Senate calls for joint sitting on Kashmir

Aziz warns New Delhi to refrain from excesses in held territory

Maryam Usman July 22, 2016

ISLAMABAD: Adviser to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz on Thursday said Pakistan has always acted as a bulwark against Indian brutality and warned that it would not allow New Delhi to suppress the voice and the freedom struggle of Kashmiris.

Aziz was giving a policy statement in response to speeches made by senators on an adjournment motion regarding the recent wave of aggression by Indian forces in Kashmir.

The adviser endorsed the recommendations made by the senators in the upper house, including calling a joint session of parliament on the issue, addressing a media blackout in Kashmir and the legal cover given to such brutalities under the relevant Indian draconian laws.

India lambasts Pakistan as tensions flare over Kashmir

Referring to a special meeting of the federal cabinet on July 15, the adviser said the prime minister had announced observing a black day at the national level.

He pledged the government supports the four-point formula of Ali Geelani, as it was in line with Pakistan’s priorities.

Over the last 12 days, the government has launched a diplomatic campaign to highlight Indian brutalities in Kashmir. The prime minister and the Foreign Office have issued statements, envoys of P-5, European and Islamic countries have been briefed, Aziz said.

“I have written six letters -- to the UN secretary-general, the presidents of the Security Council, Human Rights Committee chairman and Human Rights commissioner – to take notice of human rights violations in Kashmir,” he added.

He said that there were some positive indications in the reaction of international organisations, adding that the UN secretary-general, OIC secretary-general, Human Rights Commission, the US secretary of state, China, Turkey, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch had expressed grave concerns over the recent unfolding of unfortunate events in Kashmir.

Not just the Indian media, opposition parties and civil society, but other voices within India were also condemning human rights violations, the foreign adviser pointed out.

Pakistan calls for end to violence in Kashmir

The basic point to consider, Aziz said, was how to counter the narrative of India and how to strengthen the narrative of Kashmir.

“This is an indigenous movement of Kashmiris for their right to self-determination and the claim of India that Pakistan is involved stands negated by the reaction of international organisations,” Aziz said.

Second, the claim that Pakistan was inferring in Kashmir and should restrain from it is factually and legally incorrect, since the UN resolution identifies Kashmir as a disputed territory, Aziz said, adding Kashmiris have a right to decide their fate for themselves.

The use of force to stifle the resolve and sacrifice of Kashmiris will be defeated.

“State terrorism in Kashmir will not succeed. Pakistan has always condemned Indian brutalities and the way we have responded over these past few days, Kashmiri leaders have welcomed and appreciated it and we plan to continue our campaign to extend moral, diplomatic and political support to Kashmiris,” Aziz said.

Earlier, senators from both sides of the divide presented their recommendations to counter the Indian aggression and find a viable solution to the age-old issue. They highlighted the double standards of the UN and its failure to implement relevant resolutions, the use of social media to report on the atrocities, the media ban and the on-going protests in the divided territory.

They also suggested that there should be no political point-scoring on the issue, which is in fact a human rights issue.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 22nd, 2016.



Mohammed Wani | 5 years ago | Reply When was the last joint sitting on unemployment, health care, hygine, economy ?
Pankaj | 5 years ago | Reply Mr Aziz... just chill. Now elections are over in Pakistan side of Kashmir. Political parties are going to take rest for a while.
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