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ISLAMABAD: Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi Thursday said that Pakistan expects Joe Biden administration “to stop ignoring” the ground situation in the Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir, and urged the world community particularly the US, EU, and the OIC to play their key role, and urge India to stop blatant human rights violations in the occupied valley.

Qureshi was addressing a photographic and cultural exhibition titled, “Tribute to Kashmiris’ resilience in their just struggle for right to self-determination”, organised by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which was also attended by President Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) Sardar Masood Khan, Minister for Information and Broadcasting Shibli Faraz, Foreign Secretary Sohail Mahmood, and members of the diplomatic community.

“We expect the Biden administration to stop ignoring the ground situations in the Indian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir,” Qureshi said, in his address, and also stated that Pakistan wants to resolve the Kashmir dispute through dialogue and peaceful manner as there is no military solution to it.

He said Pakistan did not vitiate the environment and the one who did it needs to create an environment for engagement.

Qureshi also called upon the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) not to “overlook” the ground realities and the Kashmiri peoples’ sentiments which might be different than the priorities of the OIC member states.

The foreign minister said that because of the Kashmir dispute there is no regional trade and the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (Saarc) was not functioning while everywhere else such as in the European Union and the ASEAN [Association of Southeast Asian Nations], regional trade is growing.

“What’s the bottleneck? We have to understand that and we need the international community to understand what the present regime in India has done is unsustainable,” Qureshi added.

“Where is the investment and the economic development promised by India in the occupied region?” he asked, adding that the flourishing tourism in the occupied territory has been destroyed because of devastating measures taken on August 5, 2019.

“We want to live in peace with India and we want good neighbourly relations with India but south Asia has suffered because of this [Kashmir] dispute,” the foreign minister said, adding that the time has come to reflect, “how do we move on”. “In an environment of conflict between the two nuclear-armed States, dialogue is the only sensible preference…we all have to sit and find the way-out,” he said, adding: “something can go wrong even accidentally.”

He said that India’s illegal measures of August 5, 2019 have resulted in miserable conditions for Kashmiris, who are bearing the severe economic brunt due to communication blockade.

He also rejected India’s stance that Kashmir was its integral part, saying the issue remained on the agenda of “Composite Dialogue” and also on the United Nations Security Council.

He said the situation of continuous human rights violations in the IIOJK needed attention of the international community to act urgently.

Taking benefit of the 9/11 scenario, he added that Indian regime misled the world by linking the freedom struggle of Kashmiris with terrorism.

He urged diplomats to visit both sides of Kashmir and meet the local Kashmiris and assess the situation by getting first-hand information about the indigenous movement, which has wrongly been portrayed by India as orchestrated.

President AJK Masood Khan said India has unleashed cultural invasion in the occupied valley, adding that mosques, shrines, and the language of the Kashmiri people is under attack.

He said that India has turned the occupied Jammu and Kashmir into a picture of horror and gloom, where genocide became a norm and demography was being changed.

Shibli Faraz said that Pakistan will continue to stand by their Kashmiri brothers and sisters till they get their inalienable right to self-determination in line with the UN Security Council resolutions.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021