Pakistan urges India to resolve Kashmir dispute by giving Kashmiris right to self-determination

Strongly denounces Indian Defence Minister’s gratuitous remarks on Kashmir

Islamabad, October 28 (KMS): Foreign Office Spokesperson Asim Iftikhar has said that India must allow the people of Indian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir to exercise their free will in accordance with UN Security Council resolutions to settle the Kashmir dispute with international legitimacy.

He was addressing the weekly briefing in Islamabad, today. Referring to the observance of Kashmir Black Day on Thursday, the Spokesperson said Pakistan’s leadership, foreign ministry and missions abroad, through multiple events, underscored the country’s principled position, and resolve to support the Kashmiri people, and called upon the international community to play its due role in urging India to end its illegal occupation, halt massive human rights violations and cease repressive measures against the people in illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir.

The Spokesperson said the situation remains grave in IIOJK. He condemned the recent killings of civilians in fake encounters in Shopian and Kupwara districts. He also denounced India’s action of stopping the Kashmiri photojournalist Sanna Irshad Mattoo at Delhi airport to prevent her traveling to New York to receive her Pulitzer Prize. He also expressed concern over the recent attack and ransacking of the All Parties Hurriyat Conference head office in Srinagar by Hindutva fanatics backed by the Indian Army.

The Spokesperson also rejected and strongly condemned the “highly irresponsible, provocative and gratuitous” remarks made by the Indian defence minister, Rajnath Singh, at a public event on Kashmir Black Day in IIOJK. He said that the Indian defence minister’s statement that “India had begun development work in IIOJK that would not stop till it reaches Gilgit-Baltistan” was utterly absurd and ludicrous. He said the Indian minister’s “delusional” remarks were farcical on the one hand and reflective of India’s characteristic hostility towards Pakistan on the other.

The Spokesperson reminded the Indian government that the ground realities in IIOJK and AJK were diametrically different. “While AJK is free, open and accessible to the world, India has forcibly occupied IIOJK for the last seventy-five years and manages it as a vast prison. And yet, instead of granting people of IIOJK the right to self-determination, India continues to eye Azad Jammu and Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan to nurture its ‘expansionist mindset’,” he said.

The Spokesperson calling it a “well-documented fact” said that over 900,000 Indian occupation forces had been committing egregious human rights violations against innocent Kashmiris in IIOJK including extra-judicial killings, custodial deaths, torture and arbitrary detentions. He added that there are also frequent instances of using people, including innocent children, as human shield and imposing collective punishment by demolishing homes.

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