To protest against the human rights violations being perpetrated by Indian security forces in Indian Occupied Kashmir (IoK) as well as to express solidarity with the hapless Kashmiri masses, Black Day was observed in Beirut. Addressing the sombre ceremony arranged at the Embassy, Ambassador Najeeb Durrani shed light on various aspects of the Jammu & Kashmir dispute. Tracing the historical background of the issue, he stressed that Jammu & Kashmir remains the unfinished agenda of the partition of British India in 1947. He particularly highlighted the Indian volte face by first taking the matter to the UN Security Council and later reneging on its commitments pledged there. He emphasised that in terms of proportion of forces to the civilian population, IoK is the world’s most militarised zone and apprised the audience of the special laws en force in the IoK under the cover of which Indian forces wantonly and with impunity indulge in barbaric human rights violations. However, the spirit of a people struggling for their freedom cannot be suppressed with terror by India.

The Ambassador laid great emphasis on the findings of the recent Report of the UN High Commissioner on Human Rights (OHCHR) on Kashmir. The Report calls for the establishment of an international Commission of Inquiry to conduct a comprehensive independent international investigation. He pointed out that in response to the OHCHR’s request for visit to Kashmir to assess the situation on the ground, Pakistan was open to the idea, while India refused the request. He underscored the urgent need for the world’s so-called largest democracy to give the OHCHR’s Report the serious consideration and respect which it deserves and to implement its recommendations.

Likening the Kashmir dispute to the Palestinian issue, the Ambassador brought out the similarities between Lebanon and Pakistan in this respect such as a strong belligerent neighbour, existence of a dispute, occupation forces’ atrocities, neighbour’s border violations at will, exodus of refugees from occupied lands, etc. He stressed that the Lebanese people should commiserate with the Kashmiri people more strongly as they are able to understand and feel their pain and suffering owing to the existence of these similarities.

Calling upon the international community to take cognizance of the Indian brutalities in the IoK, the Ambassador reiterated Pakistan’s resolve to continue its moral, political and diplomatic support to their Kashmiri brethren in the IoK until the realization of their inalienable right to self-determination.

Earlier, messages of the President and the Prime Minister of Pakistan were read out to the audience. A documentary depicting Indian intransigence and barbarities in Kashmir was also showed. Both Pakistanis living in Lebanon and foreigners attended the Black Day observance.

Beirut
27 October 2018

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