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Round Table Discussion on Kashmiris’ Right to Self Determination

Pakistan Embassy organized a Round Table Discussion on “Kashmiris’ Right to Self Determination”, today. The event was attended by journalists, writers and analysts as well as human rights activists.
Messages of the President, Prime Minister and the Foreign Minister of Pakistan on Kashmiris’ Right to Self Determination were read out. In his message, President Arif Alvi said that the current situation in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK) is the worst in recent history where people have been deprived of their basic rights, including rights to freedom of expression and assembly as well as self-determination. 
In his message, Prime Minister Imran Khan said that for more than 500 days now, Indian occupation forces have been further brutalizing the besieged innocent Kashmiris, brazenly denying their basic rights of communication, freedom of expression, freedom of assembly, freedom of religion, and above all, freedom to determine their own future. Kashmiris have been deprived of their fundamental rights to life, food and health despite the rampant Covid-19 pandemic. Pakistan’s strong and steadfast support for the Kashmiri people will continue till the realization of their inalienable right of self-determination. 
Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said that in the midst of Covid-19 pandemic, India has deprived Kashmiris of their basic rights to life, health and food. Mr. Qureshi reaffirmed Pakistan’s strong and steadfast support to the valiant Kashmiri people in their just struggle for human dignity and their inalienable right to self-determination in accordance with United Nations Security Council resolutions.
Cd‘A (a.i.) Mr. Adnan Javed Khan traced the genesis of the long-standing dispute and the adoption of UNSC resolutions promising the people of Jammu and Kashmir their right to self-determination. He said that non-implementation of these resolutions had subjected several generations of the people of IIOJK to grave sufferings and jeopardized the peace and stability of the region. 
Participants at the event expressed serious concern over the worsening human rights situation in Kashmir resulting from more than 500 days clamp down on millions of people in the occupied territory. 
The event concluded with a Q&A session in which several journalists and analysts asked questions about the history, human rights dimensions and the future of the disputed territory. Kathmandu- 7 January, 2021

Message from H.E. Dr. Arif Alvi, 
President Islamic Republic of Pakistanon Kashmiris’ Right to Self-Determination Day - 5th January 2021

5th January is commemorated every year as the Right to Self-Determination Day for the people of Jammu and Kashmir reminding the global community that they cannot shy away from their responsibility towards the oppressed Kashmiri people in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu & Kashmir (IIOJK). On 5th January 1949, the United Nations Commission on India and Pakistan (UNCIP) adopted the resolution that guarantees a free and fair plebiscite in Jammu and Kashmir to enable the Kashmiri people realize their right to self-determination. The United Nations must honour its commitment which was made 72 years ago. 
The right to self-determination is a vital component of human dignity. Negation of this right is the negation of human freedom, Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and UN Human Rights Covenants. India is the biggest violator of this inalienable human right. 
Since 5th August 2019, through continuous illegal and unilateral steps, the Indian government has created an environment of fear and chaos in IIOJK. More than 500 days of military siege and draconian restrictions on fundamental freedoms and rights, including the right to life and health, despite Covid-19 pandemic, have challenged the conscience of international community and India’s credentials of being a respectable member of the comity of nations. Indian actions have been widely rejected by the international community, the United Nations, and international human rights organizations. 
The current situation in IIOJK is the worst in recent history where people have been deprived of all basic rights, including rights to freedom of expression and assembly, as well as self-determination. The people of IIOJK are being subjected to collective punishment by Indian occupation forces who have turned the territory into the largest militarized zone in the world and are seeking to change the demographic structure of the occupied territory in violation of international law, including the 4th Geneva Convention. 
Pakistan will continue to extend all possible support for the just cause of the people of Jammu and Kashmir till the realization of their right to self-determination in accordance with UN Security Council resolutions.

