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Indian steps in IOK brought region on verge of catastrophe: Shah Mehmood Qureshi

November 21, 2019

Ankara, November 21, 2019 (PPI-OT): As the clampdown in Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK) continues now for 110 days, with no signs of normalisation, Pakistan says that this dispute continues to cast an ominous shadow over the future of nearly one-fifth of humanity, and without doubt, poses one of the most serious challenges to regional and international peace and security today.

Despite India’s annexation of IOK, Pakistan says that it is desirous of peace and stability in South Asia through the resolution of all outstanding disputes, in particular the Jammu and Kashmir dispute, through dialogue and in line with the relevant UN Security Council resolutions.

“Sadly, all our overtures towards peace have not only been rebuffed, but responded to by further escalation by India. Under these circumstances, the role of the international community has never been more important,” said Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi. “The illegal and unilateral steps taken by India in Occupied Jammu and Kashmir on5 August, 2019 in contravention of international law and relevant UN Security Council resolutions that uphold the disputed status of the territory, have brought the entire region to the brink of a humanitarian catastrophe,” said Shah Mehmood Qureshi in a message to the International Conference on “Kashmir Turmoil: Emerging Threats to Peace and the Role of the International Community” being held in Ankara.

Turkey has been one of the few Muslim countries which continues to support Pakistan’s stance on IOK. Taking note of this, the minister said that Pakistan is grateful to the people and the government of the Republic of Turkey for their principled and courageous stand on the resolution of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute in accordance with the relevant UN Security Council resolutions as well as for making unequivocal calls for addressing the grave human rights and humanitarian situation in IOK.

The minister pointed out, “Grave human rights violations are being perpetrated to muzzle the voice of Kashmiris, and change the demographic composition of Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir. Despite international outcry and condemnation, physical blockade of over 8 million Kashmiris as well as communication and media blackout have now entered into their fourth consecutive month”.

Included are also Kashmiri political leaders who remain under detention. Reports of arbitrary arrests, enforced disappearances, torture, extra-judicial killings, denial of basic religious freedoms as well as disproportionate use of force against civilians, including the use of notorious pellet-guns, remain endemic.

“Several recent developments in South Asia have highlighted yet again the inherent dangers of letting the dispute remain unresolved, and unattended,” he added. Pakistan is also worried about what it says is another threat to peace and security in South Asia which it says is germinating inside India.

“Fanned by a vitriolic and extremist ideology, Islamophobia continues to grip India in its stranglehold, and is manifested in the growing incidents of discrimination, victimisation, targeting and lynching of Muslims,” warned Qureshi. He said minorities’ rights to life, liberty and fundamental freedoms are being held hostage to the nefarious designs of the Hindutva ideologues.

“Sadly, the entire Indian state apparatus is being used to shield and protect those who preach and practice this divisive ideology. A systematic campaign of incitement to hatred against Muslims as well as Pakistan is underway to swell the rank and file of hate mongers,” he said. He pointed to the recent decision of the Indian Supreme Court regarding the demolition of the historic Babri Masjid by adherents of the same ideology which once again laid bare the reality of India’s secularism and the status of its vulnerable minorities.

For more information, contact:
Kashmir Media Service
Phone: +92-51-4435548, +92-51-4435549
Fax: +92-51-4861736

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