No contact with parents for last 48 days, Kashmiri man tells FM

Published: September 21, 2019
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Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi with the Kashmiri man in Saudi Arabia. PHOTO: SCREEN GRAB

Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi with the Kashmiri man in Saudi Arabia. PHOTO: SCREEN GRAB

ISLAMABAD: A Kashmiri man told Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi in Madinah, Saudi Arabia that he has lost contact with his parents from last 48 days.

The Pakistani foreign minister posted a video on his Twitter account on Saturday in which a resident of Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir was briefing him on the current situation in his home town.

“Yesterday in the holy city of Madinah [Saudi Arabia] this young man told me he has not spoken to his aging parents in 48 days. He told me of the unprecedented violence in Pulwama in IOK. I promised him Pakistan is fighting at every diplomatic forum for the rights of Kashmiris,” Qureshi tweeted.

In the video, the Kashmiri man, who met him in Masjid al-Nabawi, told Qureshi that there is one landline number in their area but no one is picking it up.

“The situation is very bad and there is a lot of violence in Kashmir. There is one landline number in our area, I tried my best to call and spoke with my parents but the person sitting there is disconnecting the call,” Kashmiri man told the Pakistani foreign minister.

He added that his elder brother had been martyred in 1993 while his maternal was also killed.

Qureshi told the Kashmiri man that his country stands by the Kashmiri people and they wouldn’t leave them alone.

“Prime Minister Imran Khan is going to the UN General Assembly session where we will fight the Kashmir case,” the minister informed.

Qureshi also prayed and said: “We pray that you [Kashmiri people] get freedom and your right to self-determination. Kashmir will be free and all Pakistanis are with you.”

Qureshi, who was part of Prime Minister Imran’s delegation, arrived on Thursday on a two-day visit ahead of the United Nations General Assembly session in New York.

Khan appraised Saudi King Salman bin Abdul Aziz and Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman of the latest development in IOK.

Later Premier Imran and his delegation performed Umrah before leaving for New York on Saturday.

With Kashmir in focus, PM heads to UN

Occupied Jammu and Kashmir has been under a near-complete lockdown since August 5, after India scrapped its special status as the government has blocked communication access and imposed restrictions to thwart any protests in the region.

With the new move, the Indian government further downgraded and divided the disputed region into two centrally controlled “union territories” or UT.

Several rights groups including Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International have repeatedly called on India to lift restrictions and release political detainees.

From 1954 until August 5, 2019, Jammu and Kashmir enjoyed special status under the Indian constitution, which allowed it to enact its own laws. The provisions also protected the region’s citizenship law, which barred outsiders from settling in and owning land in the territory.

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