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ISLAMABAD: President Dr Arif Alvi Wednesday reiterating Pakistan’s unflinching support to the Kashmiris in their just struggle to self-determination, said that India’s regressive decision to alter the special status of Kashmir as a disputed territory and its attempt to tamper with IoK’s demographics was unacceptable.

Addressing a flag hoisting and Kashmir Solidarity day ceremony held at the Convention center here on 72nd Independence Day of Pakistan, the president said “Kashmir is an internationally acknowledged disputed territory on the agenda of Security Council.

India cannot unilaterally change the status of Kashmir as a disputed territory, nor does it have any right to alter the demographics of IoK.” He said India, by its unilateral action, had not only violated the Security Council Resolutions but had also discarded Simla Agreement, wherein both the countries had pledged to resolve Kashmir dispute through peaceful dialogue and neither country would unilaterally alter the existing state of affairs.

“This step of India is in utter violation of all injunctions of Simla Agreement,” the president added.  The main ceremony was attended by chairman Senate Sadiq Sanjrani, speaker of the National Assembly Asad Qaiser, services chiefs, ministers, diplomats and a large number of people. The president said today, the entire world could see that the Pakistani nation stood with their Kashmiri brethren in this difficult time and would continue to provide its moral, political, and diplomatic support to the Kashmiris until they were given the right to self-determination.

“We will never leave their side. Kashmiris are ours and we are theirs. We consider their pain our pain. Their grief is our grief and their tears fill our hearts with sorrow and grief. We have been with them, are with them, and will always remain with them,” he added.

Reflective of its staunch commitment to Kashmir cause, he said, the Government of Pakistan had downgraded its diplomatic relations with India, suspended bilateral trade, decided to review bilateral arrangements with India, and the issue was being taken up in United Nations and Security Council.  This Independence Day was the expression of solidarity with the valiant people of Indian Occupied Kashmir (IoK), he added.

The president said Kashmir was the most militarized conflict zone in the world right now due to the presence of 900,000 Indian troops, and referred to the unending curfew, arrest of Kashmiri leaders, suspension of mobile and other communication services in Kashmir and the recent Indian deployment of additional 180,000 troops which was condemnable.

He said Indian armed forces, through murder and plunder, violence, illegal imprisonments, use of pellet guns, and rape of Kashmiri women, were inhumanely and blatantly violating fundamental human rights of the people of IoK.

“We condemn it in the strongest possible manner and demand that India stop its brutalities and atrocities, end the protracted curfew, allow communication services in Indian Occupied Kashmir, free Kashmiri leadership, and restore the basic civil liberties of the innocent people of Indian Occupied Kashmir,” he added. The president said Pakistan strongly supported the right to self-determination of the people of IoK as provided for in the Security Council's resolutions and international law.

“India should not forget that there are three parties to the Kashmir dispute: Pakistan, India, and the people of Kashmir.

The people of Kashmir have a right to plebiscite to determine their future, but obstinate India has never allowed them to exercise it,” he added.

He said the persecution of minorities by the so-called largest democracy of the world, India, was known to everyone.  Its religious extremism had tarnished the face of secular India. In this regard, the reports of international human rights watchdogs were enough to clear all delusions, he added.

President Alvi said today the Muslims and other minorities in India had realized the political vision and two-nation theory of Quaid-i-Azam and were openly acknowledging that their ancestors made a historic and political mistake in not joining Quaid-i-Azam at the time of partition.

Moreover, he said, India was continuously violating the ceasefire agreement by its unprovoked firing and bombing of people across the Line of Control. India’s irresponsible and belligerent actions pose a grave danger to peace and stability in South Asia. He said Pakistan was a peace-loving country and was desirous of peace in the region.

“We want to resolve Kashmir issue through dialogue and diplomacy in accordance with international law. We demand from India to stop its military aggression, state terrorism and brutalities in IoK,” he added.

