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Imran Khan Voices Unwavering Support for Kashmiri Self-Determination

by Newsweek Pakistan

File photo of Prime Minister Imran Khan. Aamir Qureshi—AFP

Pakistan’s prime minister urges global community to take notice of rights abuses in India-held Kashmir

Pakistan will continue voicing support for the residents of India-held Jammu and Kashmir until they are finally granted their right to self-determination through a free and impartial plebiscite, Prime Minister Imran Khan said on Wednesday.

In a statement to mark Yaum-e-Istehsal, the first anniversary of India’s abrogation of Kashmir’s special constitutional status, he said that it had now been 365 days since India launched “unprecedented, inhuman military siege and communication blockade” on Aug. 5, 2019 through “illegal and unilateral actions.”

Noting that India was trying to alter the Muslim-majority demography of the region through “blatant violation of relevant U.N. Security Council Resolutions and international laws, particularly the 4th Geneva Convention,” Khan said Kashmiris and Pakistani had roundly rejected these illegal actions.

“Parliamentarians, journalists, humanitarian workers, international human rights organizations and members of the international community have also raised their voices on the continuing gross human rights violations in IIOJK [Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir]. India stands exposed before the world, yet again, as an oppressor and aggressor. Its so-called secular and democratic credentials stand fully discredited,” he added.

Calling on the international community to enact practical steps to force India to reverse its present course against the Kashmiri people, Khan said this was essential to ensure “fairness, justice and human dignity” for Kashmiris.

“Let me be absolutely clear: Pakistan will always be with its brothers and sisters in IIOJK. We will never accept, and neither will the Kashmiris, the illegal Indian actions and oppression of the Kashmiri people,” he said, adding that Delhi had already failed to prevent the voices of the Kashmiri people from reaching the global community.

“Now India will fail in forcing its majoritarian ‘Hindutva’ mindset on a people unwilling to compromise on their just rights and fundamental freedoms,” he said. “India must realize that martyrdom of each Kashmiri and the burning and destruction of each Kashmiri house will only further strengthen the Kashmiris’ resolve for freedom from Indian occupation,” he added.

The prime minister concluded his message by once again reiterating that Pakistan would never cease its support for the just struggle of the Kashmiri population. “Pakistan will stand shoulder-to-shoulder with its Kashmiri brethren until they realize their inalienable right to self-determination through free and impartial plebiscite under the auspices of the U.N. as per the relevant UNSC Resolutions,” he added.

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