Pakistan seeks UN role in protecting lives In IoK

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Staff Report

Islamabad

Pakistan has demanded the United Nations (UN) to take serious notice of the deteriorating human rights situation in Occupied Jammu and Kashmir and play its role in lifting curfew and other restrictions Kashmiris are facing for the last 20 days.

The foreign minister, while addressing a press conference at Foreign Office Islamabad, said that he spoke to the United Nations Secretary General António Guterres about this recent event as well as Friday’s protest in various places after Friday prayers in which “tear gas and pellet guns were employed to injure people”.

He said his aim was to apprise the UN secretary general of the situation in occupied Kashmir since after a meeting of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) was held.

“He is in Paris and I spoke to him. I thanked him for his statement and the way he presented a legally and politically sound stance on the issue. I’m sure Kashmiris must have also gained courage from his statement,” he said.

Qureshi said he also thanked the United Nations for convening the UNSC session. “With the closed-door meeting the message we got was that it is the wish of all members that the matter be resolved peacefully,” he said.

“I urged the UN to step forward immediately and play its role in protecting lives of innocent Kashmiris on war footing,” he added.

“UNSC resolutions entice you to act at the earliest. I also ask the UN chief to play his role in removing curfew in Kashmir and apprise P4 members over the whole situation.”

Talking about an 11-member contingent of its opposition parties was prevented from visiting Srinagar in occupied Kashmir, Qureshi said “This is the true face of the Indian government which the world is witnessing today.”

“Today the fascist attitude of the Modi administration was demonstrated at the Srinagar airport today,” he said, referring to the arrest of former Congress president Rahul Gandhi and other opposition leaders shortly after they landed.

“I call upon democratic nations of the world to view that footage. When they treat their own this way, what expectation can be had when we [Pakistan] are told to hold a dialogue with them?” said Qureshi.

He then highlighted the stifling communications blockade in the disputed territory which had forced media to use whatever “broken equipment” they have to record footage and send it out through their relatives.

“So in this environment, he [Gandhi] goes to assess the situation and wishes to meet the Kashmiri leadership. He is arrested at the airport and transferred to New Delhi on the next flight,” he said.

He also spoke of how his party’s spokesperson, while attempting to hold a media briefing in protest, was arrested mid conference.