NEW YORK: In a strong speech to the UN General Assembly, Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif on Wednesday called on the Security Council to urgently implement its resolutions calling for the exercise of right to self-determination by Kashmiri people to pave the way for peace and stability in South Asia.
At the same time, the Pakistani leader warned the international community against ignoring the dangers of the current Indo-Pakistan tensions, saying Pakistan will soon open consultations with the members of 15-nation Council to explore the modalities for implementation of the Security Council resolutions on Kashmir.
In his wide ranging address, the prime minister also spoke about Pakistan’s commitment to eliminate terrorism, the Afghan peace process, the Palestinian people’s right to self-determination, disarmament, but he kept his focus on the situation in Kashmir. He was loudly applauded at the end of his 20-minute address.
“The people of Kashmir have waited 70 years for implementation of this promise (right to self-determination),” he said as he called for an end to Indian brutalities and oppression as well as curfews.
The prime minister also called for an independent inquiry into the extra-judicial killings in occupied Kashmir, and a UN fact-finding mission to investigate brutalities perpetrated by the Indian occupying forces.
“The Security Council must honour its commitments by implementing its own decisions,” the prime minister said in his speech that centred on Kashmir.
“This General Assembly must demand that India deliver on the commitments its leaders solemnly made on many occasions,” he said, while welcoming UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s offer of good offices to help resolve outstanding issues between India and Pakistan.
Tensions between India and Pakistan spiked following the recent attack on Indian troops in the Uri sector of occupied Kashmir amid a popular uprising by Kashmiri people for freedom with New Delhi’s security forces using brutal methods to crush it.
In this regard, the prime minister called for steps by the United Nations to de-militarize Jammu and Kashmir and undertake consultations with India, Pakistan and the true representatives of the Kashmiri people to implement the resolutions of the Security Council.
“Peace and normalization between Pakistan and India cannot be achieved without a resolution of the Kashmir dispute,” he told world leaders present in the spacious hall of the General Assembly. “This is an objective evaluation, not a partisan position.”
The prime minister said, “Our predictions have now been confirmed by events. A new generation of Kashmiris has risen spontaneously against India’s illegal occupation – demanding freedom from occupation.
Burhan Wani, the young leader murdered by Indian forces, has emerged as the symbol of the latest Kashmiri ‘Intifada’, a popular and peaceful freedom movement, led by Kashmiris, young and old, men and women, armed only with an undying faith in the legitimacy of their cause, and a hunger for freedom in their hearts.
“This indigenous uprising of the Kashmiris has been met, as usual, with brutal repression by India’s occupation force of over half a million soldiers. Over a hundred Kashmiris have been killed, hundreds, including children and infants, blinded by shotgun pellets and over six thousand unarmed civilians injured over the past two months.”
These Indian brutalities, he said, were well documented. “I would like to inform the General Assembly that Pakistan will share with the Secretary General a dossier containing detailed information and evidence of the gross and systematic violations of human rights committed by Indian forces in occupied Jammu and Kashmir.”
These brutalities, the prime minister said, would not suppress the spirit of the Kashmiris, rather it would only intensify their anger and fortify their determination to see India end its occupation of Kashmir. “From Srinagar to Sopore, the men, women and children come out each day, defying curfew, to demand freedom,” he said.
“On behalf of the Kashmiri people; on behalf of the mothers, wives, sisters, and fathers of the innocent Kashmiri children, women and men who have been killed, blinded and injured; on behalf of the Pakistani nation, I demand an independent inquiry into the extra-judicial killings, and a UN fact finding mission to investigate brutalities perpetrated by the Indian occupying forces, so that those guilty of these atrocities are punished.
“We demand the immediate release of all Kashmiri political prisoners; an end to the curfew; freedom for the Kashmiris to demonstrate peacefully; urgent medical help for the injured; abrogation of India’s draconian ‘laws’. -APP