Kashmiris are not alone in their valiant struggle for the exercise of their inherent right to self-determination, but our hearts throb in unison with them and Pakistan would continue to extend its moral, political and diplomatic support to their just cause, said Ambassador Najeeb Durrani addressing the Kashmir Solidarity Day gathering arranged at the Embassy on Sunday, 10 February 2019. He briefly shed light on the historical background of the Jammu & Kashmir dispute and highlighted the Indian volte face on its commitments to the international community on holding a free and fair plebiscite in Jammu & Kashmir under the auspices of the United Nations.

The Ambassador laid bare the flagrant human rights violations in the Indian Occupied Kashmir (IoK) at the hands of Indian security forces. IoK remains the most militarised zone on the face of the globe with 700,000 Indian security forces stationed there. Indian forces have unleashed a reign of terror under the impunity granted to them by the Armed Forces Special Powers Act. They have been killing, maiming and torturing men, women, young, old and children indiscriminately. Over the past three decades of the struggle, 100,000 Kashmiris have been martyred; 23,000 women widowed; 11,000 gangraped or molested; 108,000 children orphaned and 109,000 structures burned down.

Ambassador Durrani stressed that Indian atrocities in the IoK have been corroborated by the findings of the Report of the UN Human Rights Commissioner (UNOHCHR) released in June 2018 as well as the UK’s All Parties Parliamentary Group on Kashmir (UK APPGK) published in October 2018. The UN OHCHR calls for the establishment of a commission of inquiry (COI) to conduct a comprehensive independent international investigation. While Pakistan welcomed the Report, India scoffed at it with its usual disdain.

The Ambassador appealed the torch bearers of dignity and rights of the humankind to raise their voice in support of helpless Kashmiris. Likening the Kashmir dispute to the Palestinian issue, he called upon the conscientious members of civil society everywhere, including the media fraternity, to stand by the voiceless and oppressed Kashmiris.

The event commenced with recitation from the Holy Quran after which messages from the President and the Prime Minister were read out to the audience. A documentary on the human rights situation in the IoK was also shown and brochures/flyers distributed to the Pakistanis and foreigners who attended the Kashmir Solidarity Day event.

Beirut
10 February 2019

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