Islamabad: Needling India yet again, Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Tuesday said he was “obliged” to become the voice of the “oppressed” people of Kashmir and would “leave no stone unturned” to make the world understand the “plight” of the people in the Valley.
Sharif also shot off letters to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, urging efforts to end the “persistent and egregious violation of the basic human rights” of the Kashmiri people and also to implement UN Security Council resolutions, a Foreign Office statement said.
Sharif chaired a preparatory meeting for the upcoming UN General Assembly (UNGA) attended by his foreign affairs advisor Sartaj Aziz, special assistant on foreign affairs Tariq Fatemi, foreign secretary Aizaz Ahmed Chaudhry, Pakistan’s permanent representative in the UN Maleeha Lodhi and Pakistan’s Ambassador to the US Jalil Abbas Jilani and other senior officials.
The meeting reviewed the agendas to be included in the next session of UN General Assembly in which the premier is expected to participate, a statement issued by the Premier’s office said. “It is an obligation for me as Prime Minister of Pakistan to become the voice of Kashmiris who have been oppressed in Kashmir. I will leave no stone unturned to make the world understand the plight and the legitimate struggle of the people of Kashmir,” Sharif said.
The meeting observed that “Kashmir remains an unfinished agenda of the UN and accordingly India must realise that Kashmir is not its internal matter, rather it is a matter of regional and international concern”. Sharif said the denial of right of self-determination for Kashmiris is one of the persistent failures of the UN.
“The right of self-determination is the basic right of Kashmiris and we will make every effort to make Kashmiris captain of their own ship,” the statement quoted Sharif as saying in the meeting. The Foreign Office statement, giving details of the letters sent by Sharif to Ban and Zeid said, “Highlighting human rights abuses by Indian forces, Prime Minister stated that more than 50 deaths and 3,500 injuries had taken place, out of which 400 were critical.”
“The use of illegitimate and excessive force against innocent civilians protesting peacefully over extra-judicial killings was a blatant violation of a range of fundamental rights,” the statement said. In the letters, Sharif alleged that force was being used to prevent access to hospitals, to harass doctors and prevent access to medical facilities.
“The situation is a clear manifestation of Indian state terrorism to suppress the Kashmiris’ struggle for their inalienable right to self-determination,” the statement quoted the letters as saying. Prime Minister Sharif called for investigation into the “brutalities and atrocities” committed by Indian forces, protection of Kashmiris’ fundamental rights, a fair inquiry into the killing of Hizbul commander Burhan Wani and implementation of UN resolutions.