Pakistan says joint statement to UN on Kashmir backed by over 50 nations

1 / 2
Pakistan's Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, center, arrives for a statement during the 42nd session of the Human Rights Council at the European headquarters of the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, Tuesday, Sept. 10, 2019. ( AP photo)
2 / 2
Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi leaves after addressing the United Nations Human Rights Council on September 10, 2019 in Geneva. - AFP
Updated 11 September 2019
0

Pakistan says joint statement to UN on Kashmir backed by over 50 nations

  • Situation in Kashmir warrants urgent attention from Human Rights Council, Foreign Office says
  • Foreign Minister Qureshi urges the UN to launch an international probe into the matter

ISLAMABAD: On behalf of more than 50 countries from across the world, Pakistan on Tuesday delivered a joint statement to the UN Human Rights Council (UNHCR) to bring attention to the worsening humanitarian situation in Indian-administered Kashmir, the Foreign Office said in a statement released on Wednesday.
“The worsening human rights and humanitarian situation in Indian-administered Jammu & Kashmir, especially following decisions taken on August 5, 2019, requires urgent attention by the Human Rights Council and human rights mechanisms,” excerpts from the joint statement said.
The Foreign Office said that Pakistan shared the concerns of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet “regarding the impact of recent actions on the human rights of Kashmiris” and appreciated the joint call for the removal of restrictions and the protection of the Kashmiri people.
It also pushed for actions based on the findings of the UN’s Kashmir reports, and for the peaceful resolution of the Jammu & Kashmir dispute by implementating the UN Security Council’s recommendations.
On Tuesday, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi demanded that the UN launch an international investigation into the situation in Kashmir. “I shudder to mention the word genocide here, but I must,” he said in his address to the UNHCR in Geneva.
The issue follows an announcement on August 5 by the Indian government to revoke Kashmir’s special status, following which the entire valley has been under a state of curfew.
The disputed Himalayan region has also seen thousands of additional troops being deployed in the area which experts say is India’s attempt to silence the Kashmiris’ right to protest.
The issue has become a flashpoint for the nuclear-armed South Asian neighbors with Pakistan appealing to the UN to interject and resolve the matter.


PM Khan ‘will try to raise conscience of the world,’ at UN — spokesperson

Updated 17 September 2019
0

PM Khan ‘will try to raise conscience of the world,’ at UN — spokesperson

  • There will be a planned protest outside UN offices after PM Khan speech at UNGA, says spokesman
  • President of Azad Kashmir, political leaders expect Khan will stress human rights violations in Kashmir

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s Foreign Office Spokesperson, Dr. Muhammad Faisal, told Arab News that Prime Minister Imran Khan would make efforts to ‘raise the conscience’ of world leaders against a continuing curfew in Indian-administered Kashmir, at his speech at the UN General Assembly (UNGA) session on September 27 in New York.
On Aug. 5, India flooded the Kashmir valley with troops, imposed a communications lockdown and abrogated a historic clause in its constitution that gave partial autonomy to the Muslim-majority region. Pakistan and India have fought two of their three wars over Kashmir, which both own in part but claim in full. 
In response to India’s abrogation, Pakistan has downgraded diplomatic ties, suspended bilateral trade and made appeals to the UN and international community to condemn the move as a violation of international law.
“We are not expecting that India will lift the clampdown after this speech, but we will try to raise the conscience of world leaders” the spokesperson said and added that the UNGA was not a decision-making forum, but that there would be a large protest outside UN offices.
“On the sidelines, the PM will also meet contact group on Jammu and Kashmir on September 25,” he said.
Referring to “multiple reports” by human rights organizations, Dr. Faisal said the Prime Minister would demand that major global players take note of human rights abuses in Indian-administered Kashmir.
“PM Khan...will demand from international community to take notice of grave human rights violations there which are mentioned in multiple reports by different human rights organizations including UNHRC,” Dr. Faisal told Arab News.
In a letter to the UN Security Council dated Aug. 13, Pakistan had asked for an urgent meeting on Jammu and Kashmir, and it had taken the matter up during its meeting on Aug. 16.
President of Azad Kashmir, Sardar Masood Khan, told Arab News that even though the Prime Minister had raised the Kashmir issue at the UN before, the “aggressive” actions of India had made even graver human rights violations to address, as well as the potential of a bigger conflict erupting in the region.
“When Pakistani PM will speak, he will challenge the international community to act and avert this war started by India, which could turn into a bigger conflict that can be disastrous for the whole region,” Khan said.
A senior leader of the opposition and a parliamentarian from PML-N, Ahsan Iqbal, told Arab News that India’s abrogation and curfew in Kashmir was a “human rights catastrophe,” which should be powerfully highlighted by Imran Khan during his UNGA address.
“He should also ask world community to play active role to compel India to lift the curfew immediately,” he said. 
The UN Security Council adopted several resolutions in 1948 and in the 1950s on the dispute between India and Pakistan over Kashmir, including one which says a plebiscite should be held to determine the future of Muslim Kashmir.
A former foreign secretary who has also served as Pakistani High Commissioner to India, Salman Bashir, said that many world leaders and multilateral forums had raised serious concerns about the worsening human rights situation in Kashmir, which Prime Minister Khan could use to his advantage to put pressure on the Indian government.
“He should also highlight Pakistan’s efforts for peace and stability in the region, especially Afghanistan,” Bashir told Arab News.
India upholds that the abrogation of the constitutional clause that rescinded the autonomy of Kashmir is New Delhi’s internal matter.