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Friday, May 24, 2024

PM Imran Khan to lead new campaign for people of Occupied-Kashmir

The rise of fascist regime in India has turned the valley of Kashmir into an open prison. Prime Minister Imran Khan is set to launch a new campaign to highlight the human rights violations in occupied Kashmir. Will the world take notice of what is Modi doing in the occupied territory?

Prime Minister Imran has decided to spearhead a new campaign for the rights of the people of occupied Kashmir from January 25, so that ground realities of the Indian-occupied territory are shown to the world. PM Khan has already announced to be the ambassador of Kashmir who will highlight the challenges they are facing at the hands of Indian army and paramilitary forces.

The decision was announced by Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, who was holding a press conference at the Foreign Office. He said the purpose of the campaign was to inform the youth and foreigners about the ground realities in the Indian-held territory.

The foreign minister was addressing a press conference with federal minister Murad Saeed and the prime minister’s adviser Firdous Ashiq Awan. Qureshi said that as per the Simla Agreement, India and Pakistan were supposed to hold bilateral talks on Kashmir.

FM Qureshi said every fundamental right was being denied to the masses in occupied Kashmir and that Indian policies were reflective of its growing “unilateralism” on the issue of occupied Kashmir.  “However, as you have seen, their focus is more towards unilateralism than bilateral talks,” he said. “India’s recent steps and the one taken on August 5 reflects their [India’s] unilateralism,” he added.

Read more: UNSC to discuss Kashmir issue, will the UN fulfill its purpose?

The foreign minister also said that Pakistan was successful in its efforts to highlight the issue of occupied Kashmir at the UN Security Council despite Indian efforts to ensure otherwise.  “Two briefings on the Kashmir issue were held [at the Security Council] and their summary was that whatever Pakistan was saying [about Indian atrocities] carries weight,” he said.

Moreover, PM Imran had told President Trump during their meeting at Davos about the adverse effects of a confrontation between two nuclear powers. He said the prime minister had informed the US president about the “complexities” of the Kashmir issue and urged Trump and the UN to intervene for a solution.

Analysts say that while the offer may not lead to any actual mediation, the fact that Trump brought up Kashmir at all is significant.

US President Donald Trump has reiterated an offer to help mediate between India and Pakistan over the disputed territory of Kashmir.

Trump made the offer while speaking to the press alongside Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan before a bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in the Swiss town of Davos on Tuesday.

“We are talking about Kashmir and the relation to what is going on with Pakistan and India,” said President Trump. “And if we can help, we certainly will be helping. We have been watching that and following it very, very closely.”

Read more: Indians shocked over ‘Betrayal’: Indian police officer helping Kashmir militants

Trump had offered to mediate at that time and later, an offer that India’s foreign ministry has routinely rejected.

Analysts say that while the offer may not lead to any actual mediation, the fact that Trump brought up Kashmir at all is significant.

“India has been allergic to the mention of Kashmir, especially by the US, and has reacted negatively in the past whenever President Trump has raised the Kashmir issue,” said Hassan Akbar, an Islamabad-based foreign policy analyst. “It is important President Trump himself brought the issue of Kashmir up in this press interaction. That shows the centrality of the issue to the South Asian region, and within the mind space of President Trump and US policy circles,” he added.

“India has committed enormous human rights violations”

India’s unilateral actions in Jammu and Kashmir in August 2019 caused enormous suffering and rights violations of the Kashmiri population, Human Rights Watch (HRW), a prominent international watchdog body, said Wednesday in its World Report 2020.

The Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led government revoked the disputed state’s special constitutional status, an action which also violated United Nations’ resolutions on the Kashmir dispute between India and Pakistan.

Indian authorities also failed to protect religious minorities, used draconian sedition and counterterrorism laws to silence peaceful dissent and invoked foreign funding regulations and other laws to discredit and muzzle non-governmental organizations critical of government actions or policies, HRW said.

“The Indian government has tried to shut down Kashmir, hiding the full extent of the harm caused there,” Meenakshi Ganguly, South Asia director at the New York-based Human Rights Watch, said in a statement. “Instead of addressing growing attacks on minorities, Indian authorities bolstered their efforts to silence critical voices in 2019.”

Read more: Back to pre-internet stone age in offline Indian Kashmir

In the 652-page World Report 2020, its 30th edition, Human Rights Watch reviews human rights practices in nearly 100 countries.

Prior to its actions in Indian occupied Jammu and Kashmir, the New Delhi government deployed additional troops, shut down the internet and phones, and arbitrarily detained thousands of Kashmiris, including political leaders, activists, journalists, lawyers, and potential protesters, including children, it was pointed out. Hundreds remain in detention without charge or under house arrest to prevent protests.

It is yet to be seen as to how the world reacts to the new campaign being launched by the Prime Minister Khan.