Statement by the Ambassador of Pakistan, H.E. M. Syrus Sajjad Qazi on the occasion of the Kashmir Solidarity Day, 12 February 2019

Excellencies, Distinguished Guests, Ladies & Gentlemen: Assalam-o-Alaikum I would like to thank you all for your presence here today. Your participation in this event to commemorate the Kashmir Solidarity Day in Turkey is yet another manifestation of the worldwide support for the inalienable right of the Kashmiri people to self-determination. My sincerest thanks to ESAM for co-organizing this event with the Pakistan Embassy Ankara. It is a matter of great honor for us that we have been joined by a number of distinguished guests on the occasion. Ladies and Gentlemen,
This year, the Kashmir Solidarity Day is being commemorated in the backdrop of an unprecedented wave of gross violations of human rights against the innocent Kashmiris in the Indian Occupied Jammu & Kashmir. Hundreds of civilians have lost their lives in the recent months. Peaceful protests and funerals have been attacked with vicious force and impunity by the Indian occupation forces. Despite international outcry, pellet-guns are still being used for maiming and blinding men, women and children. Kashmiris continue to endure excessive and disproportionate use of force; rape and sexual assault; torture; enforced disappearances; unending curfews; house arrests; as well as collective, inhuman and degrading punishments. Yet, the spirit and the determination of the oppressed Kashmiris to determine their future by exercising the right to self-determination remains unwavering. Ladies and Gentlemen,
After remaining a silent spectator for over 70 years, there are signs that the international community is now slowly realizing the scale of the tragedy of the people of Kashmir. The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (UN OHCHR) recently issued a report on the situation in the Indian Occupied Kashmir. The report highlights the gross and systematic violations of human rights. It also calls for early institution of a Commission of Inquiry under UN auspices to investigate and hold the perpetrators of these atrocities accountable. The UK Parliament's All Party Parliamentary Group on Kashmir (APPKG), and the OIC Independent Permanent Human Rights Commission of the Organization (IPHRC) in their reports, likewise have presented similar evidence of gross violations of human rights. We hope that the international community would take decisive actions in the light of these reports. Ladies and Gentlemen, For the past seven decades, the Jammu & Kashmir dispute continues to remain one of the biggest challenges faced by the Muslim Ummah, and had many parallels to the plight of the Palestinians. The people of Pakistan, the Kashmiris across the globe, the members of the Muslim Ummah and indeed every person with a conscience, is truly grateful to the people of Turkey for their unambiguous, unwavering, unequivocal support for the just struggle of the Kashmiri people. Turkey, as the chair of OIC, as well as an important member of the OIC Contact Group on Jammu & Kashmir has been playing an important role in this regard. We will never forget your support. Inshallah, with these efforts and your prayers, the day is not far away when the people of Occupied Jammu & Kashmir will realize their dream of exercising their right to self-determination. Thank you.

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