Diplomatic oomph: Qureshi satisfied with UNSC, OIC response on Kashmir

11

 

Staff Report

ISLAMABAD

Following critical examination of the current intense situation in occupied Kashmir by the eight-member Kashmir Committee chaired by Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi on Saturday, the minister held a joint press conference with Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Director General Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor.

Qureshi stated that it was the first meeting of the committee and all members, including representatives from the opposition had put forward their opinion for proceeding with the Kashmir dispute.

“The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) have both responded positively to Pakistan’s call for the Kashmir issue to be taken up. The OIC has called for an immediate end to the curfew in occupied Kashmir.

“The issue was raised in the UNSC after five decades and a discussion took place on the matter, that is a major development,” Qureshi said adding that the whole nation was united on the matter.

The foreign minister said that it had been decided in a meeting of the Special Committee on Kashmir —that a Kashmir Cell will be created at Pakistan’s Foreign Office. Furthermore, Kashmir desks will also be established at Pakistani embassies all over the world, “in order to carry out effective communication on the matter.”

Answering a question regarding Pakistan’s stance on Article 370 of India’s constitution, Qureshi said: “Pakistan does not recognise Article 370 of the Indian constitution. It is not our concern. Our concern is with the forceful change in Kashmir’s demographics and the violation of the rights of the people of Kashmir.

Regarding the possibility of going to the International Court of Justice, Qureshi said that the matter was discussed with the law ministry and the attorney general and the pros and cons are being weighed before a decision is taken on the matter.

“The parliament approved unanimous resolution at a joint session […] this is a long fight and we have to fight at every front.” The minister said that Indian prime minister Narendra Modi had buried Congress leader Nehru’s India. Voices are being raised within India and they are calling for returning the special status to Kashmir.

Addressing the press conference, Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor reiterated that the Armed Forces of Pakistan with the help of entire nation were ready to respond to any act [of aggression] by India.

“Pakistan army is fully prepared to confront every misadventure by India […] India’s provocation continues across the Line of Control.”

The situation in India and occupied Kashmir can be judged by the kind of statements their commanders have been giving for the past few days,” he said. “We believe that Kashmir’s reaction on India’s actions may come out soon and we are prepared for that too.”

“The atrocities being carried out by India in Kashmir are now out in the open for the whole world to see. This is not the matter of a piece of land, it is the matter of the rights of the people living in Kashmir.

The army spokesperson also made it clear that Pakistan would not take any action that may result in international opinion turning against Islamabad.

DG ISPR revealed that Indian soldiers have been deployed at every nook and corner in the valley and the world has been keenly observing human rights’ abuses by the occupation forces.

“At present stage, the biggest issue in Jammu and Kashmir is about human rights’ violations […] the entire region has been turned into a prison,” Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor mentioned.

“By staging a false flag operation, India can take any action along the LoC; however Pakistan armed forces would respond effectively,” he said while refuting impression that Pakistan has been escalating tensions along the LoC.

He urged the international community to put more efforts for resolution of the dispute which is a nuclear flashpoint between arch rivals Pakistan and India.

During the press conference, Maj Gen Ghafoor also pointed out that a number of Pakistani Twitter accounts posting in the favour of Kashmir have been blocked.