The president said Pakistan also wanted to clarify that India should not take its desire for peace as a sign of weakness. “We want to make it clear to the International community that we are a peace-loving nation, but if war is imposed on us, it will not be limited to two countries alone; rather it will have consequences for the whole region and the entire world,” the president cautioned.  He also warned the Indian leaders to come to their senses and not to create an irreversibly dangerous situation.

The president urged the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and the United Nations to constitute an inquiry commission to investigate the human rights violation in Indian Occupied Kashmir.  He also thanked those friendly countries, who stand by oppressed Kashmiris in the IoK in this difficult time.

The president noted that Pakistanis, through the use of powerful tool of social media, could disclose to the world the monstrous face of India.

The president cited the joint session of the Parliament of Pakistan which adopted a resolution on August 7, consensually condemning the illegal and unilateral actions taken by India in the Indian Occupied Kashmir.

Reminding India about its commitments to the Kashmir issue, the president also quoted a significant part of a speech of Indian Prime Minister Nehru in the Indian Parliament On August 7, 1952, “Let me say clearly that we accept the basic proposition that the future of Kashmir is going to be decided finally by the goodwill and pleasure of her people.

The goodwill and pleasure of this Parliament is of no importance in this matter, not because this Parliament does not have the strength to decide the question of Kashmir but because any kind of imposition would be against the principles that this Parliament holds.” Nehru further said, “I want to stress that it is only the people of Kashmir who can decide the future of Kashmir.

It is not that we have merely said that to the United Nations and to the people of Kashmir, it is our conviction and one that is borne out by the policy that we have pursued, not only in Kashmir but everywhere.” The president congratulated the nation on 72nd Independence day and prayed that the green flag, the symbol of national sanctity and identity, might always fly high and keep on representing the national aspirations.

“May the white Crescent and Star keep on spreading the rays of peace and progress and may they continue illuminating the hearts and minds of all Pakistanis,” he added. He said the day held special significance in the national history, a political miracle transpired on the world’s map and it fulfilled the demand of the Muslims of sub-continent for a separate homeland.  He said the occasion also called for paying gratitude to those great leaders whose vibrant leadership and sacrifices won freedom for them.

“We can pay real tribute to those great ancestors only by rising above our self-interests and uniting to dedicate our fullest capabilities for the development and progress of the motherland, he added.  He urged upon the nation to reiterate its pledge that they would, with mutual love and respect, unite in their efforts for the progress and development of this great country.

Keeping in view the global scenario, the president urged the nation, especially the youth, to consider their country a blessing of Almighty Allah.

He said they should not forget the sacrifices of the founding fathers and follow their vision and by acting upon it, work for the development of the country.  “Remember governments do not make nations; people, especially youth, of a nation are the architects of its destiny,” he added. The president also stressed upon fighting against the rampant ignorance, poverty, corruption, dishonesty, terrorism, and other evils.

“Be proud of your cultural values and play your part in promoting them. This country has given us an identity, so serve it diligently and honestly,” he further advised.

The president underlined the need to negate the personal interests in favour of collective interests and rising above mutual differences by moving forth in unison.

He said only by doing so, they could claim a respectable place in the comity of the nations and add to the glory of their national flag.

“By adopting Quaid’s motto of unity, discipline, and faith, youth can change the destiny of this nation and make it a democratic state based on Islamic egalitarianism.

The future of Pakistan lies in your hands,” the president reminded the youth.

The president also paid tribute to the valiant people, armed forces, and law enforcement agencies for rendering tremendous sacrifices for the protection of the country.

“Armed Forces of Pakistan have never let any harm come to sovereignty of the country. I salute the martyrs who laid down their lives for the protection of the motherland and the forbearance of their families.

Nation will always remember their sacrifices,” he added.  During the ceremony, Mishal Malik, wife of detained prominent Kashmiri leader Yaseen Malik, recited a poem narrating plight of the Kashmiri people in IoK and their valiant freedom movement despite Indian atrocities and gross human rights violations.

At the end of the ceremony, children dressed in national attire, presented famous national songs.

Copyright APP (Associated Press of Pakistan), 2019