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ISLAMABAD: The All Parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC) Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) chapter, members of civil society of Azad Jammu Kashmir, Monday, urged the global community to immediately intervene and resolve the lingering Kashmir dispute as per the United Nations (UN) resolutions.

Speakers while addressing a sit-in protest organised by the APHC-AJK chapter outside the United Nations office in Islamabad said that hosting a tourism working group meeting of G20 countries in Srinagar is part of India’s delusional disinformation campaign that seeks to lend credence to its baseless claims that Kashmir is not an international dispute but an internal matter.

The participants appealed to the UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, to take steps for resolving the Kashmir dispute by giving the Kashmiris their right to self-determination, guaranteed to them by the UN through its resolutions.

The participants urged the UN to draw immediate attention towards the Indian government’s Machiavellian move to host G20’s working group meeting in the disputed region and its devastating impacts on the Kashmiris’ legitimate political struggle.

The speakers urged the UN to pressure India to withdraw its troops from the territory and repeal the draconian laws including the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA), the Public Safety Act (PSA), and the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) also pledged to continue their liberation struggle till its logical conclusion.

The APHC-AJK leadership, led by its convenor Mehmood Ahmed Saghar, presented a memorandum to the United Nations Observers Office in Islamabad to remind the World Body of its obligations on the Kashmir dispute and the prevailing worst situation in the Indian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir.

The others who spoke on the occasion include Ghulam Muhammad Safi, Syed Faiz Naqasbandi, Shaikh Abdul Mateen, Shameem Shawl, Advocate Parvaiz Ahmed Shah, Manzoor Ahmed Shah, Madam Khula Khan, Abdul Rashid Turabi, Dr Khalid Mehmood, Najib Gafoor, and others.

The APHC leaders presented a memorandum to the representative of the UN, calling that the move to host the G20 Summit events in the UN-recognised disputed territory is part of a multifaceted and multi-front campaign that India’s present regime has been waging; to achieve the following goals: (i) create a confusion around the Kashmir issue; (ii) To dilute Kashmir’s international and legal status and strengthen the notion that Kashmir is nothing but its internal matter; and (iii) To deflect the world’s attention away from the real issue, hiding ground realities and promoting its so-called normalcy narrative.

The memorandum said, the cosmetic beautification campaign of Srinagar went on under the full glare of the media publicity, but what has been happening behind the scenes in Kashmir is something that must be a cause of serious concern for all, especially the G-20 nations. Disturbing reports of human rights violations continued to pour in from different parts of Kashmir, where the Indian army and its paramilitary forces have been conducting frequent raids and search operations. Thousands of innocent civilians, mostly young boys, have been abducted by the Indian army and other secret agencies and shifted to unknown locations ever since the Indian authorities started preparations for the G20 meeting.

On the other hand, a massive crackdown campaign against pro-freedom leaders and activists, social media users and civil society members has been launched to ensure graveyard silence in the territory. Raids on pro-freedom leaders and activists go largely unnoticed. The situation in the restive region is so bad that people are not able to venture out of their homes; the entire valley has been turned into a military fortress, where people feel caged, and robbed of their rights and identity.

The memorandum added, being the custodian of global peace and security, the UN is the world’s foremost forum to address issues that transcend national boundaries and cannot be resolved by any one country acting alone. And Kashmir is one such issue that merits the immediate attention/intervention of the highest forum (UN) that has passed dozens of resolutions calling for holding a referendum in the region.

The people of the Indian Illegally-Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJ&K) have been demanding the implementation of the UNSC resolutions that, besides upholding the Kashmiris’ right of self-determination, call for holding a referendum in the region to allow its people to exercise their right to determine their political future through a free, fair and impartial plebiscite.

The UN Security Council Resolution – dated March 30, 1951, reads, “The final disposition of the State of Jammu & Kashmir will be made in accordance with the will of the people expressed through the democratic method of a free and impartial plebiscite conducted under the auspices of the United Nations.”

It said India’s non-compliance with the UN’s framework meant to resolve the dispute peacefully and, above all, the Indian rulers’ perpetual denial to grant Kashmiris their promised rights has been a major cause and consequence of unrest and turmoil in the region.

The memorandum maintained that on January 5, 1949, the United Nations Commission for Pakistan and India had passed a very important resolution calling for the settlement of the Kashmir dispute by giving the Kashmiris an opportunity to decide their future by themselves under UN-supervised plebiscite. It said since then, due to India’s stubbornness, the Kashmir conflict remains unresolved.

The memorandum said the Kashmiri people have rendered unparalleled sacrifices in their struggle for achieving this right in the last over seven decades. It said the silence of the United Nations and international powers on the issue has emboldened India to carry on its state terrorism in the IIOJK. It said settlement of the Kashmir dispute in accordance with the Kashmiris’ aspirations is imperative for ensuring durable peace in South Asia.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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