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Jun 01, 2020 PRINT EDITION

KARACHI: Minister for Foreign Affairs Shah Mehmood Qureshi on Sunday said the European Parliament during its discussion on Kashmir on Monday would hopefully raise its voice for the plight of Kashmiris who had been facing curfew and other restrictions

for the past almost one month at the hand of Indian forces in the occupied Kashmir.

Talking to reporters here at the Karachi Airport, he said Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi had to face embarrassment in his attempts to prevent the Kashmir issue to be highlighted internationally.

Qureshi said the Europe should play its role over the Kashmir issue. The European Parliament was expected to deliberate on the Modi government's illegal actions in the Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK) and raise voice against human rights violations in the disputed territory, he added.

He called for the release of thousands of Kashmiris imprisoned by the Indian authorities after the revocation of the special constitutional status of the IOK on August 5.

He criticised Indian brutalities, and incessant curfew and other restrictions in the occupied territory. There was no precedent in the history of the suppression of the freedom of association and freedom of press which the Modi government had resorted to in the IOK.

He said children were deprived of education and people could not contact their loved ones in the IOK due to clampdown.

Qureshi said world was watching whatever was happening in the IOK. Prime Minister Imran Khan timely and effectively presented the case of Kashmiris, and the  international community and the Muslim Ummah would hopefully take notice of human rights violations in the IOK, he added.

Answering a question, he said the Gulf countries stood by Pakistan over the Kashmir conflict. He referred to a consensus statement from the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and appreciated OIC's stand over Kashmir.

He thanked the opposition for supporting the government in the assemblies over Kashmir, and hoped that they would also join the government in future protests on it.

Replying to another question about airspace closure to India, he said it was under consideration. The prime minister would decide on it at a suitable time, he said, adding the government's decisions were taken keeping in view both pros and cons of an action.

To another query, he said a strategy had been formulated and the Kashmir Cell would place its recommendations before the public and media.

The foreign minister said he would visit Geneva on September 9 where he would expose Indian atrocities in the IOK before the Human Rights Commission.

Prime Minister Imran Khan, he said, would highlight the plight of Kashmiris before the UN General Assembly on September 27.

To a query, he said no sane person would desire for a war, but if a one was imposed on Pakistan, its armed forces and public were ready to defend the motherland and give a a befitting response to the enemy.

About the Kartharpur Corridor, he said more than 80 percent work on the project had been completed as "we stick to our schedule and are looking forward to welcome the Sikh pilgrims on the birth anniversary of Guru Nanak."

Copyright APP (Associated Press of Pakistan), 2019