Modi-led Hindutva government of India is likely to undertake another false flag operation to create a deceptive diversion from the gross human rights violations and ongoing reign of terror in the occupied valley.
I want to warn the international community that the Indian leadership will in all probability attempt a false flag operation to divert attention from its massive human rights violations & the unleashing of a reign of terror in IOJK.
— Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) August 23, 2019