Message from H.E. Mr. Imran Khan, 
Prime Minister of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan 
on Kashmiris’ Right to Self-Determination Day – 5th January 2021

Today is 72nd anniversary of United Nations’ commitment to uphold the fundamental human rights of the people of Jammu and Kashmir. On this day, in 1949, the United Nations Commission for India & Pakistan (UNCIP) pledged the realization of the Kashmiris’ right to self-determination through a free and impartial plebiscite under the auspices of the United Nations. This day reminds the international community, especially the United Nations Security Council, of the imperative of honouring this commitment towards the people of Jammu and Kashmir.

The importance of the inalienable right to self-determination has been acknowledged in various human rights Covenants and decisions of the United Nations General Assembly and the Security Council. Owing to Indian intransigence, the Security Council has failed to fulfill its pledge to the Kashmiri people.

For over seven decades, the life of Kashmiris in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK) has been a chronicle of State-sponsored cruelty and terrorism. Around 900,000 occupation forces have converted the region into the largest militarized zone in the world. Post-5 August 2019, India has unleashed a new reign of terror in IIOJK, maintaining an inhuman military siege, perpetrating egregious violations of human rights of the innocent people especially women, children and the elderly with unprecedented impunity, and seeking to illegally change the demographic structure of the occupied territory. For more than 500 days now, Indian occupation forces have been further brutalizing the besieged innocent Kashmiris, brazenly denying their basic rights of communication, freedom of expression, freedom of assembly, freedom of religion, and above all, freedom to determine their own future. Kashmiris have been deprived of their fundamental rights to life, food and health despite the rampant Covid-19 pandemic.
The recent spate of unprecedented Indian state-sponsored terrorism in IIOJK and discriminatory steps against minorities, especially Muslims, are a clear manifestation of the ‘Hindutva’ ideology espoused by the RSS-inspired BJP regime. The world must ensure that human rights abuses do not go unpunished and that the perpetrators of these heinous crimes against humanity are held accountable.

Being a direct party to the Jammu and Kashmir dispute, Pakistan will continue to underscore the imperative of holding a free and impartial plebiscite under the UN auspices in accordance with the United Nations Security Council resolutions. Our strong and steadfast support for the Kashmiri people will continue till the realization of their inalienable right to self-determination.

Message from H.E. Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi,
Foreign Minister of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan 
on Kashmiris’ Right to Self-determination Day – 5th January 2021
Today, Kashmiris around the world are observing the 72nd anniversary of the United Nations’ commitment that the Jammu and Kashmir dispute would be decided through the democratic method of a free and impartial plebiscite under the UN auspices. Through this resolution, the United Nations affirmed its support for realization of the inalienable right to self-determination of Kashmiris – a right from which all other fundamental freedoms and basic human rights emanate.
Regrettably, this right of Kashmiris is being brazenly denied by India in the Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK) for more than past seven decades. The United Nations, especially the UN Security Council, bear the responsibility to ensure fulfilment of the promise of granting the right to self-determination to the Kashmiris. India is the sole cause of non-fulfillment of this promise. Post 5 August 2019, India’s unabated oppression has reached unprecedented levels with the inhuman military siege now in place for over 500 days. In the midst of Covid-19 pandemic, India has deprived Kashmiris of their basic rights to life, health and food.
Thanks to awakened global conscience, the fresh spate of India’s illegal and unilateral actions, aimed at altering the disputed status of IIOJK and bringing about demographic change to undermine the right to self-determination of Kashmiris, have been widely rejected by the international community. The international community must continue its support for the fundamental freedoms and basic human rights of Kashmiris and urge India to allow the UN to investigate the grave human rights violations in IIOJK. India must allow United Nations Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP) unhindered access to carry out its duties in IIOJK. If India has nothing to hide, why does it not allow international media and civil society to visit and report on the human rights situation in IIOJK? 
Let me reaffirm Pakistan’s strong and steadfast support to the valiant Kashmiri people in their just struggle for human dignity and their inalienable right to self-determination in accordance with United Nations Security Council resolutions.

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