Remarks by H.E. Ambassador Syrus Sajjad Qazi, Ambassador of Pakistan to Turkey at the Seminar commemorating “Kashmir Solidarity Day” Ankara 5 February 2018

Distinguished Guests,
Ladies & Gentlemen:

I would like to express my sincerest thanks to ESAM for co-organizing this event with the Pakistan Embassy on the occasion of Kashmir Solidarity Day.

Their presence and support is a source of great strength for millions of oppressed people of Occupied Jammu & Kashmir, and an important contribution towards realization of their right to self-determination.

Ladies and gentlemen,

Speaking to all India Radio on 3 November 1947, the first Prime Minister of India, Jawahar Lal Nehru, made a pledge, and I quote:

“We have declared that the fate of Kashmir is ultimately to be decided by the people. The pledge we have given not only to the people of Kashmir but to the world. We will not and can not back out of it.

This pledge to the people of Jammu & Kashmir for their right to self-determination was reiterated by Prime Minister Nehru numerous times in his public statements as well as in his correspondence with the Pakistani leadership.

Sadly, and tragically, he and his successors refused to honour this commitment i.e his countrywill not back” out of its pledge.

However, Nehru was ironically right when said that his country “can not back out” of its pledge.

The people of Occupied Jammu & Kashmir, through their valiant struggle, and over 94,000 lost lives since 1990 alone, have proved beyond a shadow of doubt that India “cannot” deny the people of Jammu & Kashmir their right to self-determination, despite the use of state terrorism and repression.

Ladies and gentlemen,

The tragedy of the people of Occupied Jammu & Kashmir is that not only India, but also the international community has failed to fulfill its moral, ethical and legal obligations towards the Kashmiris.

Kashmir remains one of the longest lasting situations of foreign occupation, like Palestine, and the longest unresolved issue on the agenda of the United Nations Security Council.

The UN Security Council, through its numerous resolutions, clearly and unequivocally, declared that the final disposition of the State of Jammu & Kashmir would be made in accordance with the will of the people expressed through the democratic method of a free and impartial plebiscite, conducted under the auspices of the United Nation.

Ironically, yet again, it was India that took the Jammu & Kashmir dispute to the United Nations Security Council, and it was Nehru who once again gave his word of honour in the Indian Legislature on 2nd January 1952 when he said:

“We have taken the issue to the United Nations and given our word of honour for a peaceful solution. As a great nation, we cannot go back on it.”

Despite pledging the honour of his nation, India, the relevant UN Security Council resolutions on Jammu & Kashmir remain unimplemented.

Ladies and gentlemen,

Today, Occupied Jammu & Kashmir remains one of the most militarized zones in the world, where more than 700,000 Indian security forces continue to unleash a reign of terror, encouraged by “black laws” that ensure complete impunity to perpetrators of human rights violations.

The seven decades of crimes against humanity in the Indian occupied Kashmir is a blot on the collective conscience of humanity, marked by discovery of mass graves; rape and sexual assault; extra-judicial killings and torture; enforced disappearances; unending curfews; house arrests and detentions of Kashmiri leaders; and collective, inhuman and degrading punishments.

With each passing year, Indian repression has been further emboldened by the inaction of the international community.

When the extrajudicial killing of a Kashmiri youth leader, Burhan Muzaffar Wani, on 8 July 2016, triggered the latest phase of the indigenous uprising in Indian Occupied Kashmir – termed by many as another Kashmiri Intifada – India responded yet again with brute force.

Live ammunition and tear gas were fired indiscriminately at the protestors. Ambulances transporting those injured were stopped and attacked. Hospital and clinics providing medical aid were raided, and medical staff and doctors were harassed.

And, making a mockery of all norms of universal moral, ethical, humanitarian and human rights principles, pellet-gun shots were aimed directly at the protestors’ faces.

Dozens of Kashmiris were martyred; and hundreds suffered debilitating injuries to their eyes.

Many lost their vision permanently – a majority of them women and children.

Ladies and gentlemen,

As if this brutality did not quench their thrust for cruelty, Indian security forces have repeatedly resorted to meting out degrading and inhuman “punishments” to Kashmiris.

On 9 April 2017, in Utligam village in Indian Occupied Kashmir, a young man was tied with ropes to the front of an Indian military jeep, and paraded for hours as an “example to stone-throwers”.

Instead of punishing the military officials involved in this heinous crime, they were in fact rewarded by the Indian political and military leadership.

This incident is not an exception, but a rule through which Indian military force operates in the occupied territory.

Ladies and gentlemen,

Despite an international outcry against these brutalities, as well as a call by the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights for an independent inquiry into these gross violations of human rights, India continues to prevent all access to human rights monitors and media in the region.

The Independent Permanent Human Rights Commission of the Organization (IPHRC) of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) has consistently been denied access to the Indian Occupied Kashmir, despite repeated calls by the OIC Council of Foreign Ministers.
The IPHRC undertook a visit to Azad Jammu & Kashmir in July 2017 and interviewed many Kashmiri refugees who had been forced to abandon their homes in the Indian occupied Kashmir and seek refuge across the Line of Control (LoC).
The post-visit report of IPHRC, a copy of which is available in this room, highlights the gross violations of human rights in Indian Occupied Kashmir as well as continued denial of the right to self-determination of the Kashmiris.

Ladies and Gentlemen,  
Pakistan’s principled position on the settlement of Jammu and Kashmir dispute is consistent with the UN Security Council Resolutions, which provide for the final disposition of Jammu and Kashmir in accordance with the will of the Kashmiri people to be determined through a free and impartial plebiscite under the UN auspices.

Pakistan, as well as Kashmiris, have reject farcical elections held under coercion in Indian Occupied Kashmir, and do not consider these as a substitute to free and impartial plebiscite under the UN auspices.

Pakistan continues to extend unwavering political, moral and diplomatic support to the just cause of the Kashmiri people and shall continue to do so, Inshallah.

Ladies and gentlemen,
The Kashmiris, and the people of Pakistan, deeply appreciate the support and solidarity they have received from the government and people of Turkey.

Turkey has been one of the most important voices, consistently raising the plight of the Kashmiris internationally and recognizing their right to self-determination in accordance with the relevant resolutions of the UN Security Council.

Turkey, as the chair of OIC, has also taken a very strong moral and ethical position to send a fact-finding mission to Kashmir.

Millions of people of Pakistan as well as the people of Jammu & Kashmir will never forget that their Turkish brothers and sisters stood with them in their most difficult hour. 

At the conclusion of my speech, I will leave you with small video clip highlighting the support of the Turkish leadership for the just resolution of the Jammu & Kashmir dispute. At the same time, I express the hope that with the moral and political support of the international community, as well as that of the Muslim Ummah, that day is not far when the Kashmiris will realize their just and inalienable right to self-determination.

Thank you

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