Muhammad Zahid Rifat
Pakistan has quite emphatically reiterated that the government and the people are committed to standing by and supporting their Kashmiri brothers and sisters in their legitimate struggle for self-determination. The brave, courageous, determined and committed Kashmiri people will never submit to Indian forced occupation and oppression; their struggle is indigenous, they are indeed fighting for a just cause and laying down their lives generation after generation for more than seven decades to rid themselves of Indian occupation. The reiteration of Pakistan’s continued moral, political and diplomatic support to the Kashmiris in their just struggle was made by Prime Minister Imran Khan in his virtual address to the UN General Assembly on September 25. Touching upon different aspects of the lingering unresolved Kashmir issue, the Pakistani leader quite rightly told the international body in plain words that there will be no durable peace and stability in South Asia until the Jammu and Kashmir dispute is resolved on the basis of international legitimacy and that Kashmir has been rightly described as a nuclear flashpoint. It is a bitter historical fact that for over 72 years, India has illegally and forcibly occupied the region against the wishes of the Kashmiri people and in blatant violation of the resolutions of the UN Security Council and more so its own commitments to the people of the occupied and disputed territory. Occupying Indian security forces continue to use brute force including pellet guns against peaceful protestors, imposing collective punishments including the destruction of entire neighbourhoods, committing extrajudicial murders of innocent young Kashmiris in fake encounters, refusing even to hand over their bodies to their families for burial and, the Kashmiri media and those daring to raise their voice are being systematically harassed and intimidated through the use of draconian laws. PM Imran Khan urged the UN General Assembly to declare an “International Day to Combat Islamophobia”, build a coalition to fight this scourge which is splitting the humanity and the one country in the world where the state sponsors Islamophobia is India and the reason behind this is the RSS, which quite unfortunately, is ruling India today, believing and that India is exclusively for Hindus and others are not equal citizens. The Hindutva ideology, the UN General Assembly was told, is set to marginalise almost 300 million human beings including Muslims, Christians and Sikhs; this is unprecedented in history and does not augur well for the future of India itself, as the marginalisation of human beings leads to their radicalisation. Having said this and much more, the Pakistani leader went on to call upon the Security Country that it must prevent a disastrous conflict and secure the implementation of its own resolutions, which India persistently disobeying and not letting the Kashmiris to exercise their right of self-determination to decide their future themselves, as it had done in the case of East Timor. The Security Council has dilated upon the situation in Jammu and Kashmir three times in the past year and it must also take appropriate enforcement actions. Needless to mention here that Pakistan has always called for a peaceful solution to the lingering Kashmir issue. To this end, India must rescind the unilateral and brutal measures it has instituted since August 5,2019, end its military siege and other gross human rights violations and agree to resolve the Jammu and Kashmir dispute in accordance with the relevant UN Security Council resolutions and the wishes of the people the occupied territory Jammu and Kashmir.