ABIDJAN (TNS): Kashmiris’ struggle for right to self-determination can’t be equated with terrorism: Sartaj

ABIDJAN, July 11 (TNS): Advisor to Prime Minister of Pakistan on Foreign Affairs, Sartaj Aziz has said that Kashmiris’ struggle for right to self-determination cannot be equated with terrorism.
Addressing the 44th Session of Organisation of Islamic Cooperation’s (OIC) Council of Foreign Ministers (CFM) at Abidjan, Ivory Coast, he said. “The designation of individuals supporting the Kashmiris’ right to self-determination as terrorists is completely unjustified.”
He said, “The prevailing situation in occupied Kashmir is the result of the continued denial by India of the right to self-determination to the people of Jammu and Kashmir promised to them by the UN Security Council.”
He said, “In the past one year, more than 200 civilians have been killed and around 20,000 are injured, many of them in critical condition. India did the first mass blinding of the human history, resultantly, more than 1200 people have sustained severe eye injuries, out of which at least 150 people have become permanently blind as a result of pallet guns. Kashmiris are unable to perform their religious duties like Juma prayers, Eid prayers and slaughtering of cows on Eid-ul-Azha.”
He underscored that, “The current uprising is not an isolated incident but a continuing expression of deep and long-held alienation of the oppressed people of Jammu and Kashmir from the Indian occupation. The gross and systematic violations of human rights of the Kashmiri people in the IOK have been recorded and reported by the independent human rights bodies as a reality.”
Sartaj Aziz said, “The presence of more than 700,000 occupation forces for around 12 million people in the IOK is a clear manifestation of the Indian policy to use state-terrorism as a tool to suppress the just struggle of the Kashmiri people. The civilian to armed forces personnel ratio in IOK is the highest in the world.”
He paid tribute to the innocent Kashmiris who have lost their lives and prayed for the health and quick recovery of those injured. He said, “Ever since the extrajudicial killing of Burhan Wani on July 8, 2016, the Indian occupation forces have unleashed a reign of terror against the innocent and defenseless civilians. These horrendous Indian brutalities are condemnable in the strongest possible terms.”
He said, “Pakistan’s principled position on the Jammu and Kashmir dispute is consistent with the UN Security Council Resolutions which declare that the final disposition of the State of Jammu and Kashmir would be made in accordance with the will of the people, expressed through a free and impartial plebiscite, conducted under the auspices of the United Nations.”
“Unfortunately these resolutions remain unimplemented due to Indian obstinacy and political expediency of the international community which have given birth to the grave human tragedy in IOK. Pakistan will continue to extend its moral, diplomatic and political support to the just cause of Jammu and Kashmir,” he added.
He said, “The people of Pakistan and IOK deeply value the consistent and unequivocal support of the OIC for the Kashmir cause. This support is a great source of solace to the oppressed people of Indian occupied Jammu and Kashmir. The regular meetings of the Jammu and Kashmir Contact Group are a manifestation of Islamic solidarity with the Kashmiris.”
He stated that, “Pakistan greatly appreciates the recent visits of OIC Secretary General Yousef Ahmed Al-Othaimeen and Independent Permanent Human Rights Commission’s (IPHRC) delegation to Pakistan and AJK. I believe that these visits will go a long way in supporting the Kashmir cause.”
He emphasized that, “For long-lasting peace in the region, it is necessary, that the international community, especially the Muslim Ummah play its role and call upon India to honor its human rights obligations and let the people of Kashmir exercise their right of self-determination under the UN Security Council resolutions.”
Meanwhile, the OIC Contact Group on Jammu and Kashmir met on the sidelines of 44th session of OIC Council of Foreign Ministers in Abidjan with OIC Secretary General Yousaf A. Al-Othaimeen in the chair.
The meeting reaffirmed its unequivocal support to the people of occupied Kashmir in their just struggle for realization of their right to self-determination, as enshrined in the UN Security Council resolutions.
The Group paid rich tribute to the Kashmiris for rendering unmatched sacrifices in this historic struggle against Indian occupation. The OIC strongly condemned and deplored the continued Indian state terrorism in occupied Kashmir and noted that the unresolved of Kashmir dispute continues to threaten the peace and security of the region.
It emphasized that the dispute shall be resolved in accordance with the aspirations of Kashmiri people and the UN Security Council resolutions. Adviser to Prime Minister Sartaj Aziz, led the Pakistan delegation. Ministers and senior officials of Azerbaijan, Niger, Saudi Arabia and Turkey also attended the meeting.
Opening the meeting, Dr Yousaf A Al-Othaimeen said, “No one can accept the attempts of associating Kashmiris with terrorism. The OIC has always and will continue to express serious concern over the gross human rights violations in occupied Kashmir.”
He emphasized that, “The Kashmiris were striving hard to achieve their inalienable right to self-determination in accordance with the relevant UN Security Council resolutions.”
Sartaj Aziz, in his statement, reiterated Pakistan’s continued diplomatic, moral and political support to the people of Kashmir in their just struggle against illegal Indian occupation. He deplored the Indian atrocities in the occupied territory since July 2016, particularly the use of pellet guns to deliberately damage the eyes of Kashmiri youth.
He appreciated the steadfast support of the OIC to the people of occupied Kashmir. The Adviser deplored India’s deliberate and continued violations of ceasefire along the Line of Control (LOC) resulting in loss of innocent lives.
The delegation of True Representatives of Kashmiri People (TRKP) led by Prime Minister of Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) Raja Farooq Haider Khan highlighted the grave human rights situation in occupied Kashmir and thanked the unwavering support of the Muslim Ummah to the Kashmir cause. The Kashmiri delegation also presented to the OIC Secretary General a memorandum containing details of Indian troops’ brutalities in the occupied territory.
The Hurriyat leadership from occupied Kashmir could not attend the meeting due to travel restrictions imposed by Indian government. Kashmiri representative, Syed Faiz Naqshbandi, read out messages from Syed Ali Gilani and Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, who were invited to the Contact Group Meeting.
The letter of Syed Ali Gilani underscored that Kashmir was not merely a territorial dispute but a human issue concerning the future of millions of Muslims undergoing immense hardship due to Indian barbarism. Besides Kashmiris, Muslims of India are also facing similar brutalities.