ISLAMABAD: Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi has reaffirmed Pakistan's full support for the Kashmiris' struggle for independence from Indian rule, saying Pakistan will stand by the people of the besieged valley till their final victory.
Flanked by Information Minister Shibli Faraz and Special Assistant for National Security Dr Moeed Yusuf, Qureshi said at a news conference on Friday that no one other than the Kashmiris themselves know exactly what has happened during the past one year of the brutal clampdown in the Himalayan region by the Indian forces.
He said the Yaum-e-Istehsal would be observed on August 5 to highlight the illegal Indian action of August 5, 2019 of changing the special constitutional status of IIOJK by holding solidarity walks throughout the country to be joined by the top political leadership.
Qureshi said the government had decided to rename the Kashmir Highway, which connected the Federal Capital with Azad Kashmir and other areas, after Srinagar. "We are looking at Srinagar. That is our destination," he remarked.
He said the parliamentarians and the foreign media would be taken to the Line of Control to engage them with the residents there, who had long been suffering the unprovoked firing by the Indian troops in violation of the ceasefire.
He said a special postal stamp would be issued on the day to highlight the Indian aggression and human rights abuses by depicting a minor sitting over the body of his slain grandfather killed by the Indian troops in Sopore town in early July.
To date, Kashmir suffers a communication blackout and basic human rights violations," the minister remarked. After the Covid-19, Qureshi said the world ought to understand what it feels like to live under a lockdown and to endure forceful restrictions. He highlighted that Kashmiris have been enduring a 'double lockdown' (the Covid-19 lockdown as well as restrictions imposed by Indian occupation forces) for a year.
Qureshi said he wanted to send a message of solidarity to Kashmiris all over the world. "The Pakistani nation stood with the Kashmiris yesterday, stands with them today, and will remain standing with them till the final victory," he said.
Maintaining that Prime Minister Imran Khan represented himself as the ambassador of Kashmiris by putting forward the case of Kashmir to the United Nations, Qureshi said that the premier had had more than 100 engagements in order to highlight the plight of Kashmiris during the last two years.
Stressing that the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions have identified Kashmir as a disputed region, the foreign minister said Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) on the other hand tried to forcibly integrate it into India. He said the world knows that occupied Kashmir is the world's largest military zone, where basic human rights are being violated with impunity.
He said Pakistan has written nine letters to the UN secretary-general on the Kashmir issue. Qureshi said the Kashmir issue was raised at the UN Security Council three times in a year, when in the preceding 55 years, Kashmir resolutions "had been buried in the dust."
Qureshi said there was unjustified bloodshed in Indian-occupied Kashmir and the Government of Pakistan has devised a plan to give voice to the atrocities endured by its people. He said the whole nation can show solidarity by commemorating the injustices suffered by Kashmiris on Aug 5.
To a question about the Afghanistan issue, the foreign minister said after peace deal in Afghanistan, the situation is improving and now it has been agreed that 5,000 Taliban prisoners will be released soon. He expressed the hope that after Eid intra-Afghan dialogue will be held.
The foreign minister said India's neighbours are not happy with its aggressive policies. Speaking on the occasion, Minister for Information and Broadcasting Shibli Faraz urged the whole nation to express solidarity with Kashmiri brethren at this critical juncture.
He urged local as well as international media to play a proactive role in this regard. Faraz appealed to the masses to observe Yaum-e-Istehsal on Aug 5 in a befitting manner, so that India could realise that its illegal action in the Indian illegally-occupied Jammu and Kashmir could not be tolerated anymore.
He said that Pakistan has redesigned its concept of solidarity with the Kashmiris under the leadership of Prime Minister Imran Khan. Faraz said the present government is committed to making all-out efforts for the resolution of Kashmir dispute, and the day was not far when the Kashmiris would rid themselves of Indian subjugation. Prime Minister's Special Assistant on National Security Dr Moeed Yusuf said unilateral actions of 5th August have validated that India has violated the Shimla agreement and the international law.