News Analysis |
Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi has said that the rightful struggle of the Kashmiris for self-determination is being brutally suppressed by India. He made these remarks while addressing the 72nd session of the United Nations General Assembly on Thursday.
After briefly mentioning the plight of the people of Palestine, Abbasi who was making his debut at the top international forum said that Indian occupation forces are mercilessly suppressing the legitimate right of self-determination of the Kashmiri people.
A focused and clear reference to India is part of the country’s efforts to tell the world why Pakistan guards itself against India on the Eastern flank, and why it wants an Afghanistan sans Indian influence
He said: “India refuses to implement the unanimous resolutions of the UN Security Council, which mandate a UN-supervised plebiscite to enable the people of Jammu and Kashmir to freely decide their destiny. Instead, India has deployed nearly 700,000 troops in Occupied Kashmir to suppress the legitimate struggle of the Kashmiris to exercise their right to self-determination. This is the most intense foreign military occupation in recent history.”
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Abbasi pointed out to the remarkable grit and determination of the people, who are defiant despite the use of indiscriminate force by India. The freedom struggle in the valley has taken a new turn since last year when a freedom fighter in Burhan Wani was martyred.
Abbasi categorically asserted: “As in the past, today the Kashmiri people are waging a heroic and popular struggle to rid themselves of India’s oppressive rule. They come out on the streets daily to call on India to leave Jammu and Kashmir. India has responded with massive and indiscriminate force to suppress the Kashmiris, shooting indiscriminately at children, women, and youth.
As India is unwilling to resume the peace process with Pakistan, we call on the Security Council to fulfill its obligation to secure the implementation of its own resolutions on Jammu and Kashmir
Hundreds of innocent Kashmiris have been killed or injured. Shotgun pellets have blinded and maimed thousands of Kashmiris including children. These and other brutalities clearly constitute war crimes and violate the Geneva Conventions.” The Prime Minister also urged the United Nations to take cognizance and stock of the situation.
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“Pakistan demands an international investigation into India’s crimes in Occupied Kashmir. We ask that the United Nations Secretary-General and the High Commissioner for Human Rights send an inquiry Commission to Occupied Kashmir to verify the nature and extent of India’s human rights violations, secure the punishment of those responsible, and provide justice and relief to the victims,” said the newly-elected Prime Minister.
Drawing world attention towards Indian atrocities in the valley, Mr Abbasi said: “Pakistan also urges the international community to call on India to halt pellet gun attacks and other violence against unarmed demonstrators; stop the use of rape as an instrument of state policy; end media blackouts; rescind its draconian emergency laws; and free all Kashmiri political leaders.”
India does venture across the LoC, or acts upon its doctrine of “limited” war against Pakistan, it will evoke a strong and matching response. The international community must act decisively to prevent the situation from a dangerous escalation
The situation in Kashmir has once again reached a point where chances of war between two nuclear-armed rivals have risen. Over the past one year, both countries have exchanged fire on the Line of Control and the Working Boundary. Islamabad has maintained that India ramps up tensions on the borders to divert attention from the Kashmir issue.
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The Prime Minister delved on the Indian provocations and warned not to take Pakistan’s restraint as a sign of weakness. He said: “To divert the world’s attention from its brutalities, India frequently violates the ceasefire along the Line of Control in Kashmir. Despite over 600 violations since January this year Pakistan has acted with restraint.
But if India does venture across the LoC, or acts upon its doctrine of “limited” war against Pakistan, it will evoke a strong and matching response. The international community must act decisively to prevent the situation from a dangerous escalation.” The stakes in stopping an escalation are high as both countries are armed to the teeth with conventional and nuclear weapons.
We ask that the United Nations Secretary-General and the High Commissioner for Human Rights send an inquiry Committee to Occupied Kashmir to verify the nature and extent of India’s human rights violations
Ever since the inception of Pakistan, Kashmir has remained the bone of contention between the two countries. India calls the movement in Kashmir as terrorism while Pakistan rightfully attributes the struggle as one to attain freedom.
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However, the international community especially the US has in recent times embraced the Indian narrative by designating Syed Salahuddin as a terrorist and his organization as a terrorist outfit. It was important for Pakistan to sell its narrative in the most prestigious forum for international diplomacy.
Abbasi further said: “The Kashmir dispute should be resolved justly, peacefully and expeditiously. As India is unwilling to resume the peace process with Pakistan, we call on the Security Council to fulfill its obligation to secure the implementation of its own resolutions on Jammu and Kashmir.”
Abbasi suggested the UN Secretary-General to appoint a special envoy for Jammu and Kashmir. “His mandate should flow from the longstanding but unimplemented resolutions of the Security Council,” said the 59-year old prime minister.
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India has deployed nearly 700,000 troops in Occupied Kashmir to suppress the legitimate struggle of the Kashmiris to exercise their right to self-determination
Though it was expected that Abbasi would delve on the Kashmir issue, spending the bulk of his time on discussing the conflict and the role of India came as a surprise. As tensions simmer between the two countries, the open references to India will most likely result in more escalation. An important reason for dabbling on Kashmir in detail was that it is root to Pakistan’s security paranoia vis India.
A focused and clear reference to India is part of the country’s efforts to tell the world why Pakistan guards itself against India on the Eastern flank, and why it wants an Afghanistan sans Indian influence. At a time when the US accuses Pakistan of playing dirty in Afghanistan, the speech on Kashmir and India was well-timed and prudent. Even otherwise, the clear enunciation of Pakistan’s narrative of Kashmir is an important plank of Pakistan’s counterterrorism narrative.