Shah Mehmood Qureshi urges UN to help resolve Kashmir issue
Islamabad, March 30, 2020 (PPI-OT): Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi in his recent letter to the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) has demanded its role in resolving the Jammu and Kashmir dispute and ensure giving right of self-determination to Kashmiris under relevant resolutions.
In line with the government’s efforts to continuously highlight the dire human rights and humanitarian situation in the Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IOJ and K), the foreign minister addressed another letter to the President of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) and the United Nations Secretary General (UNSG) on March 9, drawing attention to developments in IOJ and K as well as belligerent Indian rhetoric and aggressive actions on the ground.
Qureshi made clear that durable peace and stability in South Asia would remain contingent upon a just and lasting solution to the Jammu and Kashmir dispute. The foreign minister has been regularly updating the UNSC President and the UNSG on the Indian actions in IOJ and K since August 5, 2019 that pose threat to peace and security in South Asia.
Shah Mehmood Qureshi in his letter rejected India’s false narrative of normalcy in IOJ and K, drew attention to the reprehensible remarks of the Indian Chief of Defence Staff about deradicalisation camps for Kashmiri youth and highlighted intensified ceasefire violations by the Indian forces on Line of Control (LoC) since December 12, 2019. He stressed the possibility of India staging a false flag operation to divert international attention from the grave human rights and humanitarian situation in IOJ and K.
The foreign minister also highlighted irresponsible statements by the Indian leadership, including by the Indian Prime Minister, threatening the use of force against Pakistan. He pointed out India’s machinations seeking to change the demographic structure of IOJ and K.
In this regard, he drew attention to forcible confiscation of properties of Kashmiris and allocation of over 6,000 acres of land to non-Kashmiris in clear violation of international law, including the 4th Geneva Convention. The foreign minister also underlined that the targeted killings of Muslims in New Delhi in February 2020 were directly attributable to the “majoritarian mindset” and supremacist and divisive Hindutva ideology.
In further follow-up of the foreign minister’s letter said that Pakistan has been calling for immediate lifting of communication restrictions and unfettered access to medical and other essential supplies in IOJ and K in the wake of outbreak of coronavirus in the occupied territory. Similar voices have been raised by human rights organisations and the civil society, particularly after the confirmed cases and a death in IOJ and K due to the Coronavirus.
Meanwhile Shah Mahmood Qureshi held a telephonic conversation with British Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs Dominc Raab and exchanged views on the global outbreak of coronavirus and prospects of enhanced bilateral cooperation to jointly tackle the pandemic.
Expressing condolences over the loss of lives in the United Kingdom by the coronavirus, the foreign minister conveyed his good wishes for early recovery of Prince Charles and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who had also been tested positive for the COVID-19 disease. Qureshi apprised his counterpart that the British nationals residing in Pakistan were being taken care of and assured of their return after the normalcy.
The foreign minister lauded the steps being taken by the UK authorities to combat the infectious virus and thanked British authorities for taking care of the Pakistani community in the UK. He informed Foreign Secretary Raab about the latest situation of outbreak in Pakistan and the steps taken by the government for its containment.
While highlighting the situation in the Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK), the foreign minister said due to the Indian lockdown for the last eight months, the territory had been facing shortage of food and medical supplies to effectively contain the COVID-19 pandemic and around eight million Kashmiris were awaiting the world support for their riddance of the Indian oppression.
Foreign Minister Qureshi also reiterated the need to lift sanctions against Iran, enabling it to utilise its resources to save precious human lives. He highlighted that the debt relief for developing countries like Pakistan would enable them to devote greater resources to fight the COVID-19 pandemic and mitigate its economic fallout.
He said the United Nations secretary general and the managing director of the International Monetary Fund had also given encouraging remarks in that regard. He hoped that being a member of the G-7 and G-20 countries, the UK would play its role in carrying forward the said proposal.
The British foreign secretary thanked the foreign minister for the call and his expression of solidarity. He concurred that enhanced global cooperation was key to combat the pandemic. He hinted at raising the proposal of restructuring of the loans at the appropriate forum. Both the sides agreed to keep up the consultation for mutual cooperation against the pandemic.
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