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PM says ready for talks if India ends Kashmir siege

ISLAMABAD    –    Prime Minister Imran Khan on Tuesday said Pakistan was ready to hold peace talks with India provided the latter ended military siege in Jammu and Kashmir and agreed for a plebiscite in the Valley as per the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions. 

“To India, I say that we are ready, but you have to end military siege in Kashmir and give Kashmiris their right to self-determination,” the prime minister said in his special televised video message in connection with Kashmir Black Day. Imran Khan recalled that even in his maiden address to nation after assuming office, he had talked about peace with India and extended offer that if India would take one step towards peace, Pakistan would reciprocate with two.

“Pakistan still believes that peace is the only way for the prosperous future of the people of sub-continent, however it cannot ignore India’s ongoing reign of terror in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK),” he said.

In reference to October 27, he said, India 73 years ago landed its occupational forces in Jammu and Kashmir and oppressed the Kashmiris’ right to self-determination. “The painful saga of Kashmiris for seven decades continued until India added another chapter to their misery on August 5, 2019, with 0.9 million occupational forces putting eight million Kashmiris under siege,” he said.

He mentioned that the “world’s largest open prison” not only confined the local Kashmiris, but also put their leadership behind bars.

“Presently, Kashmiris are living an unfortunate moment of their lives as neither they are citizens of India nor they have been given their right to self-determination as per the UNSC resolutions,” he said.

Imran Khan vowed to highlight the sufferings of Kashmiris at all fora, urging the world to work towards resolution of Kashmir dispute.

“I will continue to fight for the rights of Kashmiris and will raise voice for them locally and internationally, besides apprising heads of State and international media about the deteriorating situation of human rights in IIOJK,” he said.

“I will keep them reminding about state-terrorism in Kashmir, persistent oppression, discovery of mass graves, extra-judicial killings and curb on media,” he added.

The Prime Minister said Pakistan would also update the world about acts of terrorism being perpetrated on its soil by India.

FM asks world to notice India’s illegal acts in Kashmir

Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Tuesday asked the international community to pressurise India to reverse its illegal course in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK) and restore the Kashmiris’ fundamental human rights.

“Through the deployment of additional troops and an unprecedented media and communication blackout, occupied Jammu & Kashmir has been turned into the largest open prison in the world,” the foreign minister said in his message on Kashmir Black Day.

Qureshi said on this day 73 years ago, Indian occupation forces entered Jammu and Kashmir in an attempt to subjugate the Kashmiri people. “To this day, the brave people of Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu & Kashmir (IIOJK) have remained steadfast in their resolve to defy India and stand firm in their quest for the right to self-determination,” he said.

On August 5, 2019, India took further illegal and unilateral steps to change the internationally recognized disputed status of IIOJK and alter the demographic structure of the occupied territory.  

“Pakistan and the Kashmiris have categorically rejected this blatant travesty of law and justice. For over one year, the scale and impunity of the Indian government’s human rights violations have increased manifold,” he said.  

He said the world community was calling India out on its tyranny and its façade as one of the world’s so-called largest ‘democracies’ has been undeniably exposed. “Pakistan calls for the urgent lifting of the military siege and media blackout, immediate stop to the violations of human rights of Kashmiri people, release of Kashmiri leaders and youth, and end to impunity granted to Indian occupation forces under draconian laws,” he said.

Qureshi said, “We express complete solidarity with the people of IIOJK and assure our Kashmiri brothers and sisters that the Government and people of Pakistan remain shoulder-to-shoulder with them.”

“Pakistan will not relent in its support until the Kashmiris realize their legitimate right to self-determination in accordance with the United Nations Security Council resolutions,” he said.

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