Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, who is in London to attend the ‘Kashmir Conference’ said that India was committing grave human rights violations in Kashmir, stressing that the right to self-determination was a basic right of the Kashmiri people, reported the Express Tribune.
While addressing the conference, Qureshi appealed to the world conscience that humanity was bleeding in Kashmir, the valley was burning and human rights were being trampled.
“Human blood is being spilled in occupied Kashmir. The Kashmir valley is burning as the people are scared,” the foreign minister told the gathering. “Everyday reports of rape and killings come from held Kashmir,” he added.
The minister called upon the Indian authorities to repeal the black laws, ban use of pellet guns against the unarmed protesters and initiate an inquiry into the human rights violations against the innocent Kashmiris.
He referred to a recent Human Rights Commission report of the United Nations, saying that it had exposed grave violations of rights by Indian forces in Kashmir. He urged the international community to break its silence on the Indian atrocities.
“India is using different tactics to change the demography of the held valley. India is continuously targeting general public across the Line of Control to divert the attention of the world community from its atrocities in occupied Kashmir,” he added.
He said India had held the Kashmiri people hostage and occupied the area, which didn’t belong to it. “Why India is carrying out genocide against the entire Kashmiri generation? Why a country, claiming to be the world’s biggest democracy has imposed censorship?”
Addressing the conference, Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed said that right to self-determination was the fundamental right of the people of Indian Administered Kashmir. He added that India was ‘using sexual abuse as an instrument of torture’ in Kashmir.
“Kashmiri people are not alone in their just struggle,” he said.
Qureshi also met former prime minister of Norway Shell Bondweek at the Pakistan High Commission. Detailed exchange of views took place between the two leaders on the situation in Kashmir and the international Kashmir conference.
— PTI (@PTIofficial) February 5, 2019
Meanwhile, addressing the media after the international conference, Qureshi thanked members of the British Parliament for tabling a joint resolution on the Kashmir issue — a development he termed as “massive”.
“Despite political polarisation in Pakistan, the country’s political parties have proved that we are all united on the issue of Kashmir,” the foreign minister said as he briefed the media.
“We gave a very solid message to the media and to the House of Commons.
“Both the Conservative and Labour Party’s representatives, as well as liberal democrats were there. The session went on for two hours in pin-drop silence and in front of a capacity audience.
“Everyone heard [each other’s] views and participated [in the debate] but above all, at the end — and even I was not expecting this — Lord Qurban, representing the British Parliament, tabled a resolution and it was read out.
“That resolution was [endorsed by] the members of the House of Commons as well as the representatives of the Pakistani parliament. A joint resolution, in the form of a mission statement, has come out of that.
“This is such a massive development, and a victory for Pakistan. This is a victory for those innocent Kashmiris whose cries were heard and felt in the House of Commons today. This issue has reached the centre stage by the grace of God.
“You also must have seen that some Indian people first tried to get this conference stopped, pressurised the members and the government, and after that some 15 to 20 people protested as well,” he said.
“I told them that ‘go on’ as protesting is their right. You can chant your slogans against us but stop the bullets and the use of pellet guns there.”
Meanwhile, India had raised objections with the United Kingdom for allowing Pakistan to use their Parliament as a ‘stage’ for a Kashmir Conference.
Recently, Qureshi rang up Hurriyat (M) chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and briefed him about the efforts being made by his country to highlight the ‘human rights violations committed in Kashmir by the Indian forces’.
According to a statement of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Pakistan, Qureshi briefed Mirwaiz on the efforts of the government of Pakistan to highlight the “gross human rights violations being perpetrated by the Indian forces in Jammu and Kashmir.”
However, India summoned Pak High Commissioner Sohail Mahmood to raise their objections.
However, Islamabad, in a statement, justified its engagement with Hurriyat Conference leader, with the Pakistan Foreign Ministry saying it “categorically rejects the objections raised by India”.