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Message from Foreign Minister of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, on the Occasion of Right to Self-Determination Day (5th January 2023)

On 5th of January every year, we renew our support for the right of self-determination of the People of Jammu and Kashmir.

On this day in 1949, the United Nations Commission for India and Pakistan (UNCIP) unanimously adopted a resolution espousing the right to self-determination of the Kashmiri people through a free and impartial plebiscite under the auspices of the United Nations.

The right to self-determination is a cardinal principle of international law that is upheld by international human rights instruments. For decades, it has been reaffirmed by UN General Assembly in its annual resolution on self-determination.

This day reminds the international community, especially the United Nations, of the imperative of honoring its commitment towards the people of Jammu and Kashmir.

The last 75 years of India’s occupation of Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK) are a sad story of repression of the Kashmiri people. India has unleashed a reign of terror in IIOJK, and denied the oppressed Kashmiris the right to exercise their inalienable right to self-determination and lead a life of dignity. Following its illegal and unilateral actions of 5 August 2019, India is engineering demographic and political changes in IIOJK to convert Kashmiris into a disempowered minority in their own land.

It is time for the international community, especially the United Nations, to live up to their promises and take measures enabling the people of Jammu and Kashmir to exercise the right of self-determination as enshrined in UNSC resolutions. It must also call for an immediate cessation of human rights abuses and a reversal of measures by India to change the demographic structure of IIOJK.

Pakistan remains determined to play its role to support the right of self-determination of Kashmiris through a free and impartial plebiscite in accordance with the United Nations Security Council resolutions. Our strong and steadfast moral, political and diplomatic support for the Kashmiri people will continue till the realization of this inalienable right.

05 January 2023

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