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Message from Prime Minister of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif, on the Occasion of Right to Self-Determination Day (5th January 2023)

The fifth of January is annually observed as the Right to Self-Determination Day for the people of Jammu and Kashmir. On this day in 1949, the United Nations Commission for India and Pakistan (UNCIP) adopted a resolution that guarantees a free and fair plebiscite in Jammu and Kashmir, to enable the Kashmiri people to realize their right to self-determination.

The right to self-determination is a cardinal principle of international law and upheld by international human rights organizations. Every year, the UN General Assembly adopts a resolution that denotes the legal right of people to decide their own destiny. It expresses unequivocal support for the realization of the right to self-determination for peoples under foreign occupation. Regrettably, the oppressed people of Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK) have not been able to exercise this right.

Not only has the Indian Government denied the inalienable right of self-determination to the Kashmiris, it has created an environment of fear in IIOJK, which has been exacerbated with India’s illegal and unilateral actions of 5 August 2019. The people of IIOJK are being subjected to systematic and widespread human rights abuses.

Today’s commemoration is aimed at reminding the global community of its responsibility towards the oppressed Kashmiri people. The United Nations must honor the commitments it had made 74 years ago and support the Kashmiris’ struggle for self-determination.

Pakistan will continue to extend its unstinted moral, political and diplomatic support to the right of self-determination of the people of Jammu and Kashmir in accordance with the relevant UN Security Council resolutions.

05 January 2023

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